A-Z of Weddings

BLACK TIE

A black tie dress code will always be indicated on the wedding invite. Such a formal affair typically takes place after 6 p.m., and men should be dressed in a tuxedo. Women are welcome to wear either a formal cocktail dress or long evening gown for the occasion.

BLACK TIE OPTIONAL

Here, the dress code indicates that something slightly more casual than black tie will do. Women can still opt for long or short gowns and men have the option of wearing a suit (but a tux is still very much appropriate!).

BOUTONNIERES

Men traditionally wear boutonnieres (placed on their left lapel, over their heart). You might opt for a boutonniere-style floral as an alternative to a corsage for loved ones like your grandmother, as well.

BLACK TIE OPTIONAL

Here, the dress code indicates that something slightly more casual than black tie will do. Women can still opt for long or short gowns and men have the option of wearing a suit (but a tux is still very much appropriate!).

INSTALLATION

If you’ve been wowed by photos of floral chandeliers, flower walls, or other towering arrangements, the thing that’s catching your eye is called an installation. These statement-making designs may require a little more time and technique to put together, but the end result is totally priceless. If you want to make a statement without blowing your budget, consider a single dramatic installation over the dance floor and more simple centerpieces. 

MOH

MOH stands for Maid or Matron of Honor. This woman (maid is unmarried and matron is married) is the one to stand directly by the bride’s side on the wedding day, and is usually a sister or close friend—though your mom or grandma could absolutely be MOH, too! The maid of honor is often responsible for planning the bachelorette party, and may also play a role in the bridal shower. Come wedding day, she may wear a dress that is slightly different from the other bridesmaids, or may carry a distinct bouquet so she stands out from the crowd.

MOOD BOARD

mood board is the O.G. Pinterest board, a collection of colors, swatches, and images gathered to inspire and guide you as you work on your wedding design. You and your planner or florist might work on a mood board to help narrow down and solidify your vision—it’s a great tool to keep your design on track and help you figure out which details and colors work best together.

OPEN BAR

Like at other parties and receptions, an open bar means you have wine, beer, and a full bar of liquor to offer guests. This option is the most expensive way to serve liquor at your wedding, so feel free to get creative if it’s not in your budget. You’ll want to read about everything you need to know about serving booze.

SIGNATURE COCKTAIL

Sip, sip, hooray! You’ve finally tied the knot, so let’s head to cocktail hour to celebrate. Mark the occasion with a signature cocktail that you and your S.O. love, whether it’s a classic (think a margarita or a boulevardier) or a creative seasonal concoction crafted by your caterer just for the occasion. Don’t forget a sign telling guests what’s in their drink!

SWEETHEART TABLE

This is a table set for two! This is an option for couples who want to enjoy a dinner date surrounded by their nearest and dearest. We love when couples play up this display with special signage and decorated chairs.

WALK THROUGH

There are two types of venue walk-throughs: The initial visit, where you’ll tour the venue and be able to ask questions before you sign a contract, and the pre-wedding walk-through, where you and your vendor team will get to see the space one last time and tweak your designs as needed before your big day arrives. Use the former to figure out if a venue is right for you, and the latter to finalize the details and make sure every aspect has been addressed.

HEAD TABLE

Sweetheart tables will never go out of style, but head tables are here to stay. This larger VIP table is where the newlyweds sit, surrounded by either their wedding party or their families. The head table is centrally located—often right next to the dance floor for optimal toast viewing!—and often features more elaborate decorations than the other reception tables.

IN-HOUSE CATERING

This means the F&B is handled by your venue and not an outside vendor. An in-house team has the home court advantage, meaning they know the venue and how to operate in the space. Some vendors require you to work with their team, so ask about this at your first site visit.

GOLDEN HOUR

Photographers often refer to the time just before sunset as “golden hour.” During this time, the light is soft and perfect for post-ceremony portraits.

GARLANDS

Garlands are strands of greenery and flowers that can be used to dress up just about any surface at your wedding. Weave them amongst candles on your reception tables, drape them across the front of the bar, string them from chandeliers, and more.

FIRST LOOK

Can’t imagine not seeing your S.O. before you walk down the aisle? A first look might be for you. This moment, which happens before the ceremony, is a chance for you to reveal your big-day looks and spend time together before you’re surrounded by family and friends. It’s also a great way to squeeze in some photos before the ceremony—freeing you up for cocktail hour later!