Build a budget-friendly garden arbor from 2x4s and other inexpensive structural lumber following our easy building plan. This classic wood arbor is beautiful for a backyard wedding arch or just everyday backyard decor!
A few years back, my sister asked me to build a garden arbor for her backyard wedding. So I got to work designing a classic wood arbor that is easily portable and built with 2x4s and other affordable redwood lumber. You can see more great 2×4 projects here in our 2x4andMore building plan series — plus this gothic arch arbor and vegetable trellis and outdoor coffee table with built-in drink coolers are favorites of mine.
How to Build a Garden Arbor from 2x4s and Structural Lumber
Backyard Wedding Arch Design
My sister gave me this wedding arch inspiration photo to work from:
She trusted me and knew that I would be able to come up with something great. (Because that’s what #remodelaholic brothers do!) So I started to look at the inspiration design to see how I could build it. Based on that style, I also knew I wanted a few other features in this wooden wedding arch:
- portable, to be built in sections and easily assembled at the outdoor wedding site
- tall enough to stand under for the ceremony, reception, and photos
- affordable, using inexpensive 2x4s and other structural lumber
- durable redwood lumber, so we could continue using it after the wedding
I had built a gothic arch vegetable arbor before, so I had some ideas of how I wanted to build this mini pergola style arbor. I started sketching my version and this is what I came up with.
As soon as I had a good idea of the design, I built a model in 3d to figure out how I was going to build it. Given my list of requirements above, I found that having a top and two side sections was to best option and corbels would end up holding it all together.
How to Build a Wood Garden Arbor for a Wedding
Wedding Arch Garden Arbor Dimensions
- 120″ wide at the top
- 85″ between outer edges of posts
- 96″ tall
- 19″ deep at the bottom, 24″ at the top
All pieces were made of redwood lumber purchased at our local hardware store. This post contains affiliate links. Learn more and read our full disclosure policy here.
- (3) 2x4x8 – Redwood (ripped down for the trellis pieces)
- (4) 4x4x8 – Redwood Posts
- (2) 2x8x8 – Redwood (for the corbels)
- (1) 2x6x6 – Redwood (side bracket/beam support)
- (2) 2x6x10 – Redwood (beams)
- (4) Post Brackets (This is what we used to attach to deck. You will have to find out what would work best for your situation.)
- (50+) 2 1/2″ – Deck Screws
- (20+) 1 1/4″ – Deck Screws
- (1) Gal. – Stain ( I stained the pieces first then assembled it. Pick the color that works best for you.)
- Wood Glue (I used wood glue to hold the side trellis pieces together.
- Circular saw
- Table saw (for ripping 2×4 trellis pieces to width)*
- Orbital sander
- Drill bits
- Tape Measure
- Saw horses
*If you don’t have a table saw, you could alternately use 2x2s, 1x2s, or even smaller square dowels. Those aren’t as readily available in the redwood lumber, though, so ripping the material down was my preferred option.
Steps to Build a Wood Wedding Arch Garden Arbor
Purchase the woodworking plan with cut list and dimensions here in the shop.
1: Cut Out All The Pieces
Start by cutting out all the pieces as listed in the woodworking plan and shaping any ends. Sketch out the pattern on some card stock, cut out the pattern and transfer it on the ends of the top trellis board. Then cut it out using a jigsaw.
After it is cut to shape, sand it with an orbital sander. (I prefer to also sand the edges round for a softer look.)
Now is the easiest time to stain all the pieces, before assembling.
3: Assemble the Arbor Side Sections
4: Assemble the Top Trellis Section
5: Assemble the Garden Arbor
Installing a Garden Arbor on a Deck
So what do you think of our garden arbor? Will you be building one for a wedding? Where will you be putting yours?
October 2019: Reader Daniel B. sent us this photo of the arch he built for his sister’s wedding ceremony at the picturesque Castle in the Clouds in Multonburough, NH. Such a dreamy setting for a beautiful location wedding!
If you’ve built something using one of our plans, we’d love to see photos! Email us at [email protected] or tag #imaremodelaholic on Instagram.
See more 2×4 and More projects using inexpensive 2x4s and other structural lumber — we love showing off the versatility of readily available lumber. We even hosted a #2x4andMore Challenge with fellow bloggers to show the variety of projects you can build with basic boards — see all of the projects (and share yours) here.
Check out all of the other 2×4 and More Challenge posts here:
- garden arbor | Remodelaholic
- 15 minute coffee table | The Ugly Duckling House
- tiered corner plant stand | Charleston Crafted
- single-board rolling bar cart | Woodshop Diaries
- outdoor bench w/rope detail | At Charlotte’s House
- wall planter and herb garden | Making Joy and Pretty Things
- upholstered x-base bench | Frazzled Joy
- jumbo tic tac toe | Ginger Snap Crafts
- porch bench | Everyday Party Magazine
- console table | Hertoolbelt
- farmhouse patio table | North Country Nest
- easy flower planters | Our House Now a Home
- treadmill incline | Practical and Pretty
- patio side table | Small Home Soul