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Wedding Terminology: Explained – Your Guide to Wedding Jargon

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Welcome to the wonderful world of weddings! If you’re newly engaged, congratulations! Now that you’re diving into the wedding planning process, you might find yourself swimming in a sea of wedding terminology and a whole lot of jargon you have never heard before. Let’s not lose hope! We’re here to help you navigate the lingo so you can plan your big day with confidence and ease.

From types of weddings to specific terms for the ceremony and reception, we’ve got you covered. Let’s explain some wedding terminology!

Types of Weddings

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Elope/Destination Wedding: Thinking of skipping town and saying your vows in a picturesque location? An elopement is an intimate affair, often just the couple and a few close witnesses, whereas a destination wedding involves a far-off locale, inviting your nearest and dearest to join the celebration.

Traditional Weddings: This classic approach involves ceremonies steeped in cultural or religious traditions, usually followed by a formal reception. It’s the kind of wedding you’ve seen in the movies – think white dress, church bells, and a grand party.

Weekend/Two-Day Wedding: Why limit the fun to just one day? These weddings span a whole weekend or two days, with multiple events like a welcome dinner, ceremony, reception, and brunch. It’s perfect for making the celebration last and enjoying more time with your guests.

Small/Intimate Wedding: For couples who prefer a cosy celebration with their closest friends and family, a small or intimate wedding keeps things personal and heartfelt. It’s all about quality over quantity.

Themed Wedding: From fairytale fantasies to vintage vibes, themed weddings let your creativity shine. Every detail, from décor to dress code, reflects your chosen theme, making the day uniquely yours.

Bespoke/Personalised Wedding: Tailored to your tastes and love story, a bespoke wedding is all about personalisation. Every element, from invitations to the order of events, is crafted to reflect who you are as a couple.

Wedding Day Terminology

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Master of Ceremonies: Or as it stands for – The MC, is the person who keeps the reception on track, making announcements and ensuring the event flows smoothly from one moment to the next. They’re the voice behind the festivities! – from entrances and speeches to the cake cut and first dance.

Wedding Breakfast: Despite its name, this is not a morning meal. It’s the first meal shared by the newlyweds with their guests after the ceremony, often taking place in the afternoon or evening.

First Look: A modern tradition where the bride and groom see each other before the ceremony in a private moment. It’s a great opportunity for some emotional and intimate photos.

Cocktail Hour: This is the time between the ceremony and the reception where guests mingle and enjoy drinks and canapes while the couple and their wedding party take photos. This is where we see the mega trend of personalised couple cocktails!

Corkage Fee: A fee charged by a venue for opening and serving bottles of alcohol that were brought in by the couple, rather than purchased from the venue.

Receiving Line: A traditional way for the couple and their immediate family to greet each guest personally after the ceremony. It ensures everyone gets a moment with the newlyweds.

People and Roles

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Boutonniere: A small floral arrangement worn on the lapel of a suit or tuxedo, typically by the groom, groomsmen, and other significant male family members.

Usher: A person, often a male friend or family member, who helps seat guests at the ceremony and may assist with other duties throughout the day.

Officiant/Celebrant/Registrar: The person who performs the wedding ceremony. An officiant is usually a religious leader, while a celebrant is a non-religious person who crafts a bespoke ceremony, and then a registrar is a legal person who conducts legally binging marriage and civil partnership ceremonies.

Civil Ceremony: A non-religious legal marriage ceremony conducted by a government official or celebrant. It can be held at a registry office or an approved venue of your choice.

Table Setting Terms

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Sweetheart Table: A small, private table at the reception set for just the couple, offering them a bit of alone time amidst the celebration.

Charger Plate: A decorative base setting placed under the dinner plate at formal events. It adds an elegant touch to the table setting but isn’t used for serving food.

Favour: Small gifts given to guests as a token of appreciation for attending the wedding. These can range from personalised trinkets to edible treats.

Ready to plan?

Now that you’re familiar with these wedding terms, you’re practically a wedding pro! Ready to put your new knowledge to use? Head over to FBFW to start planning your dream wedding. Whether you’re searching for the perfect venue or the best suppliers, we’ve got everything you need and more!

Happy planning!

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