Wedding Flowers for Church Altars

Updated December 20, 2018
Wedding couple floral altar

Finding the right wedding flowers for church altars should be at the top of a couple's wedding flower to-do list. This ensures their ceremony has a lovely setting that coordinates well with both the ambiance of the church and with the formality and theme of their wedding.

Altar Flower Designs

Depending on the altar size and structure, couples have several options for the wedding arrangements for church fronts to decorate this sacred space.

  • Pedestal arrangements - Church wedding flowers on pedestals stand out at the altar and make them easier to see. Combine them with tulle and bows to help add color to the front of the church.
    tulle and pedestal altar wedding flowers
  • Table vases: A simple vase filled with blooms is the easiest type of altar decoration and can easily be adjusted or moved if necessary.
  • Floor urns: A floor urn is larger and more dramatic than table arrangements and is suitable for larger churches where there is more visible space.
    Wedding altar with urn flower arrangements
  • Table cascades: Cascading arrangements are popular because they turn a simple altar into a floral shrine, adding elegance and beauty to the wedding decorations.
  • Unity candle arrangements: If a couple plans on having a unity candle ceremony as part of their wedding vows, specialized floral arrangements that include candle holders can be a lovely and practical way to decorate the church altar.
    Unity candle flower arrangement on altar
  • Table garlands: Less voluminous than a cascading centerpiece, a table garland can easily decorate any size altar.
    altar garland

Church Altar Flower Tips

To make the most of wedding flowers for church altars, couples must consider the available decorations as well as their budget. A typical wedding ceremony lasts less than 30 minutes, and expensive floral arrangements may be better suited to the reception where guests will celebrate for several hours. To cut costs on church flowers without cutting beauty…

  • Choose large, colorful blooms that will be distinctive and noticeable from the rear of the church. Whereas guests at a reception will mingle, most wedding guests do not approach the altar and will be better able to see large, bright flowers.
Christian cross and flowers on altar
  • Use fillers to create height and volume for minimal costs. Ivy, ferns, baby's breath, carnations, hydrangea, and other inexpensive flowers and greenery can be attractive in large arrangements.
  • Plan for reusable floral arrangements and garlands that can be quickly relocated to the reception location to decorate the head table or cake table if possible. Not only will this save money, but it will also guarantee a coordinated look between the ceremony and reception sites.
  • Check if there are other weddings on the same day or the day before or after your wedding. If possible, coordinate with those couples on colors or basic floral arrangements and split the costs. Many large arrangements can quickly be personalized by adding a few distinctive blooms, and they can easily be reused for different weddings.
  • Coordinate flower colors and arrangements with the church's natural décor. The carpeting, wood accents, stained glass windows, and natural elegance of the church can be enhanced by well chosen flowers, creating a stunning atmosphere with minimal decoration.
Altar with white walls, fabric, and flowers
  • Ask if the church has standard arrangements that may be available for wedding use. Many of these silk wedding flowers can easily be augmented with a few blooms for a distinctive and inexpensive look.

Church Flower Restrictions

Some churches have restrictions on the size and type of floral arrangements that may be used for weddings as well as how flowers may be displayed. Inquire about such restrictions long before planning the church décor to ensure there are no conflicts or last minute adaptations. At the same time, ask about setup and clean up responsibilities and when wedding decorations may be assembled.

Finding Wedding Flowers for Church Altars

Most wedding florists will be happy to create a package of wedding flowers that includes altar and other church arrangements, but such flowers may not be included in a standard package. Silk arrangements can be created well in advance and can be donated to the church after the event if desired.

Where to Shop

Many online retailers offer coordinated church wedding flowers, including altar and pew arrangements as well as other decorative touches. Popular retailers include places like Wondrous Weddings and Shannon's Custom Florals.


The cost of altar flowers varies widely, from less than $30 for a simple arrangement to more than $500 for an elaborate package. The types of flowers, arrangement style, shipping costs, and size of arrangements will also affect the price.

wedding altar with tall flower pedestals

Other Wedding Flowers

In addition to flowers decorating the altar, couples should plan for other church floral arrangements for their wedding. Adding similar floral touches throughout the church will give the entire venue a beautifully coordinated appearance that sets the mood for a magical, romantic event.Along with altar flowers, couples should investigate:

  • Pew floral bows or garlands
  • Entrance urns, arches, or garlands
  • Flower petals lining the aisle or scattered on it
  • A wreath or hanging arrangement on the church door
  • Garlands, petals, or urns to decorate the church steps for photographs
  • Coordinated arrangements in the entryway or other areas guests may visit
    Ornate cathedral with wedding flowers

Flower Alternatives

With so many flowers necessary to properly decorate a church for a wedding, many couples seek flower alternatives to help cut costs or for design variation and uniqueness. Alternative options include:

  • Tulle or satin bows and garlands
  • Evergreen or ivy topiaries
  • Seasonal options such as palms near Easter, holly in the winter, or colored autumn leaves
  • Decorative candle arrangements, particularly for evening events

Lovely Altar Arrangements

Wedding flowers for church altars are only one type of floral arrangement necessary to create a romantic, gorgeous setting for a remarkable event. With many options available for the altar and beyond, it is easy for couples to design floral accents throughout the church on their wedding day.

Wedding Flowers for Church Altars