The A to Z of Planning a Wedding: A Glossary to Help You Master the Lingo
The table service for a single diner: a napkin, salad fork, dinner fork, dessert fork, service plate or charger, soup bowl, bread-and-butter plate, butter spreader, dinner knife, teaspoon, soup spoon, water goblet, red wine glass, and white wine glass.
A large decorative plate that's placed under the dinner plate to bring color and texture to the table.
Another word for table arrangement or centerpiece. It's most often used when each table has multiple components.
A small bouquet or flower arrangement usually given as a gift to the mothers of the bride and groom before the wedding ceremony.
A ball of flowers that is used as a decoration or an accessory (flower girls often carry them in lieu of baskets). They can be suspended from ribbons or hooks, or placed on top of vases.
The ribbon, fabric, or handkerchief that wraps around the stems of a bouquet.
An elongated bouquet with a trail of vines, ribbons, or leaves (also referred to as a "waterfall bouquet").
Maid of Honor and Matron of Honor
A sister or friend of the bride who stands closest to her at the altar. Although this role is traditionally given to one person, it can be given to two or even three. The maid of honor title is given to a woman who is not married, while the matron of honor title is given to one who is.
A man—or men—selected by the groom, whose main responsibility is to seat guests as they enter the ceremony. This task can also fall to the groomsmen.
Printed cards that inform guests of what table they'll be seated at. They are typically displayed as guests enter the reception, or at cocktail hour.
Printed cards that are placed at each seat at the reception to let guests know which chair they will be sitting at.
A term to describe all of the stationery, including the save-the-dates, invitations, reply cards, reception cards, and any other invitation enclosures.
A card that's mailed with the invitation for guests to fill out and return with any or all of the following information: whether or not they will be attending, how many people will be in attendance, and in some cases, their entree choice for the reception.
A centuries-old printing technique where blocks or plates of raised type are inked and pressed deep into the paper, giving words and images a grooved texture.
The process of creating a three-dimensional image or design, such as a monogram, on wedding invitations, programs, menus, and thank-you notes.
The most traditional form of invitation printing. Text is etched onto a copper plate, which is then coated with ink and wiped clean, leaving ink only in the indentations. When paper is pressed against the plate, it produces raised text. On this stationery, a drawing of a ranunculus bloom is engraved in deep pink.
A French word that means "raw" or "unbleached." The natural beige hue has become a traditional color for wedding invitations.
Paper stock that is thicker and more durable than normal writing paper, but thinner and more flexible than other forms of paperboard. It is often used for wedding stationery including invitations, menus, programs, and escort and place cards.
Heavy, transparent paper that is often used as an overlay on wedding invitations. It can also be used for a variety of other things, including these favor boxes.
The art of arranging type; type design.
A short line at the end of the main strokes of a character.
Sans, which means "without," is a typeface in which characters have no serifs.
A dramatic veil that extends at least 9 feet. Because of its volume, it demands the wide aisles of a cathedral (hence the name) and deft maneuvering on the part of the bride, as well as the assistance of at least one of her attendants.
A Spanish-style tulle veil with a wide lace border that lays over the head instead of attaching with a comb.
A short veil that extends to just below the chin (so as not to interfere with the bouquet).
A hair accessory that's worn to the side and is often made of feathers, flowers, or wisps of fabric. It's often embellished with crystals, beads, or loops of ribbon, and attached with a comb, headband, or bobby pins.
A traditional veil that reaches the bride's fingertips when her hands are at her sides.
A cloud of tulle that rises high above the bride's head. This style gained popularity in the 1950s, when brides wore it combined with a tiara or satin headband. Today's bouffants are more understated and are typically worn without a headpiece for a cleaner, more modern look.
A multilayered veil that brushes the shoulders and is perfect for dresses with open or intricate backs.
A short blusher, wrist-length drop, and sweeping chapel-length veil in one.
Fabric or ribbon details used on hats, cakes, or wedding decor.
A type of framework used to expand the fullness of the back of a woman's dress. Many modern gowns contain hidden strings and buttons made for tying up the bustle after the ceremony so the bride can dance more freely at the reception.
A decorative design made of one material sewn over another.
A fine netted fabric used for veils, tutus, or gowns.
A luxurious fabric with a high thread count that's shiny on one side. It's sometimes referred to as "silk satin."
A silk or silk-like fabric with a ribbed appearance. It's often used in trims, belts, and handle wraps—like this one.
A thin, sheer, plain-weave fabric that's traditionally made from silk.
A ribbed woven fabric of silk, rayon, or cotton that drapes very well.
A high-neck silhouette that extends horizontally from shoulder to shoulder. It gained popularity in the 1960s, and is also referred to as a "boatneck."
A heart-shaped neckline.