DIY Wedding Arch Ideas: How to Decorate with Fabric Drapery


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totally possible!

We want your wedding photos to look amazing without costing too much. Your ceremony is filled with emotion & décore! We all have seen those simply gorgeous wedding shots with draping in the background.

Benefits of DIY Wedding Arch Draping

  • Aesthetics: Draping adds an elegant, romantic, & sophisticated look. Use backdrop rentals to create a beautiful look. We love how wedding ceremony drapery looks with side drapes or with a ceiling draping kit.
  • Flexibility: Draping can be used in a variety of ways to create different looks and designs. Cover walls with wedding pipe & drape, or learn how to make a chuppah for your altar.
  • Customization: Draping can be customized to match the colors and theme of your wedding, giving you a unique and personalized look for your ceremony.
  • Concealment: Draping can be used to conceal unsightly elements in the ceremony space, such as pipes, electrical outlets, or walls that are not suitable for decorating.
  • Lighting: Draping can be used to create a romantic ambiance by incorporating lighting. Set up DIY uplighting to create an elegant glow or wedding string lights for a twinkling effect.
  • Cost-effective: Draping can be a cost-effective option for creating a beautiful ceremony backdrop. Compared to other options such as flower garlands or custom-built structures, draping can be rented at a lower cost.
  • Versatility: Draping can be used in both indoor and outdoor ceremonies, it can also be used for various types of events, not just weddings, such as corporate events, birthdays, and other special occasions.

How can you create a similar look on your archway or wooden pergola without going over budget? We will share our wedding archway ideas so that you can get an identical look by renting drapery per piece.

learn how the pros drape a ceremony arch

Ship Our Wedding® provides everything you need draping-wise for square trellis & altars. This way you can hang fabric like a pro from your ceremony arch.

We even have base plates available for rental. This gives you more control over the fullness of your draping as it is pulled off to the side.

✔️ Easily create a beautiful ceremony with draping. Take a deep breath & continue reading our article. Together let’s make your DIY wedding arch happen!

Project Setup Time: Approximately 1 hour

Ceremony Draping Rentals You Need

The rentals are simple to reserve on our website. Ceremony draping is broken down into two categories (fabric draping and weighted plates).

You will need a couple of handy tools as well (ladder, wire cutters, pipe cleaners, zip ties). We have broken down everything you need so that you know how to make a wedding archway below.

How to Drape a Wedding Arch

  • (1-5) Pieces of 25-Foot Draping: The amount of drapery swags you rent will depend on your archway. Some pergolas are very simple (they go up, across, and back down). Some other ceremony arches are much larger. This complexity allows for creativity when hanging and pulling the fabric. If you have a larger pavilion, then you will need more fabric for the wedding arches.
  • (1-4) 12lb Base Plate: These base plates are necessary when you are pulling your fabric off to the side and want to keep it in place. This is very important because the wind might take your draping and cause it to move. If you have more wind you will need more weight. Keep this in mind during your setup. You may need some extra weight nearby that you can also place on your base plates.
  • Zip Ties & Pipe Cleaners: Your rental will come with a handful of pipe cleaners and/or zip ties. We recommend getting some extra just in case you need to use them to attach your draping to your ceremony backdrop. It is better to have more and not use them, than not have enough. You don’t want to make the wedding mistake of having to run to the store last minute!

When you do it yourself you bypass this unnecessary labor cost because you are in control over your setup. Save the money by getting the look you deserve. Keep reading to learn how to hang ceremony draping on your wedding arch.

❓ Vendors may charge $500 – $1000 to achieve a similar look with ceremony draping. We have all the items your need for rental. View availability & price by clicking the links above.

Before You Hang Fabric

If this is not your pergola, then make sure you get permission first. You want to double-check your setup times in case your venue will double book the pergola. Typically this takes an hour or less to hang the drapery.

  • Choose the Right Fabric: Opt for lightweight and flowing fabrics like chiffon, organza, or tulle. These materials create a soft and romantic atmosphere. Consider the color scheme of the wedding when selecting fabric. Whites, creams, and pastels are classic choices, but you can also go for bold colors that match your overall theme.
  • Measure and Cut: Measure the dimensions of your wedding arch to determine how much fabric you’ll need. Cut the fabric into long strips or panels, leaving extra length for draping and creating a flowing effect.
  • Draping Techniques: Experiment with different draping techniques. You can create a gathered look by bunching the fabric together at various points or achieve a more uniform drape for a clean and polished appearance. Consider creating swags by loosely folding and securing the fabric at intervals along the arch.

