Actually, any ceremony will do…
My daughter found a “crop” of wild bamboo while hiking with her fiancé. She brought long, thick stalks to her dad to see if he could construct a wedding ceremony arch. After a web search we found a great site, Sunset Bamboo by Island Thatch, Inc. This site sells bamboo poles, thatch, paneling, rugs, slats – you name it. But what is cool is that they also have a Wedding Ceremony Arch DIY/How To page for constructing a ceremony arch. All necessary supplies and tools are listed along with a printable .PDF step-by-step instruction sheet. Once constructed, I draped tulle, fabric and burlap around the poles for colorful décor.
Bamboo Arch Supplies:
1/16” drill bit
2 ½” wood screws
Twine, hemp or rope
10 bamboo poles, 8-10’ length
Bamboo Arch Procedure:
1. Purchase or find wild bamboo poles. They need to be at least 8-10’ in length.
2. Cut or trim bamboo poles into 8’ lengths, high enough for the wedding party to stand under while still having plenty of height left over to drape fabric over the top. If you plan to sink the poles into the ground you’ll need 10’ length poles, so that 2’ of the pole can be buried.
3. Set aside four bamboo poles for the four main vertical columns (A, B and C, D).
4. Set aside four bamboo poles for the four cross beams (E, F, G, and H). The left bamboo may be used for replacement parts or to add even more support.
5. NOTE: Bamboo splits very easily. You may wish to pre-drill wood screw holes to avoid splitting.
6. Columns A, B: Lay two of the vertical columns (A, B) on ground, 6-8’ apart. Lay one overhead cross beam pole (E) across the top of them, about 1’ from the top. Screw in 2 ½” wood screws in your pre-drilled pole.
7. Columns C-D: Lay the other two vertical columns (C, D) on ground, 6-8’ apart. Lay one overhead cross beam pole (F) across the top of them, about 1’ from the top. Screw in 2 ½” wood screws in your pre-drilled pole
8. Have a friend hold the columns (A, B) while you adhere a cross beam (G) to columns (C, D) with wood screws.
9. Adhere the last cross beam (H) to columns (A, B) and (C, D).
10. Wrap hemp, twine or rope around the posts and beams. This rope not only serves as a decorative wrap, but adds additional stability.
Ribbon Streamer Supplies:
5 yd. white tulle
5yd. teal tulle
3 yd. (any color) burlap
Adding Ribbon Streamer to Arch:
1. Unwrap bolt and cut tulle into 17’ lengths. Save left over material for later use.
2. Cut 2-3” wide strips from the tulle, lengthwise, so that you have 17’ long x 2-3” wide ribbons. Don’t worry about being too evenly cut – I “eye-balled” it. Repeat until all tulle is cut.
3. To place on ceremony arch: Fold one length of ribbon in half (making it 8.5’ L).
4. Lay center of fold over top of the back arch cross beam, allowing about 5” to hang over. Then pull the two ribbon lengths through (see photo) the loop.
5. Repeat steps 4-5 until all ribbon has been added to back cross beam. Re-arrange the ribbon to your liking.
6. Repeat steps 1-6 for fabric and burlap ribbons. Add fabric and burlap ribbons in between the tulle ribbons, as desired.
7. Optional: Drape leftover tulle pieces around, over, across the front cross beam for added decoration.
Now go enjoy your ceremony!