The Ultimate Wedding Glossary
Whether you are very new on the scene, a seasoned bridesmaid or somewhere in between, this compilation of wedding terms will be your go-to glossary for ALL things wedding.
BM - Best Man
FOB - Father of Bride
FOG - Father of Groom
MOH - Maid of Honour/ Matron of Honour
MOG - Mother of Groom
MOB - Mother of Bride
FG - Flower Girl
RB - Ring Bearer
MC - Master of Ceremonies
You will see these abbreviations used throughout the wedding planning process.
Bridal procession - the order in which the bride and bridesmaids walk down the aisle.
Ceremony - an event attended by family and friends where two people are getting married.
Ceremony rehearsal - a run through the ceremony with the wedding party/participants and close family.
Coordinator/ Wedding planner - a professional who plans and organizes weddings. Prelude - background music typically played while guests arrive.
Processional - music that plays/begins the ceremony when the bridal party walks down the aisle.
Reception - a party usually held after the ceremony.
Recessional - music that plays as the ceremony ends and the bride and groom walk out.
Officiant - a person who performs the wedding ceremony and signs the marriage certificate.
Destination wedding - occurs somewhere other than the couple’s hometown. Guests are expected to pay travel, the majority of the time.
Dress code - a guideline to follow when it comes to wearing the proper attire to a specific wedding.
Floor plan - the layout of the reception with table positions.
Gift registry - a registry that people can buy wedding gifts from that you may need or want.
Guest book - something your guests can sign to commemorate their attendance. This can range from signing a book to taking a Polaroid picture. Couples can get creative with this.
Honeymoon - a vacation newlyweds take soon after the wedding concludes.
Intimate wedding - a wedding with a guest count of under 100.
Marriage certificate - this needs to be obtained 3 months before the wedding date/within 3 months of obtaining the certificate.
Paper suite - all stationary needed, save the dates, invitations, reception cards, etc.
Seating chart - a complete list of all the guests attending the event and where they will be sitting.
Signature signs - specialty signs that you can create for guests that display seating charts, wedding hashtags or bar menus.
Shot list - a list of friends and family that you want photographed with on your wedding day. Give this list to your photographer and wedding planner if you have one.
Timeline - times, locations and details of wedding activities on the day-of.
Train - refers to the length of fabric that trails behind the bride as she walks.
Venue - location in which the wedding occurs.
Videographer - paid professional that captures videos of your day that the photographer does not.
Vows - refers to promises made by the marrying couple.
Wedding favours - gifts given to the guests as a thank you for attending the wedding.
Wedding website - a site that couples use to communicate the details and aid in planning for the wedding.
Witnesses - The people who sign all the paperwork - most often this is your MOH & BM!
Aisle marker - pieces of décor whether it be flowers, candles, etc. that line the aisle when the bridal party walks down.
Archway - the meeting point where bride and groom exchange their vows and proceed with ceremony.
Back drop - a decorative background used behind the head table, consisting typically of drapery, florals, greenery and sometimes lights.
Bouquet - a bunch of flowers held by the bride and bridesmaids.
Boutonnière - spray of flowers worn by the groom.
Cake table – a designated table for desserts, usually decorated nicely and displaying the cake, cupcakes, etc.
Centrepieces - an important aspect of décor that is the display of a table setting.
Charger - a decorative plate that is set at each place setting.
Chiavari - a decorative chair (wedding style).
Overlay - decorative cloth extending halfway down the table to add texture or colour.
Place setting - flatware, glassware, napkin, china, etc.
Round table sizes - 60-inch seats 8-10 people. 72-inch seats 10-12 people.
Sweetheart table – table set for two, newlyweds would sit at this table.
Table number - number on tables indicating wear guests sit.
Underlay - full length linen that falls to the floor under the overlay.
Votive - small candles.
Food and Beverage
Buffet - several different dishes prepared for guests from which they serve themselves.
Cake tasting - typically done with your cake vendor, to taste and decide on which cake flavour you want.
Catering/Caterer - a professional who provides a food service at a site for a social event.
Cocktail hour - the time frame used for the newlyweds to get photos done and guests to enjoy some cocktail drinks while mingling with each other before the reception starts.
Menu tasting - an opportunity for you and your partner to taste test the menu that will be offered at your reception.
Open bar - a bar at a social event at which the drinks are being paid for by the hosts.
Signature cocktail - a unique way to add you and your fiancé(e)s personality to your big day. This drink can represent your favourite things or simply follow the theme of your wedding.
Cake cutting - cutting the cake and sharing a small bite together traditionally symbolizes “commitment”.
First dance - the first dance as bride and groom, this also opens into mother/son dance and father/daughter dance.
First look - when a couple sees each other for the first time, prior to the ceremony.
Introductions - kicking off the reception, the MC (Master of Ceremonies) will introduce the wedding party including the newlyweds. The bridal party usually takes this opportunity to do a humorous intro.
Send-off - saying goodbye to the bride and groom at the end of the reception.
Speeches - pretty straight forward. Typically done by MOH, BM, parents and a thank you from the newlyweds.