We’re helping define these terms for you!

Today, we’re rounding up and defining some of the most common wedding terminology used that you’re bound to hear throughout the wedding planning process! As Wedding Coordinators, we often get confused looks when we ask clients if they plan on doing a ”first look,” if they want to use “chargers” as a part of their place settings, and so on. It’s always helpful to know some of these basic terms before you start meeting with vendors, and we’re here to help!

Common wedding terminology used throughout the wedding planning process; wedding terms defined

Banquet Event Order (BEO) – A document typically created by a caterer or venue that outlines the details of your event. It serves as a guideline for them to execute and communicate logistics to all necessary team members.

Boutonniere – Small florals (sometimes even just one flower) worn by male members of the wedding party on their lapels.

Cake Cutting Fee – A fee that a caterer may charge by the slice to cut your cake.

Charger – a large decorative plate that’s placed under a dinner plate to bring color, texture and elegance to the table.

Color Palette – A range of colors – usually two or three – used in the wedding décor.

Corkage Fee – A fee that a caterer may charge just to open bottles during your reception if you provided them yourselves.

Day of Wedding Coordinator (DOC) – Every Day of Wedding Coordinator is a little different – some even classify themselves as Month of Wedding Coordinator – but typically a DOC focuses solely on pulling all the final details and logistics together towards the end of the wedding planning process, and ultimately executes everything for the bride and groom on the day of their wedding.

Escort Cards – Informs a guest which table they are to sit at.

First Look – A moment typically staged by a wedding photographer for the bride and groom to see each other prior to the ceremony.

Formal Exit – An orchestrated formality where the bride and groom exit either the ceremony and/or reception through a group of their guests. Oftentimes, you’ll see guests blowing bubbles, tossing confetti, waving ribbon wands or even creating a pathway with sparklers at the end of the night.

Full Service Wedding Planner – Someone that manages much more than just the day of the wedding. They can manage everything from the budget, vendor and venue site selections, and attending tastings to creating a design concept, selecting details and décor to use, and even managing your invitations and guest list. They then ultimately execute everything for the bride and groom on their wedding day!

Head Table – The table at which the bride and groom sit with their wedding party, family members and/or close friends! Traditionally the bride and groom sit at the head of the table with their Maid of Honor and Best Man sitting next to them.

Letterpress – A vintage-style printing technique giving words a grooved texture

Mercury Glass – A term for silvered glass, which is glass that has been blown double walled, then silvered between the layers with a liquid silvering solution and sealed. You can oftentimes find mercury glass vases or votives in silvers, golds, and even rose gold.

Officiant – The person who performs the marriage ceremony.

Overlay – A decorative linen placed on top of the underlay used for contrast in color or texture.

Place Cards – Designates a guest’s specific seat to sit in at a table.

Common wedding terminology used throughout the wedding planning process; wedding terms defined

Prelude – Background music played as guests arrive prior to the ceremony beginning.

Processional – Music played as the families, wedding party and bride walk down the aisle.

Recessional – Music played at the end of the ceremony as the bride and groom exit.

Save-The-Dates – Announcements sent out prior to the wedding to alert guests to keep the wedding date free.

Seating Chart – An alternative to escort cards that informs a guest which table they are to sit at.

Sheet Cake – Cake served to guests in lieu of or in addition to the wedding cake, which may not be large enough to serve to everyone.

Signature Cocktail – A unique or original cocktail chosen by the bride and groom specifically for the wedding. They are oftentimes created or designed to represent a specific theme or color.

Stationery Suite – Describes all of the wedding stationery as a whole including save-the-dates, invitations, rsvp cards, and even additional reception paper goods such as menus and escort cards.

Sweetheart Table – A small table set up just for the bride and groom at the wedding reception.

Table Numbers – Indicates where guests are to sit at the reception and corresponds with their escort card. Table numbers are often framed, inserted in a stand of some sort, laser cut, or even as simple as tented cardstock.

Tablescape – More than just centerpieces, a tablescape describes the overall look that will be achieved for the entire table, as well as its surroundings. Tablescapes are designed to complement not only other items on the table, but also other elements of the space and can set the mood for the entire event.

