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Catholic Weddings

Aisle Runner

Hi Everyone,

I was not raised Catholic, but we are getting married in FI's church in fall 2011. We have begun the process with the priest and set our date. He gave me a booklet that I have been reading about ceremony requirements and sample readings etc.

One thing that stuck out was that it says "no paper or plastic aisle runners." I am assuming this is more of a tripping hazard than a Catholic requirement but has anyone else encountered this?

I wanted to make a fabric monogrammed aisle runner but am not sure if perhaps the aisle runners are no acceptable in a Catholic church. FI can't remember any Catholic wedding he's been to and the last one I was at I was 13 haha. I am going to call the priest if I can't figure this out but I don't want to look dumb if it is something the church simply doesnt allow.

Thank you!
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Re: Aisle Runner

  • edited December 2011
    When we got married this past June, our church handbook specifically stated they did not allow them. In our case, it was definitely a safety issue. The church had hardwood floors, so it was obviously a slipping hazard.

    Before you buy anything or make anything, I would definitely read your church's wedding policy handbook and/or ask your priest or deacon. Good luck
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  • Theresa626Theresa626 member
    1000 Comments
    edited December 2011
    Every church I looked into outruled any aisle runner at all.  It's very common in Catholic churches.  Because yours specified paper and plastic you might be ok with your cloth one but I would call and find out.  
  • Calypso1977Calypso1977 member
    Knottie Warrior 2500 Comments 25 Love Its First Answer
    edited December 2011
    many arent allowing them now (catholic or otherwise) because of the trip hazard. 

    we had bought one to use only in the event of snow (slush, salt and sand would have been tracked in).  fortunately, it never snowed, so we were good to go.  tehy had taken great care to vacuum and clean the church for us the night before.  the aisle was carpet, and it was pristine.
  • edited December 2011
    If it's not allowed, I wouldn't sweat it. No one will even notice that you didn't have an aisle runner. We had a cheap heavy duty paper one that our florist supplied, and I could've gone without it. It was definitely a tripping hazard.
  • Meaghann17Meaghann17 member
    100 Comments
    edited December 2011
    Thanks everyone! I will call him tomorrow.


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  • agapecarrieagapecarrie member
    Knottie Warrior 1000 Comments 100 Love Its Combo Breaker
    edited December 2011
    echnically, liturgically, its not a good idea. The liturgical procession is not meant to be a time to "roll out the red carpet"...its an actual theological symbolic procession of all the people approaching the church for sacraments (this is why it drive me nuts that people put an extended drapery or garland in the middle aisles so that people can't walk through the middle aisle--- it completely destroys the symbolism of us as one church).
    Practically, what happens is that it disrups the procession...halts any momentum that is built, people proverbially look at their watches waiting for the procession to continue.. It doesn't serve any purpose to prevent slipping, in fact, its more dangerous than anything. One wedding had the florist ripping tape to tape it down in the back-- very loud and disruptive.
  • PorphyraPorphyra member
    First Comment
    edited December 2011
    As far as I know, churches mostly don't allow aisle runners because they're a huge insurance liability - if someone trips and injures themselves, they might decide to sue the church unless they have their own insurance specifically for the day. In our litigious age, this isn't a risk most churches are willing to take.
    -- July, 2011. --
  • ev4149ev4149 member
    500 Comments Third Anniversary
    edited December 2011
    It may depend on the church.  We are not allowed to have aisle runners, decorations on the pews, flowers to the Virgin etc etc.  The only decor we are permitted are 2 "modest" floral arrangements on the altar.

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  • catarntinacatarntina member
    1000 Comments Fourth Anniversary Combo Breaker
    edited December 2011
    The church I'm getting married in told me it was optional to have an aisle runner.  The priest said he didn't want one because people trip, but I had the option if I wanted to buy it.  I declined.  This other church I looked into specifically said I needed to purchase one.

    The aisle at the church I'm getting married in is carpetted, so I'm not too concerned.  All though I like Calypso's suggestion about having one in case it snows.  I hadn't even thought of that.
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  • mica178mica178 member
    5000 Comments Fourth Anniversary
    edited December 2011
    I would specifically ask about the monogrammed aisle runner too.  While the point of the marriage is the union of the two of them, your church might not want to be "stamped" with your monogram.
  • Meaghann17Meaghann17 member
    100 Comments
    edited December 2011
    In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/cultural-wedding-boards_catholic-weddings_aisle-runner?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Cultural%20Wedding%20BoardsForum:615Discussion:f1f14a10-a853-4fc4-9597-43828aaddf59Post:25cda193-ccda-4148-ab0e-967438db9362">Re: Aisle Runner</a>:
    [QUOTE]I would specifically ask about the monogrammed aisle runner too.  While the point of the marriage is the union of the two of them, your church might not want to be "stamped" with your monogram.
    Posted by mica178[/QUOTE]

    I actually had this thought after I posted this. Anyways I did end up calling and he said fabric is fine but that he would want to see the finished product beforehand. I am on the fence and now thinking it is unnecessary, especially as it is a perfectly nice carpeted aisle. And the runner I was picturing is more appropriate for an outdoor wedding, as pp mentioned I wouldn't want to stamp the church with my monogram or have our names plastered everywhere.

    Thanks for the advice everyone :)!
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  • marisa17marisa17 member
    10 Comments
    edited December 2011
    It seems like you've decided against this, but, I agree with those that mention that it is not about the hoopla in the church. My FI and I are getting married in a church that is very old (100 yrs next yr) and the architecture, stained glass is beautiful enough to only have a few bouquets on the aisle. I think the Sacrament of Marriage (as stated in another post) should be the focus... You can maybe invest the $$ from the aisle runner into a monogram light for your dance floor.
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  • edited December 2011
    The church we're getting married at has various rules, and one is no aisle runner.  Since it's a beautiful Cathedral, I wasn't planning on having much decoration-wise anyway, I feel it would distract from the beauty of the church.  But, I do know the reason they asked us not to use it:

    "The use of an aisle runner is not permitted because "rolling out a
    white carpet" gives the appearance of separating the procession of
    ministers and attendants as an elite group apart from the
    assembly. There is also a safety hazard because the church is
    carpeted."

    I had never thought of it that way, but it makes perfect sense.  Hope this helps!
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