The Right Way to Incorporate Vintage Rugs into Your Wedding Decor

Here’s how to stroll down a kilim to marital destiny.

photography by HAYS RUDOLPH


Zach Zaman, owner of Heirloom Rugs—arguably, the best source for vintage rugs in Brooklyn—grew up obsessed with Oriental rugs and antiques while spending his summers working in the family’s design business. “My father's family had been rug traders for generations,” he says. “It was in my DNA.”

He applied the same enthusiasm to his 2010 Connecticut nuptials, when his wife Kate walked down the aisle on a 40-foot long antique Persian formal runner. "Incorporating an antique rug or kilim into a wedding brings a grounded sense of history to an event that has so much to do with looking towards the future," he says. Below he shares his thoughts on the best way to get your rugs, for when you say “I do”.

How to choose a rug for your wedding:

“It’s best to come in with your partner and actually see the rugs in person,” Zaman says. “Ask a lot of questions. Touch them. Then see if they vibe with your wedding colors. Talk to your florist and see if they match the flowers. It’s a similar process as designing something for your home.”

photography by LIZ LIGON


On rugs, sand, and grass:

“First, if you’re getting married on the beach, you definitely don’t need a rug pad,” says Zaman. “If the rug is an heirloom, and it normally rolls up in the corners at home, it’ll do the same thing there at your wedding—you should know that upfront. If you’re scared of tripping, it’s always good to give it a few trial runs before you go. If you’re layering rugs, be consistent with the layering—where one rug ends, the other should be right underneath it. Try to use rugs with the same pile height. You don't want to go from a thin one to a super thick one to a shag. Handmade rugs have an organic movement to them that will adjust itself to the bumps, but just in case, using a rake to flatten the sand first. During the ceremony, you want to have some weights on the rug so it doesn’t blow around. For an outdoor wedding on grass, kilims works well. Also, large rugs make great ceremony backdrops.” 

photography by CYNDI REMIREZ


On using rugs during the reception:

“Creating an area during the reception where there’s pillows and rugs on the floor for a cool lounge vibe is always a crowd pleaser,” says Zaman. “Big masculine rugs go well with a whiskey bar. Rugs also looks cool draped over place card tables; it creates a lot of texture and color.”

photography by MIKEY NEFF


On keeping the rug, post-wedding:

“There’s something to be said about buying the rugs you use in your wedding and not just renting them,” says Zaman. “Afterwards, you can use them in your first home together. It’s a constant reminder of the vows you’ve taken— grounded under your feet at all times.” 

Published on September 29, 2017 - 4:00pm EDT

Next Story

The Best Gifts for the Hard-to-Please Foodies

What to buy the self-proclaimed chef in your life.

Read Next Story
from around the web