Designing your ceremony space can be stressful. If you want to go all out, there's a lot to consider: the backdrop, the seating arrangement and chairs or benches, the seating plan, broader vista, programs, cover for an outdoor wedding, and your aisle. However, if you're on a budget or looking to put together a more pared-down ceremony space, there's a few tricks you can use to tie the space together.
Decorating your aisle well makes a huge difference to the overall feeling of the ceremony space. As your guests (and you or your partner) approach the aisle, it should guide the eye through the seating and to the altar. The seating generally creates the structure of the space, but it's the aisle that makes it feel orderly and well put together.
The key is consistency. Consistent spacing (or lack thereof), consistency in the decorations themselves (from colour to style to size), and consistency in the design of the seating arrangements creates a neat, tidy, uniform space. The specifics of what you do with your aisle is up to you, of course, but keeping to a theme is key. Here are a few easy ideas to decorate your aisle while on a budget.
If a full floral installation isn't in your budget, no worries! (We also think this can be pretty wasteful, so good on you for paring back.) Swing by your nearest supermarket and buy up four or five bundles of baby's breath for $4 or $5 each and call it a day! Gently pull the sprigs apart and lay them—uniformly, not sporadically or in uneven bundles—along the edges of your aisle. Or, speak to a florist about purchasing flowers that are about to "age out" of the shop—maybe the roses are wilted, but the petals themselves look great. Work this out in advance of your wedding, pick them up the day of, and sprinkle the petals along the aisle. Just be aware then of guests using the aisle to get to their seats, which could disturb the decor—toss a decorative rope up across the entrance to redirect them. The easiest and cheapest decor of all can be achieved by foraging for your own greens. Here in the PNW, we can find boughs of cedar or poplar in most parks.
It's sweet to incorporate a little sentimental gesture into your aisle. Hand paint reclaimed wood with your favourite song lyrics or bible passage, or your favourite passages from the ceremony. As you walk down the aisle you'll literally be flanked by words of love and hope for your marriage. We also love the idea of hanging frames (from an antique or thrift shop!) with images of your loved ones along the aisle, especially people that aren't able to attend. This keeps those most important to you close to your heart as you walk down the aisle. It's a great way to honour and commemorate those that have passed away. Lastly, often, the first row or two of the ceremony seating will be reserved for family. Prepare a little note to hang on the ends of the aisles—"reserved" is very to the point, but you could get creative. Try something funny, like "the in-laws suite," or something sweet, like "the bride's best friends." Cute and personal.
This is a fun project to do with your nearest and dearest! Forage for wildflowers and tuck them into neat little mason jars (mix and match!) and suspend them from the ends of the aisles for a little burst of colour and decor through the aisle. If you've got lots of people attending, try skipping every second row. During the ceremony, if anyone is bothered by them, they can just take them down and set them next to their chair. This is also a fun way to inject some great aromas—attaching a bundle of lavender to the end of each row is sure to make the ceremony space smell heavenly. We also absolutely love the idea of attaching ribbons to your chairs—wait for a gentle breeze and your aisle will look like an absolute dream. So easy and so beautiful and elegant (and cheap)!
How did you spruce up your aisle? We also love the idea of using vintage carpets, fairy lights, or big candles to demarcate the aisle space. The aisle is an important part of your wedding, but it doesn't have to put you in the red. Just get creative!
Beautiful ideas— still trying to find the perfect thing for my space!