Outdoor Patio Covers

Outdoor Weddings: A Garden Arch, a Canopy Tent and White Wedding Umbrellas

Posted in Gazebo by admin on the April 12th, 2011

Wedding arches, for garden or beach ceremonies, backyard receptions or outdoor bridal showers, start at just over $30 (for kits with lights). Wooden trellis-style garden arch designs, in white or natural wood, and fancy scrolled wrought iron models, priced between $50 and $160. Shop for all your outdoor wedding needs online. Buy arches, netting, lighting, aisle runners, decorations, white wedding umbrellas for individual tables, a canopy tent to serve a buffet or sit-down dinner, and other elegant outdoor shade options for a successful summer wedding.

1. An Affordable Beach / Garden Arch

The least expensive option in outdoor beach / garden arch kits (that can also be used indoors) is the Darice Wedding Arch that costs about $33. It’s a classic design that’s 96 inches high (8 feet), 48 inches wide (4 feet) and the structure itself is 20 inches in width.

What makes this style of garden arch practical is that’s it’s easy to assemble and comes complete with netting and 200 lights, so there are no ugly cords to worry about, and can be custom decorated with balloons, bows or flowers by attaching them to the tubular frame or clipping to the netting. Based on customer reviews, this arch can be easily transported and is stable in outdoor areas

There’s a similar wedding garden arch design available through All the Makings (labeled simply as a WEDDING ARCH with 200 Lights) that costs about $55. The delicate framework is also easy to decorate and is ideal in a garden setting with natural flowers, or on a beach with tulle and ribbon accents.

Aren’t Rentals Cheaper?

No, they’re not. Although many couples who want a bridal arch or garden trellis for their wedding ceremony or outdoor reception may rent the items, it may not be cost effective to do so. Rental garden arch companies may charge around $45 for basic structures, and up to $80 or $150 for elaborate models. Take a look at all the suggestions we offer, and you’ll see that it’s possible to buy the arches, even the elaborate ones, for between $80 and $160, and they can become permanent structures that remain in the garden (or over a walkway) long after the wedding ceremony or reception.

Don’t worry about the time required to set everything up because the simple models (like the Darice Wedding Arch or the wedding arch with 200 lights from All the Makings) take about 15 minutes to put together, and decorations can be pre-arranged, ready for placing on the trellis arch very quickly. The elaborate structures made of wood or wrought iron can be prepared a day or two in advance, and in most cases, the flower shop that’s doing the wedding bouquets can also arrange natural flowers for the arch and deliver them the day of the wedding.

The next most affordable style of garden arch is made by Gardman. The Kensington Arch, which retails for about $99, is designed as a genuine garden trellis for vines to grow up, but it’s also a great piece for an outdoor wedding. The dimensions are standard, almost 8 feet high by 45 inches wide and offers 20 inches of decorative bars that can be used to attach flowers, tulle, ribbons, lace or whatever goes with your wedding theme. Although the image makes the garden arch look as if its black, in fact the steel tubular frame is a powder coated dark green color that’s weather resistant. This is a good sturdy design that can be left up and become part of the garden.

garden gothic arch

Gradman also makes a more affordable model called the Gardman Gothic Arch, which is actually taller and wider, with a simple framework that can be filled with flowers or balloons, and costs between $49 and $55. This is the smaller of their two Gothic designs this company makes, although at the time of writing, the tallest of their garden arches was unavailable, which is why we suggest the 101 inch tall design. This is a solid structure that should be put up in the garden or outdoor area a few days ahead of time.

Order online and the item may be shipped directly from the distributor Ant Online (via Amazon)

There’s another choice called the CobraCo GAZ-G 3-Sided Gazebo Arch that’s priced under $90 and although it’s not a walk-through arch, it could make a gorgeous backdrop for a ceremony. Draped with tulle, white fabric, or decorated with flowers, this garden arch can be the focal point under which a couple stands to say their vows, or as a decorative piece over the cake at the reception. This arch is hunter green, not black, and can be held in place using stakes that anchor it into the ground. This model requires some work to assemble and level, so take your time. Order in advance. As a permanent garden fixture this item may be too light-weight for year-round use, although it’s rust resistant, but as a temporary structure for a wedding, it’s affordable, a unique design and will make a statement in any backyard.

If it’s within your means to have a wooden (arbor) trellis-style garden arch, then the ones to get are from Greenstone. For example the natural Greenstone Arch Arbor costs under $150 and is a classic English design that can form a permanent part of your garden design.

Choose the natural wood tone, or get the white garden arch that’s just a couple dollars more, and is called the Greenstone White Wedding Arbor. It’s especially designed so that two people can pass through together.

The construction is sturdy enough for permanent placement so having it set up for a wedding day is no problem at all. It’s already partially assembled and it’s stained in white so you all you have to do is decorate. The Greenstone products are made from eco-friendly wood sourced from sustainable forests.

Order either of the Greenstone arches online and receive free shipping within the United States.

2. Pure White Umbrella

If you’ve been looking for a pure white umbrella to place in the center of a table, or to stand alone using a base, you already know how impossible they are to find. There are off-white, taupe, beige, and lots of green and darker neutral tones, but pure white patio umbrellas are a rarity.

