A beach is a beautiful setting for a wedding. To make it even more romantic, you can make your own wedding arbor inexpensively out of PVC pipe in easy-to-follow steps. All you need to do is connect the pipes then decorate your arbor with white tulle and mini-lights, and you are ready to say your vows beneath something beautiful that will make your photographs and memories extra special.
- Skill level:
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Things you need
- Measuring tape
- PVC cement
- 3 pieces of 3-metre (10-foot) long PVC pipe, 3.2 cm (1.25 inch) diameter
- 1 piece of 3.65-metre (12-foot) long PVC pipe, 3.2 cm (1.25 inch) diameter
- 8 45-degree PVC pipe elbow joints, 3.2 cm (1.25 inch) diameter
- 6 3-way connectors, 3.2 cm (1.25 inch) diameter
- white tulle
- clear mini-lights
- photographs, white flowers or other decorations
Purchase your PVC piping online or at your local plumbing or home improvement store. If you order it online, you may be able to order the correct sizes and you can ask the staff at the plumbing centre to cut the pipe for you. Otherwise, use your electric or manual saw to cut the pipes.
Lay the PVC pipes out on a flat surface. If you have a clamp, use it to hold the pipe still while you cut sections. Use your measuring tape to measure and cut four 90 cm (3 foot) pieces of pipe. Measure and cut 11 60 cm (2 foot) pieces. Measure and cut eight 30 cm (1 foot) pieces.
To make one side of the arbour, take one 90 cm (3 foot) section and using a 3-way connector, attach it to a 60 cm (2 foot) section of pipe so that you end up with one 150 cm (5 foot ) long piece. Repeat this step so that you have the other 150 cm (5 foot ) long side of the arbour. Take a 60 cm (2 foot) section and attach it in between the two pipes where the 3-way connectors are so that it looks like a ladder with one lower rung 60 cm (2 feet) from the bottom. Use PVC cement to cement around the areas where the pipes are connected to secure the connections.
Connect two pieces of 30 cm (1 foot) pipe with a 3-way connector in the middle so that the piece is now 60 cm (2 feet) long. Repeat this step. Connect a piece of 60 cm (2 foot) long pipe between the two pipes so that it looks like the letter "H." This is the very top of the arbour. Use PVC cement to secure the connections.
Position four elbow joints at the ends of each pipe on the arbor arch and then connect four 60 cm (2 foot) sections of pipe to the other end of each elbow joint to complete the arbor arch. Use PVC cement around the connections to secure them.
While holding one arbor side on its side, attach the arbor arch to it with two elbow joints. Hold the other arbor side on its side and attach the rest of the arbor arch to the side with two elbow joints. Use PVC cement to secure connections. Your arbor is now assembled.
Take a piece of white tulle and wrap it around the arbor to dress it up for your wedding. You can use a shorter piece approximately 1 to 1.25 m (3-4 feet) long just to adorn the top of the arbor, or you can use a much longer piece about 3.65 m (12 feet) long to wrap all around the arbor, starting low on the left side, covering the top, and going down the right side of the arbor.
If you are able to connect mini-lights to an outdoor extension somewhere close to the arbor, you can wrap mini-lights around the tulle to light your arbor. Otherwise, you can decorate it with photographs of you and your fiancé that you attach with white paper clips or decorate the arbor with plastic or silk flowers purchased at a craft store.
Tips and warnings
- Once you have transported the arbor to the beach wedding ceremony location, place the arbor in an upright position and ensure that the bottoms of the longest pipes go at least 5-8 cm (2-3 inches) into the sand to secure it. You can decorate it after you have the arbor in position if you don't want to transport it completely decorated.
- If you use extension cords to light the mini-lights on the arbor, ensure that they don't present tripping hazards for guests. Cover them with a flat piece of material or run them under the sand on the beach.
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