Stereotypes tell us most women have an idea of their dream wedding from a very young age and with that much history, they’re bound to know the lingo! But, if you find yourself planning a wedding after never having attended one, you may feel a bit inundated with all the terminology and jargon. Don’t fret, just use our handy wedding jargon buster to stay in the loop with all things wedding and make planning your big day a cinch! Also, print out our text version and pop it in your wedding planning binder for added ease.
Act of God
A legal term within a contract that exempts a wedding planner, venue or supplier from fulfilling their duties to you and your wedding in the unlikely event of a natural disaster such as an earthquake or flood.
Usually the groom’s best mate, brother or other close family member, including the groom’s father. The guy who plans the stag do and keeps hold of the wedding band on the big day.
No, it’s not just where the button goes. Also called a boutonnière, it’s typically the flower that the blokes (or anyone wearing a sport, tux or suit jacket) wear on the lapel, that slanty buttonhole no one ever uses.
Cathedral & Chapel
No, it’s probably not the place you’ll marry. It’s two types of veil lengths with a cathedral being a regal veil that trails up to three feet behind the wedding dress. The chapel veil is much shorter, usually seven feet in length and if the bride is wearing heels, will end just around her feet.
Also referred to as the MOH or Maid of Honour. She’s the bride’s go-to, usually a lifelong friend, sister, cousin or some other close relative. Tasked with sorting out the hen, helping to write invitations or make favours and generally being on hand to help plan and sort the wedding.
The fee you’re charged by your reception venue/caterer for their removing of the corks from wine bottles. Still applies even if you use screw top bottles.
The gathering of all your friends and family to congratulate you and to gawk at the engagement ring.
The ring traditionally given at the time of the proposal to the bride-to-be. Generally composed of diamonds or other stones and convention says should be the equivalent in price to three month’s salary. A thing to be gawked at.
The gift you give your guests at the wedding breakfast. Usually left on the place setting, can be edible, comical or practical. Best when it matches your wedding theme or is a reflection of the happy couple.
The holiday the newlyweds take after their big day. Typically to a warm, sun-soaked beach, but can be anywhere you like. Adventure-based, African safari, US roadtrip, Disneyworld, Scottish Highlands–anywhere you’ve always dreamed of going. One to two weeks is generally the given honeymoon length.
Also called sugared almonds, sweet sugar and candy coated almonds that make weddings totally worth the effort. Generally given in organza bags as wedding favours. Available in a range of colours.
Expensive and posh French biscuits made with almonds, egg whites and filled with decadent ganache. At the height of wedding fashion and may be used as an alternative to a traditional wedding cake (when arranged as a lofty tower) or as favours.
A ball of flowers or greenery usually carried down the aisle by the flower girl or the bride who wants something different.
Save the Dates
Digital or printed cards sent before your official invitations to warn people in advance to keep your chosen date free. Best sent out after the venue has been booked.
The layout on the tables at your wedding breakfast–the flowers, knickknacks and centrepieces etc.
A friendly and authoritative figure tasked with ensuring your guests sit in the correct place at the wedding breakfast and will relay important information/make announcements and introduce the newlyweds. A must for corralling and managing rowdier relatives. Find a toastmaster in your area.
Traditionally, where the bridal party sits. Usually: the newlyweds, both sets of parents, chief bridesmaid and best man.
Necessary for a venue to hold civil marriages or civil partnerships legally. It’s their job to get one; your job to make sure they have it. For the record, current UK law states that any structure that is not permanent cannot have a licence. Boats, temporary buildings and marquees cannot be licensed.
Cannot be written in the UK as there are certain things everyone must say. You will be given a choice of accepted vows and can choose which ones you’d like to give on your wedding day, however.
The time between the ceremony and the reception where the wedding party, ceremony guests and newlyweds enjoy a meal. Usually around lunch time.
Important to have. Safety in case anything goes wrong with any aspect of your wedding plans and means you won’t lose deposits. Shop around for the best wedding insurance coverage.