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Wedding Terms 101

When I got married years back and began planning for my big day, I was unsure of what I needed to know in order to ask the right questions, get the correct information from vendors or in fact anyone that knew more about planning a wedding than my fiance or myself did.

If I knew the terms and verbiage used in the wedding industry back then, we would have doubtable been able to make quicker, smarter decisions, understand our contracts and presumably would have probably argued less with one another.

So friends, don't panic because your not alone. To help couples feel less confused and more educated with wedding terminology, here is a list of definitions that you will find helpful when dealing with all types of vendors while planning your big day.

Floral Terms

Boutonniere - a floral decoration that is a small cluster of greenery and one flower that is attached to the buttonhole of the lapel on a jacket. This is typically worn by the immediate male members (fathers, grandfathers) in the bride & groom’s family as well as the groom and his groomsmen.

Oasis - is a trademark name for a wet floral foam. Essentially it soaks up water just like a sponge and lengthens the life of the flowers as well as supports them in place.

Pomander - better know as a kissing ball. It is a hanging ball covered with florals often carried by child in lieu of a flower girl's basket. Pomanders can also be used to embellish arches or wedding aisle and hung with ribbon or hooks.

Catering Terms

Corkage Fee - a fee charged by a venue (typically per bottle) if you decide to supply your own alcohol at your event.

F&B - an abbreviation for ‘Food & Beverage’ which you might find caterers refer to in contracts or in conversation.

Maître De - this terms refers to the head waiter/waitress who is managing everything going on with guests, and relaying it to the Event Manager.

BEO - an abbreviation for 'Banquet and Event Order', which is generally the rundown of your menu and specifics that your catering manager will pass on to the staff on the night of the event.

Bling Talk

Channel Setting - A type of ring setting where the stones are inlaid directly into the band, without prongs. Gemstones are arranged in a “channel” formed by two strips of precious metal.

Bezel - A metal rim that encircles the entire gemstone holding it securely and is a substitute to prongs. This setting is usually better option for those with an active lifestyle.

4 C's - The four characteristics used to describe or grade the quality of your diamond: clarity, color, carat weight, and cut. The best clarity would be a gem without any blemishes. Diamond color grading is D-Z, D representing colorless and continuing with increasing presence of color to Z. Carat weight is how much your diamond weighs. Finally the cut of a diamond does not refer to the shape but the symmetry of it.

Special Effects

GOBO - A laser cut piece of acrylic or metal that is positioned on a spot light to project a monogram or pattern onto the reception dance floor or projected onto the walls.

Uplighting – is an effect used to set the mood or transform a venue. “Uplights” are small light units that are placed on the floor to illuminate walls. Uplighting can come in a variety of colors and looks great in photographs.

Pin Spot Lighting - Very narrow beams of light that focus on specific elements in the room highlighting them. Pin lighting can be used to feature the cake table, centerpieces or the bar.

Table Manners

Tablescape - is the design plan of the overall look that addresses the entire table or surface as well as its surroundings. It’s not only the centerpiece but the complete look of the table. The tablescape generally sets the mood for the entire event.

Charger - A plate placed on the table first and under a larger dinner plate. Chargers are purely used as a decorative element and displays the meal’s china and used to enhance the tablescape.

Sweetheart Table - is different from a head table since it's a small table set up only for the bride and groom. It allows the newly wedding couple to eat, relax and have some privacy but still within sight of all their guests.

Hopefully now with a few more words added to your wedding dictionary you and your fiance have a better understanding of what your vendors will be referring to.

Happy Planning!


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