Sealed with a kiss!

Sealed with a kiss!
Laura & Chris' Wedding at JCRaulston Arboretum

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Let's talk about aisle runners!

The vision of floating down the aisle on a pristine white runner is appealing for sure! The task of making that vision happen can be a challenge though. The best aisle runner I have ever seen is a 50-foot length of white carpet. The carpet won't twist, wrinkle, snag, or fly up in the wind which are the problems encountered with the standard aisle runners sold to brides! Diane Tighe at the Washington-Duke Inn where I did the wedding with the white carpet runner told me that the runner was rented from American Party Rentals. According to their website you can rent it for $50. It would be a wise investment if you want a great runner for your wedding.

Another suitable aisle runner was made by Laura and Ash, a couple I married at the Raleigh Rose Garden. I warned them about the futility of putting an aisle runner on top of grass and so they very wisely had a length of heavy white canvas hemmed with grommets inserted at intervals so the runner could be secured to the ground with tent stakes--very clever! See photo of Laura and Dad processing in on the runner.

The flimsy paper-thin, rather narrow aisle runners on a cardboard roll with rope through it leaves much to be desired and requires planning and hard work to install! I do not recommend it be laid out over grass--at all. Even when we have tried to secure it to the ground with white golf tees, it becomes treacherous. The least little bit of wind will pick it up and wrinkle and twist it. The heels of the bridesmaids' and bride's shoes can snag it and risks walking down the aisle dragging the runner behind like a long piece of toilet paper! Besides, it feels like you are walking on pillows! A better solution to defining the aisle is to sprinkle rows of flower petals thickly on each side of the aisle, or all over. This is so pretty! Or, sprinkle lavender seeds on the aisle right before the bride comes in and as she and her father walk on the lavender seeds as they process in, the beautiful lavender scent wafts through the air!

If the aisle is carpet, concrete or decking, the paper aisle runner must be secured with tape--not an easy task getting tape to stick to carpet or concrete. It must be taped at the beginning and at the end and usually tacked down along the sides. This takes time and therefore dictates that the aisle runner be put down before the wedding begins and if you don't want your guests walking on it, rope off the center aisle and direct the guests to their seats from the sides. To wait and have your ushers roll out your aisle runner after all the wedding party have processed in can sometimes be a longer pause in the procession than you planned on. It is usually entertaining for the guests though as they watch the person(s) in charge of unrolling the aisle runner struggle to get the runner straight and then secured. The rope that they put in the tube that the runner is rolled on invariably snags and gets hung up during the unrolling and getting the runner straight down the aisle is not an easy thing for the usher(s) who is backing down the aisle and can't easily see where he is going--no rear view mirror--ha ha! Then, once it is in place, it must be cut and taped down before the bride makes her entrance.

The wedding I did at Bass Lake Park on 4/27 had a runner and it was quite easily taped to the deck there but did result in a delay as the two women who ran it down the aisle after the mothers were seated frantically had to get it straight then cut it with scissors and hold it down (it was windy) while trying to tape it down. See photo. The next Saturday 5/3 I did another wedding there where the runner was attempted to be held down by pots of flowers. That did not work very well--it was windy and the wind lifted the runner up and out from beneath the pots and it twisted and wrinkled. When the bride and her father tried to walk down the aisle it was too narrow because of the pots of flowers and dad had to run an obstacle course avoiding the pots of flowers. Actually he was a good sport and it was quite comical and we all had a good laugh! You can see the wrinkled runner and flower pots in the photos of Valerie and Kevin's wedding below.

Tim Oxendine, local DJ, has a red carpet runner which can be used in your wedding. Here is a photo of a wedding at Eagle Ridge Golf Club with Tim's red aisle runner. So, if you hire Tim to DJ your wedding, you can have a red aisle runner for your wedding!

If anyone has any innovative ideas for aisle runners, I would love to hear from you.


Sharida said...

I love your post on isle runners! I'm an aspiring wedding planner from Utah and am always in search of good advice and ideas from other experienced experts. Runners aren't used much here in Utah but they can really add to the elegance of a wedding (if done properly). So thanks for all the heads up!

Nicole Locher said...

What about burlap? The runner is 40" wide and 10 yard long with 2 stakes at each end, would that be enough to keep it from moving around?
Our site is outdoors over some gravel and patchy crabgrass, I thought the runner would keep my lace train from snagging, but if my stilettos are going to get caught that's almost as bad!

Nicole Locher said...

Have you ever used burlap?
I was looking at one on Amazon thats 40" wide by 10 yards long.
its only $7.75!
Our aisle is outside over gravel (disintegrating asphalt) and patchy crab grass, I thought the fabric would help to keep my lace train from snagging, but if my stilettos get caught it in and trip me that is almost worse! Do you think if I used tent stakes every 18" that would be enough?

Reverend Kayelily Middleton said...

Nicole--good question and an idea I never thought of. However, having worked with burlap in the past for other projects, I am pretty sure your heels would snag, the bridesmaid's too. I think carpet would be the best solution for that crumbly surface.

Reverend Kayelily Middleton said...

Nicole, if you get this comment, I am wondering what you ended up doing about the runner for your wedding assuming it has taken place! Thanks!

Sally Collins said...

Whether walking down the aisle towards your new spouse, or making a grand entrance at your event, keep your aisle perfectly straight & secure, with the Original Aisle Runner Stakes.

Add an air of celebration to your wedding march, & add interest to your wedding photographs, while protecting your dress, with our delicate Aisle Runner Stakes.

Aisle Runner Stakes are available in clear OR a variety of beautiful colors; in plain OR with rhinestones OR pearls. Several lovely designs OR monograms So many beautiful options!

They can be used on any runner, whether fabric, vinyl, plain or decorated. No longer will you fear tripping, or that your runner will be caught in a breeze.

A Perfect Aisle, every time!