Contributed by Donna Turner
Did you know that the wedding arch is meant to replace something?
The setting for your wedding is one of the most important elements in planning your big day. Some opt for a church wedding while others will choose a different setting such as an outside venue such as a park, golf course, country club or back yard. The wedding arch is meant to replace the alter at a church or temple.
The wedding arch, arbor or chuppah is a decorative structure that adds a touch of elegance and beauty to the room or space. The arch is a symbol of the future home of where the bride and groom will start their family.
The literal translation of the “chuppah” is a blanket or protection and designates the canopy that Jewish couples stand during their wedding ceremony. It is a platform with four poles supporting a cloth or sheet. If the wedding party holds the poles to the chuppah, it signifies that they are supporting in the union of the marrying couple. The chuppah has been a Jewish tradition for hundreds of years.
Usually wedding arches and arbors are structures that can be moved easily within parts or as a whole unit. Some are made of metal, lattice work and are typically decorated with flowers, tulle, lights and or other decorative fabrics. Some couples make their arches from tree branches and all arches stand by themselves.
We are familiar with the wedding arches often seen in American wedding movies, but this element of decoration and symbolism is finding its place even overseas. Arches can change the mood of the ceremony entirely, giving the space poise and decorum that can be fun and original.