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What Are They Talking About? Buzzwords You May Hear While Wedding Planning

Usually when you start planning a wedding, it's your first rodeo! But for those of us in the industry, we use some lingo at times that may be foreign to our couples. Here is a little insight into the phrases you may hear while planning that may come in handy!

FINAL COUNT: How many guests are you expecting at the end of the planning process, after all of your RSVP's have been received? Your wedding planner, rental companies and catering will ask for this information to make sure you aren't overcharged for those guests who can't attend.

CHARGER: We aren't talking about that little white cord! These are pretty (albeit kind of useless LOL) plates that are placed under your dinner plate to accentuate the table setting/fill in the table space and bring a some times metallic or wood element to the tablescape.

FIRST LOOK: When you picture seeing your groom for the first time (and vice versa) do you picture a more intimate setting with the two of you, or when you walk down the aisle for the first time? A first look gives you and your future spouse a chance to calm your nerves before the big ceremony moment. You can choose to read letters to each other, exchange gifts, or just surprise each other with your stunning beauty during this interaction which takes place a few hours prior to the ceremony! It also gives you the opportunity to spend some extra time with your significant other on the day of the wedding.

HEAD TABLE/ SWEETHEART TABLE: This is the table where the bridal party sits, typically situated front and center. A sweetheart table is a spin on this, but just for the two of you while the bridal party sit amongst the guests.

UPLIGHTING: Some venues offer upgrades that allow for colored lights (of your choice) to be shone on (typically upward in sections) along the walls. Some DJ companies and rental companies offer this lighting as an add on!

VENUE COORDINATOR: This person will usually walk you through your venue visits, book your wedding, help you create a menu if the venue is all inclusive or offers catering, and make sure that the back of the house runs smoothly during your reception. They usually peace out after dinner!

MOOD BOARD: In short, this is a Pinterest profile, a Canva file, or some form of collage that you or we put together to see all of the elements of your design idea for the wedding together! It typically includes a color palette, dress styles, and possible floral ideas.

*This mood board was created by Annie Albrecht!*

SHOT LIST: This is a list of all of the groups of people you would like photos of/with on the day of the wedding! This list is given to your photographer in advanced so they can plan for time vs. people count for these photos and make sure they get everyone in a photo that you request!

ROOM FLIP: This is a phrase we use to describe the time between the ceremony and reception if you are having both in the same room and need the room layout changed from ceremony chairs and altar only to tables for the reception. Typically, the venue staff will help with this process and it takes place while your guests are at cocktail hour!

GOLDEN HOUR: Your photographer will most likely pull you and your new spouse for photos in the last 30 min before the sun sets to get some pretty photos! Be prepared for your photog to ask if this is something you'd like to add into your timeline! Usually this time falls somewhere during dinner, so be prepared to be pulled after you eat.

CUT CAKE: Not cake people, but still traditional? A cut cake is a small cake that the two of you cut during your traditional "cake cutting" during the reception, but is usually not enough to feed all of your guests. Most couples that opt for a cut cake and not a large cake will offer some other form of dessert (cupcakes, bundt cakes, pies, etc.) to their guests!

BOUTONNIERE/CORSAGE: Throw it back to prom! Remember your mom saying, " JUST PRETEND TO PUT IT ON HIS JACKET!" because you were scared to stab your 17 year old date with the pin that came with his flower but really wanted that photo? Yeah, that thingy was a boutonniere, and your groomsmen will most likely have those (pinned by us!) on the day of. Corsages are much less violent, and usually come in bracelet form!


Boutonnieres: Groom, Groomsmen, Fathers, Grandfathers, Ushers, Officiant (if male)

Corsages: Mothers, Grandmothers, Godmothers

PROCESSIONAL/ RECESSIONAL: In short, the processional is when your bridal party, you and parents walk DOWN the aisle and the recessional is when you walk back up the aisle after the ceremony concludes.

PLATED: This is the catering choice to have your dinner served in plated form to each guest instead of served buffet or family style. This form of dinner will most likely require your guests to have escort or place cards so that catering staff knows which meal to serve them.

SIGNATURE DRINK: Fun mixed drinks curated by you and your fiance to offer as an option at the bar for your guests!

BUSTLE: Typically your seamstress will show your bridesmaids/mom/MIL how to shorten your dress after the formalities so that you aren't tripping over it all night! We usually bustle you before your first dance. TIP: Ask someone to take a video of the seamstress doin the bustle/explaining it so that we know what we are looking for on the day of!

VOTIVES: Candle holders usually 2" in diameter that enclose tea light sized candles that accompany your main centerpiece and add a little candlelight ambiance!

There will surely be other phrases here and there you will hear from your wedding vendors, but now you'll have a kickstart on your wedding lingo knowledge!

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