6 stunning ceremony concepts

Stunning ceremony concepts are few and far between, as current web culture promotes a rinse + repeat mentality that can totally squash innovation. For starters, I am definitely a fan of an exquisite floral arbor, as long as it looks like it belongs on the property. Aisle decor fashioned from stunning weathered wood planters or aging stone pots filled with blooms is a timeless way to set the tone of a wedding. For those who love a little head cover, perhaps nothing is more peaceful and composed than letting a historic church’s architecture be the interest at a ceremony. But beyond that?

For starters, here are a few top tips for creating a gorgeous atmosphere at your ceremony:

1. Think like a photographer: is what you’re creating going to be visible in the “shot”?

2. Scale is everything. Can your urns be seen by folks on the last row? Does that one central urn look like it’s coming out of the officiant’s head?

3. Candlelight is rarely an option. Lanterns, drippy tapers, and hanging votives only work for a ceremony slated for dusk or later.

4. Does everything you have envisioned translate seamlessly in a rain scenario?

5. You don’t have to sing every note you know. An arbor + urns + chair florals + aisle markers + bouquets + a petal toss is most definitely overkill. Pick 1 or 2 things and do them really well.

Ford Plantation ceremony

While designing for Bridget + Rob’s fabby Ford Plantation affair, I kept thinking about my antique demi-johns . . . then it dawned on me that upping the collection and filling them with French tulips would make for a fresh altarscape. I’d seen quite a few floral designers scatter petals on this lawn and (sorry!) it always looked like trash to me, because the bent grass is so incredibly perfect. A rustic trestle leg table and these blown glass wine flagons seemed like the perfect solution. | a bryan photo

Lisa Vorce ceremony

This ceremony designed by Lisa Vorce blows me away. The trompe l’oeil chair covers, the muslin draping, the exposed rafter beams, the antique hardwoods, and the simplicity of the altar area make it incredibly powerful. The all-white thang does’t hurt, either! I am not characterized by working with monochromatic looks- but I’d give my right leg to say this was my idea! Fab. | aaron delesie

lemon leaf ceremony

I had a blast working with Allie + Paul on their summertime bash at the William Aiken House, not least because they gave me 100% creative license. Their zippy spirits made me want to work with citrus, and what better accent then hundreds upon hundreds of fresh lemons? While the venue’s architecture is significant enough to stand (fairly) alone, what fun would there be in that? We bought punchy lemon umbrellas and had Blossoms Events wrap them in lemon leaf + fresh lemons on the vine, and we designed a massive lemon-studded garland + wreath to frame out an existing pair of carriage house doors. Talk about cheerful, different, and memorable. | gayle brooker

Topiary altar ceremony

There is something so classic + crisp about a simple garland of seeded eucalyptus, flanked by two ligustrum topiaries. I love the minimalist angle of this ceremony from Hey Pretty Wedding.

Live oak covered in flowers

I’ve seen a few images like this circulating on Pinterest, and I just love it . . . what a fresh, uncontrived take on meshing fresh blooms and an old live oak. We are almost always met with a super prominent tree (or 10!) where we put on weddings . . . may have to use this concept sometime soon! | The Green Vase