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Couples about to embark on their wedding journeys will likely learn a thing or two about party planning once their engagements are over and they are newly married. Wedding planning can seem overwhelming and a tad confusing at times, but a crash course in wedding terminology can help couples make more informed choices along the way.
• Blusher: A short, single-layer veil that covers the bride's face before the ceremony.
• Boutonnière: A single flower bud worn by the men in the bridal party.
• Canapés: Bite-sized appetizers served during the cocktail hour of a reception.
• Civil ceremony: A marriage ceremony conducted by a council official or justice of the peace at a municipal location rather than in a house of worship.
• Cocktail hour: Typically an hour-long interlude between the wedding ceremony and the main dinner of the reception. Guests have time to arrive and mingle before being seated.
• Corkage fee: A fee some establishments charge to allow guests to bring their own wine.
• Dais: A podium or platform raised from the floor where the bride and groom are seated.
• Deposit: A percentage of the total cost of service given to a vendor to secure a date for their services.
• Dragées: Round, small edible balls of sugar that appear on wedding cakes.
• Escort (seating) cards: Printed cards that direct reception guests to their seats.
• Fondant: A sweet, plyable product used to decoratively cover layered cakes. It can be used in lieu of straight buttercream.
• Handle wrap: Ribbon or fabric that wraps around the stems of a bouquet the bride and wedding party carries.
• Maid/matron of honor: The title given to the woman who assists the bride and stands closest to her at the altar. "Maids" are those who are unmarried, while "matrons" are women who are.
• Master of ceremonies: An individual who will work with the DJ or band to announce the various components of the wedding reception.
• Nosegay: A small bouquet or flower arrangement typically given to the mothers of the bride and groom before the ceremony.
• Processional/Recessional: Musical pieces that mark the entrance and exit from the wedding ceremony.
• Receiving line: A line of the key people in the wedding who welcome and greet guests.
• Stationery: All of the paper products used at the wedding, including invitations, programs and enclosures.
• Tablescape: A word that describes the multiple components of centerpiece designs.
Learning some basic wedding terminology can simplify wedding planning.