An arch can add so much to the decor of your ceremony. You can either rent one or make it yourself. If taking the DIY route, you’ll probably be curious about how many yards of fabric to get for your DIY wedding arch.
What’s the ideal length (in yards) of fabric to make a wedding arch? On average, 8 yards but you’ll need to measure your arch height and width in feet. Add the height of all posts together with the width of all beams. Fabric is normally sold by the yard and there are 3 feet per yard. It’s prudent to order an additional yard of fabric so that you have more scope to fluff it out when you’re styling the arch.
Sometimes, your wedding venue may have a simple wedding arch included as part of their package. If that doesn’t appeal to you, there are other options.
I’ve put together the following wedding arch ideas so that you can measure the dimensions of your arch and determine how much fabric you will need. I’ll also cover what’s the best fabric for a wedding arch.
Measuring A Wedding Arch and Calculating How Many Yards of Fabric You’ll Need
Arches for a wedding ceremony are usually draped in white fabric or a decorative flower arrangement.
Let’s look at a worked example to determine how much fabric you’ll need.
Example Calculation for the Length of Fabric
Assuming your arch is not too deep, ideally less than 1 yard, here is the basic formula to determine how many yards of fabric you’ll need to cover your wedding arch.
- height + height + width = total arch length
- You should measure these lengths in feet.
- Next, divide your total arch length by 3.
- Now, add 1 extra yard.
- Round your answer up to the nearest whole number.
That formula assumes that your arch is not too deep (less than 1 yard). If your arch is deeper than the standard amount, you’ll need a different formula that takes depth into account.
The idea behind adding the extra yard is to reduce the chance of it being too short. You’ll probably want to have a buffer of fabric draping so that the arch doesn’t look too sparse. Ideally, a lightweight more fluid fabric is going to work best.
For safety, consider using a fire-resistant fabric like voile if you will have candles or a candelabra near your arch. I have seen many near misses caused by candles.
What’s the Best Fabric for a Wedding Arch?
The most popular different types of fabric for a wedding arch are chiffon, satin, charmeuse, gossamer, and voile.
Chiffon Wedding Arch Fabric
Chiffon is light and delicate with a woven netting effect.
Made from silk, it is easy to work with because of the way it flows.
Be careful with the width of chiffon rolls, they’re not usually as wide as other fabrics.
Satin Wedding Arch Fabric
Arch decorators tend to like using a light satin because it’s available in a thin cut that doesn’t look creased when draped.
It’s opaque and available in shiny or a matt finish. You can get different types of satin textures.
Organza Draping for a Wedding Arch
Organza is another lightweight material but it has body.
It is available with a shimmer finish that makes it look very elegant for your wedding day.
Voile Fabric for Wedding Arch
Viole can look very elegant because of its soft lightweight look. It’s a sheer fabric that is heavier than chiffon.
Viole is available in a flame retardant finish. The width that it usually comes in is good to work with.
Note: all of these materials can also be used to decorate a wedding arbor, chuppah, or floral arch.
How to Drape Your Wedding Arch
- Begin by taking a length of fabric and tie it to a top corner of the arch.
- Stretch that length to the base of the opposite supporting pole.
- Repeat steps 1 and 2 except reverse the corners so that you now have a cross shape.
- Take the extra tulle fabric and wrap it securely around the supporting poles.
- Next is the arch roof, you’ll need to take the material and stretch it evenly across before securing them to each supporting post.
- You might need to use leftover fabric to fill in any gaps.
- Match your wedding theme by embellishing your arch by adding ribbons, bows, pearls, string lights, or flowers.
- Check your wedding arch structure and make sure it is strong enough.
- Tack any loosely hanging material to finish everything off.
- Some people like to embellish some additional tulle arrangements to the arch.
This advice should apply whether you have a wooden arch, bamboo arch, or even a rustic wedding arch.
Whether you’re having a beach wedding or an outdoor wedding, these tips for wedding arch decoration will hopefully help you create a beautiful arch for your ceremony.
Check out all of the available fabrics for wedding arches here.