The Centerpiece of Rustic or Outdoor Weddings is a Wooden Altar 
Now that many churches are larger and have multipurpose rooms as their sanctuary, the thought of getting married in a place that feels like a gymnasium leaves a lot to be desired. So having the ceremony outdoors and at the site of your reception has become not only more and more popular, but necessary. A consideration for these venues is to create a special altar for your vows. Most rustic venues, such as vineyards, have an area for the ceremony, but adding a special altar, arch or arbor can make it unforgettable. 

Constructing an altar can be daunting and expensive, but next to the bride it will be the focal point of your wedding and the ‘frame’ for your wedding party photos. It is well worth it if there is not an attractive altar available. With some thought and a couple tweaks, it can also serve later as the photo booth for your reception. Consult your florist or a local artisan on having one constructed, unless you have someone crafty, just not an ex like in Meet the Fockers!.
Driftwood Arches
Especially if your site is waterfront or beachfront, driftwood altars are special and picturesque. One reason is that no two altars can ever be alike due to the natural, fluid formation of each driftwood piece. Adorning the driftwood with flowers or just a simple swath of dreamy fabric is romantic, but unadorned offers a perfectly rustic and romantic look. 
Rough Hewn Altars
Nature is your architect when you choose or construct an arch or altar from rough, found wood. Be careful not to over adorn your altar. Choose one or two elements such as well-chosen flowers or lightweight draping. If you add too many cutesy touches it can become distracting, taking the focus away from the couple.
Natural Arbors Covered in Flowers
A simple rough wood frame is all it takes for the foundation of a stunning flower draped arbor. Flowers with a natural drape work wonderfully with the contours of an arch or arbor. Your expense will be the abundance flowers, but you will save on the simple wooden construction. It is undeniable that this look is absolutely breathtaking, a la Twilight – vampires are rarely wrong. 
Remember the View
I’ve seen beautiful outdoor settings with creative altars and arches, but consideration of the view through the arches was forgotten in the shuffle. Take time to think through the details, like possible background road or farm traffic – even air traffic during the time of your ceremony. You want everything to remain picture perfect! 


Posted on 2016-02-18 by Marsha Koller, Wedding Consultant