Planning for a wedding is SO much fun. You get to be creative, it’s all about you, and best of all… you get to celebrate with all of your friends and family the LOVE that your fiancé have for each other. But there are some learning curves once you start to dip your toes into planning. Like all of the LINGO. Kylee Ann Photography has been around for 8+ years, we spend all day, every day talking wedding, and even we still come across new wedding terms.
So sit back. Relax. Maybe grab a Mt. Dew and put some T-swift on. Then enjoy learning about all things wedding as you let your creative brain do some work!
WEDDING TERMS TO KNOW:
APPLIQUE – This is a common wedding dress term for when one material is sewn over another. This is a great way to get lots of intricate detail and design on the dress.
ARBOR – Often referred to as a “wedding arch”. An arbor is a arch of vines, floral, and greenery that the bride and groom stand under to say their “I do’s”.
BEZEL – When you go ring shopping you will find many large stones that are kept in place with prongs. If those aren’t your style you can choose a bezel, or metal rim that encircles the gem.
BOUQUETS – Bridal Bouquets. Bridesmaids Bouquets. Nosegays. There are all types of bouquets that you need for different people. And there are so many different floral arrangements to choose from! Here are some of the most popular styles:
- Cascade Bouquets Spoiler Alert… This is my FAVORITE type of bouquet! Cascade Bouquets overflow and hang down with vines, leaves, and floral like my Kylee Ann Bride, Ashlyn’s bouquet below. You can understand why it is nicknamed the Waterfall Bouquet! I get those giddy little butterflies every time I am behind my camera and these are in the screen. Cascades are LOVE.
- Nosegay – A small bouquet given to the mother of the bride and the mother of the groom on the wedding day! This is to show a token of appreciation as well as make them feel special and wanted in the wedding. You can also use this style of bouquet for your bridesmaids so they compliment your bridal bouquet but do not compete with it.
- Pomander – This is simply a ball of flowers. Many brides hang them by strings from the ceiling of their venue. I also love the look for outdoor receptions suspended above tables. These can also be used to flower girls to hold and enjoy (in lieu of old fashioned baskets).
- Round Bouquets – Alright, these are pretty great too. The bride is able to hold onto this style with just one hand fairly easily. There are long stems kept together by a handle wrap, a great place to add some personal style. Very classic style and its no wonder why.
BOUTONNIERE – This is a flower worn by the groom and groomsmen, and any other important men in your family if you would like them to wear one. Typically they are just a flower or two that compliment the bridal bouquet and wedding color palette.
CHANNEL SETTING – You will get familiar with this term when you go ring shopping. It refers to the stones that fit directly into the band and do not require prongs.
CHARGER – This is a large plate placed right underneath each dinner plate. Its sole purpose is for decor – bringing color and life to your table!
DESTINATION WEDDING – A wedding that takes place somewhere far away from your home. Hawaii. Europe. Anywhere. The couple usually honeymoons in the same destination. This can create a wedding that will be very different from any of your friends. It is also a way to make a particular spot special to you and your future spouse.
D’ORSAY – Very popular heel for weddings. It is designed to show the inside arch of a women’s foot which creates a slimmer, sexier look.
DRESS – Of course, there are hundreds of different styles, lengths, fabrics, designers, etc. We could write an entire blog post on each one. But here are a few of the most sought after wedding dress styles that you must know about:
- Bateau is an extremely high, horizontal neckline that goes from one shoulder to the other. It has often been nicknamed “boatline”. A very popular and classic style!
- Grecian is a style that has been catching my eye lately. It starts as a sweetheart dress then the straps come from the center of the chest and go around the shoulders. So unique and gorgeous.
- Illusion is probably my current favorite neckline. Once again, it starts out like a sweetheart dress but then a sheer fabric comes up from there and wraps around the shoulders. There are just so many things to do with the fabric like pleating and beading. Seriously, these dressed are amazing. You MUST look into them.
- Straight is a low, completely horizontal line. Worn on a strapless dress.
- Sweetheart is often low cut and in the shape of a heart around the breasts. A gorgeous style that can be both feminine and classy.
- Drop Waist This style of dress goes to the floor but the waistline dropped a few inches below the natural waist. It then puffs out very similar to a mermaid style although not quite that low. A gorgeous look and great way to show off some curves.
- Trumpet, also known as the mermaid style, is tight fit from the shoulders to the knees where it then flares out. Obviously a great way to show off some curves and feel confident doing it. A very popular fit.
- Bustle This is a “framework” that goes in the back of a bride’s wedding gown for support and to make it look full. Most dresses today have been buttons and strings so you can tie up the bustle and not trip when it is time for the dancing.
- Buttons This is wear my google eyes start coming out. Buttons running down the back of a dress, especially paired with an illusion back. I don’t even have a word for it. All I know is I get so excited
- Ruched is a term you should know. It refers to the pleats and lines designed into a dress to create a flattering and smoothing appearance.
