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Like most things in life, wedding planning comes with its own lingo. Here’s a quick review of terms you might hear in the process and can refer back to whenever you need it.
Accent Lighting
Light helps set the mood. Accent lights will add color and fun to your dance floor. Uplights are placed on the ground around the room to reflect light off the walls.
The designated area where you’ll exchange vows—aka the heart of the ceremony.
Anniversary Dance
This one’s for the couples. The DJ or emcee will invite all couples to the dance floor and gradually clear them off based on they years they’ve been together.
Banquet Captain
The party person who will run the show. They’ll be with you from the end of the ceremony to when you say your goodbyes.
Black Tie
The most formal dress code. Men wear tuxedos and women wear either a formal cocktail dress or a long evening gown.
Black Tie Optional
Slightly more casual dress than black tie. Women can wear long gowns or short dresses while men can choose between a suit or tuxedo.
Bundles of flowers the bride and bridal party carry down the aisle.
A small bundle of florals the men place on their left lapel, over their heart.
The bride’s closest friends who traditionally stand next to her at the altar during the ceremony.
A tailoring trick for the bride’s dress that has buttons, loops, or ribbons to pull the train up and tuck it in so she can dance freely. We recommend practicing bustling the dress before the day!
A cracker or puff pastry topped with something savory served before dinner.
Card Box
It’s all in the name—a place to hold the wedding cards guests bring. Whether they’re filled with cash or a sweet congratulatory note, you’ll want to keep them safe in a designated spot.
The flowers or sculptures placed in the middle of the table where guests sit for dinner.
Charger Plate
A larger plate that is used as the base of your place setting, essentially taking the place of a placemat. The dinner plate will be placed on top of the charger plate.
A canopy under which a couple stands during their ceremony in Jewish traditions, symbolizing their future home.
The person responsible for setting up décor, running the rehearsal, collaborating with vendors, and coordinating the guests and wedding party.
Small bundles of flowers worn on the wrist and typically given to mothers and grandmothers.
Escort Card
A card placed at the entrance of the reception area with your guest’s name and table number directing them to their assigned table.
First Dance
The inaugural dance shared by the newlywed couple during the reception. It’s often set to a special song chosen by the couple, one that holds personal significance to their relationship.
First Look
The moment when you reveal your wedding looks to each other. It typically happens happens before the ceremony so you can take photos and spend time together before being surrounded by friends and family.
First Touch
If you want to stick to the tradition of seeing your significant other when you walk down the aisle, this allows you to say a word or two privately before the ceremony begins.
Gift Table
A table designated for gifts from your guests brought to the wedding.
Grand Entrance
This is when you're announced into your reception and for the second time as newlyweds!
Grand Exit
The celebratory departure of the newlywed couple from the wedding venue at the end of the reception. It’s often marked by a festive moment when the couple makes their way out, surrounded by well-wishing friends and family. Various creative and symbolic elements may be incorporated into the grand exit—such as tossing rose petals, waving glow sticks, or flameless sparklers.
The groom’s closest friends who traditionally stand next to him at the altar during the ceremony.
Guest Book
A book that serves as a meaningful tribute, preserving the memories of those who shared in your celebration. Check out ideas
Head Table
The larger table where the newlyweds sit surrounded by either their wedding party or families. It’s typically centrally located so all your guests can see you!
Invitation Suite
All the paper or digital goods sent along with the wedding invitation. It usually includes a save-the-date and RSVP card and gives the guests all the details of your big day.
This is a Jewish wedding contract used to formalize vows and celebrate their commitments. Newlyweds will sign the ketubah after exchanging their vows.
Maid of Honor
This person stands directly by the bride’s side on the wedding day. They are often responsible for planning the bachelorette party.
Matron of Honor
The matron of honor plays the same role as the maid of honor, however this person is married.
Memory Table
In the absence of loved ones who have passed away, the act of tying the knot can add an additional layer of emotion to the day. If there are certain individuals who are no longer with you but who you wish could attend the celebration, creating a memorial table with a collection of memorabilia or photos stands out as one of the most meaningful ways to honor their memory.
