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Know your wedding words!

When you first start to plan a wedding it's easy to feel lost and a little scared of the process simply because you don't really understand what people are saying.

Friends who have been married may mention something or a supplier will describe a product but rather than say "I'm really sorry I don't know what you're talking about" you go with it and leave feeling disheartened and slightly lost.

When you work in an industry it can be quite easy to forget that people outside of that industry don't speak in the same way so I have picked a selection of terms that I hope will make things a little easier, and at least at the beginning will prevent a few blank looks.

Boutonnaire (Button hole)

Traditionally worn by the Groom, his Best Man and Ushers. This is normally a small flower or collection of flowers that is pinned to the left hand lapel of the jacket. You can be creative with this and if flowers aren't your thing you could incorporate other items that suit your wedding theme.


Adding a bustle to your wedding dress means you can still have a big dress or a long train. A bustle is a small stitch that is sown into the underside of your dress so that when you're ready you tie it up and get your grove on, you can do it with ease!


Canapés are small pieces of food, normally a savoury selection that is served with welcome drinks. They are a great addition if you are having a particularly long wedding day or when it is going to be some time before offering the Wedding Breakfast.

Wedding canapé


A celebrant is a person who performs your wedding ceremony. You may hear the term celebrant used to describe the vicar, priest or civil registrar however, you may also hear the term when describing a civil celebrant. In this instance the celebrant would not legally marry you, only conduct the service. A legal marriage would need to take place either in a church or by a representative from the registry office.


A charger is a large plate plate that sits underneath your dinner plate on a place setting. Quite often this will help finish the look of the table by adding colour or style.


If you want to bring your own booze (or even in some cases non alcoholic drinks) a venue may charge you corkage. Normally it is a fixed fee per bottle. For example they may charge £10 per bottle of wine that you bring in yourself. For example if you bring 50 bottles of wine you would pay £500 in corsage and then however much you have paid the distributor for the wine. In some cases this works out cheaper but not always. It does however work well for venues that don't stock a specific drink that you like or if you can get bottles in bulk for a low price.

Wedding flowers


This is a spray of flowers normally given to the mother of the bride and mother of the groom to wear on their wrist or pinned to their clothes. You may also choose to give one to other female members of your family or close friends who are not part of the bridal party.

Beach Wedding

Destination wedding

A wedding that is taking place abroad or far from where you live therefor you need to plan from afar. You may require a wedding planner to assist with a destination wedding as it can become stressful very quickly when you're not there to oversee things.

Dry Hire

A venue that you pay a one off rental amount for the use of but get absolutely nothing else. If you book a dry hire venue you will need to source caterers, decorators, catering equipment and possibly toilets.


A small gift that you give to guests as a thank you for attending your wedding. Traditionally these were sugared almonds. They are normally placed on each persons place setting at the wedding breakfast table. If you are having a more informal dining experience you can lay them out on a table or think of a fun way to get them to you guests. There is no need to spend a lot on a wedding favour, not unless you want to but something that is thoughtful and will remind your guests of your wedding day is great.

First Look

This is a term you will more than likely hear your photographer use. The first look is that moment that the Bride and Groom catch sight of each other no their wedding day. It is a moment that can never be replicated so the photographer will be poised and ready to catch it. It is best to have 2 photographers if you want to catch both the Bride and Grooms reaction is it only lasts a second or 2.

Wedding Catering

In house catering

Food and drink provided by the venue catering staff either located at the venue or contracted by the venue. This term is normally associated with venues that offer packages.

Kickback (referral commissions)

This is a term that not many people hear. Not unless you're in the industry however, wedding suppliers sometimes take kickbacks from other suppliers in return for their referral. A kickback is a financial incentive for a supplier to make a recommendation to another supplier or venue.

MOH (Maid of Honour)

This is the person you choose to be by your side during your wedding day. A girlfriend or female member of your family is normally the choice but of course it is totally up to you. It is important that you choose wisely though as a good Maid of Honour could make a big difference to how organised your wedding day is. They may also help you visit the toilet if you have a particularly large dress so make sure it is someone you feel comfortable with.

Mood Board

This is what you will use early on in the planning stages to help you decide what you want for your day. If you are a crafty person you can do it by hand or if you are a bit more tech savvy there are lots of platforms such as Pinterest that you can create mood boards on. You can use a mood board to help you decide on everything from style of venue to colour palettes. You can read more about Mood Boards on *

Wedding Bar

Open Bar

Guests love an open bar but your bank balance may not. An open bar is generally when you pick up the tab for your guests to have whatever they want to drink. There are alternatives to a full open bar but you can read all about this here.


This sounds like something you would make at Christmas however, it isn't just that. It is a ball of flowers normally hung as a decoration piece or held in the hands of young bridesmaids.


The group of people that make up your bridal party that walks down the aisle either before, with or after the Bride.


The music that accompanies the Precession.


The music that accompanies the married couple out of the ceremony.

Receiving line

This is an old tradition for more formal weddings. Normally attending by the brides parents, grooms parents and the married couple.


A train is an extra length of fabric that extends from the back of your wedding dress and trails behind you as you walk. It may be part of your skirt, could be a detachable piece or overlay that connects to your waist, or could be a Watteau style, which attaches at the shoulders like a cape.


Normally male, they traditionally show guests to their seats, hand out the order of service and assist the best man with his duties if needed. As they don't have a high level of responsibility this is a great task for younger family members or friends you want to include in your wedding party.


Wedding Admin - Normally everything to do with planning. Appointments, spreadsheets, contracts, timelines and contact with suppliers and attendees.

Wedding Breakfast

This is not breakfast before the wedding, it is the first meal you have as a married couple after you are married. This can be anything from a formal sit down gathering to an informal gathering. It can be for all of you and all of your guests or just the 2 of you as a couple. There are no rules.

The most important thing to remember is not to be put off by not knowing your stuff. Most people only ever plan one wedding so why would you be an expert. If you feel lost, worried or anxious there is plenty of help out there, don't suffer unnecessarily. Wedding planning should be fun!

If you are planning your wedding without the help of a professional, why not educate yourself in the subject so that you feel confident in going it alone! There are a few options to get you going:

A Wedding planning consultation - for a fraction of the cost of a wedding planner, you can get the information you need and the documents to record it in just one hour long video call or face to face session! Find out more.

Educate yourself in your own time - If a chat with a professional planner isn't really what you want, then why not invest in the wedding planning made simple workbook and planning guide. This book will tell you everything you need to know about planning a wedding and contains worksheets to prompt you into asking the right questions and collating the right information. Find out more.

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