- Shapewear In the old days this term was known as a corset. But they are much more advanced now. Many brides do and many brides do not wear these. It depends on your style and the look you are going for! Shapewear provides built in support to help to create a slim silhouette.
DYEABLES – Like the word sounds, these items are “able” to be “dyed”. It can be impossible finding the EXACT shade of color for bags, shoes, and other fabrics. But now, they have shops that you can actually go in get them dyed to be the perfect color to match your wedding palette!
FASCINATOR – If a veil is a little too old-fashioned for you, a fascinator may be what you need. They are hair pieces usually worn with up-does that usually go on either side. Fascinators are often made from feathers, flowers, or wisps of other fabrics and ribbons. You can then embellish however you like with beads or something that sparkles. They are then attached with bobby pins or a comb. Fascinators are becoming more and more popular!
FONDANT – This is special icing made just for wedding cakes. It create a very smooth and workable icing that can’t be easily ruined. Your cake vendor will know what this is and talk more about it with you.
ELOPE – This word has taken on a completely new definition over the last few decades. Elope no longer means to run away and get married secretly. To elope is to have a small, intimate wedding. These have actually been some of my favorite sessions to photograph. Whether in the Snowcapped Mountains of Cache Valley or in the Salt Lake LDS Temple, the feelings at these weddings were the same. Intimate. Both of these elopements had only about 8 people in attendance. But they weren’t just people, they were the closest friends and family they had – the ones the bride & groom shared everything with. I absolutely love elopements. Here is a sneak peak of Libbee & Nick’s mountain elopement. To see if this style might be for you, You can find their session overview here. And how to pull off a Logan Utah Elopement here!
ESCORT CARDS – These are printed out cards that let the guests know what table they will be seated at. There are such cute display ideas all over Pinterest! And will usually be found right as guests enter a reception or at cocktail hour. Once they find their table, many brides also incorporate place cards into their Tablescape to let guests know exactly which seat they are in.
FIRST LOOK – This is a MUST because it will literally melt your heart for years to come. When your groom sees you all done up, in your dress, and ready for your perfect day for the very first time, this is called his “first look”. These pictures are PRICELESS. Some grooms cry, some laugh, some are absolutely speechless. Regardless of how they react they all have one thing in common, their eyes. I am serious, their eyes are always my favorite part. Pure happiness and bliss. These photos will be timeless heirlooms that you will pass on for generations. Make this one of your top priority pictures!
GRAND ENTRANCE – This is entitled a “grand entrance” because it will be the first time many of the guests will see the bride and groom entering a room together as a married couple. Such an exciting part of the wedding day. The first dance usually quickly follows.
HANDLE WRAP – You will be hearing this term when you speak with your florist. Handle wrap refers to the ribbon or fabric that is wrapped around the stems of bouquet. Those flowers have to stay together somehow and this just beautifies the process!
MATRON OF HONOR – Everyone knows about the Maid of Honor. But what about the Matron? Many brides find it hard to pick just one MOH, two best friends, two sisters, etc. Traditionally they have had to make the hard decision and choose just one, but lately more and more have started giving out more titles. This helps everyone to feel special and included. The Maid of Honor title is usually given to a woman who is unmarried and the Matron of Honor title is given to one who is married! You may be able to get away with more titles, but you are still going to have to choose who stands closest to you in the ceremony… GOOD LUCK!😜
OFFICIANT – This is the person who performs the ceremony. Often a pastor, other church leader, or your best friend who got certified online😉
PLACE SETTING – This refers to how plates, silverware, and glasses are all arranged. There are many different options of what you can use in your place setting, and you do NOT have to use them all. In fact you shouldn’t. Decide what works best with the meal being served and your overall wedding feel. Some options you can include are a: napkin, salad fork, dinner fork, desert fork, butter spreader, dinner knife, steak knife, teaspoon, soup spoon, desert spoon, service plate or charger, soup bowl, bread and butter plate, water goblet, red wine glass, and white wine glass. Work with your caterer to learn about your best options!
PRIMER – If you have never used this magic stuff, it is time to become familiar. Primer goes on under foundation to create flawless, smooth skin. It helps your face to not look oily, very important because lets face it – wedding days can get hot and stressful! Plus, primer will help keep your makeup lasting all day. Primer. Is. A. MUST.
PROCESSIONAL – This refers to when everyone in the wedding walks down the isle. Usually the mother of the bride goes first, followed by the groomsmen and bridesmaids who go two at a time arm in arm. The best man and MOH go next, arm in arm again! At this point the groom would then walk down often accompanied by one or both of his parents. Next is the Ring Bearer and Flower Girls, preparing the way for the final grande entrance. Then last, what everyone has been waiting for, is the bride accompanied by her father. Of course, all of this can be changed up to fit your family dynamics and style best!
