Wedding Terminology – Basic Wedding Terms

12 Mar

A wedding is the ceremony in which two people are united in marriage. Ahh, sweet love! Reminds us of the movie, The Princess Bride, when Princess Buttercup is about to say ‘I do’ to Westley. The scene starts with… ‘Mawage is wot bwings us togewa today.’  Gotta love that movie.

Below we’ve listed some standard terms that you may (or may not) be familiar with as a bride while planning your upcoming nuptials. Don’t overlook what you think you may know. Here are a few basic terms to make sure you’re covered!

{Acolyte} anyone who performs ceremonial duties such as lighting altar candles

{Best Man} duties include, but not limited to, keeping the bride’s ring safe, signing the marriage license, and, most importantly, getting the groom to the ceremony on time!

{Bridal Party} those who are directly involved in the wedding ceremony.

{Bridal Procession} during the ceremony, the procession of bridesmaids, ring bearer, flower girl, maid/matron/man of honor and then the bride and her father or close family friend walking down the isle.  Groomsmen can either escort the bridesmaids down the isle or enter with officiate, groom and best man from side door and wait at the altar.

{Candle Lighters} young children who light candles at the altar as the bride’s mother takes her seat.

{Cummerbund} a broad sash that goes around the outside of the man’s shirt at the waist.

{Dickey Bow} a bow tie and the most popular tie to wear with a tux.

{Director} ensures that everyone involved in the wedding is in place for the ceremony. They will also be the ones to pin the boutonnieres on the gentlemen and hand the bouquets to the ladies.

{Flower Girl} a young girl, up to age nine, who directly precedes the bride carrying a pomander or scattering flowers along the isle.

{Maid vs. Matron of Honor} a maid of honor differs from matron of honor in that a maid is unmarried.  The duties, however, remain the same – attend to the bride’s dress to make sure it’s properly filled out, hold the groom’s ring for the bride, and is the last bridesmaid to walk down the isle before the bride etc.

{Man of Honor} the title given to a bride’s male friend who is carrying out the duties of the maid/matron of honor.

{Officiate} a minister, cleric, justice of the peace, etc. – the one who performs the ceremony.

{Pages/Page Boys/Train Bearers} young children, usually boys, who follow the bride down the isle, carrying some of her train.

{Ring Bearer} usually a young boy, up to age nine, who walks in the bridal procession carrying a small ornamental pillow/cushion with two rings (not the actual rings) tied to it.

{Unity candle} uses two taper candles with a large pillar candle (called the “unity candle”) in the center. At the beginning of the wedding ceremony, a representative from each family (usually the mothers of the bride and groom) light the two taper candles. Later in the ceremony, the bride and groom use the two taper candles to light the large pillar (unity) candle together.

{Ushers} people (usually men not in the bridal party, however the groomsmen can take on this task) who greet guests when they arrive at the ceremony and take them to their seats. You will need one usher per 50 wedding guests.

{Wedding March} the music to be played during the bridal procession as bridal party comes down the isle.

Happy Planning,

Meagan

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