Although most couples will choose a large white canopy tent for an outdoor wedding reception or dinner, sometimes a few extra tables may be required perhaps to place gifts, display the cake or even as a covering over the guest book. Whether used at the head table or for some other purpose, a pure white umbrella may be needed even if a canopy or pop up gazebo is being used.

One of the few large white umbrella designs on the market is the California Umbrella, which is a 7.5 foot tilted style design that’s elegant and practical for a garden wedding. This is a high quality vintage inspired, steel ribbed, canopy umbrella with a crank and an aluminum frame with a tilting feature that operates at the push of a button. This pure white umbrella canopy is made from Olefin, which is a durable fabric that has an expensive look, almost lustrous accent, and is stain resistant. Place this umbrella into a table or buy an umbrella stand / base and have it stand alone. It costs about $80. Buy online and your order will be shipped in a couple days from Target.

3. Decorative Paper Wedding Umbrellas

For garden or beach weddings, aside from an arch, usually the decorations are minimal and natural – things like tulle, fabric or natural flowers. But one unique idea that goes well with any outdoor setting is to decorate with handmade paper / bamboo parasols. These all white wedding umbrellas cost just $6 each, measure 2.5 feet in diameter, and are almost 2 feet long.

Buy Asian paper wedding umbrellas by ordering online and your items will be shipped from JapanBargain. (The ones we suggest are called White Paper Wedding Party Parasol 32in #13289.)

4. Large Off-White Oriental Wedding Umbrella

If you don’t need a pure white umbrella, then we suggest you look at an elegant off-white oriental wedding umbrella by Oriental, sold through BeachMall. This unique two piece design is ideal for placing into a table that can hold a standard 1.5 inch pole.

The deluxe oriental wedding umbrella is completely handmade, crafted with attention to detail. For example the oak pole is lacquered and the cotton canvas canopy has been oiled by hand (and is therefore waterproof). Although this is a lightweight shade umbrella, it’s durable and decorative for a garden wedding with an Asian theme. It’s not a bargain wedding umbrella, in fact it may be one of the most expensive choices – costing about $225.

5. An Affordable White Wedding Canopy Tent

Which canopy tent you choose will be determined by how many guests you’re inviting, how large an outdoor area you have, and if the canopy should have sidewalls for a formal sit-down dinner, or if an open covering is enough to shade a buffet table.

The best option we’ve found is the Palm Springs Outdoor White Wedding Canopy Tent that’s 10 x 30 feet and has sidewalls or can be left open. What’s great is that this item costs only $150 and can accommodate up to 50 guests.

This is a very practical canopy tent that’s affordable and about as large as you’re likely to find for the price, nevertheless, it’s very lightweight; not designed for windy areas or inclement weather. It provides protection for sun, or perhaps a light summer shower, but isn’t the strongest canopy on the market. That said, it’s an impressive design, very elegant, pure white, easy to decorate, and ideal for a backyard or garden wedding for anyone on a tight budget.

There are other Palm Springs Outdoor products that are slightly more expensive, but they follow a similar basic theme of being long and narrow, great for buffets and general sun protection.

If you have a slightly larger budget, and want something unique, we suggest the Octagonal Wedding Gazebo Party Tent Canopy sold through WPIC Store. It’s 20 feet by 20 feet and is absolutely gorgeous for any outdoor wedding party! Although this canopy tent costs about $420, it will stand out due to the remarkably interesting roof design, the overall shape and the distinctive elegance whether closed using the side-walls or left open with arches. The entire structure is made with a rust resistant frame that’s powder coated and a series of sidewalls that are polyester with a PVC coating that makes them water proof.

This octagonal arched-style canopy tent is sold as a kit and includes everything needed to assemble, including a series of eight windows and sidewall panels that zip in and out, all the hardware, fittings and poles as well as the canvas roof that’s really heavy-duty and weighs about 175 lbs. It requires several people to put up, so plan ahead and have half a dozen friends help out a day or two before the wedding, although, it’s possible to set up in about an hour with enough hands. This wedding canopy is luxurious, but it’s not designed for heavy wind / rain, so if it seems likely there may be bad weather on your wedding day, it’s wise to get extra anchoring supplies and secure it using a series of stakes or anchoring devices that can be bought at a local hardware center.

6. Alternative Ideas for Outdoor Shade on Your Wedding Day

One of the largest and most heavy duty canopy tent designs is the Heavy Duty Party Wedding Tent Canopy sold through WPIC Store, which measures 32 by 20 feet. It’s large enough to host a sit-down dinner or dance. It costs about $580.

If this large area of outdoor shade is what you need but can’t afford to spend that much on a tent, then here’s an alternatives that’s more affordable:

If you can live without walls and windows, and just need outdoor shade for the reception or wedding party, try using a Phoenix Oversized Shade Sail Kit. Although the sails don’t come in white, there is a tone that’s lovely called dessert sand – it’s quite neutral and could work well for a wedding.

The Phoenix Shade Sails we suggest are square and come in 18.5 feet designs that offer great coverage and can be attached to poles, posts, roofing systems or even a couple of trees. Get the complete kit for under $140, which comes with the oversized outdoor shade sail and the stainless steel hardware you’ll need for mounting.

For more ideas on garden umbrellas, the best umbrella stand designs, shade cloth and shade sail styles, as well as more suggestions on affordable party gazebos, please refer to related posts.

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