Chances are your DIY wedding arch will be pretty high up. If that’s the case, then have a ladder on hand so that you can reach up to hang/attach all the pipe and drape.

make sure you get permission first & confirm setup times

The more open your space the more wind you will get. If your ceremony is happening off a body of water then you might get A LOT of wind.

Factor this into your setup so you have enough weight on any drapery getting pulled off to the side. Also to keep your setup simple hire friends to work your wedding so that it saves time on your DIY setup.

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Decorate a Wedding Arch with Fabric

Are you ready to learn how to decorate a wedding arch with fabric? The steps involved are based on the size and amount of drapes you want to have hanging on your ceremony backdrop.

Have (1) as the centerpieces going across the top and down the sides. Then use more to flank it on the left and right. If you have more panel draping then repeat any of the steps below.

How to Decorate a Wedding Arch with Fabric

  • Center Fabric: Find the center of your fabric pieces. Attach the fabric with a zip tie or pipe cleaner to the front center arch of your pergola. Check with your venue’s coordinator before installing screws or nails.

  • Pull Sides: Pull back the left & right draping sides. If you have rafters then swag the fabric over while adjusting your hand (accordion to give the right fullness).

  • Attach to Arch: Zip-tie the hanging pieces of fabric to the sides of a column or use a small weight with a pipe cleaner to keep it from blowing in the wind. If you have enough excess, then pull it off to the side with a base plate to keep it in place.

  • Repeat Decoration: Do these steps 1-3 times for any more back pieces or layers of fabric you want to hang from your DIY wedding archway.

It’s that easy to make a homemade wedding alter. As long as you got the wooden arch setup then drapery will do the trick. Try 2 or 3 different variations of the drapes at different heights before deciding on a style.

ℹ️ Wedding archways can use 1 – 10 fabric pieces. A good rule is to start with (3) pieces. Odd numbers work best since you will most likely have a left, middle, & right drape.

Decorate a Wedding Arbor with Lights

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Why uplight homemade wedding arches & arbors?

  • Creates a focal point in wedding photos

  • Lighting improves the photo quality

  • Helps complement a wedding style

  • Lighting helps tie together stage design

  • Patio light stringers are cheap & effective

Lighting is one of the best ideas to decorate a wedding arch or arbor. This is especially true if you are having your ceremony altar in a shaded area. This will help to increase the effectiveness of your lighting.

  • Edison Lighting: Light strands are typically used in tents & outdoor events. This lighting decoration can help make your homemade wedding arch or arbor stand out. We recommend using only (1) or (2) strands for a simple clean look. Be sure to read more in our beginner guide on wedding tent lights.

  • Uplighting: What can we say about uplighting, that hasn’t already been said? Uplights can help accent the (4) corners of a square arbor. You can also place (2) wireless uplights at the bottom of a wooden arch or trellis to highlight drapery, greenery, & other decorations.

  • Hanging Tea Light Globes: This simple hanging decoration looks amazing in photos. The only downside is doing it yourself takes time. You need to cut & tie off every candle. We recommend hanging 20-50 glass globes over an archway. Learn more about hanging glass candle globes.

  • Lanterns: This is a proven way to decorate ceremony arches. Place 10-20 neutral-colored lanterns at various heights with LED flicker candles for added drama. Work in odd numbers (for example 5 on one side & 5 on the other). Keep in mind where your bridal party will stand so that your lanterns are visible.

💍 Lighting is used for indoor wedding ceremony décor. You have better control over the lighting conditions which can help give a more dramatic look.

Easy DIY Wedding Arch Ideas

So maybe you want to learn how to make a wedding arch. If you don’t want a large project, then you may want to rent a do it yourself kit!

  • White Round Backdrop: This simple wedding arch is circular, sets up fast, and looks amazing! The white color goes with any party theme! Use this instead of a large wooden pergola, go for a temporary structure to improve your wedding photos.

  • DIY Flower Arch: This backdrop is grand for both entrances & stages. Just imagine walking under this for your introduction. Have this in your background with an open center. This is great to stand under & create a photo area outside.

