[Do I Need An Aisle Runner?]
One common question brides ask is “Do I need an Aisle Runner” for their wedding ceremony. Like most things related to weddings, a simple “yes or no” answer won’t suffice, as there are many factors to consider when determining if an aisle runner is right for you.
Tradition and Symbolism
The tradition and symbolism behind using a runner is that the bride was considered ‘royalty’ on her wedding day and was not expected to walk on the same ground as the rest of the ‘commoners.’
While this reasoning is no longer considered in today’s society, there are several reasons for using an aisle runner (or not using one).
Benefits of an Aisle Runner
Sloppy Weather – One reason for using a runner is determined by when your wedding will take place. If it will be during the winter, or other sloppy weather season, you might want to have a runner so you won’t have to walk on a carpet/floor that has been dirtied by your guests shoes. However, if there is going to be good weather, then this won’t be a concern.
Downwplay Clashing Colors – Some brides choose to use an aisle runner because the carpet at the ceremony site clashes with her wedding colors. Others use one since it makes a lovely backdrop for the petals to be dropped by the flower girl.
The tradition and symbolism behind using a ceremony aisle runner is that the bride was considered ‘royalty’ on her wedding day and not expected to walk on the same ground as the rest of the ‘commoners.’
Like How It Looks – However, the most common reason to use an aisle runner is because it fits the bride’s vision of her wedding ceremony. Simply put, she likes how it looks.
On the other hand, if you don’t like the look of an aisle runner, or really don’t want to use one, there is no reason to do so. There is no “rule” that says you have to have an aisle runner.
Close your eyes and quietly envision your wedding day. Do you “see” an aisle runner in the picture? Then you might want to use one. However, if you don’t, then my recommendation to you would be to not use a runner.
How To Pull An Aisle Runner In Place
Aisle runners – if they are pulled out correctly AND secured at both ends with pins and/or tape – should not bunch. Aisle runners are actually very easy to properly pull out.
- It should be secured at the front of the aisle prior to the ceremony (your florist or wedding coordinator can take care of this for you).
- The person(s) designated to pull the aisle runner should walk up the aisle together, each pick up the pull string/rope with one hand, and turn facing the way they will be walking (the back of the aisle).
- This next step is very important. Have them look at the center of where they will be walking to (ie. the center of the doorway, the exit sign hanging above the door, etc.) and have them walk toward that point. The aisle runner should smoothly unroll behind them. They can glance back now and then to make sure it is straight, but they should NOT be looking behind them at the runner while unrolling it! That will make it go crooked and bunch up.
- After the runner is completely rolled out, secure it with tape or pin
Aisle Runner Alternatives
Although a white runner remains the most popular choice, white is not the only option. Red carpets, in the fashion of Hollywood events, make a grand statement.
Also, many brides are opting for custom made aisle runners. These coordinate with the wedding colors and can incorporate the bride and groom’s names and wedding date, or a lovely monogram. After the wedding, this portion of the runner is carefully cleaned and displayed in the couple’s home.
Outdoor Ceremony Concerns
Outdoor ceremonies pose a different set of criteria when considering the use of an aisle runner.
Will the aisle be on grass or on a sidewalk? If it’s a sidewalk, the runner can be easily, and safely, secured using duct tape (which comes in different colors now, including white).
However, if on grass, keep in mind that while you may be thinking about keeping the hemline of your gown grass-stain free, the ground itself probably isn’t level (which is usually the case). On unlevel ground, an aisle runner will quickly become a hazard, and the potential for tripping, and heels catching and tearing through increases. For safety’s sake, not only for you and your bridal party, but for all of your guests who will be exiting after the ceremony, forgo the use of an aisle runner on grass.
Even without an aisle runner, your aisle needn’t be bare. Small pots of flowers along the sides of the aisle is an easy and inexpensive way to add a bit of color, and is a wonderful option for indoor and outdoor ceremonies. For an outdoor ceremony, try lining the aisle with rose petals, or for something a bit more dramatic, have a complete rose petal “runner.” Looks fabulous, and if outdoors, clean-up is literally a breeze.
What are you thinking of using for your wedding ceremony – an aisle runner or something else?
Hearts, Joy, Love!