Your wedding ceremony and the exchange of vows are the most important part of your wedding day — the declaration of your commitment to one another in front of family and friends. And if you’re having an outdoor wedding, you will need a focal point — somewhere to stand to say your vows — and nothing says ‘focal point’ like a beautifully decorated wedding arch.
A wedding arch may also be called a wedding arbour or bower. They can be made from branches, twigs, driftwood, or metal and decorated with flowers, feathers, or fabric. Couples usually stand underneath or in front of the arbour to make their vows, perfectly framing the action for those important wedding photos.
Whether you decorate the arch yourself, ask friends to help, or use an arch provided by a wedding venue, as it will be one of the most photographed locations of the day, it is worth putting some time into thinking about what type of arch you’d like and how you’d like it to look. The most popular type of arch at outdoor humanist weddings last year was the floral arch, but wedding balloon arches are popular for indoor weddings.
Here are a few of our favourite wedding arches from humanist weddings gone by.
Marie and Tiz were married encircled by family and friends in an outdoor wedding ceremony conducted by humanist celebrant Hannah Hart. At the centre of the circle stood a cream metal arch festooned with an array of colourful flowers.
Caroline and Eamonn chose to be seated under their beautiful rustic bower bedecked by pale pink roses while humanist celebrant Emma Bailie welcomed guests to their outdoor wedding in Northern Ireland. The pink roses matched Caroline’s wedding bouquet and the flowers in her headdress.
Hester and Joe opted for a simple wedding arch with white, scented roses to one side. Their humanist celebrant, Rachael Meyer stood under the arch to conduct the ceremony, while the happy couple stood in front. The arch provided a pretty backdrop for their glamorous outdoor wedding.
Model Laura and footballer Eunan O’Kane were the first couple to have a legally recognised humanist wedding in Northern Ireland. The couple, who are patrons of Humanists UK, had a wedding arch decorated with pink and white balloons, roses, hydrangeas, and stocks.
For Lucy and Jona’s beachfront wedding, they chose a driftwood wedding arch. Humanist wedding celebrant Josie Lamb conducted the ceremony beneath the arch.
The wedding arch was tied with ribbons and decorated with a central bouquet of flowers.
Chloe and Josh’s wedding bower was made from a metal arch draped in delicate white fabric and decorated with wildflowers.
Flowers were a big part of the theme for this beautiful woodland wedding which was conducted by humanist celebrant Jennie Hermolle.
Briege and Warren’s indoor wedding featured an architectural arched doorway and a wedding arch decorated with flowers and feathers. Their celebrant was Northern Ireland-based celebrant Jean Barrett-Quinn.
As an alternative to a wedding arch, a gazebo can be used as a backdrop for wedding photos. Danny and Andy had an indoor ceremony for their winter wedding conducted by Val Turner, but the weather turned out to be so great, they had some photos taken outside too.
A humanist wedding is ideal for you if you’d like a non-religious wedding that is unique, personalised, and meaningful.
Outdoor weddings have always been a popular choice for humanist weddings. We think their popularity is set to soar and that the majority of post-lockdown weddings will be conducted outdoors. If you’d like a humanist wedding, you can find your local celebrant via our website.
Your ceremony will focus on your love story. It can include unique vows, readings, poems, and any symbolic acts you choose.
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There are exciting times ahead as you choose your humanist celebrant and plan a personalised wedding that's unique to you.