Outdoor Wedding Altar – Hawaiian Style

The next series of posts will be on the decorations I designed for my friends’ wedding last month. I had the privilege of transforming someone’s spacious backyard into an outdoor Hawaiian wedding venue! The theme was Hawaiian but more specifically incorporating the elements of earth-water-fire (sand, water, candlelights) with accents of blues and purple.

Back in April, I visited the wedding site and did a rough sketch of what the place should look like:
Ceremony Diagram

And here’s how it turned out!
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Rough sketch of the altar design:
Altar Diagram

And how it actually looked:
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It was really neat how the sketches came to life one by one. Like someone said, I had an overload of creative inspirations from all over the internet and frankly driving myself crazy. hahaha. (My Pinterest wedding boards were exploding with images during the month before.) It was very difficult to narrow down my ideas to a few, because I wanted to try so many things! But the original sketches kept me grounded and helped me stay on course, maintaining the simplicity the couple wanted.

The altar being the focal embellishment of the wedding, I wanted to create an airy and celestial feel. I got about 6 yards of white curtain fabric at $2/yard (found it in the clearance section but further bargained with the owner and shaved off 50 cents/yard) that would hang down in the shape of a steeple. I looked around for a super long curtain rod but couldn’t find one at the local stores and the ones online were way too pricey for our budget. I even thought about getting a PVC pipe and cutting it down to size. But I found a better solution at the 99 cents store of all places – Bamboo sticks!! They came in a bundle of 5-6 long skinny sticks and man, did I get so much use out of them! I grouped about three of them together and tied them up with some jute twine to create one strong “rod”. Then I connected the rods with more twine to make one super long pole.
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The location of the altar were flanked by two magnificent pine trees and the challenge was to figure out how to hang the curtains between them. There were branches hanging down between the tree trunks but they were too high up and dangerous for us to reach even with a ladder. So we had no choice but to tie the ends to the trunks and hoped that the weight of the curtains wouldn’t cause the rod to snap overnight! The rod was slightly bending in the middle when we were done setting up but thank God, everything stayed intact well after the ceremony! The resilience of bamboo and jute twine…
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The flower backdrop was made out of cheap plastic leis from Oriental Trading Company that looked rather elegant when put together (if I may say so!) 🙂 And we hung a glass lantern down the middle of the curtains as an accent piece.
Flower Leis Backdrop

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I’m SO GLAD we set up the altar and other labor-intensive items like the paper lanterns the night before. It was a lot of work and I had lots of help! My first outdoor wedding decoration was a blast!
Altar

Happy July 4th by the way!! Have a safe and fun celebration everyone!! Up next, tablescape…

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