Runner Rules: The When, Where and Wow of Wedding Aisle Runners

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Perfectoutdoorweddings.com

No matter where you plan to say, “I do,” an aisle runner makes the ceremony site look complete. Traditionally, ceremony ushers roll out the runner (which is secured near the altar) from altar to aisle entrance to signal the start of the processional. And if you’re a traditional bride getting married in a traditional church ceremony, this may be the path you choose.

La Bella Storia - Trey W
The Original Runner Co.

But don’t think you need to stick to conventional customs when it comes to runners. With so many brides tying the knot in unconventional settings—in hotel lobbies, on lawns, in museums, on rooftops, etc.—practicality often trumps tradition in the area of runner setup.

The Original Runner Co.
The Original Runner Co.

For outdoor ceremonies, especially those on grass or sand, you might choose to create a “runner” out of rose petals, or paper or fabric confetti—any scattered material, really, that allows you to walk safely and comfortably without snagging a heel and risking a ripped runner, or worse, a stumble or fall.

If you prefer a more traditional look, you can secure your fabric runner to wood flooring, creating a kind of runner boardwalk that allows bride, groom and wedding party to proceed (and recede) without incident. You won’t be able to do the traditional pre-processional rollout, but you will get the benefits of special-occasion grandeur and everyday safety in equal measure.

The Original Runner Co.
The Original Runner Co.

If you are investing in a custom runner—we especially love ones by The Original Runner Co., which makes non-slip fabric runners in a variety of extraordinary designs from romantic and classic to ultra-hip—you probably want to get the most for your money. It’s perfectly acceptable to have the runner fully rolled out prior to guest arrival, so that guests may enjoy its elegance from the moment they arrive. Just make sure the center aisle is roped off or otherwise blocked (with a floral arrangement or other removable pretty thing) so that arriving guests don’t use the aisle for locating their seats, and risk marring its pristine loveliness with footprints before the processional.

And remember, your aisle runner need not follow the straight and narrow—plenty of local florists and decorators can create winding, zig-zagging, swirling or otherwise non-linear aisle adornment. As for color, you’re not bound to tradition there, either. Yes, once upon a time, when evil spirits were thought to lurk beneath the earth’s surface, a white aisle was laid out to keep these baddies at bay and protect the bride’s purity. But this is 2010, and these days any color goes: tangerine, tourmaline, evergreen…pick your palette, and off you go, on your way to happily ever after.



High Fashion Fabrics Takes Wedding Style to New High

Photos: Serendipity Photography
Photo: Serendipity Photography

There’s a new name in Houston wedding rentals…that just happens to be a very familiar name in fabrics. You may know High Fashion Fabrics as Houston’s largest fabric store—the place to go if you’re in the market for a few yards of cool Calaveras skull-patterned cotton or a handful of sparkling crystal buttons.

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Photo: Serendipity Photography

Well, now High Fashion is also the place to go if you’re looking for a totally unique table linen or, say, a few hundred sleek acrylic dining chairs. You see, about a year ago, a friend of High Fashion manager Dolley Levan’s was getting married and couldn’t seem to find the perfect cloths for her wedding tables. Levan and team came to her rescue, and shortly thereafter decided to start offering linen rental to customers. The service has been “very well received,” Levan tells the Houston Wedding Blog—so much so that High Fashion is now offering chic lounge furniture and unique table seating, along with the kind of fashion-forward table linen you just won’t find anywhere else in town.

Photo: Serendipity Photography
Photo: Serendipity Photography
Photo: Serendipity Photography
Photo: Serendipity Photography

Like Confetti a textured taffeta style that looks like it might have just walked off a Paris runway, and gives the impression of shimmering coins or rippled water. So chic! Or how about Eden Floral—a fabulous sheer overlay with appliquéd flowers and leaves, which “acts as floral itself,” Levan says. She recommends pairing it with contemporary centerpieces featuring branches and crystals, rather than an abundance of cut blooms. Then there’s the super-hip Ivory & Black Paris Flocked Damask Shantung. As linen names go, it’s a bit of a mouthful. As linen styles go, it’s utterly gorgeous.

Photo: Serendipity Photography
Photo: Serendipity Photography

Of course, this being Houston and all, High Fashion feeds the needs of traditional Southern brides, too. They’ve got regal ivory damask, luxurious bisque peau-de-soie satin and solid taffetas in a rainbow of shades, plus many other elegant styles.

Photo: Serendipity Photography
Photo: Serendipity Photography

It’s official: Whether you’re looking for aluminum chairs and LED-lit coffee tables, or custom-made table linen, High Fashion’s got you, and your tables, covered.

Photo: Serendipity Photography
Photo: Serendipity Photography

Write Your Own Wedding Vows (It’s Not as Terrifying as You Think!)

This season’s weddings are all about the personal touch. And nothing is more personal than original vows, written by you, and recited to your beloved in the presence of everyone who matters most to you. (A caveat: If you’re thinking you might like to write your own vows, make sure your ceremony venue and officiant allow personal vows—some houses of worship and clergy DON’T.)

OK, so you want to write your own vows, but somehow the thought of putting pen to paper (or finger to keyboard) to compose those once-in-a-lifetime marriage vows strikes fear in your heart. Well, take comfort, we are here to help. First off, we want to remind you that while your wedding vows are important, they do NOT need to encompass every feeling you’ve ever had for your fiancé or serve as an airtight contract. Your vows don’t have to be poetic, they don’t have to be hilarious, they don’t have to be Serious with a capital “S”—they don’t have to be perfect.

