Arbor – An arbor is the wedding arch that you stand under or in front of to get married! It’s not necessary and they can come in lots of different shapes and sizes. They are also often covered in flowers, greenery, twigs or fabric to make a pretty backdrop.
Appliqué – The decorative detail that is sown to your wedding dress, in mine it was a tulle skirt with lace floral appliqué on the sides! I’ve actually used this word on shoots which I never thought I would use it more than once! Sometimes I’ll say “put your ring hand down by your side and hold your dress right by the appliqué” to get a pretty detail shot!
Cocktail/Mocktail Hour – The period of time between the ceremony and the dinner, often marking the start of the reception. At this time, drinks and appetizers are often served to keep your guests happy instead of hangry! And it also gives a nice break for you and a time for your guests to socialize and get to know each other.
Boutineer – I even often forget this word! All through high school dances, I called it the man flower haha! But this is the floral piece that is pinned to grooms & groomsmen’s lapel of their suits (or just onto their shirt if you’re going for no jackets!) This type of flower is also often ordered for the fathers of the bride and groom! And a corsage is the ladies flower bracelet, typically ordered for the mother of the bride and groom!
Bustle – This is the word for a tie or button that is used to pull your dress train up! It’s super nice to have for dancing and walking around your reception without worrying about people stepping or tripping on it! For things like the ceremony I recommend you keep it down because you did get that pretty train for a reason! But I’ll try to check in with you before things like your first dance to see if you want it bustled!
Decor – This is a blanket word for anything used to decorate your venue! This can be anything from candles & candle sticks, florals and vases to table cloths, chair florals, arbors and place cards! This is the super fun part of the wedding that can really let your personality as a couple shine through!
Elopement – This is a word used to describe a small, intimate wedding with only a few very close guests, if any! It could be just you, your lover, your officiant and I! Or if could be you with your dearest friends and close family. I personally define any wedding ceremony with less than 15 people to be an elopement. Elopements also often take place in beautiful locations that may mean something to you or just somewhere that you find especially breathtaking!
Garter – This is the cute little lace band that you wear around your thy under your wedding dress! Usually there are two different bands, one for you and one for the garter toss! This is a classic wedding tradition where the groom takes off the garter from under the brides dress (either with his hands, or teeth, or some other way!) and then tosses it to a group of single dudes. Kind of like the bouquet toss but for the bros! Just like any wedding tradition, you don’t have to do it just because it’s tradition! Do whatever you want with your wedding and don’t do anything that doesn’t sound like something fun that you want to be part of your day!
Grand Entrance – This is when the bride and groom enter into the reception (usually after cocktail hour) often accompanied with music and announced with something like, “for the first time as a married couple introducing… Mr. & Mrs. Jones!” And obviously, your announcer can say whatever they want! And just like every other tradition, you don’t have to do it!
Hors d’oeuvres – (pronounce or-derves) This is a suuuper fancy word for an appetizer! Like my “Hors d’oeuvres” was literally a nacho bar!!! But it can be literally anything, finger sandwiches, fruit kabobs, popcorn bar etc! This is another fun part of your wedding that you can customize to make your own! So do whatever you want!
Maid & Matron of Honor – These terms are basically two titles you can give to bridesmaids that you want to give a bit of an extra special job! Maid of honor is basically like the equivalent of the best man, and matron of honor is the same thing but for a married bridesmaid! So if you have two people you wish could be your maid of honor, now there’s a second title for it!
Procession – This is the parade of people who walk down the aisle before you! You can order this any way you’d like. Typically, it starts with the groom and officiant, then bridesmaids & groomsmen, maid of honor and best man, ring bearer, flower girl, bride & escort! But you can mix it up or do it however you want!
Reception Line – This is the part of the reception where the bride and groom stand in one place so people can come by and wish them well! This is often used at open house style receptions but it’s absolutely not necessary! I didn’t want to spend hours in my reception line so I had my DJ cut us off at 45 minutes and move us along to do the cake cutting! Or if you want, give me a time and I’ll sneak you away for some pictures (;
Ring Pillow – This is the little pillow (or these days it’s more commonly a customized box or jewelry box) that the ring bearer carries down and gives to the groom or best man.
Runner – This is the long rug or fabric that runs down the aisle, almost like a red carpet but for weddings! Some cool ways I’ve seen this done is with bohemian rugs or even just lace fabric. All sorts of neat ways to do it! And again, not entirely necessary!
Throw away bouquet – This is the term for the bouquet that you toss for the bouquet toss. Obviously you don’t want to throw your expensive sentimental bridal bouquet you spent lots of money for or may even want to save! So this is usually a smaller version of yours or the bridesmaids bouquets.
Vendor – This refers to any person that you hire for your wedding! So I am a vendor, your florist, baker, DJ, wedding planner, caterer, videographer etc etc etc
Wedding party – This refers to primarily the bridesmaids and the groomsmen! Usually the wedding party throws the bachelorette and bachelor parties and decorates the get away car if you want to do that! We will also be sure to get lots of pictures with your people!
I imagine I will keep adding to this list as I learn more and more because I feel like I learn something new at every wedding! But hopefully this gets you started! There is SO much that goes into planning your wedding so I hope this helps you understand some more of the lingo that goes along with it!