How to Decorate a Wedding Arch with Fabric

Michael Bold
Written by Michael Bold · Posted in Decor Last Updated April 28, 2023 · minute read

One of the key elements of any ceremony is the wedding arch. You’ve probably seen them for yourselves if you’ve attended any weddings. They provide the perfect backdrop for the “I do’s” and look great in photos.

So, if you’ve ever wondered how to decorate a wedding arch with fabric we’ve got you covered. 

wedding scene with fabric arch

How to Decorate a Wedding Arch with Fabric – Photo by David Lindsley Photography

We’ve been to loads of weddings over the years as photographers so have got a pretty good idea of what works and what doesn’t.

In this article, we’ll take you through our step-by-step guide on how to decorate a wedding arch with fabric. Hopefully, by the end, you’ll have everything you need to create the perfect backdrop for your wedding day celebration. In addition to this post, you can also check out our guide to building any type of wedding arch from scratch. A good starting place before going the extra mile and adding fabric to your design.

What is a wedding arch?

Just the best thing you can do for your wedding ceremony! 

Imagine a ceremony with no arch. It would just be two people standing there looking awkward. The wedding arch helps to frame them whilst also providing a decorative focal point for the wedding.

They’re usually decorated to the specifications of the couple and can be made from various materials and come in all different shapes and sizes.

A wedding arch is also usually decorated with additional accessories such as name signs, greenery, and flowers. It’s really up to the couple or their wedding designers to create something that reflects the couple’s personality.

They’re particularly popular with outdoor weddings to create that homemade boho style. At the same time, they can be used for more sophisticated looks for indoor weddings. 

In our opinion a wedding arch is a must have at every ceremony.

Step by step guide on how to decorate a wedding arch with fabric

So, you’ve decided that a wedding arch is the right way to go? Big thumbs up from us! 

Obviously, there are lots of options when thinking about how to decorate your arch. Maybe you’ve floated around the idea of a floral arch or keeping it super minimal. 

However, if fabric is more up your street here are some steps we think are necessary for wedding arch perfection.

Step 1: Choose your arch

This is a crucial step as it will inform the type of fabric you choose and how much you need later on in the process.

Here are some things we think you should consider when choosing your arch:


There are so many options when it comes to the shape of arches on offer.


These look great with free flowing fabrics. Circles always look aesthetically pleasing in photos. The curved edges add a softness to your ceremony.

Triangular arch

A very dynamic shape and is the perfect frame for a couple. Not that easy to decorate with fabric as it may slip down the sides.

Heptagonal arch

Similar in many ways to the circular arch. Easy to decorate with fabric as there are multiple points of contact. Can criss cross fabric in all directions if needed.

Curved 3D arch

An arch that you can stand under offers more possibilities for photos. Your officiant can stand under it during the ceremony. May add more depth to photos. Will be more sturdy and less likely to blow over outdoors.


Similar to the curved 3D arch but with more angular lines. 


As with the fabric, there are multiple options when it comes to the material of your arch. Metal, wood, copper piping, and plastic are all popular choices. 

You should consider how much of this will be on show and whether you’re happy about that. 

For example, you might be fine with your fabric covering some of the copper pipes and leaving some exposed. Copper piping might fit with the theme and style of your wedding. 

On the other hand, if your arch is made from PVC piping you may want to cover it up more with your fabric.

Hiring vs. buying

There are usually two options to consider when having a wedding arch. However, your venue also may supply an arch and decorations as part of their package.

Hiring usually works out cheaper than buying. Plus, if you purchase a wedding arch you’ve got to think about what to do with it afterwards. 

If you hire an arch they may also have all the fabrics you need to decorate it how you want. They’ll also have loads of photos of previous arches to show you to help get you inspired.

Step 2: Choose your fabric

Once you’ve considered the type of arch you want it’s time for the most important bit. Decorating your wedding arch with fabric. 

This decision will ultimately come down to your aesthetic preferences. However, other factors to consider are things like budget, the weight of the material, and how easy it is to use.

Let’s take a look at some of the popular options of fabric choices for wedding arches.


Super lightweight it’s the same material that things like veils and ballet costumes are made of. It comes in numerous colors and is perfect for creating those romantic vibes at any wedding. We see this material used most at those classic white weddings where its elegance and glamor can truly sparkle.


A similar fabric to Tulle in that it’s very lightweight. It too has associations throughout history as a display of elegance and luxury. Its ability to drape well is what makes it a popular choice for decorating wedding arches. It also comes in a myriad of colors so there is something for everyone. It’d be perfect for a backlit outdoor wedding as its semi-permeable and silk-like appearance will glisten in the light.


Organza is the stiffest of the materials mentioned so far but still retains that elegant appearance. It could be the ideal choice if you want less movement from your fabric. It’s not as transparent as the other two and has a smooth appearance. There is a tendency for organza to crease which is something to bear in mind if you choose it for your arch.

Step 3: Think about the style of drapery

There are so many different ways of draping your chosen fabric over your arch. Each gives its own look and we think you should try to match this to the theme of your wedding.

For example, do you want the material to kiss the floor or just hang loosely?