What your vows should be are heartfelt and meaningful—especially to you and to the person you are marrying. To help get you to the essence of what you want to say, consider these questions (and jot down your answers). Same thing goes for your fiancé. In fact, it might make things easier and take a little of the pressure off to do this part side by side, if you’d like:

•    When and how did you know you were in love with your fiancé and wanted to marry him?
•    What do you love most about your fiancé?
•    What do you miss about your fiancé when you’re away from him?
•    Why do you want to marry your fiancé?
•    How do you think your life will be different after marrying?
•    What is your fantasy of how you will celebrate your 50th wedding anniversary?

You can also look at photos and video clips from your shared life—vacations, family events, happy occasions, good times with friends, etc.—for more inspiration.

Once you have the essentials in rough written form, you can think about putting together a paragraph or so that says what you want to say.

To give your vows shape and conviction, include a statement of promise:

“Now and forever, I…”
“From this day forward, I…”
“In the presence of God, our families and our friends, I promise to…”

The web is full of additional resources that offer vow samples. Some of our favorites are My Wedding Vows, Love to Know Weddings Funny Wedding Vows. You can also search You Tube for wedding vows by category (funny, laughing, song, celebrities, etc.), for live examples (including some entertaining “wedding vows gone wrong”).

Your vows are your vows, so say what’s in your heart. Nothing—no gown, no flower, no diamond, no cake—is more beautiful than the truth.

Alternative Altars

Planning an outdoor ceremony, Houston bride? An al fresco vow exchange is a great opportunity to get creative and show off your personal style with an altar that goes beyond the basic flower-twined arch or filmy canopy.

Don’t overlook interestingly textured materials like bamboo, wrought iron and driftwood, which make sturdy foundations and offer interesting contrast to softer textiles and floral. Maybe you want to add internal illumination to stretched-fabric posts, or forgo floral in favor of hanging crystals, seashells or sculpted branches. Perhaps your ceremony setting has the good fortune of a natural feature—say, a massive willow tree or sparkling lake—that can serve as a special focal point for your nuptials with little or no added decoration.

While you’re considering these altar alternatives, have a look at a handful of intriguing, unexpected, and altogether wonderful altar examples we’ve pulled together for you:

How cool is this “stage” altar, crafted by Oakland, Calif.-based Because We Can for the wedding of stationery company Hello!Lucky’s creative director?

Photos by Gia Canali with Sara Remington
Photos by Gia Canali with Sara Remington

This contemporary, elegant black wrought-iron chuppah, on the Fountain Terrace of The Four Seasons Hotel, Las Vegas, doubled as a canopy for the reception’s sweetheart table. Stylish and practical.

Wrought Iron Altar
Wrought Iron Altar
Photos by altF Photography
Photos by altF Photography

We love the glowing, ethereal “posts” on this simple but spectacular outdoor canopy. And the bright, willowy-stemmed flowers? What a magical effect.

Illuminated Altar
Illuminated Altar

There’s not much to this understated bamboo canopy—but what is there is refined and lovely, and draws attention to the wedding couple, rather than to itself. You could always add tropical foliage or accent the aisle with floral for a lusher, more feminine look.

Bamboo Altar
Bamboo Altar

And, finally, we are totally in love with this hand-hewn altar, made by the bride’s younger brother to resemble an old-time country church. Check out the “windows,” the yellow dresser, the black iron chandelier and antique candle-holders—amazing, totally original, absolutely beautiful.

Photos by Stephanie Fay
Photos by Stephanie Fay

The Majestic Metro: A Houston Wedding Venue with Historic Charm

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So you’re getting married. Congratulations! Now it’s time to make one of your first big wedding planning decisions: Where will you and your groom hold your reception?
Just like a perfect setting is essential to every great story, your reception venue will set the mood for the party. It’s one of the first things your guests will notice when they arrive to fete you and your guy. It’ll also provide the backdrop for your wedding photos, your first dance, and the cutting of the cake. Your reception venue may also dictate what kind of food and drinks you can serve. So you want to select a venue that embodies the sort of ambiance you want for the biggest party of your life.
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If you like the idea of a venue that’s both grand and intimate, check out The Majestic Metro. This one-of-a-kind wedding venue makes its home downtown in the old Ritz movie theater, which opened in 1926. With much of its original Art Deco architecture still intact, The Majestic Metro will make your wedding celebration one for the ages.
And no, The Majestic Metro’s age won’t spoil your wedding day fun. The venue has been updated to include a top-of-the-line 21st century sound and lighting system, so you can dance the night away on the Texas-sized dance floor. The Majestic Metro even has its own first-rate DJ to get your guests moving to more than 5,000 tunes by everyone from Beyonce to Alicia Keys to George Strait to the Righteous Brothers to Snoop Dogg.
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Having a huge wedding? The Majestic Metro can accommodate up to 400 guests with banquet-style seating. And you can serve whatever kind of food you want from any caterer you choose. That’s right, Houston bride, it’s your wedding, and you can eat what you want to. Your fave barbeque? Check. The dish you were eating when your guy proposed? Ditto.
Don’t stress if you don’t have an opinion on what kind of food to serve or which caterer to use, though. The Majestic Metro is happy to recommend caterers that it has worked with previously.
That’s because The Majestic Metro’s staff knows you and your groom are the stars of the show. They’ll even feature your name and personalized message on its outdoor marquee. Now there’s some A-list treatment every Houston bride deserves!