The amount of decisions involved in planning a wedding can be extremely overwhelming, ESPECIALLY if you are not familiar with wedding industry lingo. Vendors have made up many unique terms that are frequently used throughout the wedding world. Never feel as though you cannot ask a wedding professional what they mean when referring to a particular word or phrase you are not familiar with. The wedding world has its own language - here's a glossary of our most used terms to keep you in-the-know!
Al Fresco: A term that means "out in the open air" and is often associated with dining. An outdoor reception would be considered al fresco.
Canape: Another word for appetizer or hors d'oeuvre.
Charger: A decorative plate that is set underneath the dinner plate. It's the ultimate eye candy to make sure your tablescape pops!
Cocktail Hour: A transitional period between the ceremony and reception during which guests can mingle and enjoy appetizers and cocktails. It is common for newlyweds to take portrait photographs during this time.
Coordinator: The individual hired to oversee wedding day logistics.
Corkage Fee: The price charged to an event organizer (the couple) who chooses to bring outside alcohol to a venue. This fee offsets the cost of convenience they are providing to you.
Cut-Cake: A 6"-8" decorative cake that is just big enough to cut for that sweet, photographic moment. This is a cost-effective alternative to a large wedding cake, and is typically accompanied by either a sheet cake or an assorted dessert bar alternative.
Escort Card: A name card that designates which table guests will take their seat, typically displayed near the entrance of the wedding reception. Escort cards can double as favors, and are a great way to add personality to your wedding!
First Look: This moment is for the photographer to capture the couple seeing each other for the first time on their wedding day. A first look typically occurs before wedding guests arrive so that the couple can have a private moment together.
Flatlay: A photo taken at a bird's eye view angle that typically is of stationary, table layouts, flowers, or other details curated by the photographer.
Grazing Table: A table for appetizers to be set up during the cocktail hour so that guests may "graze" during the reception.
Groom's Cake: A separate reception dessert designed specifically to suit the groom's tastes.
Guest Book: A book or decor item in which guests may record their names and sentiments for the newlywed couple. This is a great way to get creative! Try using a polaroid, blank globe, engraved sign for your home, etc.
Head Table: The table where the significant others and either the wedding party or immediate family sit. Traditionally, this table is decorated to stand apart from the other guest tables.
Marriage Certificate: A government issued document proving the couple has officially been married.
Marriage License: A government issued document allowing a couple to marry.
Pin Corsage: A boutonniere styled arrangement worn by a female.
Processional: The choreographed entrance of the bridal party into the ceremony space.
Recessional: The choreographed exit of the bridal party from the ceremony space.
Ring Warming Ceremony: A wedding tradition that provides guests an opportunity to bestow well wishes while holding the rings before or during ceremony.
Sample Sale: Occurs when a bridal boutique offers gowns off the rack instead of special order. Gowns are sold as-is and at a discounted rate.
Second Shooter: A second photographer/the main photographer's assistant.
Send-off or Grand Exit: All wedding guests get together to say goodbye to the newlyweds, who typically leave the wedding reception in some mode of arranged transportation.
Signature Cocktail: An alcoholic beverage offered at a wedding that reflects the newlywed's personality. Serving signature cocktails at a wedding adds a personalized touch for wedding guests and limits the amount and variety of liquor to be purchased by a couple.
Sweetheart Table: A table set for the newlyweds to sit at during the wedding reception.
Tablescape: The entire design setting for the reception tables; including decor, candles, stationery linens, florals, dinnerware, etc.
Timeline: A document created by the Wedding Planner and used by vendors to ensure every detail is accounted for. The timeline breaks down what everyone should be doing and when, including the wedding party, guests, and all vendors.
Tray Pass: The act of catering staff passing appetizers on a tray for guests to enjoy, typically during cocktail hour.
Tying of the Knot: A tradition that takes place during a wedding ceremony, in which the couple will work together to tie a fisherman's knot at the altar. The fisherman's knot is the strongest and most reliable knot and symbolized the bond that the newlyweds share.
Unity candle: A tradition that takes place during a wedding ceremony, in which the couple will each take a lit candle and simultaneously light a larger third "unity candle". The three candles symbolize the couple, and the unity of their new family.
Unplugged Ceremony: A ceremony in which guest phone and camera use is not permitted. Typically, guests are presented with professional photographs taken by the photographer after the wedding. Signage is typically used to communicate this message to the guests, along with an announcement by the officiant.
Uplighting: Lighting that comes from units placed along the ground that is meant to highlight walls, trees, etc.
Vendor Meal: Food that is paid for by the couple for the professionals who are working during the wedding reception.
Walkthrough: A service where the couple can tour a venue to get a better understanding of the space for their future wedding, this term can also be used after the wedding in which the newlyweds ensure all of their personal belongings have been accounted for.
Welcome Table: A strategically placed table at the beginning of the wedding site that allows guests to leave gifts, sign a guestbook, find the seating assignment, etc.