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Aisle Runners and Petals in Wedding Ceremonies
Wedding Ceremony Petals
Saurin and Christina at the Westin Chicago NW - Itaska, Il.

On a Path of Petals

Petals and aisle runners are used to accentuate, decorate and dramatize a brides' entrance. Though similar in their effect, they are not necessarily interchangeable in their uses.

When used to accentuate a bride's entrance the aisle runner should not be deployed before the ceremony begins, as everyone will walk on it, or even before the entrance of the bridal party. The only people who should walk on an aisle runner before a bride are the the ring bearer and flower girl. If these children are not used in the ceremony then the deploying of the aisle runner should be immediately before the bride’s entrance.

Wedding Ceremony Aisle RunnerA cloth or vinyl aisle runner is best used on a hard surface and is therefore ideal indoors. It can be used outdoors as shown at left, but it had better be a still day. If the wind kicks up, so will the aisle runner; not only flapping, but flying amongst the guests. It is typical to see guests (the guys) sticking their feet out into the aisle and onto the aisle runner to hold it against the wind. Not good. Women's heels puncture paper and cloth aisle runners too (when used on grass). If you must use an aisle runner outdoors on a windy day, tack it's edges down on both sides with golf tees every ten feet.

Petals don't have these problems making them ideal for outdoor use (though petals are used indoors too). You can buy boxes of petals at your florist shop. They are laid down prior to the start of the ceremony, not immediately prior to the bride's entrance as you do with a runner. Get a decorative cord and rope off your center aisle after laying down your petals. Guests will take their seats by using the side access. Don't let them walk on those petals! When the ceremony is ready to begin, the ushers will remove the cord for you.

Always check an aisle runners' cord length prior to use. The length should be the same as shown at left. Cheap manufacturers will give you a short cord. Cut it with a scissors and throw it away. Go to Jo Ann Fabric or Michael's and get cord of the right length and replace it. Your usher will thank you!


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