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40 Stunning Wedding Arches & Altar Ideas for an Outdoor Ceremony

No matter the type of scenery or setting you choose, a show-stopping backdrop will be the finishing touch on your outdoor ceremony. Take these floral wedding arches, arbors, and altar ideas as proof.

floral wedding arch with greenery and pink flowers

Vowing to love and support your spouse for the rest of your lives is a surreal and moving experience that will become etched into your memory. Set the stage for the unforgettable “I dos” to come with a beautiful backdrop that reflects your theme and venue. Choose from canopies, arches, floral walls, arbors, and more to help define your ceremony space and create a focal point for your outdoor wedding. Whether you’re exchanging vows on a beach, garden, rooftop, or barn, we’ve got you covered. Browse these spectacular ceremony setups from real weddings and prepare to be inspired!

Wedding Arches

Wedding arches are some of the most popular types of wedding altar ideas, and there are endless ways to personalize yours based on color scheme, season, style, or even the types of flowers included. Whether you want a traditional wedding arch to create a romantic backdrop for your vows or you're looking for something super trendy, like a triangular or circular arch, we've got you covered with these ideas. 

pastel wedding arch with flowers and greenery

Greenery wedding arch with pastel flowers

This simple but stylish arch works for essentially any type of outdoor wedding. The pastel flowers are on-theme if you want a springtime garden vibe, but you could swap them out for any seasonal blooms, like blue hydrangeas in the summer or sunflowers in the fall. 

boho wedding arch with pampas grass

Event design by De La Planning

Half-arch with pampas grass 

A trendy half-arch made from fluffy pampas grass instantly brings bohemian charm to your wedding altar. Complete the setup with metallic rose gold chairs—scenic view optional!  

romantic wedding arch with greenery, white flowers and red roses

Floral design by Courtney Inghram Floral Design

Open arch with red roses

If you're having an outdoor winter ceremony, consider this pretty wedding arch with evergreens and red roses. The open top and slightly asymmetrical design give this backdrop a perfectly-imperfect look. 

boho wedding arch circular backdrop made from vines

Rustic circular arch 

Circular wedding arches (you can also call them oversized floral hoops) are an updated version of the classic arch. They add a whimsical look to your ceremony decor and you can personalize them with everything from fresh flowers and greenery to pampas grass, ribbons, and macrame. This one is made from vines and branches for a rustic, woodsy finish. 

elegant wedding arch outdoor garden ceremony backdrop

Floral design by Compass Floral

Wedding arch with pillars

Here's another alternative wedding arch idea: Use flower-filled vessels and pillars at different heights to create the illusion of an arch at your outdoor altar. Switch up the vessels to match your wedding style—for example, stone urns for a classic romance theme or tall glass vases for a modern look. 

romantic wedding arch circular ceremony backdrop with red and white roses

Oversized greenery hoop

Crimson and white flowers add a sultry, romantic element to this greenery hoop (we love how it perfectly frames the waterfront view!). 

modern & unique wedding ceremony backdrop triangular backdrop with pampas grass

Triangular wedding arch

Give your wedding arch an artsy spin by choosing a triangular version instead. This geometric backdrop pairs nicely with other trendy details, like dried greenery, proteas, and rattan furniture accents. 

fall wedding ceremony arch with orange and yellow roses

Fall wedding arch

We can't stop staring at this gorgeous outdoor wedding altar. The warm yellow and orange color scheme (plus the neutral pampas grass) makes this design spot-on for an autumnal ceremony

pink ceremony structure

Event design by Details Details; Floral design by Bloom Box Designs

Pink and red wedding arches

Why settle for just one wedding arch when you can have triple the flower power? Construct multiple floral archways packed with pink, red, and white blooms for an opulent look that’s fit for a fairy tale.

fall pumpkin ceremony backdrop

All-white wedding arch

If your big day will take place during the fall, then you’ll want to add this next photo to your ceremony Pinterest board ASAP. A pile of white pumpkins and corresponding monochromatic floral arch are a match made in heaven.

