Wedding Canopies


Canopies are popular for secular wedding ceremonies.

Saying vows under a canopy is a well-loved tradition, embraced by both secular and religious ceremonies. Using some type of a cover over the nuptials provides a beautiful focal point for the ceremony, and creates an opportunity to personalize the space. Canopies provide a wonderful base for floral decorations. Pick the blooms that mean the most to you, and coordinate them with the rest of your wedding theme. Whether it is symbolism or beauty, let your creativity take over the decor that suits you.


In the Jewish tradition, the chuppa (or huppah) provides a bridal canopy. It symbolizes the new home the couple is creating together. For instance, the open sides reflect receptiveness to visitors, suggesting that they are always welcome.

For traditionalists, the only “rule” for chuppas is that they be temporary and made by human hand. But nowadays cultures are shared. Bridal canopies aren’t just for Jews anymore. See our handmade, custom wedding canopies and chuppas in our wedding store.


Mandaps are made from a canopy hanging over four pillars. Oftentimes the pillars are made of wood or bamboo. And, if prevalent in the area, sugarcane or young banana stems might be used too. Also called a manavarai, the four pillars are intended to recognize the two sets of parents in Hindu and Jain traditions. Like chuppas, they are also temporary structures, signifying a sacred space for the ceremony.


A simple arch that is part of a backyard garden can provide a framework for an intimate wedding ceremony. It doesn’t need to be large to provide the desired visual effect. Fortunately, there are options if one is not already there. For example, installing an arbor is not difficult to do – and it will provide a continuous reminder of your special day and love for one another. Alternatively, renting an arbor is an option, often available through rental companies that typically carry tents, tables and chairs.


Just about every town has a park or facility with a gazebo available for an inexpensive marriage ceremony. Utilizing the existing structure is easy – a quick permit from the town might be needed. Or, show up and use it for a very simple affair with the officiant and a few guests.


Considering a ceremony alongside an antique home or in a vineyard? The frame of a pergola typically provides sides, and also a top. It may be made from lattice, or crossed or hatched beams. Oftentimes attached to a home or other structure, they are permanent and provide covered shade. If vines or other greens aren’t already winding through the structure, then like the others pergolas can be decorated in a style to make it your own.

Tap into Your Officiant’s Expertise

Finally, if you are struggling to find the right canopy to match your wedding location, no worries. Your marriage officiant, found at, can help!  Our JPs and notaries are a wealth of knowledge. They know the less-common though ideal spots that will fit with your vision. And, their professionalism and desire to accommodate your wishes cannot be beat!

Find your perfect JP at

Loretta Jay is the Managing Member of the Justice of the Peace Association. This is the membership organization for professional marriage officiants. All officiants’ profiles are searchable at, the place where Couples who Click can find their perfect JP. 

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