Over the past few years I’ve been lucky enough to decorate many beautiful floral arches as a centrepiece for Scottish wedding ceremonies. These are a great way of framing the shots your photographer will take of your wedding ceremony and a good place for your guests to take photos themselves after the wedding ceremony.
They are, however, a bigger ticket item when it comes to your wedding budget, but I would still argue that a flower arch will make much more impact on the day and in your wedding photos than pew ends would or a small ceremony arrangement. Sometimes it’s better to pool your budget for wedding flowers and make one big statement piece rather than lots of little things which get lost in big spaces like churches and barns.
I prefer to decorate arches with wild flowers on the day of the wedding to make sure they stay as fresh as possible and nothing can happen to them between me making them and you standing in front of them. One of the costs that contribute to a flower arch price is the labour involved in setting up the arch and then taking it down the following day, and the rental of the arch structure itself.
So if you have your heart set on a wild flower arch for your wedding, consider providing the structure and offering to take it down the following day (or nominating someone from your wedding party to do this!) to help reduce costs. You could then use the arch in your garden and train flowers up it like roses or clematis as a beautiful memento of your wedding day.
Over the years I’ve dressed arches both indoors and outside in places like beaches – like this beautiful driftwood one built by the groom in Lower Largo. Here we added in swags of material to add extra interest. We also did this with a summer floral arch at Broxmouth Park where we added curtains to create more of an impact for Chelby and Michael’s summer wedding (Photos by the super talented Lauren McGlynn).
Another option could be to use a ribbon backdrop to add movement and a pop of colour like this woodland jewel toned one I did at Gilmerton House. Or this flower wall from a colourful wedding at Oran Mor in Glasgow. This can help tie in with your wedding colours if you have a colour scheme and can be a way of introducing things like blue or metallics which are difficult to find in flowers.
For me foliage is often a key ingredient, so it was a real treat to do a foliage only wild flower style arch for Amy and Adam in the middle of a wood at Harvest Moon near Edinburgh. Here we used the shape of the branches to create a very natural organic feel, adding texture with grasses, ferns and berries. (Photos by Green Antler Photography).
Of course if you are getting married outside under an arch it is important to have a back up plan in case the weather is not on your side, whether that be rain, snow or strong winds. Once a floral arch is set up then it’s not really possible to move so you need to decide on the morning of the wedding early on if you want the arch moved elsewhere. If you are providing the arch, make sure you have plenty of things to weigh it down at the bottom.
Some churches have existing structures we can decorate like this one at Achahoish church near Crear Weddings. Other venues provide great inspiration for arch structures such as this amazing arch on wheels created to mirror the weaving looms at Matt and Sunayna’s wedding at the Dovecot in Edinburgh (Photos by Mack Photo).
Wherever you have a flower arch one this is certain, it will make an impact and be totally unique, but if you’re looking for other ideas to make an impact with your wedding flowers have a look at our wedding flower gallery.