I wouldn’t say there’s a secret code among wedding professionals, but there are terms that we throw back and forth that may be unfamiliar to the un-initiated. Below is a list of terms, which are well known among wedding vendors, and less known among those seeking the advice of a wedding professional.
These aren’t necessarily a list of items you need to memorize, just give it a glance or two, then when you hear someone say “Ascot Tie”, you’ll know what they’re talking about.
You’ll Likely Not Hear This Term unless you’re having a very formal wedding. This is a unique and special necktie used with a gray coat that is longer in back then front and accompanied by lightly striped trousers.
Not a term you’ll hear every day, and usually used only in the context of a wedding. This is a highly decorative comb, placed in the back of the bride’s hair to hold the veil.
Here Were Not Talking a Bout a Dance though certainly hearing the term could be confusing. This is a term for a full length veil that drops down just below a bride’s knees but above her ankles. This can also be known as a waltz..
This is something you’ve likely seen many times, but was not aware of what it was called. Picture a wedding cake with very fancy icing, icing that interweaves back in forth in a decorative pattern, which is indicative of a basket weave, thus the term. You can sound very knowledgeable when speaking to your wedding planner by simply saying “I’d like a cake with a blue basket weave pattern”.
This Is One You’ve Likely Heard Many Times in the Scope of Your Life, but if you are a best man, you have quite a few responsibilities. A few of which are, making certain the groom gets to the venue on time. Keeping track of and safely storing the wedding rings until the vows are set. And of course, which we’ve all likely seen in more than one movie, giving a speech at the reception, and introducing others who will give one. It’s an honor to be a best man and shows that the groom trust you.
Here’s One You Probably Haven’t Heard before, I know it was unfamiliar to me and tell I saw an example and ask the florist what it was called. She said this is a ring of posies arranged by color. And it was beautiful.
A short, delicate veil which covers the bride’s face before the ceremony.
You should say this wihh an Italian accent since the word is Italian and speaks to the giving and receiving of wedding favors.
This One That You May Have Heard before, possibly you’ve worn one at a formal event or prom. This is a single flower, or a group of small flowers, worn by the groom, best man, and male relatives of the bride and groom. They may also be worn by ushers.
Whether or not you’ve worn one, you’ve likely heard of one. Normally worn with the tuxedo and takes quite a bit of practice to type correctly.
Bridal or Bride’s Bouquet
This One Is Self-Explanatory, these are the flowers given by the groom to his bride.
This Is the Scene You Seen in multiple wedding movies. The wedding march begins to play and the bride, traditionally escorted by her father, begins her march down the aisle. Everyone in the auditorium turns to watch her walk, with the groom and groomsmen watching with expectation.
These Are the Group of ladies who are likely best friends of the bride. They will support her emotionally, help her get ready, and soothes away any nervous flutters she may feel before the fateful moment. Bridesmaids are responsible for paying for their gowns. However, the bride should give a definite idea of what she would like them to wear, which will help to keep things consistent.
This One likely isn’t foreign to you, as most of us have been to a buffet at least once in our lives. In the context of a wedding, were speaking of the reception, and how the food is served to our guests. In this case, the food is set out on a series of tables, and the guests would help themselves. This usually is more economical, then having individual meals served one by one to those in attendance.
If Anything Can Be Said about This, is merely the word delicious. This is a sweet soft cream that can be used to fill a wedding cake or other pastries.
If You Wish to See beautiful writing, then calligraphy is what you’re looking for. This is a font, and in today’s world can easily be used on a wedding invitation. Go back to your parents or grandparents time, and you may have had to hire a scribe to achieve the desired effect.
This Might Be Called the Beginning of the Ceremony; it marks the time with the bride’s mother takes her seat. Children, hopefully, responsible children, often dressed in beautiful delicate clothing, will one by one, often in harmony, light the candles to the left and right of where the vows will be exchanged.
This is a long veil, 3 1/2 yards in length. If you’ve seen a movie where someone, usually a child, walks behind the bride keeping the material in perfect order, then you saw a Cathedral.
Another Term for a veil, along one, in this case, reaching the floor and extending approximately 2 1/2 yards from the headpiece.
Also known as the Maid of Honor. See that section for more details.
Also Known As Pillars. See that section for more details.
Can can be simple or ornate, depending on the bride’s wishes. It will be placed on the back of her head, embedded somewhat into the hair, termed a comb due to the teeth.
A nether term for how icing is applied to a wedding cake. This is an intricate design, normally reserved for high-end wedding cakes.
This Is a Small spray of flowers, normally orchids. They are worn by relatives of the bride and groom and can be pinned to the dress or worn like a bracelet.
The crown is something a bride might choose if she is having a very formal, or possibly celebrity wedding. This is a full circular crown, often embedded with precious stones, and larger than the Tierra or a half-crown. This is often used in Greek Orthodox weddings, where both the bride and groom wear crowns, placed on their heads by the high priest or Koumbaro. The crowns are then exchanged bride to groom to bride three times.
