Arches, Arbors & Canopies, Oh My

At Simple Weddings, we offer a variety of options to create your ceremony space. We own a large variety of inventory so that we can offer our clients choices without the cost and hassle of outsourcing for rentals. With many of our clients selecting the beach for their ceremony site, much of our decor is selected with this option in mind. Products made of bamboo and wood make the most of the beauty of the natural venue, but these basic elements can be accessorized to make them more elegant, coastal, rustic, or shabby chic.  

Most of our packages come with your choice of an arch, arbor, or canopy. We find that clients (and even other professionals) often confuse the terms, so we wanted to help clarify what each item is, and how these structures can be customized to create the look you want.

The first option is a garden arbor. Most people recognize a white arbor as it has long been associated with weddings, and you’ll find plenty of photos of arbors traditionally used indoors or out. An arbor typically incorporates a trellis, with the design often being arched, to create a “tunnel” for plants to cover. Our arbor is white resin for durability, but it is not suitable for indoors, as it is equipped to be anchored in the ground or sand. It can be left plain, or dressed with fabric, flowers, shells, crystals, or pearls. It’s the ideal choice for a client who wants a romantic, traditional feel, or to create a shabby chic or garden theme. This can also be added to a package to create an entry way to your aisle.

We also offer choices of two post arches to define your ceremony space. While an arch is typically curved, ours are made of bamboo and echo the rectangular feel of a “Torii” or a Japanese gate. We offer both a light and dark bamboo option as well as our latest option, our custom driftwood arch.

A two post arch is perfect for elopements or weddings with smaller bridal parties. Our arches differ from other companies in that they are thick and substantial and are very secure in both the way we install them on the beach and attach them together (this is  important in windy conditions and why we never recommend brides DIY arches or canopies – let the experts handle it for safety). Just like the arbor, the arch can be accented with fabric, which can be draped in a variety of shapes or mix different colors for a custom look.

The dark arch lends itself to a number of themes, including a rustic feel or a tropical Balinese look (it really pops against bright corals, oranges, and hot pinks). The light bamboo arch is a classic, natural tone that works well with the colors of the sea and sand. Think of the arch as the frame for your wedding ceremony. Not only does it anchor the space for the actual wedding, but it creates a focal point for photography.

For the most unique option yet, our driftwood arch can be accented with baby’s breath tucked into it, or accented with flowers such as a spray of orchids, or strands of pearls wrapped and dripping from it. It has a very coastal feel, but also works well for a bride who wants a bohemian look. Like the arbor, the arch isn’t just for the ceremony space. For larger weddings, it can be added to the beginning of the aisle to serve in its most traditional capacity – as a “gate” to the ceremony.

The four post canopy has become part of our signature Simple Weddings’ look and you’ll see it throughout out website and on our Pinterest and Facebook pages. Just like our two post arch, it is available in both a light and dark option. The canopy is traditionally covered by either a semi-sheer white or ivory fabric, and then accented with colored swags and/or tiebacks. However, we can also drape fabric in different ways, omit the fabric or we offer a breezy curtain style which leaves the top of the canopy exposed. There are so many accessory options including different types of starfish, raffia or burlap accents, floral sprays, or crystal curtains on up to 3 sides. We can even hang a chandelier from the center above the unity table.

Regardless of the structure you choose, these options are serving a very important function. Of course they are decorative and help enhance the theme of your wedding, but for many clients, the arch or canopy is a substitute for the traditional altar in church. Our four post canopy is in fact similar to a Jewish “chuppah” to create a sacred space for the ceremony. Even if your ceremony isn’t religious, your wedding is a celebration and an important event that should be distinguished as such with a beautifully defined space on the beach. 

Hopefully, these photos will give you some design inspiration and help clarify the differences in the types of structures for your beach wedding. We’ll have an upcoming post about our unique ceremony decor options (thinking outside the box – or literally with boxes) as well as how our decor options and packages differ from others. For more inspiration, don’t forget to frequently check the Galleries pages as the Client Slideshows update frequently and we add new items to the Decor pages.