Planning a wedding can be a daunting task. Everywhere you turn it seems there is something you think you need. I can not tell you how many times I have seen items purchased and not used. Recently I saw a very young ring bearer take his ring pillow and chuck it into the grass before refusing to walk down the aisle. The mother of the bride had literally just removed that very pillow from its brand new packaging.
Another item I often see purchased but ultimately go unused is the aisle runner. Don’t get me wrong, they can be beautiful, with quotes or monograms on them. They are such a traditional image associated with the bride walking down the aisle. Yet, in my experience the standard “roll down” runner can be a nightmare. Their original purpose was to keep the aisle way clean from any dirt or debris tracked in by guests so that the brides gown would remain white and pristine. Today it is really a more decorative element. There are several problems with an aisle runner. When used outdoors it is very difficult to keep in place. I have seen the wind lift and relocate the lightweight fabric runner with ease. Unless you can find a way tack it down without taking away from its beauty, it is more of a hassle than anything. One couple used rocks to try to keep it down, but ended up tripping on them. Another couple tried to use the guests chairs to keep it from flying but it made the aisle so narrow that the bride could no longer walk side by side with her father.
Surprisingly aisle runner malfunctions are not limited to the outdoors. Most couples opt to have the runner placed after the wedding party has entered so that it is walked on only by the bride. Occasionally it is rolled out after the last guests are seated. If a venue has side aisles as well it can be rolled out before the ceremony and guests are then instructed to walk around. In my opinion that is the only way to guarantee a chance of the runner working. Countless times groomsmen have attempted to roll out the runner before the bride enters and they never want to roll. That cute little ribbon that is suppose to guide it won’t work. If they can manage to get it rolling, it always ends up crooked, and if you buy a runner that is too short, the bride has to step over it, leaving the aisle way looking incomplete.
The cost of a runner can vary from simple ones starting, around $20, to a beautiful, customized one hitting over $300. That’s pricey for something that may not roll or stay put, will be walked on and is going to be used for a very short period of time. When feeling tempted by all the elements available for your wedding day, research before you buy. Recently married friends may be able to share their experiences on the “must haves” and what to skip to keep your wedding day beautiful, affordable and stress-free.
All the Best!