Our suggestion is that you use Instagram or Pinterest to draw your inspiration. That way you’ll be sure to find a style of drapery that you think is best suited.

At the same time, your venue will often dictate the style of your drapery. Want to hide an unappealing wall? Then you’ll need to use plenty of fabric. On the other hand, if you’ve got a stunning view a more subtle drapery style might be the perfect option.


If you’re having an indoor, ballroom, or hall wedding an elegant style of drapery will complement it perfectly.

This aesthetic is one of the most popular for weddings and is easy to achieve. It relies on using plenty of fabric and creating an overlapping effect. A curtain style also works well for those traditional wedding vibes. 


If you want to create a more modern look our suggestion is to use slightly less fabric. At the same time choose a contemporary color palette that matches all your other wedding stationery.

A blush pink or terracotta color for example works perfectly in combination with some ivory and complimentary flowers. 

We think Organza is the way to go if you’re looking for that modern look.


As we’ve mentioned, the style of your drapery may be influenced by your venue. Getting married on the coast with a perfect view? Well, maybe a minimal aesthetic is best. 

You can use the fabric very sparingly so that it doesn’t prevent guests from taking in the wonderful surroundings.

The minimal style is quite a difficult one to achieve. You don’t want it to look like an afterthought. 

If this is the style you want, start creating a mood board. Figure out why certain minimal drapings are successful and then look to replicate the use of fabric with your own arch.

Step 4: Estimate length and purchase your fabric

The way that you drape the fabric over your arch will have a huge effect on how much material you need to order. At the same time so will the size of your wedding arch.

In our opinion, it’s always best to have too much fabric rather than too little. You can always cut it if needs be but you don’t want your arch to look unfinished by being caught short. 

The way you measure up for the amount of fabric will very much depend on the style and look you’re going for. If you’re having a straightforward rectangle shape you can measure from the floor to the top. Double this measurement and you should have plenty of fabric for a few drapes.

You should be able to find all the fabrics listed in this post in your local fabric shop. This is a great option as you can then see it in person and get a feel for whether it’s the right choice. 

Alternatively, you could always purchase it online which might provide you with more options.

One thing to bear in mind is that you probably won’t be able to return the fabric once it’s been cut. So think long and hard about your decision.

Step 5: Test the Arch

If you’re hiring or purchasing an arch it’s a good idea to test it before the big day if you can. 

In our opinion that’s the best way to get an idea for its look and feel and how it fits in with your style.

It’s also an idea to test its stability especially if you’re having an outdoor wedding. You don’t want a gust of wind toppling it over mid vows, do you?! 

You can use things like sandbags to secure your arch. However, try to disguise these as best you can as they often look awful in photos. Perhaps use the fabric to drape over them and make sure to cover them up from all angles.

If you’re decorating the arch yourself then this is an opportunity to attempt to replicate some of those dream styles you’ve found online. Play around with the material until you find what works best for you. 

If in doubt, take some pictures of multiple setups that you can then discuss with people whose opinion you value. 

Step 6: Pick Out Some Accessories

Finding accessories that work well with your fabric can really take your wedding arch to the next level. 

We’ve seen thousands of wedding arches over the years, Here are some popular choices we think work really well.


Absolutely timeless.  Most wedding arches will look naked without the addition of some flowers. 

You can choose colors that match your fabric or something that’s a complete contrast. Most of the flowers we see are artificial ones. They look great on camera and won’t wilt away if you’re having a summer outdoor wedding. 

Wedding Signs

There are loads of options when it comes to having signs at a wedding. For a wedding arch, a sign is usually the final touch that makes it complete.

You can go for something like a wooden sign saying “Mr. and Mrs.” or if you’re feeling fancy go for a custom made neon wedding sign saying “Mr. and Mrs. Connor”. 

The added bonus of a wedding sign is that it’s something to display in your home long after the wedding. It will be a constant reminder of what an awesome day you had.

Again think about how everything ties in with your fabric. Choosing a neutral colored fabric and then a bold neon sign would really make it pop.

A pro tip from us is to make sure to hang your sign high enough so that it’s not covered or chopped off in your photos. It’s a real bugbear of ours when couples or designers hang them too low. Allowing plenty of space will put a smile on your wedding photographer’s face. Trust us!


If you’re having a night or candlelit ceremony you could add some lighting to the mix. This is a great way to create a romantic vibe and really makes your arch stand out.

Festoon or fairy lights are some great options that work well in combination with fabric. 

Obviously, make sure your lights don’t get too hot or your wedding arch will be lit for all the wrong reasons!


So there you have it. Hopefully, you’re a little more clued up on how to decorate a wedding arch with fabric.

In our opinion, the most important thing you can do is research wedding arches. This way you’ll see loads of examples of ones decorated with fabric that you can collect and use to draw your inspiration. 

We also think you should decide on the color of fabric to fit in with the rest of your wedding stationery. At the same time choose a material that creates the draping style you’re after and one that compliments the shape of your chosen arch.

Ultimately every couple is unique. What one couple might love about the way the fabric has been used another couple might hate. 

At the end of the day, you’ve got to do what’s right for you. If in doubt, think about hiring some professional designers who do this week in and week out.