Planning 101 13th October 2014

A Glossary Of Wedding Words


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It's all too easy to forget that not everybody spends their days wrapped up in a big weddingy daze, and that, if you're new to this whole Wedmin thing... It could be quite daunting! There are odd terms, alien expressions, maybe a couple words you never knew existed; marryoke?!

So, we thought it might be quite useful to give you a little pocket guide, if you will, to all the interesting terms you may stumble across in your wedding planning journey, kicking it off with our namesake, Wedmin! (and then we’ll go back to alphabetical order to make life easier..)

Wedmin: a portmanteau of the terms wedding and admin. A bit of a buzzword in the industry at the moment, perhaps following it's use by HRH Prince Harry during the royal wedding prep!

Ascot tie: large neck tie secured with a pin. The most formal of men's tie choices usually worn with grey tails coats.

Bustle: when the brides train is secured with buttons/hooks under (sometimes over) her skirt to avoid it dragging on the floor for the whole reception.

Buttonhole: Usually a small sprig of flowers worn by the groom and groomsmen on the lapel of their suit. Sometimes also given to the Parents of the bride and groom, especially their fathers.

Cascade: A type of floral bouquet where the arrangement waterfalls to a point.

Charger Plate: A large plate which sits underneath the actual plate of food, used for decorative purposes.

Chuppah: A canapé, usually highly decorated, used in Jewish weddings to signify the couple’s new home together.

Classic Photography: Also known as traditional or posed; where the photography is mostly made up of formal posed shots of the wedding party and guests.

Cocktail hour: An American term for post-ceremony drinks reception drinks, often including extensive canapés. If you're reading blogs from over the pond you'll definitely come across this term, but fear not, it's not that big a deal over here.

Contemporary Photography: Also known as fashion, artistic or creative photography; this style is focused on editorial and creative images using interesting lighting techniques and composition. The shots are staged but usually in natural positions and usually involve intensive post-production.

Corkage: A fee often charged by venues or caterers if you bring your own alcohol. usually charged per bottle.

Cutting Cake: A ‘behind-the-scenes’ cake to serve guests if the actual wedding cake is not large enough.

Escort card: Another American one, this time gaining popularity in the UK. Instead of, sometimes as well as, the seating chart; guests names are written on individual cards along with their table number to help the guest find their seat during the reception. Escort cards are sometimes attached to favours.

Favours: Small tokens of thanks for all wedding guests, often edible.

Marryoke: A new trend whereby the wedding attendees are filmed miming the words to a popular song to be edited post wedding into a music video style piece.

Master of Ceremonies (Toastmaster): A person appointed to direct proceedings throughout the wedding reception. He or she will, at the very least, announce the entrance of the bride and groom into the wedding reception and initiate applause, introduce the speakers during the speeches and often announce the cutting of the cake.

Morning Suit: Another name for a tailcoat, the most formal attire for groom and ushers.

Noosegay: A type of floral bouquet. Round, tightly wrapped.

Pomander: A round ball of flowers, often suspended from ribbons and hung decoratively, or carried by flower girls

Processional: The music played for the entrance of the bride and bridal party.

Receiving Line: A traditional line up of the bride and groom and the couples’ parents (or hosts of the reception) at the entrance to the reception room welcoming guests individually before they find their seat. If you have 100 guests or over, this is going to take some time, and will need help from the ushers to stay flowing.

Recessional: The music played as the bride and groom walk back down the aisle following the ceremony.

Reportage Photography: Also known as photo-journalistic or documentary; a style of photography which captures the wedding in an unobtrusive, natural way without using formally posed photographs.

Save The Date Cards: Sent up to a year before the wedding date and before the formal invitation which will enclose full details.

Top Table: Where the wedding party sit to eat their meal. In formal weddings this a long banqueting style table.

Trunk show: A rare chance to see a designers entire new collection, usually held at a bridal boutique.

Wedding Breakfast: Not actually breakfast, just the traditional name for your first meal after becoming husband and wife.

Common Abbreviations:

FH – Future Husband

FW – Future Wife

BM – Best Man or Bridesmaid

MOH – Maid of Honor or Matron of Honor

MOTB – Mother of the Bride

FOTB – Father of the Bride

MOTG – Mother of the Groom

FOTG – Father of the Groom

FMIL - Future Mother in law

FFIL - Future Father in law