Wednesday, March 6, 2013

The Aisle Less Traveled

HJ's Engaged! Tablescape
Courtesy of Three Light's Photography

WOW! What a wonderful Sunday you all gave us by coming out and meeting us at the Engaged! bridal event! We had a great time showing off our talents, but even more fun meeting and getting to know you. Thank you for your time. We can’t wait to work with you in the future!

Now, if you can – and I’m sure you’re able – return to two weeks ago when we were discussing what’s under your feet – aisle runners that is! As promised, this week we’ll delve into the many types of runners.

Please be aware that the terms listed below are ones that HJ uses to explain and describe aisle decor. They are not universal, so don’t go shouting them about at your florist’s shop and expect to be understood. As always, we try to make all elements of a wedding easily comprehended. Hence, these terms:

Runner: (all right, this term’s not that tricky). A “runner” is any piece of fabric that travels from where the couple stands for the ceremony to the end of the seating area for guests. In a church, this is the length from the pew at the very back of the church to the altar. Runners can be made of any fabric, including linen, cotton, silk or carpet (roll out the red carpet, please!).

Benefits: traditional; easy to set up and take down; can be adorned any way a couple likes.
Drawbacks: many places do not allow this type of runner or affixing them to the floor.
Beware: tripping hazard, depending on the ground over which it is laid and type of fabric.
Cost: relatively affordable, depending on fabric type.

Floral Runner: This type of runner also delineates the bride’s walkway, but consists solely of petals; when completed, a floral runner looks almost as though a hundred flower girls went down the aisle prior to any guest’s arrival. This type of runner rarely looks like a full carpet. Most couples choosing a floral runner opt for a pattern.

Benefits: unique and eye-catching; good for short aisles.
Drawbacks: time consuming to set and clean up, which increases cost.
Beware: runner will not look perfect after aisle is used, so get all those pictures beforehand.
Cost: very expensive.

Seating Runner: although we sometimes also refer to this type of runner as “Pew Décor” this runner is not one that you walk on top of, but rather among. It consists of décor affixed to guest ceremony seats. Examples include bows, flower arrangements, ribbon and lanterns. This décor can be connected – such as a ribbon running the entire inner length of the seating area – or not – such as individual bows affixed to each row.
Benefits: multiple elements can be used simultaneously; good way to circumvent restrictions on having a traditional runner.
Drawbacks: many churches forbid affixing anything to their pews.
Beware: setup and take down can be time consuming, depending on how décor is affixed.
Cost: inexpensive (paper flowers) to expensive (individual flower arrangements), depending on décor chosen and how many rows are decorated.

Pathway: unlike a traditional runner, a pathway doesn’t provide a bride something to walk on, but rather something to walk among. A pathway creates an outline of an aisle. The best example is flower petals outlining the bride’s walkway. A pathway can also consist of potted flowers, lanterns or other décor.  

Benefits: delicate looking and easy to set up.
Drawbacks: expensive due to the number of flowers or other décor needed to make it look full and complete.
Beware: tripping hazard! (be particularly cautious of open flames).
Cost: inexpensive to expensive, depending on chosen decor.

Aisle overhang: an aisle overhang takes the traditional idea of a runner and flips it on its head – literally. Most overhangs consist of branches or archways that identify aisle parameters, but from the top.

Credit: Imbue You I Do.
Benefits: creates ethereal feel and is easily combined with other types of runners.
Drawbacks: very expensive; difficult to find florist or decorator with experience creating this type of runner.
Beware: an inexperienced florist or event designer may not use enough décor to create a full enough look.
Cost: very, very expensive.

Happy walking!