Wedding Lingo

By Kristen Castillo

December 9, 2013 6 min read

Once you start planning your wedding, you quickly realize the industry has its own language. As a B2B (bride-to-be), you and your FH (future husband) will have to make decisions, such as whether you should have an AHR (at-home reception) or a DW (destination wedding), but then again you might want to consider what's best for your OOTG (out-of-town guests).

You should have a "good understanding of wedding lingo," before you get started planning your day, says Bisola Esiemokhai, owner and lead event designer of Event Design by BE.

By knowing the terminology, you won't "feel out of place or lost," says Esiemokhai, who thinks learning the lingo gives you an advantage since blogs, magazines and vendors frequently use wedding lingo.

*Speak Like a Wedding Insider

"It is important for brides and grooms to understand wedding lingo because when talking to wedding professionals, those are the terms they are going to be using," says Anthony Navarro, founder of Liven It Up, who uses chair lingo as an example.

"Once you learn that a folding chair is probably the least expensive chair you can rent, a chiavari would be the next step up and a ghost chair would be the most expensive, you begin to understand the pricing and what you can afford," says Navarro.

Plus, by being able to speak like an insider, you'll be better equipped to understand what's expected of you.

You'll also "have a better understanding of vendor contracts and ask good questions before signing on the dotted line," Esiemokhai explains.

*Wedding Glossary

So, what wedding words are essential to understand? Read on as bridal professionals share the terms brides and grooms need to know.

--AV. Refers to the audiovisual needed for the event. "You may have a need for a AV company to provide sound for your ceremony and reception, and a screen and projector for a visual montage," says Joyce Scardina Becker, wedding designer and planner for Events of Distinction and author of "Countdown to Your Perfect Wedding."

--Action station. "A food station for cocktails or dinner at which food is prepared to order by chefs and served to guests," says Scardina Becker.

--BZ. You don't want to be this: a bridezilla.

--Boots. This is "floral shorthand for boutonnieres," says Richard O'Malley, event consultant of The O'Malley Project.

--Blusher. A short veil.

--Chuppa. Also known as a mandap, this is the structure under which Jewish weddings are performed.

--Corkage. "A charge placed on beer, wine, Champagne or any liquor that is brought into a facility (typically hotel or restaurant) but purchased elsewhere," says Scardina Becker.

--DH. Dear or darling husband.

--DOC. A day-of coordinator handles wedding logistics for the bride and groom on the wedding day only.

--FAB. This term, also known as "F 'n' B" or "F & B," refers to food and beverage.

--FI. A bride's fiance.

--FILs. Your future in-laws.

--First look. "When a couple sees each other before their wedding ceremony," says Navarro, noting the first look is "typically staged by the wedding planner and photographer.

--Force majeure. This French term, found in contracts, refers to a "superior force" that exempts vendors from carrying out the terms of their contract due to extreme circumstances beyond their control, explains Esiemokhai. Examples of force majeure include hurricanes, earthquakes, blizzards and floods.

--G-men. The groomsmen.

--Gobo. "A metal or glass template inserted into a focusable lighting fixture used to project patterns, such as your monograms, on a dance floor," says Scardina Becker.

--Highboys. Also known as hiboys, these are "tall, cocktail tables or pub tables," says Navarro.

--AI. All-inclusive, meaning one price covers all the expenses, such as an all-inclusive honeymoon where one fee pays for the whole vacation, including accommodations, meals and activities.

--JP. Justice of the peace.

--LED. These low-heat uplights are "laid along the floor and directed upwards to bring color and mood into the room," says O'Malley.

--MOH. The maid of honor.

--NWR. Anything that's not wedding-related.

--Nosegay. A bouquet made of a cluster of flowers.

--Pin spotting. The lighting lingo used "when the floral arrangements in a room are illuminated with mini spotlights," says Navarro.

--Pipe and drape. "The temporary and highly customizable skeleton-like structure that hangs fabric in order to reshape a room, change the color or theme of a room or muffle sound," says O'Malley.

--Plus-plus. "Caterers use this term when they are referring to price," says Esiemokhai, explaining the first plus sign refers to gratuity and the second plus sign refers to tax, as in "The cost per person is $30 plus-plus."

--Room washes. A lighting term, "where color is washed over the room, typically amber, creating an ambient tone," says Navarro.

--Second shooter. An additional photographer shooting the wedding, who often focuses on photographing details such as the food, as well as guests.

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