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The A-Z of Wedding Definitions

Take a look at my list of common and unknown wedding words, that sometimes need a little explaining!


In wedding terms, an alter is the spot where a couple exchange vows at the end of the aisle.


Men traditionally wear boutonnieres/buttonholes (placed on their left lapel, over their heart). Nowadays, a lot of key family members, including Mums and grandparents wear these too.


A bustle is a tailoring trick with loops, buttons or ribbons, used to pull up and tuck the train of a dress to make moving around easier for the bride (the dress is often bustled during and after the wedding breakfast.


A canape is a small bite that is served during the time between the ceremony and wedding breakfast (when the couple have photos).


A celebrant is a person who cannot legally conduct a marriage, but will officiate your wedding and pronounce you married. Most people have a celebrant when getting married in an unlicensed venue e.g. a back garden, beach or unique venue. If you are married by a celebrant, you usually go to a registry office before/after your wedding to become legally married.

Day-Of Coordinator

If a full-service wedding planner isn’t in your budget, we highly recommend investing in a DOC, or day-of coordinator. This person will take over the final stages of planning and logistics side of your wedding day, overseeing set-up and making sure the timeline runs smoothly so you can focus on being the bride and your loved ones can celebrate instead of stressing over whether they’ve accurately brought your vision to life.

Escort Card

Escort cards and place cards (covered below!) are the two most-confused pieces of wedding terminology. Escort cards are displayed at the entrance to the reception area, ultimately directing each guest to their assigned dinner table.


Favours are ‘Thank you’ gifts guests are given and are usually placed on the table with their place setting. Often these are small gifts e.g. chocolates or personalised gifts.


Garlands are strands of greenery and flowers that can be used to dress up just about any surface at your wedding. Often used amongst candles on tables or draped through beams or from chandeliers.

Head Table

AKA the top table. This is where the newlyweds sit, with their closest family/friends.

Invitation Suite

The invitation suite includes the who, what, where, and when of your wedding. A suite typically includes a save the date, invitation, and RSVP card, and may also feature an additional information card (calling out things like your wedding website URL or travel information), a map, or a weekend itinerary. Further add-ons include coordinating menus, programs, escort cards, and place cards.


A lot of people wear a piece of sentimental jewellery on their wedding and pass this down over the years.


“You may kiss the bride/groom” is something you will hear when the officiant confirms that you are now married.


Letterpress is a style of printing on wedding invitations. It is one of my favourite styles.


MOH stands for Maid or Matron of Honour. This woman (maid is unmarried and matron is married) is the one to stand directly by the bride’s side on the wedding day and is usually a sister or close friend—though your mom or grandma could absolutely be MOH, too! Traditionally the maid of honour is often responsible for planning the hen party.

Mood Board

A mood board is the O.G. Pinterest board and is a collection of colours, swatches, and images gathered to inspire through your wedding design. I always recommend creating a moodboard before you begin deciding on the styling elements, to ensure that all of your ideas and colours complement each other perfectly.


Newlywed means you are new to your marriage, and the time frame for being a newlywed varies. This period lasts as long as four years. Some call it the honeymoon stage.

Open Bar

An open bar means you offer free (and often unlimited) drinks to your guests throughout the wedding day. This option is the most expensive way to serve alcohol at your wedding, so feel free to get creative if it's not in your budget.

Place Card

A place card is placed in front of a guests’ table setting and has their name on and sometimes their food choices. Once you read the table plan, the place card is there to identify your seat.


As a bride, you will feel like you are Queen for a day, as most brides believe they are.

Rehearsal Dinner

The rehearsal dinner is a pre wedding event that often occurs the night before the wedding itself. It typically takes place after the wedding rehearsal (hence the name!), and includes the couple, their wedding party, and immediate family members.


Répondez, s’il vous plaît! RSVP is a polite (and French) way to ask your guests to please let you know if they’ll be attending your wedding. Most wedding invitations feature an RSVP card—or, nowadays, a URL where guests can RSVP online. RSVP ask guests to specify how many people will be attending (if plus ones are allowed) and details e.g. food choices, whether guests will be needing accommodation and even things like a song they’d like to hear on the dance floor!

Save the Date

Save the Dates are the perfect way to get on guests’ calendars before you send out your wedding invitation. They are often simple & just include your names and wedding date & venue.

Sweetheart Table

This is a smaller version of a top table and is just for the newlyweds, instead of a long top table with family members on.


A tablescape is what you get when your entire table design comes together, from the plates and flatware to the flowers and candles. When you’re deciding on your wedding design, think of the overall picture and how it all ties in together.


Ushers serve an important role during the day and help direct guests to different places at different time. For example, they often help escort guests to their seats or the ceremony or wedding breakfast ceremony, helping escort guests to their seats and keeping things organised before the ceremony begins.


Veils are less commonly wore over the face anymore and now often worn as an accessory at the back of your head and styled with how you would like your hair. Veils can vary in length, material, and pricing, so read up on everything you need to know here.


Bride and Groom exchange vows at the wedding ceremony. Some couples like to write their vows or simply go with the traditional theme.


This is one wedding investment many couples are thankful for —or wish they’d made. I am an advocate for videography, it is something that like photos, will last a lifetime, but also add that element of ‘live’ Yes, fantastic photography is worth every penny, but those photos don’t move and can’t preserve the words of your father’s toast or your grandma’s killer dance moves. If you’ve got space in your budget, give a videographer a call. You won’t regret it!

Wedding Breakfast

The wedding breakfast, in easy words, is the dinner you have on your wedding day. It is called the ‘breakfast’ because it is the first meal you have as a married couple.

Wedding Planner

Me! A wedding planner is someone who the couple hires to organise every element of their day, from suppliers, to design, to logistics, to the day itself to allow a couple to enjoy the wedding planning process and fully relax on their day.

X marks the spot

After the wedding ceremony, you and your partner, with a couple of witnesses (usually the Best Man and Maid of honour), sign the marriage certificate. Once signed, your marriage is official.


Yours, your day should be completely yours, all about you.


Moving forward with a feeling of enthusiasm and a sense of excitement for the future.

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