Tips and Advice

Wedding terms, what do they all mean?!

Working with an experienced local wedding planner, like Your Perfect Bridesmaid or Gather Events will make a huge difference when it comes to knowing where to start and how things work. A seasoned professional can help guide you through all the lingo and things you need to know! If you want to brush up in advance, however, here are 15 Wedding terms that are helpful to know when planning your wedding day!

In all aspects of our lives, knowledge is power. We are sure that the more you know, well the more you know.  This is why we want to share 15 wedding terms that we think will help you feel more confident walking into your wedding planning.

1. Run of Show/Timeline– The timeline for your wedding day is something that all of your vendors should have on hand on your wedding day. It is the way to keep everything running smoothly and ensures that all vendors are on the same page. This is something you can put together yourself by talking with all of your vendors to learn arrival and departure times as well big moments throughout your night. As a wedding planner, this is something we are working on throughout the planning process. When we are hiring vendors it is great to have a basic timeline in place to refer to.

2. BEO – Stands for banquet event order. This is something your catering staff will refer to. It typically has all of the information they need to run a smooth event.

3. Corkage Fee – There are quite a few caterers that allow their clients to purchase their own alcohol. If this is the case the catering company will typically charge a fee to serve it. That is called the corkage fee!

4. Charger – This is a large decorative plate that the dinner plate will go on top of. It is a great way to keep your table looking full even when your dinner plates are up at the buffet line.

Photo by Ramos Studios

5. Color Palette– It is always great to come up with some sort of color scheme when designing your wedding day. This really keeps everything cohesive. If you have hired an event designer this is something they can help you with.

6. Seating Chart- The seating chart is a way to display where your guests will be seated for dinner. There are so many incredible ways to do this, cue Pinterest.

7. First Look– A private moment when the couple sees each other before the ceremony. We love this. It is so intimate and gives the couple time to regroup and prepare for the rest of the day.

8. Formal Exit– Let it be a special song, sparkler, or confetti. A formal exit is when all guests come together to say goodbye to the couple at the end of the night.

9. Head Table– The head table is typically where the newlyweds sit during the reception. A lot of times the wedding party will join them there as well.

10. Sweet Heart Table– Maybe your wedding party is massive and the thought of all of them and their dates at one table seems daunting. Then opt for the sweetheart table. This is typically a specially designed table for just the newlyweds.

11. Tablescape– A tablescape is typically more involved than just a centerpiece. It will bring all of the elements of your reception table together with a unique and beautiful design.

12. Prelude– This refers to the music that is playing to “welcome the guests” as they arrive at the ceremony.

13. Processional– The processional is the wedding party walking into the ceremony before it begins.

14. Recessional– The recessional is the wedding party exiting the ceremony.

15. Venue Manager/Coordinator – The venue manager/coordinator works for the venue and not for you directly. They are there to ensure that the venue is running properly. Think lights, bathrooms, start time/end time, etc. When it comes to venue logistics they are the contact. It is always good to check with your venue coordinator so they can let you know their exact role on your wedding day. It can vary greatly and is MUCH different than the role of your personal wedding planner (coordinator).

Featured photo by: Ramos Studios

This Tips & Advice piece was submitted by Kayla McCaul, a trusted former local wedding professional and talented writer. 

The Art of Weddings Portland strongly recommends you hire a professional wedding planner that is experienced and connected to the top vendors in the community.  You can find the full list of our favorite Portland planners, venues, and vendors in our vendor guide! Follow us on Instagram at @artofweddingspdx too!

You should also keep your eye on The Venue Crawl event. Wedding planning has never been so much fun! Follow on Instagram at @portlandvenuecrawl and check it out.