Read on for our guide to aisle runners, including everything you need to know to select the perfect wedding aisle runner for your wedding. When we imagine contemporary weddings, the classic view of a decorated aisle comes to mind. Whether an indoor or outdoor wedding, most ceremonies will have two sides of chairs and a walkway leading up to the ceremony. Perhaps the most popular way to accentuate this walkway is with a wedding aisle runner.
This beautiful detail can come in any design, be suited for all kinds of surfaces, and serve as a protective factor for dress trains. Wedding aisle runners are undoubtedly a popular and sensible element brides should thoroughly consider while planning their weddings, but there are so many factors to consider before selecting the perfect runner.
Runners are made from a wide variety of materials that work with different kinds of surfaces, they are available in several colors and sizes, and they can even be personalized.
Here is our guide to everything you need to know about wedding aisle runners:
Are Aisle Runners Necessary?
The wonderful thing about wedding aisle runners is they serve two purposes: to accentuate a beautiful wedding and to create a surface covering that can help protect things like shoes or a dress train. This protective factor may not be of immediate concern for someone planning an indoor wedding, such as a ceremony held in a church, a hotel, or some other meeting space; however, the damage delicate materials can be susceptible to from any surface should not be overlooked.
One significant factor runners play in an indoor wedding setting is their availability in a no-slip design. Who wouldn't want a decorative element to their wedding that also keeps them from going bottoms-up in front of their entire party?
As far as outdoor weddings go, an aisle runner is an easy choice. Weddings on a grass lawn pose a threat of grass stains, mud, dew, and other unpredictable factors. The softness of the ground can be easily impacted by freeze and thaw cycles, rain, or even overflowing from nearby landscaping systems.
The opposite kind of ground type, however, can also threaten delicate shoes and trains: concrete. Not only can this material become especially hot under the sun, but it is known to scuff leather and create a harsh impact when walked on. Finally, beach weddings are popular and these will undoubtedly come with shifting sands that may become hot in the sun or even windblown under certain conditions.
Similarly as unpredictable might be other surfaces like stone, moss, or mulch. The good news is wedding aisle runners can be used in all of these surfaces, and they will serve to keep the ground intact, safe, and non-threatening to any shoe or clothing that might come in contact with it.The detail an aisle runner gives to a ceremony helps tie together the ceremony scene within churches and indoor settings. For weddings in large, grassy areas, the use of a runner can help define the area where guests congregate and navigate around.
While selecting a runner can come with many overwhelming factors to nail just the right look for a ceremony, the most crucial aspects to consider is
A) Where the ceremony will be
B) The kind of surface the runner will lay on
C) What kind of material, width, and length is needed for the ceremonial space
The kinds of materials available today can withstand impressive conditions, too, meaning no bride should be concerned by a papery runner that will tear and dissolve under too many footsteps or the presence of water. With the correct research, a beautiful runner is not too hard to find and it will keep any heel from slipping, sticking, or sinking while walking down the aisle!
What Kind of Aisle Runners Should I Get for a Wedding?
Depending on the kind of wedding location, an aisle runner will need to come in a specific material to suit the needs of the ceremony. The actual size of the runner is an important factor, but the more complicated aspects include picking the best material as well as the design and personalization that follow.
What are aisle runners even made out of?
The question can come with many different answers, of course, considering there are so many different needs for the various wedding venues that use these aisle runners. More expensive versions might be made out of carpet or some kind of rug, providing a heavy material that can roll out and stand independently on most any surface. For those brides looking to have a sturdy or softer aisle runner on a less sturdy ground type, they can look at options for underlying materials that create a stable surface to roll out the decorative lining.
One popular and durable option is to use a rayon non-woven fabric or other synthetic material, one that is strong while still being flexible and lightweight. Really, any kind of material can be used - some which may even be sheer or see-through - but what will matter is how heavy you need your material to be. While paper can be a cheap option, it may not be suitable for every shoe type or setting that an aisle runner will be used in. For that reason, synthetic cloths typically serve brides the best and in most settings without costing too much.
If going with a simple white fabric, it is important to review the product for its non-slip qualities - especially when looking to employ the runner on a smooth surface. Treading is important even for fabrics that will overlay a carpeted floor, not just hardwood or outdoor settings. When picking the length of a runner, consider keeping an extra five-10 feet to climb up to the ceremonial area. In addition, the length will require about 17 feet for five rows, 18 feet for six rows, 22 feet for seven rows, and about 2.5 feet per row thereafter.
What Color and Design should I get for an Aisle Runner?
Besides the material, it is important to determine what kind of color or design is desired. Simple designs might include a cloth or a rug of solid color, the standard style being plain white or black and without embellishment. Nowadays, however, items are so easily customizable that many brides opt for the patterns and textures that will best compliment their wedding decor. Not only can different colors, shimmers, and sewn-on flowers and other items be used, but many companies now offer personalization for the runners as well.
How to Personalize an Aisle Runner?
Popular options for personalizing an aisle runner might include a monogram of the bride and groom's names, pictures of the family or the engagement, various words that reflect the vows of the couple or important values, Bible verses or other religious texts, or anything that glitters, lights up, and shimmers. More exotic ideas that can help match the decor or prevent details from blowing away include using a runner with feather flowers sewn into the material ahead of time, prints on the material that look like elegant marble or other surfaces, or even runners that are furry, feathery, or which match exactly the cake or other elements in the wedding ceremony.
Where is the Best Place to Get an Aisle Runner?
Aisle runners are available in many places, both by pre-ordering a particular design or by choosing to make a runner by hand. Fabric stores are one of the best places to go to get both materials for under a runner, for the runner itself, and for the decorations and little details that can be added to a runner. Joann's Fabrics is one of the many fabric stores that can be found nationwide and which provide a variety of sales and opportunities to buy these fabrics, especially during and after select holidays.
For brides who are not as interested in creating their own runner, or who don't wish to even hire someone to make one for them, they can consider buying materials that need very little alteration to make a runner. These materials include kinds of rugs and carpets that can be found at places like a rug store or other home decor store. Merely visit a store with the proper length of the runner required and have a piece cut to the needs of the ceremony. Some of these rugs may even be available pre-ordered, giving the opportunity to select rugs beyond what is merely kept in-stock on a regular basis.
Online Aisle Runners
In today's day and age, ordering online is always an easy alternative to shopping worldwide for specific products as well. Not only do many stores have online sites that give wide selections of options for materials and pre-made runners, but there are also a variety of artists who sell their products online as well. Etsy is a perfect example of a shop where artists can create - and even make to an order - specific runner designs.
Aisle Runner Conclusions
These options give brides the flexibility of shopping for a price that works for them, the material that suits their needs, and the design that they desire for their wedding ceremony. In fact, it is through these online sites that one is typically able to personalize an order. Special requests for patterns, length, color, embellishments, and text or photo addition can usually be requested when items are pre-ordered. No matter what a bride chooses for her runner, she will not be disappointed by the number of venues and means by which she can order her perfect piece - and have it delivered to her doorstep with impressive speed.
Who knew there were so many wedding aisle runner options to choose from? These beautiful, useful accents are nothing for brides to overlook! More questions? Ask us below
Lexie at her core is a creator who is passionate about sharing her ideas on weddings. She has over a decade in helping others plan and execute weddings from LA to Athens, from 10 person to 1000 weddings. She has seven years of experience in marketing/communications, content creation, event planning, and strategic planning. Lexie’s favorite part of writing? Figuring out how to digest a huge topic, like personalized wedding favor glasses, into a quick 5 minute read. Lexie is also our head of Pinning, so check out her 5 favorite pins everyday!