RECESSIONAL – When the ceremony is over the now married couple and bridal party walk down back down the isle then wait in the back or outside for everyone to come and congratulate them.
REPLY CARD – Trust me when I say that if you are having different entree choices for your guests, you NEED to do reply cards. These cards are mailed out with the invitations. Your guests will fill them out and send them back to your with information like if they will be attending, how many guests will be coming, and what entrees they would prefer. It is an RSVP that actually explains how to RSVP (which means your guests are 10x more likely to actually follow through). Reply Cards take so stress off of your shoulders! You may still have to contact a few family members and close friends to double check with them, but 90% of that job will be done for you.
SIGNATURE COCKTAIL – A sweet part of the day. This drink usually has special meaning to the bride and groom. And for my LDS brides, a non-alcoholic drink works just as well.
STATIONARY SUITE – This term describes the entire wedding’s stationary. This often includes save-the-dates, invitations, reception cards, envelopes, reply cards, temple ceremony invites, and any other enclosures you might have. Not only will you want a copy of every single one of these to save, but you will want a picture! So much fun to post on social media and even create your own Pinterest Pin! The Stationary Suite below was all created by my FAVORITE invitation vendor, Pace Made. Gorgeous work. And important term to know.
SWEETHEART TABLE – A table just for two at the reception just for the couple to enjoy. It is often decorated to separate it from all of the other tables. Your wedding day will fly by, I highly recommend having a sweetheart table so you can make sure to take a few moments to spend just with your sweetheart.
TABLESCAPE – Everything that is on the tables at the luncheon and/or reception falls into this category. Place settings, table runners, centerpieces, tablecloths, the place cards, and anything else that might be on the table as decor. This is the place to let your creative juices flow.
TROUSSEAU – These are all of the personal possessions a woman starts to collect when she is about to be married. This can be anything from household items, linens, and wares to things like lingerie. It is exciting preparing to officially become a wife!
TRUNK SHOW – This is so much fun to attend, especially if you are about to get married! Guys have their car shows, us girls have our trunk shows. 😉 I totally made my husband tag along with me to my first one. This is a place where wedding dress designers come and show off their new styles. You can get special deals as well as dressed that will NEVER be seen in store. Find one near you and go, even if just for the experience. They are so much fun. Girls Day!!
USHER – No matter how simple you make it, what signs you have up, etc… there will be some guests who are confused about where to sit. That is where your ushers come in. They help seat everyone and keep things moving in a timely manner. The Ushers are usually chosen by the groom. And a quick tip: groomsmen can make great ushers! Give them a job to do and feel needed while taking stress off of YOU.
VEIL – You might be wondering why veil is on this list. Little girls throw pillow cases on their heads when they are playing bride and say the word “veil”. But now that you are actually about to walk down the isle, you are going to have to choose which veil and there are SO many different styles!
- Blusher Veils are convenient if you are worried about the veil getting in the way of your hands or bouquet! They hang in front of your face and chin length for a very sheek look.
- Cathedral Veils are a very dramatic choice that generally hits the feet of the bride then extends another three years on the floor. They are best paired with a long flow dress as well. You may have seen this veil on Princess Mia in the Princess Diaries. It is a veil for very very very formal weddings!
- Fingertip Veils are definitely one of the most common styles. Like the name gives away, they extend to your fingertips. Not too long, not too short, this is just the perfect length and adds such a level of class to your overall look.
- Flyaway Veils are fun and chick. They are usually made up of a few layers and wisp around the shoulders. A great option if your dress is open or has intricate details or down the back. Love this style.
- Mantella Veils are very Spanish. They are made form a tulle material and lay over your head instead of being attached with a comb or clip. They usually extend close to elbow length and are A-line.
- Sweep Veils are a great length if you love the long flowy style but don’t want all of that extra head weight or to be worried about stepping on your veil. Sweeps go right to the floor and stop. Long, but not too long!
VENDOR – You will often hear people say the word vendor when talking about weddings. I was confused when I first heard this word so it gets a spot on this list. A vendor is basically just someone who has something to offer you. Floral vendor, wedding dress vendor, etc. Has anyone else been confused by this word, or is it just me 😂💁🏽
WEDDING FRAGRANCE – This is such a sweet idea so of course I had to include it on this list! Shop around and find a fragrance you absolutely LOVE. It will be more than you usually spend on perfume. It will also be worth every cent. Wear it for the first time on your wedding day, then every anniversary after that spray some on. ONLY ON YOUR ANNIVERSARY. The power of smell is amazing. And on those anniversaries you can both remember your wedding day and that scent will make such a difference. Love this idea!
WEDDING PARTY – You will hear this term used A LOT. It refers to all of the bridesmaids and groomsmen!
Free Engagement Planning Guide
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