Glossary of Wedding Words
Glossary of Wedding Words
Are you diving headfirst into wedding planning only to come to a screeching halt when you encounter words like bomboniere, uplighting, or millinery? With so much industry-specific terminology, your favorite Colorado wedding planner thought that the best way to decipher all the lingo would be to compile and share a glossary of wedding words. We're not focusing on common wedding words like bridesmaid or vows or a-line - we are here to give a clearer meaning to the more obscure or easily misunderstood wedding words and phrases.
bomboniere - wedding favors/gifts given by hosts to their guests; traditionally including 5 Jordan almonds to symbolize health, wealth, happiness, fertility and long life. Now it can refer to any small gift given from host to guest. They are typically placed at each table setting.
canapé - a type of small, decorative hors d’œuvre, consisting of a small piece of bread, puff pastry, or cracker topped with some savory food, held in the fingers and often eaten in one bite.
celebrant - another word for officiant; an individual who officiates the ceremony.
charcuterie - the branch of cooking devoted to prepared meat products, such as bacon, ham, sausage, terrines, galantines, ballotines, pâtés, and confit, primarily from pork.
charger - placed on the table under the dinner plate, it's the largest plate and is purely decorative to display the china and pull together the tablescape.
cornelli - complicated decorative form of icing which resembles lacework on a wedding cake.
crudites - coming from the Latin word ' crudus' meaning raw, these are traditional French hors d’œuvre consisting of sliced or whole raw veggies, typically dipped in a vinaigrette or other sauce.
dais - a raised podium or platform where the bride and groom stand (during ceremony) or sit (during reception).
dotted swiss - method of decorating a wedding cake involving small random dots of icing.
dress & veil terminology - there are tons of silhouettes, necklines, waistlines, sleeve styles, lengths, fabric options, and types of trains to choose from for you gown, but these are the wedding words that might make you raise an eyebrow:
- alençon - delicate needlepoint lace with a distinct floral pattern and corded detail.
- basque - a waistline that features a low U or V shape.
- bateau - French for boat, this is a neckline referred to as 'boat neck,' and follows the curve of the collarbone to the very tip of shoulders.
- blusher - short, single layer veil worn over the face before the ceremony, then either flipped over the head or removed afterwards.
- bustle - wedding gown’s train is gathered underneath the skirt, in the back, below the waist to prevent it from dragging on the floor, often done after the wedding ceremony, but before the reception.
- mantilla - long, Spanish-style circular piece of lace or lace-edged tulle that frames the face and is usually secured with a comb.
- mikado - brand of blended fibers, usually heavier than 100-percent silk and typically used for winter weddings, it has a very subtle ribbed-like texture with a sheen.
- point d'esprit - lightweight lace with small dots woven into a scattered pattern layered over a dress.
- queen ann - high-rising collar around the back of the neck that sculpts low across the chest; this neckline resembles a triangle.
- shantung - similar to a raw silk, this fabric is characterized by its slightly nubby texture and is one of the most popular choices for wedding dresses
escort card - different from a place card which is at an individual's seat; typically these cards are set in alphabetical order near the entrance and serves to help escort guests to their assigned table.
fascinator - hair accessory worn to the side made of feathers, flowers, or wisps of fabric, embellished with crystals, beads, or ribbon, and attached with a comb, headband, or pins.
gobo - laser cut piece of acrylic or metal placed on a spot light to show off a Monogram or Pattern on the floor or the walls.
letterpress - a reversed and raised surface is inked and then pressed into paper to obtain a positive, right-reading, textured image.
luminaria - decorative, paper lantern weighted with sand and lit inside with a candle.
millinery - fabric or ribbon details used on hats, cakes, or wedding decor.
nosegay - also referred to as a "posy," this is a small, round bouquet of flowers wired together
page boy - sometimes known as "train bearers," these small children follow the bride down the aisle carrying some of her train.
petit four - small, individual cake completely covered with fondant.
pomander - a small-ish round ball completely covered by flower blooms with a ribbon "handle." They can be carried by flower girls or used as decor.
processional - this can refer to the the song played while the bride walks down the aisle; can also refer to the entire time during the entrance of the bridal party.
recessional - much like the previous term, this can refer to the the song played while the bride and groom exit the ceremony; can also refer to the entire time during the exit of the bridal party.
ring settings - along with the '5 Cs' of diamonds, all the shapes you can imagine, metals galore, there's also the way in which those diamonds (or gemstones) are arranged within the metal of your choice. A little less widely-known are the settings (we skipped prong cause that's self-explanatory), so we'll go into more detail about the most popular setting wedding words:
- tension - compression-spring pressure of the shank holds the stone firmly in place, giving the impression that the stone is "floating." Only extremely hard stones can withstand the required pressure.
- bezel - metal rim matching band fully or partially surrounds the perimeter of the stone.
- channel - typically seen in wedding bands, this setting creates a row of encased stones with no metal separation.
- bar - thin vertical bars of metal are placed between stones to securely hold them in place
- pavé - French word for "paved", this involves three or more rows of several small stones fitted into holes that set them level with the surface of the ring. Surrounding metal is then raised to form beads that secure the gems.
- gypsy (or flush) - stones are set "flush" into a hole in the ring so that it does not protrude at all. The surrounding metal is then pressed and hammered to secure the stone; popular for men's rings.
stationery suite - describes all the wedding stationery, including save-the-dates, invitations, reply cards, reception cards, and any other invitation enclosures.
tablescape - another word for "table arrangement," it's most often used when each table has multiple components.
uplighting - provided by musical team or by an event company, this consists of using a "color wash" to transform your space to take on a different ambiance for the night.
There are hundreds upon hundreds of terms that could go into a full glossary of wedding words. Hopefully this small list will help ease you into your wedding planning journey and make the process a smooth learning experience. Let us know if there are any terms that are confusing by reaching out to us using the social media buttons below!