Understanding Wedding Planning Terminology
Updated: Nov 6
Have you ever been sitting with your florist or DJ, only to wonder whast did that phrase or word really mean in the world of wedding planning? We have compiled a list of words and phrases that are most commonly used in wedding planning to help you and your fiance better understand what your vendors are really saying!
APPLIQUE - When you start dress shopping you will see many styles and designs. You will hear applique a lot if you are looking at lace designs. Appliques are pieces of lace or other types of fabric sewn into the base fabric creating a textured look.
BLACK TIE vs. BLACK TIE OPTIONAL - Black tie will always be indicated on the wedding invitation for a formal affair taking place after 6pm and men should be dressed in a tux. Women will be safe to wear either a long evening gown or a formal cocktail dress. If the wedding invite states Black Tie Optional, women can choose long gowns or a short one while men have the option of wearing a suit or a tux which is very much appropriate.
BOUTONNIERE - A boutonniere is a small bloom with greenery that the groom, groomsmen, fathers, grandfathers, officiants, and ushers will wear on their left lapel (over their heart) for the ceremony and reception. The groom's will usually be a little different with a special bloom to match the brides bouquet.
BUSTLE - If you chose a long gown with a train, you may be wondering how you will make it through your first dance and the rest of the wedding without tripping. A bustle is an alterations trick featuring buttons, loops and ribbons to pull and tuck up the train of your gown. Ask your seamstress the best design for your gown. There are French Bustles and American Bustles to choose from and the style of your dress determines the look you will want. Make sure to take your Maid of Honor, mom, or even your wedding planner to your final fitting to video the way your bustle is designed to work!
CELEBRANT- This is the person who will officiate your ceremony. It can be a judge, minister, or even someone close to you who has become ordained to perform your wedding ceremony.
CHARGER - "What's a charger?" is something we hear a lot. A charge is a larger plate that is used as the base of your place setting. Plated courses will be placed on top of the charger and removed for the serving of the wedding cake.
DAY OF WEDDING COORDINATOR - A "Day of Coordinator" will oversee your wedding day from set up to making sure the timeline runs smoothly up to the last dance. This allows you to have a stress free wedding day knowing you are in trusted and capable hands. If a Full Planning Package isn't in your budget, at least gift yourself a Day of Coordinator!
ESCORT CARDS & SEATING CHARTS - Escort cards are displayed by name at the entrance to the reception directing guests to their designated table. A seating chart is a sign with each guests name listed under the designated table number. We recommend always using a seating chart so that every guest has a seat. Sometimes, guests will arrive even when they aren't expected and this can cause havoc with tables. Place cards can be used to designate what chair a guest is to sit in at their designated table and are usually seen at more formal weddings
GOBO LIGHTING - Gobos are stencils placed on the front of lights to create patterns that can be projected on the wall or floor to add design and depth. A lot of couples like to have their monogram shine on the dance floor or on the wall above the cake.
GOLDEN HOUR - Photographers love this time just before sunset when the light is soft and perfect for pictures. This time of day is perfect for romantic "just married" photos!
HEAD TABLE - This larger table is is where the bride and groom sit with either their wedding party or families. This table is usualy placed near the dance floor and close to the family table. Your decorations are usually more elaborate than the guests tables and your florsit will help you plan decor that is cohesive with your centerpieces.
INVITATION SUITE - So you thought invitations were all you needed, right? The suite includes all you need to send to guests so they will know when and where. It will include your Save the Date (which you send out 9-12 months before the wedding), the invitation, and the RSVP card. You can also add place cards, thank you notes, menus, and programs.
MOOD BOARD - AKA your Instagram page or a design board that your wedding planner/designer will create for you using swatches and images based on your wedding vision, colors, and florals. This is a great tool to let you see how the details and colors you like look together. You can also work your palette of colors into this mood board. You will want a main color, a neutral and an accent color. Think blush, ivory, and gold.
NOSEGAY - A nosegay is a small handheld bouquet and is often carried by a junior bridesmaid. This bouquet is petite and not as ornate as the brides. A lot of moms are opting to carry a nosegay in place of wearing a corsage.
PROCESSIONAL & RECESSIONAL - The music playing during the bridal party and the brides entrance is called the processional and usually begins the ceremony. The recessional is the music played as the newly married couple makes their way back up the asile followed by the wedding party and families. You band or DJ can help you find a fun and happy song for this moment!
RSVP - RSVP (Repondez, s'il vous plait) is a very polite (and French) way to ask your guests to let you know they will be attending your wedding. Most invitation suites will have a reply card for guests to check yes or no they will be attending, meal choices, dietary restrictions, and how many guests in their party will attend. This is one of the most important parts of wedding etiquette guests should follow!
USHERS - Ushers are a very important part of the wedding day escorting guests to their seats. They will know what seats are reserved for family and close friends. They should dress coordinated with the groom and groomsmen complete with a boutonniere.
WEDDING PLANNER - A wedding planner is a professional hired to orchestrate a wedding from start to finish. Your planner handles all the wedding planning such as budgets, vendors, venue We at Two Girls in Pearls Events love our job as wedding planners. We offer customized wedding planning packages designed to fit your planning needs. Please give us a call to set up a complimentary consultation to see how we can best help you. And if there is a wedding phrase or term your stumped with that we didn’t include, email us at and ask us for help!! You can reach us at email@example.com