One detail often overlooked is “how practical is the wedding aisle runner?” Let’s forget the history of them when they were used to cover up mud and dirt brought in by guests and how it was used to cover it up (saving the dress!). I will just focus on todays weddings. Yes, they add romance, they are great for photos, and they just say “don’t step on me, I’m for the bride!” And, when the flower girl(s) throw flower peddles on it, you really notice the peddles.
My thought: check the “no” box for Aisle Runner!
Practical issues with aisle runners that I’ve seen over the years.
In a church wedding, I’ve seen where the aisle runner was started at the door of the church and pulled forward. The problem with that is, where does the rest of the role of plastic aisle runner go? Do i step over it? What about the cord that was used to pull it, where does that go? If there is a chancel with steps, do the bride and groom have to step over it?
Next, and these are in no particular order, how does one attach it to the floor before starting to pull it down (or up) the aisle? Yes, there is double sided tape that has a peel on it. Yet, it never holds. It always comes up when you start to pull the aisle runner. For this example, the runner is up by me and is pulled down the aisle right before the bride and flower girl. With most runners, I end up waiting for the guys to start the pull, and then I step on it to hold it in place.
The cord on the aisle runner. Since the guys have never pulled and aisle runner and since the cord is always too short, they have trouble pulling it smoothly down the aisle. One side or the other is getting stuck with the cord. Once down the aisle, the runner is never straight, never, ever straight, when it is pulled down the aisle before the bride.
Holding the aisle runner in place in the church. Impossible. If there is carpet in the aisle, the runner always moves. The bride, after all the bridal party has walked down the aisle, will notice the runner is horrible out of shape: wrinkled, pulled when each person steps on it. If there is no carpet, then the runner normally stays in place. But with carpet it never stays in place.
Outside aisle runners are the, not the, but thee worst. But first, they have all the issues above, plus many more. Here are just some of the issues. One, when it is on the grass it moves even worse than on carpet. Every time someone takes a step on it, one end or the other pulls to compensate for the sinking into the grass. (one of the reasons they put stakes in the corners of tents is to hold them down from the wind, but the other is because with every step you take it moves – so with stakes it won’t move as much). Imagine parents, bridesmaids, ring bearer and flower girl walking on it. It will look horrible. Trust me.
Wind will cause the wedding aisle runner to go air born. I’ve seen it.
Let’s say you want to secure the aisle runner by putting lanterns or small stakes every so often (very time consuming and costly), on grass they won’t stay in place. The runner will rip and/or the lanterns will fall over.
Forsyth Park Fountain, Photo by Coastal Savannah Weddings
The next issue on how impractical wedding aisle runners are, is they are never wide enough! Trust me, no bride wants to think they are wide! However, by the time you add the width of the dress at the ground AND if she is escorted in, there is NEVER room for anything to be sat on the aisle runner, such as lanterns. They just don’t have enough room for both the escort, bride and size of dress, unless the dress is completely form fitting.
I’ve seen aisle runners made out of a long piece of carpet. Good idea? Not on grass. It too will move on the grass.
But with all that said, none of those compare with the following reason why you shouldn’t use an aisle runner. It is very dangerous! I know you are thinking, how can a simple plastic/cloth aisle runner be dangerous? It’s very simple: heels. The heels on your shoes will poke holes in the runner. And it could stay attached to your shoe, causing you to fall.
Please don’t use aisle runners outside! Well, unless you are video taping it and you want to be on AFV, America’s Funniest Home Videos. We could make money because of it!
So, now what? You want to have an aisle runner outside, but with all my suggestions you have second thoughts, but you still want something. Try lots of flower peddles. Roses. Carnations. Those can be broken up and used. And it can look incredible! I’ve seen a “white carpet of flower peddles,” and I’ve seen peddles down both sides of the aisle.
With all that said….
The most awesome aisle runner I have seen was recently at a wedding at the Mansion on Forsyth Park. It was black, with a gold border. It started at the door and went beyond where I normally stand, all the way to the edge of the water fountain, and then bit more: it went up and to the edge of the water! It looked to be made of thick construction like material, yet didn’t rip when stepped on. It wasn’t plastic. It wasn’t carpet. If anyone knows what it was made of, please let me know. When the gorgeous bride walked in, it didn’t get stuck in her shoes, nor did it wrinkle up when stepped on. It stayed in place! I don’t think they used anything to hold the long section in place as I didn’t see it “gather” anywhere along the way when anyone walked on it (as it was down prior to my arriving at the site.)
Did you think that the topic of Aisle Runners at Weddings, would take up so much space?
Let me know your thoughts.
Share your experience!