Common Wedding Terms Every Couple Should Know
Updated: Nov 4
There are terms and words that vendors in the wedding industry throw around freely, but a lot of times if you are not around these words on a daily basis you have no idea what we are talking about or you have heard them in a different context, so you are not positive about the meaning. It’s the classic, you don’t know what you don’t know until you need to know. Listed below are 10 terms commonly used in the wedding industry that I often get asked by clients (usually grooms) to explain or define. I have provided a short glossary of those terms, so that you can always be prepared and feel like you know what you are talking about. Even if you know most of these there may be some you haven’t heard before or some you have heard but aren’t sure exactly what they mean.
1. Boutonnière – worn by the groom, groomsmen & fathers; typically, a single flower or bud pinned onto the lapel (left side) of the tux
2. Charger – large, decorative base setting plate on top of which other dinnerware is placed
3. Cocktail Attire – standard for parties and evening events; somewhat formal, but not stuffy. For men, this is typically a dress shirt, slacks and dress shoes (jacket optional). For women, this is typically a dress that finishes at or just above the knee with high heels.
4. Corsage – a small collection of flowers worn by the mothers & grandmothers either pinned onto the left side of their dress or worn on their wrists
5. Escort Card vs. Place Card – respectively, one “escorts” the guest to their table by way of their name and table number placed on a table at the entrance of the reception space; the other is already at the table with their name on it telling them where to site once they get there
6. First Look – a moment few hours before the ceremony where the bride and groom see each other for the first time on the wedding day; usually pre-arranged with the photographer in a private place away from family and friends to capture that moment just for them
7. Maid of Honor vs. Matron of Honor – unmarried versus married, respectively, principal bridesmaid at the wedding
8. Mood Board – a collage of images, samples and texts created for the purpose of inspiration and design
9. Processional vs. Recessional – The formal entrances and exits of the family and bridal party (respectively); Also refers to the music played during these times
10. Tablescape – all the elements used to decorate each table (i.e. napkins, centerpieces, place cards, chargers, etc.)
Do you feel a little more prepared to tackle your to-do list, now that you know what your vendors are asking about? Are there any other words I didn’t include that you would like explained further?
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