Wedding Arbors

Some wedding arbors and canopies, such as chuppahs and mandaps, serve a cultural or religious purpose, while other types are purely decorative. Check out some of these dreamy wedding arbors with flowers, fabric, greenery, and more below.  

blue and white floral wedding chuppah with blue fabric

Event design by A Good Affair Wedding and Event Production

Blue and white wedding chuppah

Light blue draping adds the prettiest pop of color to this traditional chuppah, which is finished with a tallit on top and coordinating blue hydrangeas. 

simple wedding mandap with tan fabric and greenery

Wedding chuppah with greenery

Sometimes, all it takes is the simple addition of neutral fabric draping and greenery to complete your wedding arbor. The colored glass bottles add a bit of personality—you could also use candlelit lanterns or mercury glass vases.  

rustic wedding arch with greenery and pink and white flowers

Rustic wedding arbor

Feeling crafty? If you can't rent your wedding arbor from your venue or a local vendor, you can construct your own using slim tree branches for a rustic effect. We like these white birch branches, which look especially beautiful against greenery and pale florals. 

romantic & dramatic wedding chuppah with pink fabric and greenery

Pink wedding chuppah

Combine different shades of pink by using flowers and draped fabric for a chuppah that's incredibly romantic. 

modern ceremony arch with string lights and potted plants

Wedding arbor with potted cacti

Whether you're actually getting married in the desert or just want to recreate a bohemian aesthetic, we love the idea of adding potted cacti and succulents to your wedding arbor. The oversized, open-air design of this wooden structure is especially cool. 

beach wedding arch

Beach wedding arbor with planted aisle 

Your oceanfront view probably doesn't need much enhancing, but it's hard to argue with a wedding arbor as pretty as this one! Line your aisle with tall-stalk flowers, like delphinium, larkspur, or gladiolus, to create the illusion that you're walking through a wildflower field on the beach.  

chuppah with Spanish moss and other greenery

Chuppah with Spanish moss

We’ve never seen anything quite like this chuppah, which features trees, Spanish moss, and large air plants! It perfectly fit the bride and groom’s woodland wedding theme.

bright pink and purple greenery ceremony structure

Pink and blue wedding canopy

Inject a bold pop of color into your wedding décor with a wooden chuppah showcasing vibrant, in-season flowers. As a bonus, this type of structure is easy to repurpose at the reception; your florist can break it down into different floral arrangements or keep it intact and use it to frame the sweetheart table or cake.

indian wedding mandap

Event Design by Erganic Design

Orange mandap with flowers

In a traditional Indian wedding, the mandap is a covered canopy that symbolizes prosperity and the bond of the family (the four pillars represent the love and guidance of the newlyweds’ parents). Erganic Design built a circular design with zesty citrus hues for this bride and groom’s summer celebration.

wooden arbor ceremony

White wedding arbor with drapery 

Dress up a basic wooden arbor with asymmetrical flower arrangements and draping for an ethereal backdrop that will complement almost any type of outdoor setting. Floral pedestals on either side add visual interest.

modern frame ceremony structure

Modern wedding arbor

Make a bold impression with a giant, sleek square frame to highlight the moment that you become married. You can adorn the corners with a few choice blooms or keep it bare for minimalist wedding style at its finest.

unique wooden ceremony structure rustic outdoor backdrop made from branches
Jenna Joseph Photography

Venue: Arrowhead Pine Rose; Bride's gown from Mon Amie Bridal Salon

Tree branch wedding arbor

Search for a venue with built-in ceremony décor to cut costs. How incredible is this log and pine installation at Arrowhead Pine Rose in Southern California?

orchid ceremony structure

Event planning by Details Details; Floral design by Bloom Box Designs

Wedding canopy with lanterns 

Bloom Box Designs blew us away with this beachside ceremony structure consisting of driftwood and cascading orchids. Lanterns and a custom wooden aisle round out the picture-perfect scene.

Wedding Altar Ideas

Arches and arbors aren't the only ways to decorate your wedding altar—garlands, rugs, neon signs, and even balloons will all give your ceremony setup a visual boost. Whatever your style, we're sharing plenty of options to inspire you below.

boho wedding arch backdrop with tall blue delphinium and orange poppies

Semi-circle wedding backdrop

This sweet semi-circle of flowers is perfect for a minimony or microwedding. The point of this wedding altar idea is to make it look like the flowers are growing right out of the ground (and to leave them slightly undone for the most natural look). After the ceremony, add a vintage rug or two and some throw pillows for a cozy reception lounge spot. 

rustic wedding backdrop made from reclaimed wood door decorated with greenery and dahlia garland

