It’s true what they say: you can’t control the weather. But if you’re having an outdoor wedding, you’ll want to control as many of the elements as you can.
Your wedding should be the special day you’ve always dreamed of, and you shouldn’t have to worry about getting tripped up along the path to your new adventure.
We’ve put together the answers to your outdoor aisle runner questions, so you can walk with confidence on your big day, and focus on what matters most: getting married!
Do I need an aisle runner for my outdoor wedding?
When it comes to wedding planning, there's usually much debate about the answer to this question. Some professionals suggest runners can cause more hindrance than help, while others swear by their necessity.
Truthfully, there are many benefits to using an aisle runner for your outdoor wedding — even if you are walking on firm ground. The key is having the appropriate runner for your specific environment.
Having the right aisle runner will:
- Keep the underside of your dress clean
- Help your wedding party stay on track (especially a flower girl and ring bearer)
- Provide a clearly defined space for your wedding guests
- Quickly cover worn-out walkways or patchy grass
- Give your wedding an added touch of elegance
What color wedding aisle runner should I get?
Using a white aisle runner has been the long-standing tradition. But modern brides and grooms have branched out to include a wider variety of runner colors and designs.
Choosing a tone from your color scheme or a simple design to match your wedding theme will keep your ceremony feeling grounded, even if you break tradition and go with a brilliant red or sleek black aisle runner.
Pro Tip: For a traditional feel with a touch of individuality, spice up a white runner by lining the edges with petals from your flower arrangements. Rose petals always make for an elegant wedding aisle, but bold flower petals create a unique style.
What is the best type of material for a wedding aisle runner?
If your outdoor ceremony will be held on soft ground, such as grass or sand, try to avoid using a plastic runner, as it will likely bunch up and cause unwanted mishaps. Although plastic can make for an affordable aisle runner, a bunched and torn aisle doesn’t make for the prettiest wedding photos.
Using an Outdoor Carpet Runner is a great choice for a smooth stride down grass and other soft terrains. But it’s important to know that not every carpet aisle runner is created equal. Some have an added backing for durability, and some don’t. Some are professionally bound or serged for added beauty, and some are not.
If you're leaning towards using a carpet aisle runner, choose a high-quality carpet runner with a firm, reliable backing, so that your steps are well supported.
An outdoor carpet runner will add comfort underfoot if your ceremony is going to take place on a hard ground surface, like wood or concrete. You can use an Artificial Turf Runner on hard surfaces for a look that's similar to grass, but made of gentle polypropylene so it's a lower risk of your delicate dress getting snagged than real grass.
Artificial turf aisle runners are also helpful for beach weddings when you want a runner that can easily bend and flex as you walk in the sand. Artificial turf comes in a variety of colors and is usually made of all-weather material.
Whichever kind of runner you choose to decorate your wedding aisle, be sure to choose one with a durable surface and backing that can stand up to the wear and tear of the day.
Pro Tip: For a beach wedding, you can lay down plywood (or similar material) and camouflage it by spreading a light layer of sand on top before laying down your runner. This will give you added support without spoiling the ambiance of your ceremony in paradise.
How do I secure my wedding aisle runner?
It’s supposedly lucky if rain falls on your wedding day. But what about the wind blowing? When it comes to keeping your aisle runner in place, it doesn’t sound like a very fortunate occurrence to me.
Most carpet aisle runners simply roll out over your space, without a securing method. If you've chosen a high-quality product, the weight of the runner should be enough to keep it from shifting as it’s walked on.
If your carpet runner is going on a hard surface, like concrete or wood, you can apply matching colored gaffer tape along the sides of the runner for added security.
Artificial turf runners often come with holes in the corners for staking into the ground. If you chose a turf runner, make sure to find one that has grommeted holes for reinforcement to help prevent tearing.
What size aisle runner do I need?
Wedding aisle runners are typically 3-4 feet wide. If your wedding party consists of many couples walking arm-in-arm, a 4ft runner is a good choice for comfortability and will look great in photos. It will also provide ample space between the guests on each side of the aisle.
If your ceremony is on the intimate side, or if you’ve chosen a boutique venue, you might be limited on open ceremony space to play with. A 3ft runner will be comfortable for your party and likely better suited for the atmosphere.
You'll have more room to negotiate when it comes to the length of your wedding aisle runner. Most retailers will have set lengths increasing in increments of 5ft (10ft, 15ft, 20ft, etc.), but some have the capability to produce custom lengths for their customers.
Generally, you want your aisle runner to cover the length of the entire aisle from the back row of guests to the front row of guests. Though there are no hard and fast rules about this, it’s not common practice to have a runner that’s shorter than the length of your aisle. However, extending the runner beyond that is up to your individual preference and is something that's done often.
Will my heels puncture the aisle runner?
No matter the surface type of your wedding aisle, if you use a plastic or cloth runner, it’s possible that your high heels will puncture or tear it.
Using a carpet aisle runner with a robust backing adds padding and comfort to hard surfaces and offers stability on soft surfaces without the worry of your heels puncturing or tearing it. In our case, the marine rubber backing used on House Home & More Outdoor Carpet Runners is sturdy enough to provide helpful stability for you to walk on, and it definitely won't get punctured by your heels!
Will having a wedding aisle runner really help?
Using a runner can help make sure your walk down the aisle is as smooth as the strawberry buttercream layered between the champagne-infused cake you’ve been waiting months to bite into... Sorry, I've gotten distracted by cake.
Either way you slice it, your wedding ceremony should be as beautiful as the moment itself. When the event is done, you will probably look back at any snafus as unforgettable quirks that made the day unique. But walking into the day with confidence, and avoiding as many blunders as possible, will reduce your stress and help you enjoy the moment as it’s happening.