  • Gold Ring for Wedding Altar: Besides a white backdrop you might choose a more traditional color like gold. This stands out well and will accent with a variety of silk flower garlands. This wedding arch is also a great idea when attaching balloons for less formal parties.

  • Pillar Column Décor: If you need a wedding trellis idea then checkout our pillars. These are an excellent accent in minimalistic spaces. Since they go straight up they leave more room for decorations. Use these on both sides of a walkway, as stage pillars or the (4) corners of a dance floor.

Others enjoyed reading >> How to Hire a Wedding Food Truck

How to Decorate a Tent with Fabric

Decorating a wedding tent is different than draping an arch with fabric. Tents usually require mounting points instead of simply hanging the fabric. This means you need to rent clamps, cables & turnbuckles.

Some tents have high peaks which require ladders, scaffolding, or scissor lifts. When working high up you need to be concerned about liability for yourself & your guests.

There are also (3) different types of tents to decorate with fabric. These are just some of many factors to consider.

📄 Read our guide for more information on draping for tents

Ceremony Draping Video Tutorial

Did you find the above instructions & ideas helpful? Know what would be even better? A super detailed video tutorial covering wedding arbor ideas.

Watch the whole DIY process from start to finish and create your wedding ceremony draping. Learn what every bride needs to make it look like you hired a pro!

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Will You Drape Your Ceremony

Tearing down your ceremony drapes is super easy. You might be tempted to grab an end of the fabric and pull, but we advise otherwise! Some wooden beams might not be secured properly to the top of your venue ceiling.

You might damage the structure if you pull too hard. It is safer to use a ladder and manually lift any fabric that is laid over any rafters.

Here are more questions & answers on how to decorate your ceremony arch

How can I create a stunning DIY wedding arch for my ceremony?

Our comprehensive guide provides step-by-step instructions on creating a stunning DIY wedding arch. From materials to design tips, explore the possibilities for crafting a personalized and memorable arch for your special day.

What materials do I need for a DIY wedding arch project?

Gather simple materials like wooden arches, flowers, fabric, and other decorative elements for your DIY wedding arch project. Our guide includes a detailed list and links to where you can find the materials, making the process convenient for you.

Can I customize the style and theme of my DIY wedding arch?

Absolutely! Our guide offers inspiration and tips on customizing the style and theme of your DIY wedding arch. Whether you’re going for a bohemian, rustic, or romantic look, discover ideas for creating an arch that complements your wedding aesthetic.

How do I incorporate floral arrangements into my DIY wedding arch?

Adding floral arrangements to your DIY wedding arch is a beautiful touch. Our guide provides tips on selecting flowers, arranging them, and attaching them to the arch, creating a blooming masterpiece that enhances the romance of your ceremony.

Are there budget-friendly ways to decorate an arch with fabric drapery?

Transform your arch decor on a budget with our budget-friendly tips. From repurposing fabrics to exploring cost-effective materials, our guide ensures that you can achieve a beautiful fabric drapery without exceeding your budget.

How do I secure fabric drapery to an arch securely?

Securing fabric drapery to an arch is made easy with our guide. Learn about different attachment methods, such as zip ties, clips, and floral wire, ensuring a secure and elegant drapery installation for your event.

The great thing about do-it-yourself pergola draping is that it comes down very quickly. In 5 or 10 minutes you can have everything completely torn down.

As always if you have any questions about setting up a do-it-yourself wedding arch don’t hesitate to contact us. Our team of event designers would love to help you create a lovely look with draping at an all-inclusive wedding venue or air BnB wedding.

💬 We would LOVE to talk more about your wedding arch ideas. If you have any questions give us a call or message us on chat.

Founders Robert + Nicole Reno

With a combined (4) decades in the industry; we’ve trained hundreds, booked thousands, & partied with millions. Our first-hand experience allows us to empower others to succeed & be great… (read full bio)

Founders Robert + Nicole Reno

With a combined (4) decades in the industry; we’ve trained hundreds, booked thousands, & partied with millions. Our first-hand experience allows us to empower others to succeed & be great… (read full bio)

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Brad & Annika, Cario Nebraska

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Jennifer & Val of Divine Talents

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We were amazed the uplights were really easy

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