Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Paving Your Way Down the Aisle

When brides plan a walk down the aisle, their trip often includes an aisle runner. Whether fantastic in its uniqueness, luxurious in its intricacy or romantic in its being traditional, an aisle runner identifies the pathway to the altar dedicated specifically to the couple.

To clarify, when HJ uses the term “aisle runner,” we refer to all decorations used to adorn an aisle. This includes fabric, carpeting, flower petals, aisle-end bouquets or bows, lanterns…you name it. We do this because it’s just easier to combine recommendations and choices under the main title.

As a side note, nowadays many churches forbid aisle runners. The explanation for this rule is that not only do they pose a safety hazard to guests (slipping), but that whatever is used to affix them often ruins the church floor (nails = no no).

Despite this, many ceremony cites permit aisle runners. Some sites, particularly those in which couples can choose the seating setup of the ceremony location, encourage using runners because it allows for clear identification of the aisle. What better way to subtly identify to guests the space that has been dedicated for the bride’s progression?

So, how just do you select what aisle runner you want?

The first consideration when selecting an aisle runner is the ceremony location’s rules. Some spaces prohibit certain methods for affixing the runner, such as nails or tape, while others prohibit ones made of specific fabric (satin = slippery).

The next consideration is the size of the aisle. Short aisles might not be best suited for elaborate aisle runners, while long ones might look bare if adorned with a simple or plain runner.

Of course, here is where we warn you about budget (and don’t we always?). Aisle runners shouldn’t break the bank. Why? Because they very often can only be used to adorn an aisle. Petals, swaths of fabric, lanterns or whatever else is used to decorate an aisle do not easily transfer to reception or cocktail locations.

One of the most often overlooked, but very important, considerations is the clean up required for any aisle runner. This includes the difficulty of clean up, methods for taking down all elements (screwdriver?) and required disposal. Usually, churches or other ceremony locations prohibit or refuse to have their staff members take down aisle decorations and require that a couple identify the specific individual(s) who will be responsible for doing so. This means that family members or a wedding planner may have to deconstruct aisle runner components. Beware that this means that these individuals cannot help with other parts of post-ceremony elements, such as photos.

With all these considerations in mind, the fun can begin! There are literally hundreds of different options for aisle runners, which we’ll delve into next week!