How to Decorate a Wedding Pergola

Written by kristie lorette
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A wedding pergola offers a beautiful location for brides and grooms to recite their vows during an outdoor wedding. Although typically a rectangular-shaped, wooden structure with four side posts and an open roof of cross rafters or trellis, pergolas can come in many shapes and sizes. The simple, wooden structure alone can be lovely when set within the venue's existing surroundings, but pergolas can be easily decorated with a few simple materials to enhance the wedding decor and provide an even prettier backdrop for photographs. Some couples stand under a pergola with their wedding officiant to say their vows.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Greenery or floral garlands
  • Individual fresh or silk flowers
  • Sheer white fabric (e.g., tulle, silk, or organza)
  • Strands of lights

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  1. 1

    Measure the pergola's top frame and four posts. You might need to contact or visit your wedding ceremony venue if the pergola structure is a permanent fixture at the location.

  2. 2

    Cut four strands of greenery or floral garland; each should be at least 1 foot longer than the height of the side posts. Wrap one strand around each of the posts, securing at the top and bottom. The garland can also be cut to measure a little longer than the top rafters or trellis and loosely woven through the top of the structure, if desired.

  3. 3

    Add fresh or silk individual flowers throughout the garland, if desired. Fresh flowers are the prettiest, most fragrant option but will likely be more expensive and must be added the day of the event. In contrast, silk flowers can be attached to the garland ahead of time.

  4. 4

    Cut and lightly gather long strips of the white fabric. Twist them around the top slats and side posts of the pergola, weaving it through or around the garland and/or flowers.

  5. 5

    Drape or wrap a few strands of clear lights around the top frame and posts of the pergola if your wedding will take place at dusk or after dark. Christmas twinkle lights are a great choice, but other types of light strands, such as miniature lanterns or paper lanterns, can add even more personality to the event.

Tips and warnings

  • If using garlands, wrapping them around the posts first will provide a base to help the fabric and lights stay in place.
  • Greenery or leaf garlands work well for fall and winter weddings, while floral strands complement spring and summer outdoor weddings.
  • If your wedding is planned for the beach, skip the garlands altogether and create a simple, chic look by hanging sheer curtains from the pergola.
  • When choosing sheer fabric, an inexpensive option is tulle. However, silk, organza or other similar materials will give a softer appearance. Your choice will likely depend on your budget and how you plan to use the fabric.

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