Choosing Wedding Altar Flowers

For this mountain wedding, curly willow covered the altar to keep the casual theme.
For this mountain wedding, curly willow covered the altar to keep the casual theme. | Source
A very feminine arch of pastel flowers and tulle. Tulle and/or sheer fabric helps to soften the arch.
A very feminine arch of pastel flowers and tulle. Tulle and/or sheer fabric helps to soften the arch.
This wedding site uses both the chuppah with cllusters of flowers and plant stands.
This wedding site uses both the chuppah with cllusters of flowers and plant stands.
Large gazebo arrangments flanking the wedding site.
Large gazebo arrangments flanking the wedding site. | Source
Source
On the drawing board, three different arch designs.
On the drawing board, three different arch designs.
November 2011 Altar piece in Western North Carolina church.
November 2011 Altar piece in Western North Carolina church.

Wedding Altar Pieces

Which flowers to choose and the type of decoration for your wedding altar is always a challenge.

Start with where the actual ceremony will be taking place. Your choices may be somewhat restricted if you are inside a church or building, or there may already be a permanent fixture that dictates what you can use.

For instance if your church provides lovely pillars on which you can place ferns or an urn of flowers then of course you will want to make use of those. If you marry outside under an installed gazebo chances are it provides a perfect place for a beautiful swag of flowers

It’s important to check with your church and/or the venue proprietors before installing anything. Most have rules about what they deem safe to install. There are many antique churches that are quaint but fragile and don’t allow installation of anything that might mar their old wood finishes. Outdoor gazebos would fall apart if every wedding party began nailing and screwing things into their pillars and arches. So ask first. There are all sorts of heavy-duty hangers that slip over beams and there are saucers to put under flowers and ferns that will protect wood.

For inside weddings you will need to be careful about falling petals as they can become crushed underfoot and damage carpeting and flooring. Red rose petals are especially hard to remove from carpeting.

One inexpensive but still effective altar pieces are large ferns. You can buy these at any nursery and put them in a pretty urn. Gorgeous big arrangements of flowers reflecting your bouquets and centerpieces are always effective. There are stands with spikes that can be driven into the ground to hold big gorgeous arrangements and always there is tulle and chiffon fabric that can be draped over arches and under archways. Of course there are dozens of arches that you can buy or rent, from iron to wood to twisted curly willow. Your selection should be one that carries out a central theme.

You may opt for large urns on the ground rather than something overhead. The advantage to this is it can be moved to the reception. In the photo below we used two very large urns containing over 250 roses which the groomsmen moved into the reception tent.

This bright orange gazebo arrangment flanked the wedding site and reflected the colors of the wedding.

Is your wedding formal or casual? A garden wedding might use an arch of curly willow, bear grass with a wild flower look, while a more formal wedding might be best with dressier flowers like calla lilies and roses.

One arch treatment that is easy and you may want to do yourself is all greens. You will need to order several bunches of lemon leaf from your florist, then wire them solid all over the arch. If you want to dot a few flowers into the greens, you can keep them fresh with water tubes that you purchase at Michaels. Fill the tubes with water and insert a flower stem ahead of time so they can be taped or wired in quickly at the last minute.

 

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