Unity Ceremony – An element of a ceremony to symbolize the bride and groom becoming one. Unity ceremonies do not necessarily have to be religious and can range from unity candle ceremonies and sand ceremonies, to washing hands, planting a tree or even reading letters to each other.

Venue Coordinator – An employee of the wedding reception venue that acts as a liaison between the bride and groom and the venue’s operations team. Every venue’s Coordinator’s roles may vary, but oftentimes their focus is solely to deliver their contracted services and oversee the building as a whole.

Votive Candles – A small candle – usually about 2 inches high – used in the décor to create ambiance throughout a wedding reception. Votives are often placed on guest, cake, cocktail and even welcome tables.


Images by Ivan & Louise


Meet our Lead Coordinator, Brittany

A couple weeks ago, I introduced you to our newest Lead Coordinator, Kendra (you can meet her HERE), and today I’m excited to now introduce you to another Lead Coordinator of ours, Brittany!

As you’ll read below, Brittany has been a part of the JDWC Team for almost 4 years now and has played an integral part in allowing our brand to grow to what it is today! She is well loved by her brides, extremely detail-oriented, she has impeccable taste (fun fact, her gorgeous newly remodeled home was the backdrop of some of our previous JDWC team photos…also taken by Ivan & Louise!) and is a force to be reckoned with! Brittany’s dedication and ability to manage and execute a couple’s wedding day flawlessly are just a few of the things that make her such a great wedding coordinator!

Cheers to a great weekend ahead and I’m excited for you to get to know her a little better through this Q&A!



Lead Wedding Coordinator; Professional Wedding Coordinator Team Photos; Indianapolis Day of Wedding Coordinator; Jeans with white top and red necklace | Ivan & Louise Images

Years working with JDWC: 3.5 Years

Tell us a little bit about you: I have been coordinating weddings with JDWC since I moved from Cincinnati to Indianapolis about four years ago. I met my husband at Miami University on the first day of college and we now have two little boys, Brecken(2) and Callum(8 months). When I am not coordinating weddings or being a mom you can find me teaching middle schoolers. To say my life is filled with a variety of people, personalities, and never ending patience is an understatement! 🙂

What’s your favorite way to spend a Saturday when you’re not working a wedding? Pre-kids…shopping! Now…doing anything fun around Indianapolis with the boys!

Lead Wedding Coordinator; Professional Wedding Coordinator Team Photos; Indianapolis Day of Wedding Coordinator; Off the shoulder blue top | Ivan & Louise Images

You’re a Lead Coordinator for JDWC – what do you love most about working with brides and executing their wedding day? I love seeing the unique details brides come up with that have meaning to them personally. It is such a gratifying feeling to know that the roll I have in a bride and groom’s wedding day can have such a big impact on how they remember their favorite day! I want them to look back and feel overwhelmed by how much love and joy they felt in that moment, and happy that they didn’t have to worry about anything else!

If you had one piece of advice for couples planning their wedding, what would it be? I would say to really decide ahead of time what elements of the wedding day are most important to you as a couple. Put your time and budget into those things. Do not worry about what others before you have done or what tradition dictates.

If you had one piece of advice for couples on their wedding day, what would it be? Hire a Day of Wedding Coordinator! 🙂 You spend so much time and effort planning – give yourself and your family/friends the opportunity to truly enjoy every minute of the day.

Tell us what your favorite wedding trend is right now: I love weddings that can balance the classic with the bold; finding places to add dimension and visual interest to a space without going over the top trendy. For example, bold prints paired with a variety of textures (marble, wood, glass, copper). You can bring some of these textures to a space in your cutlery, glassware, votives, chargers, signage, table numbers, tables, etc. and then complementing them with softer tones throughout.

I also can’t get enough of oversized florals in deep, vibrant colors!

Your top 3 places to shop:  Anthropologie, Amazon, Target

What’s your go-to coffee order? Skinny vanilla latte with almond milk…preferably from Hubbard and Cravens! :)

Lead Wedding Coordinator; Professional Wedding Coordinator Team Photos; Indianapolis Day of Wedding Coordinator; Off the shoulder blue top | Ivan & Louise Images

Images by Ivan & Louise