Outdoor Wedding Decorating Ideas for a Pergola

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If you're planning an outdoor wedding, a pergola can add sophistication and grace to an otherwise ordinary natural setting. A well-made wooden pergola is stylish and timeless--the perfect combination for a wedding. While a plain wooden pergola is lovely alone, decorating it for you wedding can help to bring out it's natural beauty as well establish a clear decorative theme for your outdoor wedding that can be concentrated in one area.


Lighting is an important part of any wedding decoration and setting; however, lighting can be especially important for an outdoor wedding. If your wedding ceremony will extend into the early evening as the natural light lowers, adding soft lighting to your pergola will be both decorative and functional. Simple small white string lights are a good place to start. Make sure you have an earth-toned extension cord, a dark green that will blend in with the grass. Twist the strings of lights around the railing and roof border of the pergola. Add to your lighting with small tea lights securely placed on the banisters of the pergola--this will create a ring of light around the pergola. Place the tea lights on last if you are planning on decorating with flowers and fabric as well. If your general decorations are festive, consider adding small hanging paper lanterns from the pergola ceiling/roof beams.

Flower Garlands

Flowers are a large part of wedding decorations and will add to your pergola decorations regardless of how you choose to use them; however, hanging flower garlands is an excellent way to weave flowers into your pergola decorations. You can create natural flower garlands or buy silk flower garlands. For a country wedding, collect native wild flowers and twist these into the garland as well. Weave the garland between the wood slats on the pergola roof--often these slats are widely set which makes decorating easier. You may also want to twist the garlands around the parameter railing of the pergola.

Fabric and Ribbons

While the natural wood or the soft white of your pergola can certainly stand alone, integrating your wedding colors subtly into the pergola decorations will create a cohesion in the wedding setting. Select bolts of fabric in your wedding colors and hang these from the roof slats of the pergola. You can drape the fabric so it hangs in a gentle slope--this will create a dramatic effect. Or you can simply wrap the supporting beams of the pergola with your wedding color fabric. For hints of color, hang small ribbons with your wedding colors around the pergola, or drape white fabric along with colored ribbons. Make sure you select fabric that is a simple texture--you don't want the focus to be on your fabric decorations. You pergola decorations are merely in place to create an appropriate backdrop for the main attraction; the bride and groom.