When it comes to wedding planning, there are so many things to consider like your budget, the perfect dress, who to invite, and more. One way to feel more confident and plan like a boss is to know exactly what you’re talking about! With a quick glance at this list, you’ll be a pro at planning and will impress your vendor dream team in no time!
- Charger – A large, decorative plate that is not meant to be eaten off of. It is the base setting for the other course plates.
- Tea Light – A small, short candle wrapped in a metal case used mainly for decoration and for keeping food and drinks warm.
- Votive – While similar to a tea light in decor purposes, these candles can be taller and have a longer burn time. These can be placed in vases or candle holders depending on the style and theme of the wedding.
- Head Table – The primary table at a wedding reception where the bride & groom sit with the wedding party. Dates of the bridesmaids and groomsmen can be seated here as well.
- Sweetheart Table – The reception table specifically for the bride & groom only.
Cake & Food
- Ganache – Pronounced like “gah-nahsh,” ganache is a pastry element made up of melted chocolate and cream that is used for glazes, cake icings, sauces, or fillings.
- Piping – A type of cake decorating that involves using a pastry bag & tips for intricate designs.
- Buttercream – A form of cake icing and/or filling consisting of a soft mixture of butter and powdered sugar. There are different forms like Italian buttercream that also incorporates egg whites.
- Fondant – Another sort of cake icing that is usually thicker. It is rolled and placed on the cake for a smoother look.
- Hand Passed Appetizers – Can also be referred to as tray service or tray passing, your catering staff will present bite-size appetizers or hors d’oeuvre on a tray to your guests during cocktail hour.
- Canapé – Perfect for your cocktail hour menu, a canapé (pronounced “can-a-pay”) is an hors d’oeuvre that is small and easy to eat in one bite and great for being a hand passed appetizer. Usually a cracker, bread, or toast with savory toppings.
- Pomander – A type of bouquet that is a perfectly round ball of flowers that is usually carried by a ribbon. Ideal for flower girls to carry instead of a basket and petals!
- Toss Bouquet – A smaller bouquet used for the bouquet toss instead of the bride’s actual bouquet. This will sometimes be complimentary from your florist too!
- Boutonniere – The floral decoration worn on the lapel of a tuxedo or suit jacket. This is typically a single flower that matches the bride’s bouquet or theme of the wedding. Usually worn by the groom, groomsmen, fathers, grandfathers, ring bearers, and sometimes ushers.
- Filler – Flowers & greenery used to create a more lush, full bouquet or to add texture. Think baby’s breath, delphiniums, tracheliums, dusty miller, and eucalyptus leaves.
- Tulle – A popular type of fabric used in wedding dresses and veils. It is a very fine, lightweight netting that can be in multiple colors and materials.
- Black Tie Optional – A dress code for guests consisting of guys wearing either a tuxedo or a formal dark suit and women wearing a full-length gown or a nicer cocktail dress. Dresses should not be too short or revealing.
- Bustle – The process of converting the wedding dress to look as if it had no train. Involving buttons, hooks, or ribbons, the train is either lifted or tucked for easier movement during the reception.
- Venue Coordinator – Different than a wedding planner, a venue coordinator works for the venue solely and acts as a liaison between you and the location. Usually has the responsibilities of during site tours, giving vendors access on the day-of, helping coordinate in-house operations like catering, and processing invoices.
- Vendor Meal – This is a meal that is specifically for your day-of vendors like your photographer, wedding planner, & DJ/band. It is usually a stripped-down version of your menu that consists of an entree and a couple of sides. Some vendors include this as a requirement in their contract, so be sure to double check!
- Plus Plus – A catering term meaning that the price for each person does not include service charges or gratuity/tax. Usually seen as $45 ++. $45 would then be your base price with service charges and taxes added to it.
- Escort Card – A card used to tell guests at which table they are seated at. Usually displayed during cocktail hour.
- Place Card – Another card used to tell a wedding guest at which specific seat they are at. This will be placed at the table setting.
- GOBO – A small disc or template inserted in a GOBO projector light to show a design, monogram, or names in lights on the dance floor, wall, or exterior.
- Uplighting – A light used to highlight the architecture of your venue space or add color to the reception site. Sometimes will be sold by DJs, rental companies, or lighting companies.
- Embossing – Used to define designs and headings in your invitations. The wording or design looks raised adding more dimension to the look.
- Letterpress – Normally used for a traditional look, the letters are indented on the front of the invitation and slightly raised on the back.
- Foil Stamping – Using thin foil leaves to create a metallic design for a bit of sparkle. Can be more expensive and have a longer turnaround time though than more traditional methods.
- Stationery Suite – This includes your invitation, reception card (if having a separate reception site than your ceremony), RSVP card, directions, accommodations card, inner and outer envelopes, and the band or wrapper that holds all the pieces together.
Order of Events
- Prelude – The music playing while guests are entering the ceremony site. This starts 20-30 min before the wedding.
- Processional – The order in which the wedding party enters the wedding. This includes the officiant, groom & groomsmen, family members, bridesmaids, ring bearers, flower girls, and finishes with the bride and her chosen escort.
- Recessional – The exit by the wedding party down the aisle at the end of the ceremony. The order is reversed from the processional with the officiant remaining at the altar.