You may have seen a cumber bun before, particularly if you’ve gone to a high school formal. This is a sash-like belt, encircling the waist, worn under the coat. Normally it is black, but can be any color necessary to fit the occasion.
This is an elevated platform, where the bride and groom, and often their parents, sit during the reception. This may also be used to describe the floral arrangement, which may adorn that particular table, and cascade over the front.
This is a type of fabric, with roots in Damascus Syria. Similar to brocade, there are raised patterns woven into the fabric.
A method of decorating the wedding cake with dots of icing.
A two-layered veil.
If you’ve Ever Reached out and grabbed a flower of icing directly from a wedding cake, then you grabbed one of these.
Another veil that reaches to the bride’s elbows
This might be another way of saying fancy wedding dress. Picture an already beautiful wedding dress, then imagined sequence or pearls or shiny beads or hundreds of other choices sewn directly into the dress, enfusing it with a bit of extra pizzazz.
This is a type of formal tie, not often seen. It is more formal than a necktie but less formal than an Ascot.
Father of the Bride
We All Know This One. Possibly the proudest parent in the entire building. He is walking down the aisle with his precious daughter on his arm, presenting her in pristine fashion to begin a new life as husband and wife.
This Is a Way for the Bride and Groom, or possibly their parents, to say thank you for attending. These are small gifts, that may act as a souvenir of the ceremony.
It’s likely you’ve heard this term, this is a title of the man who asked a woman to marry him, and she said yes. In a little while will be a husband, but right now between the engagement and the marriage, these termed a Fiancé.
This is a woman who said yes when her Prince charming ask for her hand in marriage. She’ll soon be a wife, but now she’s a Fiancée.
There Are Many Types of Veils, with the fingertip being the most popular and widely adopted. As the name would indicate, the veil stretches to the brides’s fingertips.
You’ll Often See This at the Reception, acting as a centerpiece tto hold flowers on each table. They can be simple glass bowls, resembling a fishbowl, or very ornate depending on the theme of the wedding.
These Are Usually Young Girls, under ten years old, who are possibly experiencing their first wedding. They will walk down the aisle in front of the bride, scattering flower petals ushering in the bride’s entrance.
Another Type of veil, this one is delicate and ornate, barely reaching the shoulders.
I type of icing made from sugar, gelatin, and syrup. The consistency of this type of icing, makes it resemble fabric, but it is completely edible but very sweet.
Have You Ever Heard the Expression black tie event? Those are the codewords for formal, and something you want to pay very close attention to when attending a wedding. Whether you can dressed casually in a sports jacket or sundress, or need to be dressed for a formal event, will depend on the theme of the wedding and should be indicated clearly in the invitation.
A nether type of veil, which when properly adorned can be quite beautiful. Part of it is gathered up on the head of the bride, while the rest cascades down, to her shoulders or elbow. This type of veil can be quite lovely, but needs to be carefully worn.
A somewhat sinful concoctions of chocolate and cream. It can be used as an adornment to a wedding cake, or as a filler for selected pastries. I have no idea of the calorie count, but it must be quite high it is so delicious.
Flowers or green Leaves, twisted into the shape of ropes, then hung from doorways or chandeliers. Interchangeable with the word wreath, but also slightly different. A garland can be worn as a headpiece by the bride.
This is a smaller version of the wedding cake, which may or may not be utilized depending on the wedding. If it is used, it will most normally be served during the wedding rehearsal.
Sweet and so delicious, this is what is used to make those beautiful flowers of icing on a wedding cake.
An Adornment for the Bride smaller than a full crown as slightly larger than a Tierra.
This Is a Term Utilized during a Muslim Wedding, representing the male friends and family of the groom.
Traditionally the best man and maid of honor, whose roles could be reversed in certain modern-day weddings.
Seen Almost Exclusively at a Jewish wedding. This is the type of dance with the bride and groom are seated in chairs then lifted high above and carried around the dance floor.
A flower canopy, essential to Jewish weddings.
A very beautiful intricately crafted floral arrangement that has its roots in Japan. Because of its beauty, it has gathered world wide acclaim and can now be seen in many weddings.
A bride’s mesh piece, not seen it that often in today’s weddings, tightfitting and adorned with jewels.
Specific to Jewish Weddings, this is the contract between the husband and wife. It is framed, and often displayed on the wall in the couple’s home.
The Name Given to the Best Man in Eastern Orthodox weddings.
Lace Has Always Been Thought of as a beautiful adornment tool woman’s body. This is particularly so in a flowing white wedding dress. Lace can be used to accentuate and draw attention to the bride as she makes her way down the aisle.
A zigzagging icing pattern on a wedding cake.
Maid Of Honor
Also known as the chief bridesmaid, this is a person who will spend the day close to the bride. She’ll make certain that everything operates according to plan, that the dress is perfect, they hair beautiful, the makeup only enhancing. She will be the last one down the aisle before the bride; if rings are exchanged, she will hold it close, making it available when needed, ready to hand it to the bride on queue. She will also hold the flowers during the wedding vows. As the best man is to the groom, she is crucial to making the day flow smoothly.
