Today I come to you with an alphabet of all things wedding! I know how it is when you are sitting a room with a bunch of professional’s of something that you are not, they are spitting their lingo, and you’re just there hoping no one ask you what any of this means. That is sooo not a fun place to be in! I created this guide to help to load your wedding planning toolbox with so much knowledge that you will be fully prepared to knock the socks off for a meeting with any of your wedding vendors. Thank you Wikipedia for the rock solid definitions of all these fun wedding ideas and terms!!
A ~ Applique: ornamental needlework in which pieces or patch of fabric in different shapes and patterns are sewn or stuck onto a larger piece to form a picture or pattern. It is commonly used as decoration, especially on garments.
You can feature Appliques as your something “old” by having an heirloom wedding dress or handkerchief sewn into your wedding dress. You can really get creative here to create something special.
B ~ Black Tie: a semi-formal Western dress code for evening events, originating in British and American conventions for attire in the 19th century.
Black Tie events are held in the evening following 6PM. Men wear tuxedos and women wear a long evening gown.
B~ Bustle: A padded undergarment used to add fullness, or support the drapery, at the back of women’s dresses in the mid-to-late 19th century.
Today, bustles are commonly found on the back of a brides wedding gown. There are typically very minuscule buttons sewn in the gown by the seamstress or wedding gown designer to allow the train to loop the extra flow and attach to the back of your dress. When you are out on the dance floor being dancing queen, the last thing you want is your dress scrubbing the floor. Bustle Bustle Bustle all the way!! The beauty of this option is you can have a bustle for the party and a train extended for the ceremony.
When you start thinking of your wedding stationary, Calligraphy is a brilliant way to elaborate on your detail through illustration on your invitation suite. I swoon over a nicely addressed envelope written through calligraphy.
D ~ Dowry: a transfer of parental property, gifts, property or money upon the marriage of a daughter bride. Dowries continue to be expected and demanded as a condition to accept a marriage proposal in some parts of the world, mainly in parts of Asia, Northern Africa and the Balkans.
This concept is an older tradition where a bride brings money to her husband during marriage.
E ~ Escort Card: a visual card displayed at the reception area entry way directing guest to their table.
Escort Cards are an alternative solution for a seating chart. It gives the guest a sensory of touch while they find their way to the table.
F ~ Fondant: also commonly referred to simply as fondant is an icing used to decorate or sculpt cakes and pastries.
Fondant is a fancy term for a type of icing or cake covering that cake artist decorate the wedding cake with. Fondant provides a texture that is appealing to the eye and gives a complete finished look.
When you are thinking photography on your wedding day, Golden Hour is a must! This is the perfect time to get the pictures that will literally last a lifetime. You definitely want to let the photography sneak you and your new groom out for pictures at sunset for all the extra glow.
G~ Gobo Lighting: is an object placed inside or in front of a light source to control the shape of the emitted light and its shadow.
OOOOF talk about elevating an event!! Lighting is the way to do it! Essentially Gobo Lighting it is a stencil like object that is placed in front of the light to create a depth visual projection on to the wall or floor.
H ~ Heirlooom: something that has been passed down for generations through family members
Heirlooms are typically antique items or jewelry. As mentioned above, often times brides use their mothers or grandmothers old wedding gown as someway to incorporate an heirloom tradition into their wedding day.
I ~ Invitation: a letter asking the recipient to attend a wedding. It is typically written in the formal, third-person language and mailed five to eight weeks before the wedding day.
Invitations are often included as part of an invitation suite. Invitation suites are framed with all the details around the wedding. Think who- what- where. RSVP cards, Details cards for transportation, lodging, and website details are great pieces of info to include. You can even go as far as a wedding itinerary for a wedding weekend.
J ~ Justice of the Peace: a judicial officer of a lower or puisne court, elected or appointed by means of a commission (letters patent) to keep the peace.
Some bride and grooms opt for a very small intimate ceremony at the court house. The Justice of the peace is authorized to conduct civil marriages.
K ~ Ketubah: a Jewish marriage contract
A Ketubah is used in Jewish tradition where the bride and groom formalize wedding vows and commitments following the ceremony.
L ~ Letterpress: a technique of relief printing. Using a printing press, the process allows many copies to be produced by repeated direct impression of an inked, raised surface against sheets or a continuous roll of paper.
Again, relating back to stationary and invitation suites; letterpress is also used to elevate designs and give them a very elegant sense of texture.
M ~ Moodboard: a type of visual presentation or ‘collage’ consisting of images, text, and samples of objects in a composition.
OOOOHH moodboards!!! I am all for them!!! Mood boards are an incredible way to set the tone for your color palletes, overall aesthetic and design of your wedding. They are a collection of pre-captured images and colors that blend to create an overall mood.
N ~ Nosegay: a posy, or tussie-mussie is a small flower bouquet, typically given as a gift
Nosegays are very simple and minimalistic. This style was actually born out of the fifteenth century where they would be worn on the head or bodice. These have really blossomed over time and are perfect for a flower girl or bridal party bouquet.
O ~ Officiant: is someone who officiates (i.e. leads) at a service or ceremony, such as marriage, burial, or namegiving/baptism.
