Has anyone done something different than an arch? I like the idea of an arch but at the same time I don't want to spend too much making one. Plus I would like something smaller and easier to transport and store. We are getting married outside and I want to make it look nice without breaking the bank and struggling to transport stuff.
Our venue provides barrels for us to use if we want, so we're planning on using those instead of an arch. I realize those aren't small or easy to store though. You could buy a backdrop stand and decorate it however you'd like - they are super easy to setup/tear down and they usually have a small case for storage.
The Knot had an interesting article of ideas, some of these might work for you (specifically, the floating garland or ring of flowers): https://www.theknot.com/content/amphtml/wedding-ceremony-arch-alternatives
Something I like is a carpet of some sort (my cousin did a cow hide), with a little table of some sort if you're doing a unity candle/sand ceremony, etc.
Depending on the area you can just find a natural kind of archway between trees or rocks.
The carpet idea is pretty cool too because it could be reused afterwards! There’s some cute durable indoor/outdoor rugs out there with a variety of patterns for fairly cheap. I saw a DIY geometric archway on the forum yesterday that was gorgeous. Worth a look!
I didn’t have any decor actually. Initially I was going to hang some lanterns on tree branches we were gonna stand under but it ended up being not practical to do so so we just made the tree our focal point.
I’ve been seeing people do candles on the floor around where they’re gonna stand
You can hang flowers from Shepard hooks on each side of you.
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That's a really good idea, I didn't think of that.
We didn’t have one and honestly I feel like it looked completely fine without it. It would’ve been a nice touch in theory, but all the ones we could’ve gotten that wouldn’t be super expensive were not very nice looking, and I would rather have nothing than have something that’s not very nice. And we just didn’t want to spend a ton of money on it, and like you said, what do you do with it after? I feel like we made the right call... it wasn’t missed.
I'm so glad you asked this because I've been thinking a lot about this too. I like an arc but personally I'd rather have a landscape scene or historic building in the background - without covering that up. There's a fountain in front of a historic home at our (potential) venue, so I want to make that work somehow. Are there any significant features at your venue?