Man Of Honor
If the Bride Has a Close Male Friend, instead of a close female friend, this male friend may perform the duties of the maid of honor.
A Spanish term meaning little cloak. This is a lace cloak like adornment that can be worn over the bride’s head and shoulders.
Another Type of Pastry, Made from Eggs and Sugar. This can be used in conjunction with the wedding cake, or to adorn other pastries.
Matron Of Honor
This Is Simply the Proper Way to Address a Maid of Honor if she is already married.
As the Name Would Indicate an oasis is a place of greenery and water in the midst of a desert. While there are no deserts at the wedding, there certainly will be flowers, and they need to be fresh and hydrated. The oasis is a hard foam that holds flowers in place while also keeping them moist and fresh for the ceremony.
Captain. of the ship, when getting married at sea. Justice of the peace when getting married at the courthouse. This is the person who performs the ceremony in non-religious venues.
Pages or Page Boys
Young Boys, usually somewhat out of their element, will walk behind the bride, keeping her train in the proper place.
Also Known As Columns, these are what hold up a multi-tiered wedding cake. They are purely structural and should not be eaten.
If You’ve Ever Wondered how they get intricate, often colorful shapes of flowers and leaves and other adornments on a wedding cake, this is how. The soft icing is placed within a bag, then squeezed through a special tip allowing for the precise placing of decorative icing.
Essentially this is a ball of flowers, carried by a flower girl as she walks down the aisle before the bride.
A piece of netting, they can be gathered up attached to a headpiece or comb, giving extra heights to a veil.
A bouquet of long-stemmed flowers. Normally the bride will carry these flowers in her arms, then hand them off when needed to the maid of honor.
The Cleric at a Muslim wedding ceremony.
This Is a Symbolic Gesture, normally part of the wedding procession and performed by a young boy or girl. They carry a decorative pillow, and on it two rings. These rings are representative of the ceremony, and not the actual wedding rings.
In Muslim weddings, this is the ritual when the father of the bride presents his daughter to the groom. Words are exchanged which say I implore you to take care of this woman, and the groom replies that he will with honor to God.
These Aren’t Necessarily Formal Events requiring a tuxedo or formal gown, however, to be certain of what to wear, it’s the wise attendee who will inquire further to find out what is acceptable and waht is not.
Another way to accentuate the beauty of the bride. She walks carrying a spray of long stem flowers (the actual type can vary), they may be mixed with ivy. The flowers cascade down, showering even more beauty and elegance to the occasion.
If money is no object, then often a wedding gown of silk is created. It won’t be inexpensive, but it will shimmer, scattering the light, captivating the attention. It will take a skilled dressmaker to combine the various types of silk, like Satin, Organza, Chiffon, Shantung, and Velvet.
A small knitted, cap-like conveyance that covers the back of the bride’s hair.
Tuxedos are for the night, this coat is much like a Tux, but designed for daytime weddings.
You could call this a scaled-down version of the tailcoat worn at formal evening weddings.
Smaller than a half-crown, the tiara is worn on the head, is normally jeweled, semi-circular with a sloping angle.
The various levels of a wedding cake, as in “We need a three-tier cake.”
Skilled craftsmen can cut and trim a piece of foliage so, when finished, it resembles an animal, object or even a person. This is often done at theme parks, hotels and sometimes, wedding venues.
Some brides will throw their actual bouquet; others will throw a copy to the waiting bridesmaids and female guests. If they choose to throw a copy, that is called the Tossing Bouquet
Resembling a long train of fabric, this is the overly long piece of fabric that trails behind the bride as she walks down the aisle. If her train is extra long, the main need a train bearer.
Ever wonder how a bride can see through her veil? She can because it’s made of fine woven mesh. It’s normally made of nylong, silk or artificial silk.
Tux or Tuxedo
Formal evening wear for men. The Tux can be single or double breasted and is traditionally black, but other colors are sometimes used.
The vows are the heart and soul of the wedding. They are one heart speaking and promising to another. Often personally written and reflecting personal feelings and beliefs, they are a promise to love and work together for life.
Formal evening attire for men.
At a Muslim wedding, these would be the representatives of the bride.
Muslim wedding reception.
The type of formal shirt worn with a tuxedo.
A traditional decoration at weddings and around Christmas. This is a circle, or half circle of flowers and leaves, with the possible addition of ribbons. Normally used as the centerpiece for a table, above doorways, or adorning a spotlighted area. A smaller version of this can be worn by the bride. When that happens, it is usually termed a Garland.
So there you have it, about as comprehensive a glossary of wedding terms that I can think of, hope it helps sort through some of the craziness.
Here’s one thing to keep in mind, whether your wedding is big or small, expensive or humble, it’s not so much about the event itself, but what it represents, your love and desire to walk through life together. Remember that and may your life be filled with happiness.