Eucalyptus garland backdrop

Reclaimed wooden doors get an instant upgrade and transform into an easy ceremony backdrop thanks to a fresh greenery garland. 

two brides standing in front of tie-dye wedding hoop backdrop decorated with ribbons

Tie-dye hoop backdrop

If you're limited on space and can't have a freestanding wedding arch, this hanging hoop is a stylish alternative. Add colored strings or ribbons to the bottom, or pair a few hoops in different sizes together to create a layered backdrop. 

glam couple standing in front of flower wall decorated with neon sign

Ceremony backdrop with neon sign

Feeling fabulous? Complete your wedding altar with a custom neon sign that will really wow your guests. Personalize it with your last names or a cute phrase like "better together." 

outdoor boho ceremony setting with vintage rugs lining the aisle

Vintage rugs as wedding aisle runners

Your wedding aisle has as much decorative potential as the wedding altar. Skip the flower petals and use colorful vintage kilim rugs instead for a truly eclectic setup. 

outdoor edgy wedding ceremony backdrop with metal grid screen decorated with dried greenery and flowers

Metal grid backdrop with flowers 

If you love the industrial wedding look but also want to get married outdoors, try customizable grid screens like the ones pictured here. Use flowers or greenery to turn yours into a trendy focal point at your wedding. 

Cross wedding ceremony backdrop decorated with flowers in orange and pink tones

Wooden cross

You can still celebrate your faith even if you're not getting married in a house of worship. Surround a wooden cross (check local event rental companies to find one) with flower arrangements in varying heights to recreate this wedding altar idea. 

unique wedding ceremony backdrop with potted plants and centerpieces in vases on the ground

Potted floral arrangements

Clusters of centerpieces and potted flower arrangements may seem non-traditional for your ceremony decor, but it turns out that they're great for quickly customizing any space. And the best part? Once you've used them for the ceremony, they can be moved and repurposed for the reception. 

simple wedding ceremony backdrop with flowers decorating tree trunks

Flower-covered trees

If your venue is filled with mature trees, use them as the perfect opportunity to design your wedding altar. Some well-placed flowers and greenery can transform any plain tree trunk into a photo-worthy backdrop—confirm that it's okay with your venue first and ask your florist not to use materials that could damage the trees.

brick townhouse decorated with flowers and greenery trailing up the wall above the door

Abstract vines and flowers

Having a porch or stoop wedding? This trend has emerged out of necessity thanks to the pandemic, but we can't deny that it's a gorgeous opportunity to experiment with a floral wedding altar. Use colorful blooms and vines to create the illusion that they're "growing" up the front of the building.   

ombre flower wall

Ombré flower wall

A flower wall makes for spectacular photo ops—guests won’t be able to resist sharing selfies in front of it post-ceremony! The striking ombré pattern of this design was created using budget-friendly carnations. Pillar candles in clear cubes complete the luxe look.

fabric trees ceremony structure

Venue: Palmetto Riverside Bed & Breakfast; Floral design by Oneca Flowers

Draped fabric

Create a multifaceted ceremony look with decor elements at different heights. This ceremony featured fabric suspended from the trees, a flower-bedecked cross at eye level, and floral arrangements and ferns down below.

cherry blossom ceremony bashful captures

Canopy of trees in bloom

Sometimes, Mother Nature really does know best. Case in point: These newlyweds exchanged vows before a simple white curtain so as not to detract from the magnificent cherry blossoms up above.

wooden stumps flowers ceremony site

Event Design by Fête Nashville

Reclaimed stone archways

Just when we thought a hilltop ceremony couldn’t get more picturesque, we spotted this dreamy view. Recreate the look by clustering wooden stumps and flowers en masse in front of a large antique arch or repurposed window frame.

patterned ceremony backdrop

Colorful geometric ceremony backdrop

Play up a fun and free-spirited vibe with a funky patterned backdrop. Other unconventional materials that you can use for your ceremony décor include umbrellas, paper cranes, and pinwheels.

pampas grass ceremony wall boho chic

Event Design by Rock Paper Details

Pampas grass wall

Go off the beaten path with a textured wall made entirely from pampas grass! Rock Paper Details was the mastermind behind this boho-chic ceremony décor.

black, red, and orange wedding ceremony backdrop made from balloons

Balloon garland

Looking for wedding altar ideas that don't involve flowers? Try a bold balloon garland for a backdrop that genuinely pops (okay, we had to).