The altar is a deeply personal and important component of the wedding. It is the exact place where the couple will be married. It’s where the groom will see the bride for the first time and where they will stand alone in front of their guests to say their “I do’s”. It’s the pinnacle of the wedding, because it truly is what the wedding is all about. The altar carries deep religious meaning as the place where a man and a woman become one. It is the tabernacle for both Christians and Jews, and therefore it is seen this way in America and generally all of western civilization. Although the meaning of the altar has remained constant throughout the years, the design and decor of this splendid spot has changed a great deal. It follows fads like all other elements of the wedding, but always remains beautiful.
The altar is generally natural in some way. This usually mean flowers and wood.
Whether covered in flowers…….
or simply adorned with a few, the altar rarely is without them. Sometimes, in fact, they may be made of flowers entirely.
This can mean flowing with vines……..
or simply covered from top to bottom with only flowers.
No matter what the them of the wedding may be, just as flowers work in every wedding, flowers work on every altar.
It’s simply a matter of finding the right kind in the right amount.
If the couple wants their altar to be natural but doesn’t wish to use flowers (or wants something to accompany them), then wood is their best choice. Wood is beautiful and fitting of most weddings. There are many options when using wood as well.
An altar can be built of wood bought from the store to give a finished and orderly look.
Or, tree branches can be bundled together into a tabernacle.
Or, a natural piece of wood can make for a great accent.
If the trees used are skinny enough (such as Aspen trees), then, the entire trees themselves can be used.
For a ornate and natural look, many thin branches and twigs can be fastened together as well.
There’s a reason many things are built out of wood and altars are no exception.
Whether intricate or simple, wood just makes things more beautiful.
For the bride and groom who wish to use something other than wood for their altar, metal is the most popular option.
Metal can be intricately decorated in ways that is difficult on wood, so it is a good option for chic and vintage weddings.
It can also make the altar stand out a bit more than others, since most are made of wood.
You can also get metal altars in several colors, while wood offers limited choices. So, the curly iron and pointed designs may have perks that some couples may be looking for.
As you may have guessed, altars can be done in more ways than simply wood or metal. They can be done as simple as cloth thrown over a tree branch.
Or, as whimsical as mantel brought outdoors.
Or, you can even bring the church outside.
Or, you can turn your ceremony venue into the altar itself. The possibilities are endless when you a little bit of creativity.
Once the material and design of the altar has been decided, its decor comes next. Although flowers usually a given decoration, there are many other things that can prettify (yes, that is a real word ;)) your altar, too.
The decoration second only to flowers is fabric. This can come in many forms, though. Usually it’s one or a few sheets adding some detail to the altar.
But, it can also be the only ornament. The type of fabric used also greatly varies.
From sheer flowing linens to lush curtains, the design is entirely up to those marrying under them.
Burlap is sweet for rustic weddings.
And lace is beautiful for vintage affairs.
Flowing streamers are ideal for the beach.
Full curtains can also be used as well to bring indoor luxury outdoors.
How simple or furnished the couple wishes for it to be is entirely up to them.
Along with fabric is the new use of signs.
It is where the actual wedding takes place and couples want to mark it with something extra special. So, many use signs. Just remember to keep it loving simple, so your guests can appreciate it.
And, if the wedding is taking place in the evening, a string of lights……
or candles are the perfect accent to illuminate the altar and the bride and groom for the congregation.
The last thing to take into consideration when designing an altar is the weather and location of the wedding. If the wedding is in the mountains, flowers that naturally grow around there may be a lovely way to incorporate the location into the wedding.
Or, if autumn is beginning, use dark colors along with autumn colors.
Of course, along with the ideas of dressing up the altar, you can always get married in the church where the altar will always be.
It’s comforting to know you can walk back to the exact place where you were married with everything in the exact place as it was on your wedding day. Besides religious reasons, it’s a great reason to be married in the church.
No matter how design your altar and how you adorn it, use it for its significance above all. It’s the place where two people are joined forever and it should be only about that important fact.
photos via Style Me Pretty