DIY Wedding Arch Ideas for Your Ceremony

DIY Wedding Arch Ideas for Your Ceremony

Photo: Real Bella Weddings  

Congratulations, you’re about to marry the love of your life!

You have that gorgeous engagement ring sparkling on your left hand. You’ve already ordered your dream dress. You’re about to have a real-life Molly Ringwald kissing Jake Ryan over the birthday cake moment!

But there’s still some planning to do …

It’s tempting to want to throw all of your effort into planning your reception. After all, that’s the fun part. But the ceremony is the part where you actually get married!

And that’s why many couples put some of their budgets into creating an incredible wedding arch.

Want to say your vows under a custom-made arch? 

Not only will it give your ceremony one-of-a-kind style, but years from now, when you show your wedding photos to your kids, you’ll be able to brag about how you built it yourself!

If you’re ready to have the outdoor wedding of your dreams, here’s our step-by-step guide to building a DIY wedding arch!

Still looking for bridesmaids dresses? Check out the Bella Collection!

Pick a Style

Pick a wedding arch style

Photo: Real Bella Weddings

First things first, brides and grooms:

Not all wedding arches are created equal.

Your arch should reflect the vibe of your wedding and complement your decor. So, before you start buying wood and nails, decide if you want your archway to be rustic, traditional, modern, boho, chic, etc.

We’ve seen arches made out of just about everything you can think of: wood, copper, pipes, tree branches and twigs ... 

We’ve even seen some made from hanging pendants lamps and fabric draped around the branches of a tree!

The fun part about wedding arches is that you can get as creative as you want.

Once you settle on a design or a look, it’s easy to find DIY plans that will show you how to make it.

Build Your Own Wood Arch

DIY wooden wedding arch

Photo: Real Bella Weddings  

Call it an arch, an arbor, a pergola, or a chuppah — building your own wedding altar is easier than you may think!

No, you don’t have to carve it from a solid block of wood like Owen Wilson’s character in Meet the Parents. No one can do that.

But you can do this:

All you need are a few wooden posts, some screws, and a little DIY know-how.

Building an arch does require a miter saw and a drill, so if you’re not confident in your construction skills, enlist the services of your hubby-to-be or find a friend to help you.

You can buy all of the supplies at Home Depot, and the experts there will even cut the wood to size.

Once you’ve got your materials together, head out to your backyard or clear out the garage — you’re about to build this arch from the ground up!

Now if that’s not a metaphor for how you’ve built your relationship, we don’t know what is.

Click here for building plans or watch this video to learn how to construct the perfect wood arch for your wedding day.

Related: How to Have a Wedding at Home 


Get Creative With Different Shapes and Materials

Wedding arch ideas

Photo: Real Bella Weddings

We love the beachy look of driftwood and the natural feel of white birch, but there’s no rule that says your wedding arch must be made of wood.

Depending on the vibe of your wedding, wood might actually be the opposite of what you’re going for. And that’s perfectly okay — every element of the day should be a reflection of you and your style.

The shape can be almost anything. It can be a half-circle, a heptagon, a pile of sticks leaned together in the shape of a teepee. You get the point. It’s up to you!

Looking for some inspiration to get your creative juices flowing?

Imagine a rustic wood polygon arch or a cool copper arbor.

When the wedding is over, find a groomsman with a flatbed truck, take it to your home, and set it up in your backyard. It can become the perfect photo backdrop for your family for years to come!

One-of-a-Kind DIY: Create an Arch from the Natural Surroundings

Create a wedding arch from natural surroundings

Photo: Real Bella Weddings

There’s one other way to DIY a wedding arch (and it just might be our favorite).

If you’re getting married outdoors and can set up your ceremony space beneath a tree, use the tree as the arch itself.

The potential is unlimited!

Drape fabric around the lowest branches and tie ribbons around the higher ones to create a breezy, natural arch. If you’re getting married in the evening, hang lanterns with candles from various tree limbs.

Remember, your arch can be anything you want it to be, so get creative and have fun putting it together!

Or … Skip the Building and Go Straight to Decorating

How to decorate a wedding arch

Photo: Real Bella Weddings

Not up for the challenge of building your own arch? 

That’s okay — no one expects you to be an HGTV star. Your wedding arbor can still have a handmade look without you actually having to build it with your hands.

If you want to skip the construction, there are lots of readymade arches that you can buy. You’ll find a ton of them on Etsy, for example.

Instead of building it yourself, just pick the shape you want and head straight to the fun part — decorating!

Drape it with layers of chiffon fabric in your wedding colors. Cover it in faux flowers. Decorate it with natural greenery or with fresh blooms from your local florist. 

Want your ceremony to give off some major Edward and Bella vibes

Decorate your ceremony arch with white lilacs, baby’s breath, moss, delphiniums, and ferns.  


A DIY arch is a budget-friendly way to create a dreamy focal point for your wedding ceremony. They make gorgeous wedding backdrops for those photos of you saying your vows.

If you’re into DIY projects, you can build it yourself. If you’d rather stay away from the power saws (we don’t blame you!), you can buy a premade one and decorate it yourself. Like everything else about your wedding day, it should be all about the two of you! 

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