Couples of many customs and cultures say their vows while standing beneath a wedding arch or arbor—in the Jewish tradition, called a chuppah. To floral educator Alicia Schwede, these botanical structures often take on a personal meaning for today’s nuptials. “I like how romantic arbors look, especially when decorated with flowers,” says Schwede, who also publishes Flirty Fleurs, a floral design blog. “I try to design with flowers that bring back memories for a bride or groom, perhaps of grandmother’s garden, or of the place and time of the ceremony.”
This simple white arch is an inexpensive yet elegant option for a wedding backdrop. Full hydrangeas serve as the base, with purple flowers in different sizes and textures to break it up. A silky curtain adds movement and softness to the streamlined arch. Here's how to make it.
Cut an L-shape notch at the top of each 4×4 post (A) to accommodate the horizontal 2×6 board (B). The notches should be approximately 1 1/2 inches deep and 2 1/2 inches high. Lay the posts on the ground, notches facing up. Rest the 2×6 board on the notches and secure with two bolt-and-nut fasteners. Tap two small nails, side by side, at the top of each post so they are hidden behind the horizontal board; the nails will hold the curtain rod in place on top of the arch. Insert fence posts in the ground at least 18 inches deep, two for each side of the arch. Stand the arch up and securely attach the wood posts with several 1 1/2-inch wood screws through the holes in the fence posts.
Mark placement of the caged foam bricks across the top board, spacing them evenly. Soak foam thoroughly in water before attaching the caged foam bricks to the top board with 1 1/2-inch wood screws.
Begin designing with foliage first, using the stems’ lines to define the overall shape. Insert stems in the wet foam, placing some stems facing upward. Place others downward or to the sides to hide the hardware and corner joints of the arch.
Slide the curtain onto the rod. Rest the ends of the curtain rod on top of the posts between the nails.
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