When planning the decor for a wedding, most couples choose to have an aisle runner for the bride to walk on. This is a textured plastic or fabric carpet that is rolled down the aisle for the express purpose of giving the bride a special place to walk. The aisle runner originally was invented back before the days of the automobile.
Since roads and sidewalks were not well paved, guests tended to track dirt into the church when the wedding was beginning. The aisle runner was used to help protect the bride’s dress from getting soiled in this mud and dirt.
Since there is no longer the danger of tracked in dirt, the aisle runner is no longer a necessity at a wedding. However, it continues to be used, since it is a special way to honor the bride. It’s sort of like rolling out the red carpet for her (except the aisle runner is generally white.) An aisle runner can be quite an attractive part of the wedding decorations, too, since some are translucent with a lace or floral pattern of white on white.
A plastic aisle runner is made to be tear resistant. Expect to spend $10 to $30 for a textured plastic aisle runner with pull strap for unrolling. A fabric aisle runner, usually made of rayon, will cost around $30 to $50. The translucent lace style vinyl runners also run around $30 to $50.
Of course, an aisle runner can be rented along with candlesticks and other items from a wedding supplier. The aisle runner is usually rolled out by one or two young men of the wedding party before the various attendants enter. The flower girl drops rose petals along the aisle runner before the bride enters.
Some wedding planners offer some suggestions for using an aisle runner. If used outdoors on grass, women’s high heeled shoes can puncture the runner, so perhaps it could be backed with plywood.
Another caution is that the aisle runner can be secured to the floor in order to make it look better in the photographs that will be taken. A lighter weight aisle runner might look all askew after the bridal attendants have walked on it. Even with these drawbacks, the aisle runner is a tradition that lives on.