Ceremony Floral Backdrops

July 16, 2014

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I don’t like to use the B word, because – let’s be honest – it takes all the fun out of wedding planning, doesn’t it?! Yes, the word ‘budget’. Large floral pieces can be a bit intimidating for a bride planning her florals within a specific budget. They are gorgeous, fabulous, but seem out of reach in terms of budget. So, while it can be inspirational to see beautiful ceremony backdrops, it can also be upsetting to learn their actual cost. But, how can you have your dream florals while trying to fit your overall budget? When budgeting for your wedding florals, I always say, skip the extra small random floral pops and put a large concentration of the budget into the ceremony backdrop. SERIOUSLY. This sounds so ridiculous to you right now, but I’m totally serious. If I were you, I’d skimp on my centerpieces just to have a ridiculous floral backdrop. Don’t even put any flowers down the aisle if it means you can get the pergola look you want by gaining that cost from other elements you avoid purchasing. Skip the place card table, skip any extra floral pieces that don’t have a large impact. Just go for the one WOW piece. I promise, promise, promise – you won’t regret it! If it doesn’t sit well with you to have that many flowers in a location you will only be in for a few minutes, just remember that most of your photos from the ceremony will take place standing in front of your pergola (or whatever other backdrop you may have) – of course, only as long as your photographer gets lots of shots there of not only the ceremony, but the bridal party after the ceremony.

I do hear quite often, the comment: ‘But we’ll only be there for a few minutes, so I don’t want to do too much for the ceremony’. This is when I try to do a little bit of nudging in the direction of splurging on that ceremony piece, focusing the budget on that WOW piece, instead of spreading it over lots of little pieces. Think about how many pictures will take place there at the ceremony space! This is something very important to consider. If you jazz up the ceremony backdrop with tons of florals, guess how many shots your photographer is going to get of you and your groom and even family portraits in that space?! TONS (assuming your photographer typically gets those types of shots!). I have had many brides question splurging on the ceremony backdrop – for fear it’s a waste, and they reluctantly hire me to design an installation for a ceremony piece. I am promising them that it will be fantastic and gorgeous, and they are hoping they won’t feel the guilt or regret later for splurging a large portion of the floral budget on such a piece. Then, on the day of the wedding, they see the ceremony space and tears start to flow! I’m not trying to toot my horn or anything, I’m just illustrating how the ceremony backdrop often gets overlooked in planning simply because the bride/groom/MOB thinks that it’s a waste to decorate for a short amount of time being used. But, after the wedding, they thank me for making that recommendation, and are so glad they went with it! Just take a look at some of these pergola shots, and see how they really do create a beautiful backdrop for not only photos, but for the place you’ll be when you say your wedding vows to each other! I can understand the logic, but it really comes down to trusting that it really creates a magical space on the day-of!

There’s something about seeing them in person that create magic – or at least add some magic to the space. Flowers, to me, add a certain special wedding-only element to a space. Something that no architecture, landscaping or other decorations can do. They just make it feel magical! But… of course I’m a bit biased ;-) I just LOVE love love flowers!

Let’s take a look at some ceremony backdrops we’ve designed over the past year… to see what I’m referring to…

Rachel May Photography – Stevenson Ridge2014-07-15_0021Katelyn James Photography – Styled Shoot2014-07-15_0022Katelyn James Photography – Big Spring Farm, Lynchburg Virginia – Emily & Joe *Paisley & Jade (Doors)*View More: Pak Photography – Keswick Vineyards, Keswick Virginia 2014-07-15_00242014-07-15_0025Their pergola even doubled as a sweetheart table backdrop!

Charlotte Tittle Photography – Stevenson Ridge2014-07-15_0026Melissa Arlena Photography – Ally & Vitaly, Stevenson Ridge


Ally & Vitaly – Stevenson Ridge (*Instagram Images*)2014-07-16_0001Katelyn James Photography – Emily & David, Stevenson Ridge


Jillian Michelle Photography – Lauren & Austin, Stevenson RidgeView More: Arlena Photography – Caitlin & TJ, Stevenson Ridge2014-07-16_0003Carley Rehberg Photography – Katie & Jeff, Stevenson Ridge2014-07-16_0004Stephen Turner Photography – Jesse & Tera, Private Residence


Rachel May Photography – Jessica & Beau, Stevenson Ridge


  1. Katie says:

    Yes! Love this! Always encourage my clients (when I can) to invest in decor elements that make a big impact…and ceremony backdrops are one of them! I would say though if they’re spending a ton on the ceremony backdrop, make sure you hold the ceremony where the light is good because if the light is harsh mid/day lighting right on the backdrop, the photographer will probably move them somewhere else for family formals and bridal party since light supersedes location…

  2. Anna Burke says:

    So true!!! Love this, especially Emily & Joe’s :) It was such a high impact piece that people are STILL talking about almost 2 months later (and I’m sure will continue to do so)!!! GORGEOUS work :)

  3. Amanda says:

    First off of course I noticed all the beautiful arrangements and must say – these images will definitely be impacting my floral decisions this fall!! Second, I’m assuming Stevenson Ridge is a popular VA wedding location…? hahahaha Beautiful! Thank you for sharing!

  4. Danielle Foxe says:

    Stevenson Ridge is the best venue ;) (also biased)

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