The aisle might be the most iconic element of the wedding ceremony. It is the place where the groom sees his bride for the first time, and it is the path by which the united couple leave, beginning their journey through life together.
However, it might be the trickiest element of the wedding design to get right. After all, it is not a destination of its own; it is meant merely for travel. It should be attractive without drawing too much attention from the couple and the archway or mandap. And finally, it must function pragmatically, never letting visual appeal detract from ease of use for brides with voluminous dresses and long trains.
Here are a few methods for getting the most out of your aisle, whether it’s a raised platform, a simple ground covering, or natural ground itself.
Though it’s not often called for, there are occasions when a good wedding designer will recognize that a location works well without added decoration. In this image, the location was a reflective hardwood with direct overhead lighting, so there were many issues to contend with. Since the location was already stunning, we decided to let the seating serve as the edge of the aisle.
Image Courtesy of Sona Photography
With a raised or catwalk aisle, height is less of a necessity than visual flair. A candle river, made up of a series of candles in a row or pattern down the outside edges on either side of the aisle, gave the aisle a simple but beautiful appearance without unnecessary complication.
These images show how a small series of pinpoint candle lights can accentuate the lighting scheme, connecting the aisle itself seamlessly into the visual theme of the rest of the venue.
By adding flora to the candle river, a good designer can accentuate not only the lighting scheme, but also start to tie in the color scheme as well. In this image, the row of pink petals around the floating candles complemented the blush tones of the crystals and the lotus lights in the mandap structure.
The aisle decoration can also act as a transition or counterpoint to the final destination. Here, the loose greenery weaved throughout the river of floating candles in clear glass gave a soft counterpoint to the darker greens and crystal of the mandap.
You can add a little more height on a raised aisle, as long as the elements chosen still leave guests visual clearance and add to the design scheme. This image shows tea light candlesticks and submerged floral in clear vases that left plenty of negative space, while the boxwood created a structured edge for the aisle.
A wedding ceremony is designed to bring two lives together, and this is reflected by the personalized initials that appear on invitations and centerpieces. Why not the aisle as well? This image shows the couple’s initials on the aisle in gold and pink, faced so that arriving wedding guests (and the soon-to-arrive bride) could read it as they entered.
The personalized elements are also a chance to tie back into the overall scheme, as shown in this picture. The green letters balanced with the greenery in the vases along the aisle as well as the floral greenery in the mandap.
In lieu of a continuous element all the way down, you can also use tall decorative pieces periodically punctuating the aisle. It gives a sense of separation from the seating area without restricting free movement between the two, as seen in the above image.
This style of aisle design also allows for more elaborate thematic connection. In this image, the bamboo and floral aisle pieces added to the airy outdoor feel of the theme and venue.
Combining larger pieces with the flower petal bordering can also be effective. These curved floral entryway features anchor the front of the aisle and echo the structural elements of the mandap in the background.
Petals can be used for more than just color accents as well, especially on ground-level aisle or with no aisle at all. Here, colored petals on the grass created an aisle with no other elements. It was particularly effective here because of the bright juxtaposition of the pink and white colors against the green.
Expanding out into the natural aisle itself, multi-colored flower petals arranged in swirled designs added a pop of vibrancy and connected the color themes of the surrounding décor to the natural ground aisle.
When properly executed, the flower petal designs can work equally well on raised aisles, too, as seen in the above image. The deep red of the petals stood in vivid contrast to the bright white of the aisle covering.
So no matter your design ideas for the rest of the wedding, rest easy knowing there is a design that allows for a harmonious continuation of that theme down the aisle.