An officiant is a vendor that supports your wedding day in the sense of who is actually marrying you. They will marry you and witness you sign your marriage license after you. They are sort of a must for your big day. In more religious catholic ceremony, your priest would be your officiant who blesses your marriage.
P ~ Place Cards: A visual display of the guest name at each individual seat to allow guest the understanding of where to sit.
Place Cards are different than your escort cards mentioned above. Place cards are essentially name tags at each individual place setting to allow guest direction when they get to the table number they were directed to via their above mentioned escort card. Another piece of the seating chart puzzle. Escort Cards, Place Cards, and Seating Charts can be as elaborate as you wish! I love when couples incorporate their wedding favors through their personalized place cards.
Q ~ Questionnaire: a research instrument consisting of a series of questions (or other types of prompts) for the purpose of gathering information from respondents.
A questionnaire in the wedding world is used primarily for vendors trying to get to know the couples inquiring for their services. It is best to be up front and honest to the best of your knowledge on these forums so that the vendor creates a customizable proposal authentic to your wedding day needs. I personally like to have my couples out for coffee or zoom to chat over details verse sending them a questionnaire to fill in. There is so much power in a genuine conversation that a piece of paper just can’t top.
R ~ Rehearsal Dinner: is a traditional pre-wedding ceremony in the United States, usually held after the wedding rehearsal and the night before the wedding ceremony.
Rehearsal dinners follow the wedding rehearsal or the “wedding practice”, typically the day prior to the wedding itself. Rehearsal Dinners can be casual or formal. They can be hosted at a restaurant local to the wedding or at the wedding resort for the more premium style. Attendance is really specific to each couples situation. Rehearsal Dinner can be hosted for the wedding party only, It can be for the wedding party and immediate family, or if you are hosting a wedding weekend where you have guest traveling from out of town, Rehearsal Dinners can function as a welcome party event to welcome all of your out of town guest.
S ~ Second Shooter: An additional photographer that suppports the head photographer on wedding day.
A second shooter photographer is there to support the head photographer on wedding day. Second shooters are essential to the wedding day, as the photographer cannot be at more than one place at a time. Often times, the groomsmen and bridesmaids are getting ready at the same time and you don’t want to sacrifice one set of pictures for the other, so second shooters are ideal in times like this.
T ~ Tablescaping: an activity involving the setting of themed dining tables in artful, decorative ways for social events, and in a variety of categories for competitions.
Tablescapes are also known as the design and detail behind each wedding table. Those beautiful place settings, the centerpieces, the charger, the napkins, the candles, everything that fits on a table can be considered part of the tablescape art. This is one of my absolute favorite parts of the wedding day- designing the tablescapes.
U ~ Uplighting: A light place or designed to throw illumination upward.
I told you I LOVE some good lighting!!! Uplighting is another way to elevate your event in several different ways. Essentially the lighting is placed at the base of the floor and streams upwards on the walls. You can incorporate your color pallete in your uplighting to transition from each segment of your wedding event, so fun!!
V ~ Vows: vows are binding promises each partner in a couple makes to the other during a wedding ceremony.
Vows are the verbiage that you and your partner speak and promise to each other on your wedding day to bind your marriage together. You can do this in the traditional way or you and your spouse can write your own personal vows to each other.
W ~ Welcome bags: Gifts your guest receive upon arrival at your wedding event.
Welcome bags are provided by the host of the event as guest arrive for the first wedding event. Wedding welcome bags can include so many fun goodies. A timeline of the wedding events, water bottle, germ X, vitamin C, sunglasses, mini champagne bottles, the list goes on. These are especially popular for those couples who are hosting a destination wedding.
X ~ Grand eXit: A way to send off the bride and groom from their wedding reception.
Grand Exits or sends offs are a popular tradition when the wedding reception has come to an end. Dependent on venue restrictions, all of the guest form a tunnel outside of the venue for the newly wed couple to stroll through. The guest will toss confetti, hold sparklers, glow sticks, and so many other fun options for one last picture perfect Instagram worthy moment. Some even go out with a big firework show bang to really end the night right.
Y ~ Yichud: a ritual during a Jewish wedding in which the newly married couple spends a period secluded in a room by themselves.
An intimate tradition of the Jewish culture for the bride and groom to spend together in private immediately following the ceremony. In this time it is common for the bride and groom to take a few minutes to reflect on their new marriage and eat their first meal together. I actually have seen this tradition be more common across all walks of life, not just in the Jewish community. The wedding day goes by so fast and the reception can often times be a blur so this moment of time allows you to stop and really embrace all of the emotions and excitement.
Z ~ Zinnia: a genus of plants of the sunflower tribe within the daisy family.
As part of the daisy family, these gorgeous blooms are known for their soft aesthetic and sunflower like bloom. Often a great alternative to the dahlias for a more affordable budget.
I hope you have enjoyed all things wedding terminology as much as I have enjoyed writing this. Please feel free to save this in your toolbelt as a resource to pull out when you are getting ready to walk in for any of your vendor meetings. You are sure to crush it like a wedding pro! ♥♥