Wedding Glossary

Learn Wedding Lingo


A-line - or Princess gowns have vertical seams flowing from the shoulders down to a flared skirt (creating an 'A' shape).

Ascot - a man's broad necked scarf - fastened with tie tack or stick pin.

B2B - an abbreviation for 'bride-to-be'.

BM - abbreviation used for 'bridesmaid'.

Ball gown - or ballerina gown, is the most traditional wedding gown. It has a full bodice and a synched waistline that falls into a full skirt

Basque - refers to a style of waistline that drops 2-inches below the natural waist and often dips into a point in the center.

Batiste - a light transparent wedding gown fabric.

Blusher - the tuft of veil that covers the bride's face.

Bomboniere - an Italian term for 'guest favors', given to wedding guests as a keepsake in appreciation of their attendance.

Boutonnire - a tiny flower arrangement usually attached to the left lapel of the jacket. Boutonnieres can be worn by grooms, attendants, ushers, and the bride's and groom's fathers. From the French term 'button.'

Brocade - a thick woven fabric with raised designs, typical in Victorian wedding gowns and traditionally popular in fall and winter wedding gowns.

Buttercream Icing - the most popular wedding cake icing is made of butter, confectionery sugar and milk.

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Cascade - a style of bridal bouquet, a waterfall of flowers and greenery anchored to a hand-held base.

Charmeuse - a lightweight, semi-lustrous fabric, much like satin.

Chiffon - made from silk or rayon, is sheer and transparent, so it's often layered. A popular fabric for the overskirts, sheer sleeves and wraps of wedding gowns.

Chocolate Ganache - a thick wedding cake icing made of chocolate and heavy cream.

Classic Hand-Tied Bouquet - a handmade collection of blooms, usually tied with ribbon.

Corsage - from the French 'bust'. A corsage is an arrangement of flowers pinned to the bodice of a woman's dress. Corsages come in pin-on, wrist and hand-held styles. Corsages are typically worn by mothers and grandmothers.

Corset - A form-fitting, strapless or spaghetti-strap bodice with boning and lace-up or snap closures.

Crepe - a lightly thin fabric with a crinkled effect.

Damask - like brocade it has raised designs, but is lighter in weight.

Dowry - an endowment which a bride brings to her husband in marriage.

Duchesse Satin - a silk and rayon hybrid woven to look like satin.

Empire - a style of gown with a high waistline (right under the bust) which falls to a slimmer skirt, popular with medieval wedding gowns.

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Fianc - French for a betrothed man.

Fiance - French for a betrothed woman.

FMIL - a computer abbreviation for future mother-in-law.

Fondant - this thick wedding cake icing has a gummy, porcelain finish perfect for making confectionary flowers and faux pearls.

G2B - an abbreviation for 'groom-to-be'.

Garland - adorns pews and tables; a woven rope of flowers or ribbon.

Georgette - A sheer fabric of polyester/silk with a crinkle crepe-like surface.

Groom's Cake - a smaller wedding cake; themed to the groom's interests.

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Halter - a sleeveless bodice that wraps at the neck.

Illusion - sheer net-like fabric used for the sleeves or necklines of wedding gowns.

Matron of Honor - the bride's main attendant; is married.

MOH - an acronym for 'maid of honor'; isn't married.

Nosegay - also called a 'tussy mussy'; a round cluster of flowers wrapped tightly with ribbon or lace for a delicate effect; popular in Victorian times.

Off-the-shoulder - a neckline that sits below the shoulders or drapes over the upper arm.

Organdy - stiff transparent dress fabric.

Organza - similar to tulle, but flows freer in wedding gown skirts, sleeves and overlays.

Portrait - like off-the-shoulder neckline, scoops from the tip of one shoulder to another.

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Satin - the most popular wedding gown fabric, glossy on one side.

Sheath - a slim, body-hugging wedding dress silhouette.

Save the Date Cards - informal announcements which precede the wedding invitations by several months ahead, ideal for weddings close to major holidays.

Scoop - a U-shaped wedding gown neckline.

Silk - The most expensive and rich wedding dresses fabric; there are several different textures, but most are smooth, glossy and sleek.

Strapless - a wedding bodice without straps.

Sweetheart - a wedding dress neckline that resembles the top half of a heart.

Taffeta - a slightly crunchy fabric with a slight ribbing effect.

Tails - a formal tuxedo coat that's short in front and has two long tails in the back.

Tiers - stacked layers of cake.

Topiary - flowers or foliage trimmed into miniature trees or animals.

Trunk Show - held by bridal shops; allows bridal gown designers to show their designs.

Tulle - used in wedding skirts and veils; silk, nylon or rayon netting.

Tussy Mussy - a small Victorian era bridal bouquet, carried in a hand-held vase.

Velvet - a thick, soft fabric similar in effect to felt and often used for winter wedding gowns and wraps.

V-neck - also called a plunging neckline or low-cut neckline, dips down in the front.

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