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7 Reasons Rugs Are Making A Huge Wedding Statement

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It’s almost June and brides-to-be and wedding planners are in full “git ‘er done” mode for the big day. Grace Markley, content editor specializing in rugs at EVERYTHING BUT THE HOUSE (EBTH), the world’s premier online marketplace for authenticated secondhand goods where all bids start at $1 share with us one trend that’s hot for this season’s wedding events are Persian rugs to create lounge areas at a reception or for lining the aisle , which is particularly useful for outdoor weddings (to keep heels out of the grass and protect the hems of dresses). The practical uses of a wedding rug trace back to a time prior to paved roads, to keep the wedding dress clean and prevent soil being tracked into the church or civil venue. 

Over time, rugs came to symbolize the weaving of two lives together. Hand-knotted and handwoven rugs are time consuming to produce, and exemplify the vows you will take. Having a special rug is one you can keep as a reminder of your love and commitment, literally “tying the knot.” You can create a new tradition by using a wedding rug any time you have a special occasion that needs a focal point for a special announcement, speech, or renewing your own vows or celebrating an anniversary.

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Rugs can be used to create a formal setting at the altar , at the front of the room at a civil service, or for making a reception area into a casual, relaxed space for drinks and canapés. Your can ask your photographer to create a cozy, unique setting using rugs as a focal design point for your portraits. There are a number of types of rugs that are perfect for any atmosphere you want to create that will make your wedding colorful, comfortable, and easy. Thinking Boho for your wedding theme? Scatter rugs at an angle with pouf pillows for a casual, exotic style. More formal? Place rugs in aisleways between tables, or under tables, with a line of rugs in front of the head table or dais. Place a larger rug on the stage area for the band — it will provide them some comfort and will balance the sound.  

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Rugs can be a novel, unexpected way to put your own personal flair and style into your special day. Take Prince Harry’s and Meghan Markle’s Royal Wedding. There was a beautiful, colorful rug from the altar to the prayer kneelers used by the Prince and his bride in the chapel. You can get creative and create your own personal casbah with Turkish kilims, which have bright, geometric patterns, and pair them up with large floor pillows and strings of hanging lanterns. Accent the reception space and give guests a place to set down drinks or plates with inexpensive pressboard tables covered with fabric and cut in rounds to complement the kilim colors. 

There are beautiful, thick, plush Chinese rugs with saturated color palettes and carved floral details, usually having tightly mirrored patterns and symbols of longevity, prosperity and good fortune. Use this type of Chinese rug with paper lanterns, parasols, and Ikebana flower arrangements incorporating orchids or cherry blossoms for an elegant feel. 

Persian rugs or ornate Turkish rugs can work to make a more formal space. They generally have flowery patterns and come in a wide range of colors; from the pale ecru and ivory tones of a Peshawar or Oushak rug to the vibrant, saturated deep reds and indigo sapphire blues of a Sarouk, to the delicate, floral pinks, pale greens, and sky blues of a Persian Kerman rug. Complete the style with strands of real or artificial ivy vines woven together with strands of flowers in your theme colors for a romantic, slightly more formal look. The Persian Heriz is a very bold, rectilinear style that comes in brilliant colors and a variety of sizes. Why stick with a plain white aisle runner when you can style it up with a handwoven runner in bright colors?

Where to Find Them and What to Look For

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Rentals: Check your local listings or with your wedding planner to see if there are local companies that rent out hand-knotted rugs. 

Online: You can find hand-knotted Persian rugs in a number of places. Online, there are auction houses that have a fine selection with a myriad of colors and sizes, like on EVERYTHING BUT THE HOUSE (EBTH). Make sure you can see pictures of the full pattern, the edges, and the back of the rug. Read the condition details to ensure that they’re in good condition. Vintage rugs may have some furniture indentations or slight fraying, but this is normal for a good vintage rug. Check the shipping details to ensure you understand all the terms and conditions. When the rug arrives, inspect it to check for any issues. Sites like EBTH, Peter Pap, and Nazmiyal have good reputations with great rugs in a wide variety of regional styles from all over the Orient, Turkey, and Central Asia.  

In Person:  Check your local news outlets, city “swap” sites, or classifieds for local live auctions, Set a budget limit and keep that paddle down when you reach your limit! There may typically be a buyer’s premium added to the final bid, so make sure you understand those terms. Have the right vehicle — you don’t want to try and move a room-sized rug into a sports car! 

Retail:  Several national and international companies offer fine, power loomed, or handwoven rugs. Brick and mortar stores like Ikea, Pottery Barn and World Market often have sales; check the local circulars or search Groupon for deals, or visit a local professional retailer. Many local retailers are members of the Oriental Rug Retailers Association, which has a strict code of ethics and highly experienced staff to help you make your selections. Ask for a volume discount if you plan to purchase more than two rugs. Online retailers like Wayfair and Houzz have sales and discounts, so be sure to check the “clearance” section of the sites. Make sure you read all the terms and conditions for shipping and returns. 

 Rug Care: If you need to clean your rugs before the wedding, give a professional cleaner at least two weeks to perform the service. A good, professional rug cleaner at a dry cleaner or as a stand-alone business may have a backlog of rugs to clean, particularly in the spring, so allow yourself plenty of time to get them cleaned. Your wedding planner or family members can get the rugs transported to your venue. If the rugs are thinner, handwovens styles, check how they perform on the floor type in your venue to avoid slip hazards. Rug pads are inexpensive, you can cut them to size, and they provide the anti-slip factor for a stand-up reception or aisle runner.

And After The Wedding?

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There are a number of things you can do with your rugs after the wedding. 

Keep: How about keeping your rugs? You can use them for accent pieces to tie a room together with all of those lovely new wedding gifts, use them as kitchen rugs, bath or vanity rugs, or to cover floors in basements or mudrooms. Your rugs or one special rug will be a reminder of your special day. 

Donate: It’s simple to donate rugs you no longer want after the wedding. Many charities like Goodwill and the Society of Saint Vincent de Paul accept rugs. How about donating to a local children’s oncology center, or dialysis center? They may be in need of rugs to allow patients a more comfortable, home-like atmosphere and would be greatly appreciated. Local veterans groups or clubs may also benefit from having some fancy new rugs for their social gathering spaces.

You an also “flip” the rugs by reselling them on an online auction site like EBTH or eBay. Contact them and see what the terms are. Chances are, you can sell them for the same or even more than you paid for them. That can help out when you’re settling up with your planner. Local neighbor sales sites like OfferUp or the Facebook Marketplace are other options.

Look around online and let your imagination go wild. There are so many possibilities for this unique and modern take on decorating your venue. It’s YOUR day, make the venue a reflection of your personality and charm. 

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