Copper Wedding Arch for a Botanical Summer Wedding
"Providing the focal point for anybody's wedding is such an honour"
A commission I took great pride in which granted me the creative freedom, subtle design messaging, use of engineering and artistic expression that I live for.
'All this from a copper arch?' I hear you cry, let's take a look...
I'm sure we can all agree that weddings can be the most beautiful thing to be a part of.
Bringing your unique personality to the foreground is so important. Hopefully, it will be the only wedding you have and you can take the opportunity to do it in your own way.
My client's way included a Copper Wedding Arch that would sit behind the Bride & Groom for their ceremony. To be able to hang, include or arrange flowers with the Arch would be a bonus.
The idea was simple, but I wanted to bring everything I could to the table, starting with: Artistic Expression / Design Engineering x Aesthetics + Design Messaging - Design Constraints.
The Arch had to make an impact, it not only had to have the design elements to provide that but it also had to be big. This meant transport was going to be an issue, and the only way to get around this as a constraint was to create a design that can be disassembled and erected quickly.
A solid American White Oak base provided great stability to the legs of the frame. It balanced the weight and structural support across the frame. This also allowed me to have adjustable feet for uneven ground (not seen in these pictures). Oak is such a classic wood. One that's well known around the world, not just because of Oak Furniture Land, but because of its history and heritage.
Each Oak 'Footing' (we'll call it) was biscuit jointed to be one solid piece. Though there are design features that don't need to be there, they are there for a reason. All edges are routed to show that the Footing is not one solid piece, it is made up of layers & connects mimicking Half-Lap Joints.
Each footing represents one of two sides of the Arch / one of two people, with complexity and equal stability for each-other. The footings represent the foundations & the starting point that leads to the inevitable connection at the peak.
Though it was not practical or beneficial to the design to have the two sides of the Arch connect at the peak, they can first be assembled into two rigid pieces which can then be moved into position. In this case, the Arch was erected in two halves inside the venue and carried outside. This was to utilise the flat & level floor and keep the copper dry.
A side of the Arch can be propped up whilst the other is being assembled or moved to the point of installation. Exceptionally handy and can be done by one person alone!
As seen below - when brought together the two sides slip together and fix with a very small number of screws.
With a little measuring, levelling and adjustment of the adjustable feet, the Arch is as straight and precise as it was when manufactured.
Frog Flowers of Manchester did a great job of swiftly decorating the Arch with their unique style. It was incredibly exciting to see the end result take shape for the first time.
The Arch was designed to have all kinds of perfect placement points for pretty much any type of floral arrangement. The exact materials, measurements and geometry were intended for distributed or small point loads. In this case, Frog Flowers have utilised a horizontal strut which extends out of the frame.
Striking Images (as seen below) even in Black & White. Nothing shines like copper. It's unique and can not be replicated. Just like the Bride & Groom.
Due to the fast assembly, the Arch was moved back inside for the evening.
The Arch was intentionally designed to accommodate two people. It provides a robust passage for guests to walk through.
For an outdoor summer wedding, having copper reflect warm tones makes the Arch glow. It's great to see in person but hopefully, some of these images like the one below will demonstrate how the Arch stands out and reflects what it sees but doesn't create any sharp reflections.
Traditional church-like features with a spire at each peak. These are not required but essential to the message and balance of the design. Again to signify the beautiful gravity of the ceremony. The Arches connect like interlacing fingers between good supportive friends.
Each side of the Arch has both an inside and outside edge. With the outside under tension and the inside under compression, each side represents a relationship of equal give & take.
Each side also has three sections representing a beginning, a middle and an end, of which both sides experience together.
At another wedding, the Arch was used as a welcoming entrance. Guests followed the Bride & Groom out through the Arch which beautifully signified the end of the ceremony, the start of a new adventure, and the support of family & friends.
Rendered images and engineering drawings were provided for the client throughout the process. This client was such a delight to work with and was thrilled with her Plank & Pipe experience and of course the end result.
If you'd like a one of a kind and piece created by a creative engineer for your event, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thank you to the client for coming to us with this project and allowing us to create such a significant commission. We wish you all the best!