When planning your ceremony it’s just as important to consider your decor as it is for your reception. The space you stand in front of while you exchange your vows will be in a lot of your pictures, so it’s a great opportunity to create something special that reflects the look and feel of your day. If you’re having a church ceremony you’ll often have a built in, decorative backdrop. If you’re not getting married in a church your venue may have an amazing backdrop for you to stand in front of while you say “I do”. However if it doesn’t, don’t fret, there are tons of solutions that you can easily customize for your ceremony. Today I’m showing you a simple ribbon and fabric backdrop that I put together in 4 easy steps. Plus it doesn’t have to cost an arm and a leg either! I created this particular backdrop for my clients Emily and Will for a June wedding at River Market Event Place.
Here’s what you’ll need to get this look:
- A large canvas drop cloth (found at any hardware or painting store).
- Ribbons (I used inexpensive acetate ribbon for this project).
- Fabric: You’ll want to get fabric in lengths of about 3 yards for a 8-9 foot tall backdrop. I had two varieties a peach shot cotton, and 3 vintage lace tablecloth, one of which was cut into strips.
- Fabric scissors.
- LOTS of safety pins.
- A telescoping pipe system, commonly called a pipe and drape (minus the drape). You can get these easily at any event rental business. You’ll want one that can telescope so you can customize your size. I set mine up 8 feet by 8 feet. As a floral designer I have my own, but you can rent them for about $25 or so if you don’t get any drapes.
Step One: Tear your fabric into strips. I started with the canvas drop cloth. Cut a slit in the top edge, then tear all the way to the opposite edge. I didn’t cut mine into any uniform width, I like to have various options. Next I did the same with the shot cotton, and last I cut the lace into strips. The lace couldn’t be torn so you’ll have to lay it out and cut it from top to bottom.
Step Two: Cut your ribbons. Measure one length of ribbon and cut it to 9 feet (or the appropriate measurement for your chosen pipe and drape height). Use it as a template and begin cutting more lengths of ribbon til you have a nice pile going. You can always add more later to fill in.
Step Three: Attach fabric and ribbon. If you can get your pipe and drape ahead of time it’s ideal to attach the ribbon and fabric to it before the day of the wedding. If not make sure you allot yourself some time to do it on site, it took me about 2 1/2 hours to assemble it from start to finish. Loop your fabric and ribbon over the top bar, and then pin with a safety pin on the back side. Make sure to alternate types of ribbon and fabric for a more textural layered look. To transport it carefully remove it and roll it up.
Step Four: Set it up. At your venue set up your pipe and drape. This is usually fairly easy, it will come with footers (careful they’re heavy) to hold the vertical bars in place. Mine are adjustable to different heights. If you’ve pre-assembled your fabric on the horizontal bar carefully unroll it. The horizontal bar will have hooks on either end that easily rest in slots at the top of the vertical bars. Fluff your ribbons and fabric. For this particular background we also hung two lace tablecloths behind the strips of fabric and ribbon so you couldn’t see the wall behind it. We also added curly willow branches and foliage to each of the vertical bars for an extra touch of decor.
Now you have a beautiful backdrop for your ceremony. Just like many of our projects here on Paper Muse Press, this one is completely customizable for your event. You can also use it for a backdrop for your cake table, or even as a fun photo booth set up. Just choose fabric and ribbon that coordinate with your wedding and make it your own.