Saturday, October 29, 2011

Wedding Aisle Runners

                My husband and I married on a deck over the ocean.  It was perfectly beautiful.

                We had ten guests.  I think we had two rows of three chairs on each side to make an “aisle.”  In the months leading up to the wedding, I was becoming upset about the lack of aisle definition.  I know that is a really ridiculous thing to become fixated on, but yet, I couldn’t shake the idea.

                I discussed with lots of people how to define the aisle.  Bear in mind some parameters:

One. It was a deck.  Wooden material.  We were completely unable to poke things in the ground.  I got a lot of suggestions of Sheppards’ hooks.  Yeah – totally impossible.

Two. We married in Bermuda.  This meant we had to transport all materials from the east coast of the US to a tiny island in the Atlantic.  The lighter and easier to transport materials, the easier it was for everyone.  Again, people suggested sticking Sheppards’ hooks in potted soil, mason jars with candles, or bringing bags of small colored marbles.  Again – totally impossible.  

Three.  Wind.  The deck was over the ocean.  Anything small and light (but easily transportable!) would blow away.  

                I was at a total loss.  I really scoured the internet and The Knot for suggestions, but I kept coming back to this same picture in my mind.  I’m a simple girl and I wanted a simple scattering of rose petals to define the aisle.  How could I recreate it and still work within the restrictions I outlined above?  

                Some extra googling lead me to the idea of petal ribbons: ribbon covered with scattered rose petals.  The ribbons could be taped to the deck and the petals would not blow away since they were glued to the ribbon.  Below, you can see how our actual aisle ended up looking.  I'll tell you how I made them and then tell you some other variations I had on this idea. 

  I found a website that sold these ribbon petals, but holy hell, they were expensive.  I wasn’t about to spend the kind of money they wanted on 60 feet of ribbon covered with rose petals.  Not when I could make them myself, wrap them up carefully in my suitcase, and bring them to Bermuda.

                I started with the ribbon.  I wanted the widest ribbon I could find, which turned out to be 4.5”.  I ordered white satin ribbon from Papermart that is actually used for building openings and ceremonial cutting of things.  Hey, it worked!  Price?  $11 for 100 yards.

                I next needed rose petals.  I found an awesome website:  They sell both silk and freeze-dried petals in more colors than I ever imagined.  Two great perks of this site: I could order samples of any colors I wanted for $2.95 (Samples!) and they offer a guide for estimating how many petals you’ll need depending on your use (Petals101).  

Since our wedding colors were not finalized at the time I ordered the petals, I went with simple ivory.  However, had I known my maid of honor would be in dark purple (which meant my bouquet and my husband’s boutonniere would also be dark purple), I would have done a mix of ivory and dark purple or another coordinating color.

I determined that for the type of coverage I wanted on the ribbon, I’d need 200 petals per five feet of ribbon.  For 60’, I’d need at least 2400 petals.  I ordered 3000 petals (color #402), so it cost $50.  The website does offer deep discounts on large bags of similar color petals, other “throwables” (like snowflakes,hearts) and floating silk rose petals.

The last piece I needed was glue.  I tried several, but the best choice was fabric glue ($3).

I was ready to go!

I cut the ribbon into five foot sections.  I spread fabric glue all over the first foot of the ribbon then covered it with rose petals.  I placed a book over newly glued petals to keep them in place while the glue dried and moved on to the next one foot area.  The glue dried in ~ 5 minutes.  I removed the books and was finished!

In total, I made 12 five foot sections to equal 60’.  It would line either side of our 30 foot aisle nicely.  Total cost = $11 + $50 + $3 = $64.  Transporting to Bermuda = free!

To get them to Bermuda, I wrapped each five foot section in paper towels and laid them in the bottom of my suitcase.  They were perfect when we got there.  Our coordinator taped them to the deck and we had a beautiful aisle.  Interestingly, after the ceremony, they made for fun picture props…

I did have other ideas for how to accomplish the scattered petal look.  Tulle is another type of ribbon that is made very wide.  I considered buying very wide white tulle, lying it on the floor, scattering petals on half long ways, and then folding the tulle over top of the petals.  While there would be no gluing of individual petals, you’d still have to figure out how to seal the tulle.  Anyway, just thinking out loud.

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