What to Use to Hold Down an Aisle Runner

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When planning a wedding, an aisle runner may be part of the decor. Leading the guests or bridal couple into the event, the aisle runner adds a chic touch. Making the fabric walkway stay in place can be difficult for indoor as well as outdoor events. If children with precarious balance and ladies in heels will be attending, be sure to secure the aisle runner to prevent tripping.

Securing Aisle Runners Outside

  • Using an aisle runner for an outdoor event is a popular way to guide guests and provide a clean path. Whether the aisle runner is to be laid on a grass lawn, mulch or a dusty path, it needs to be secured to reduce bunching, shifting and curling from wind and foot traffic.

    Aisle runners outdoors should be attached to a plywood base. High heels can easily poke through the fabric on soft earth, according to St. Louis-based wedding planner Carolyn Burke. Make the aisle runner is sturdy by laying it out before guests arrive, over plywood planks. Secure the fabric to the wood with glue or small staples. Hide staples by lining both edges of the runner with flower petals, fall leaves or large confetti. Keep the aisle runner from catching a breeze by placing decorative stones, heavy pumpkins or potted plants every three to five feet to weigh down the runner.

Securing Aisle Runners on Carpet

  • Choosing to use an aisle runner over carpet is the safest base surface available. Although the runner still will have a tendency to bunch, it won't slip as easily on carpeting as it would on a smooth flooring surface.

    If the aisle runner doesn't come with non-slip backing, ask the ceremony site vendors if it is acceptable to use masking tape, packing tape, double-sided tape and pins to secure the runner to the carpet. Pins are the best option, since they do not leave an adhesive residue on the carpet. Be prepared to use hundreds of pins and plenty of time stretching the aisle runner so the width of the fabric lays flat. Apply tape to the backside of the runner for added security.

Securing Aisle Runners on Hard Floors

  • Walking on an aisle runner on a smooth, hard surface can be dangerous. For a wedding, ask the bride and bridesmaids to choose flat shoes or wide heels for a more secure step. Aisle runners on smooth surfaces have a tendency to shift during a processional.

    With the approval of the event venue, double-sided tape on the underside of the aisle runner is the best option if a non-skid pad has not been sewn to the backside of the runner. Consider weighing down the edges of the runner with decorative elements such as tall, heavy floral arrangements in vases, pumpkins or weighted-metal candle holder stands.

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