Money Dance
This is the dance where guests offer the newlyweds money to dance with them, or they shower the couple with money. There are many different versions of this dance based on culture.
The person who is authorized to conduct and solemnize the marriage ceremony. The officiant plays a crucial role in legally formalizing the union between the couple by overseeing the exchange of vows and rings.
A decorative cloth or fabric placed on top of the tablecloth. This additional layer can add color, texture, or a specific pattern to the overall table setting.
Parental Acknowledgement
A moment during the ceremony to honor and acknowledge the role of parents and guardians, adaptable to every family structure.
Place Card
The card that tells your guests where you want them seated at their table. They are essential for formal weddings, where each guests seat is carefully chosen in advance.
The ceremonial entrance of the wedding party and the couple at the beginning of the ceremony.
The ceremonial exit of the couple and the wedding party, marking the conclusion of the ceremony.
This is a wish list of gifts that the couple complies to help their guests when purchasing wedding presents.
Rehearsal Dinner
A pre-wedding event that often occurs the night before the wedding. It typically takes place after the rehearsal and includes the couple, their wedding party and immediate family members.
A condiment with French origins that typically consists of a mayonnaise or aioli as a base, to which various herbs and spices are added. The resulting sauce has a flavorful profile, often used as a dressing or accompaniment for various dishes.
Room Block
A set of rooms at a hotel of your choosing, typically at a discounted rate for your guests to book.
Room Flip
The process of transforming a space or room from one setup to another, often during the transition from one event or phase of the wedding to another. This typically involves rearranging furniture, decorations, and other elements to create a different atmosphere or layout.
The best way to get on guests’ calendars before sending out your invitation. It’s a preferred option if you have guests traveling for the wedding or if it is a holiday weekend. Be sure to include your wedding website!
Seating Chart
Table assignments that are listed on a larger sign or display with guests names arranged either by table or in alphabetical order.
Shoe Game
A popular activity that puts the couple’s knowledge of each other to the test! From who is the funniest to determining who is the superior cook, the couple will answer a range of questions by raising the shoe of the corresponding partner while sitting back-to-back.
Shot List
The list your photographer asks for of photos you would like to be taken.
Signature Cocktail
A specially crafted and unique drink that is selected or created by the couple to reflect the couple’s personal tastes, preferences, or even the theme of the wedding. It is featured prominently at the reception.
Sweetheart Table
Aa table set for two that is the vocal point of the room. We recommend playing it up with special signage or a loveseat.
Symbolic Keepsakes
Items incorporated into the ceremony or given to guests that symbolize the couple's union and shared values.
Table Runner
A long narrow strip of fabric or decorative material (i.e. lace) placed along the center of a dining or display table. Table runners are used as an additional element of décor to enhance the overall aesthetic of the table setting.
The overall decorative arrangement and design of a dining table. It involves the thoughtful and artistic placement of various elements to create your desired look.
Unity Ceremony
A symbolic ritual that represents the joining of the couple in marriage. It is a special and often sentimental moment during the wedding ceremony where the couple performs an action or ritual to symbolize their unity and the merging of their lives.
This group helps escort guests to their seats. They’ll hand out programs and direct guests to the bride’s side or groom’s side of the aisle.
Vendor Meal
This is a meal for all of the vendors that are working your wedding. They will go through your buffet or get a plated meal after all of the guests are served.
Wedding Party
This is the group, both groomsmen and bridesmaids, that will be standing at the altar with you.
Wedding Program
A printed or digital document provided to guests attending a wedding ceremony. It serves as a guide or outline of the events and key elements that will take place during the wedding ceremony.
Welcome Table
This is one of the first things your guests will see when they walk in. It can be for the ceremony and reception, or you can combine them. A ceremony table typically has your programs, bubbles or rose petals, fans, or tissues. A reception table has a guest book or alternative, card box, signage, and photos of the two of you. All of these items are completely optional but a fun way to play into your theme and add personalized touches.
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