Commonly Misunderstood Wedding Terminology Explained

by Sunday 4th October 2020blog

Wedding jargon may seem simple at first however some terms may be more different than you first thought. ‘Wedding Breakfast’ to the ‘Golden Hour’ all have particular meanings that you must know before your big day. So here are my top picks of Wedding terminology explained for newly engaged couples. 

Drinks Reception

Straight after your ceremony you will start your drinks reception where your guests will congratulate you, you will have a couple of drinks and a mingle as well as having your photos taken with your photographer. This is not to be confused with your evening reception.

Rustic Wedding Drinks Reception Fruit Punch

Wedding Breakfast

This is your meal after the ceremony and drinks reception, it is common to have this around 3 pm. I like this one as the name comes from it being your first meal as newlyweds, not because it is an actual breakfast!

Wedding Reception

The evening party, this can also be called Evening Reception. This often begins around 7 pm, this is where your evening only guests arrive.


They are often made available and distributed by waiters at your venue on platters for your guests to help themselves during the drinks reception, they can come in small bite-size shapes and often consist of a pastry base.

Wedding Drinks Reception Canapes


Favours are a tradition that is common at most weddings, I struggle to think of a wedding I have been to that did not have Favours. They are a small gift on each table setting for your guests as a gesture to thank them for coming to the wedding. Traditionally they would be sugared almonds in a small tie bag however now there are all different types including mini alcohol bottles, charity donations, mini caricatures to name a few.

Golden Hour

This term will mainly be used when discussing your photos, photographers often advise on dedicating time in your schedule to go for photos during the hour before sunset where everywhere looks golden and gives your photos a beautiful effect. If you decide to do this it will also open up more time for you earlier on in your drinks reception.

Bride and Groom Sunset Photo Shoot

Head Table/ Top Table

The main table in your wedding breakfast room where the couple and their direct wedding party sit, this often includes the couple, both sets of parents, maid of honour and the best man. Traditionally this is on a long table that faces into the room however more and more couples are opting for a round table amongst their guests.


This a large plate that is used as the base for your table settings, the dinner plates will then be laid down on top of this when the meal is served. You get these in many different styles from your decor company, they create extra depth and more decor to your table.

Rustic Wedding Breakfast Table Setting


Acronyms that are often used to abbreviate – Maid of Honour, Mother of the Bride, Best Man, Father of the Bride.

Open Bar

Very popular by your guests but not whoever is payings wallet! This means that it is not a cash bar, your guests will not pay anything for their drinks throughout the day/evening. You will either prepay your bar company/ venue a set amount or you will settle up the bill with them after the wedding.

Celebrant/ Registrar

The two are often confused, a Celebrant is someone who leads a non-legal blessing/ceremony. They do ceremonies that do not require legalities, for example, if your venue is not certified to do civil ceremonies you will need to do a legal ceremony before the wedding at the registry office conducted by a Registrar to make you officially married. If you still want a ceremony at the venue in front of your family and friends you can arrange a Celebrant to conduct this. If your venue is certified and you want to get legally married there, this will be led by a Registrar.

Wedding Ceremony Exchanging Rings


Ushers are often close friends or family members of the couples, they are important in assisting guests during the ceremony to make sure they know where they can and can’t sit to ensure everything is organised ahead of the bride’s arrival. They may also hand out orders of services for a more personal feel instead of having them set out on each chair. Be sure to have your Ushers stand out as important so your guests know, it is common to have them wear a Button Hole Matching the rest of the wedding party.

Button Hole

Is a small floral decoration that is worn often on the left lapel of a suit jacket of your wedding party, they are commonly arranged by the florist that is also arranging the bouquets. Button Holes are worn by the men in the wedding party and often the Mother of the Bride.

Groom with floral buttonhole


This is a fee paid to your venue or caterers that allows you to bring in your own alcohol to the venue. Not all venues charge a fee for this although it is common for most places to apply the charge. You may want to pay a Corkage fee if there is specific Champagne that you like but the venue does not stock, you could pay the fee to provide your own.

Champagne Glasses Drinks Reception

Master of Ceremonies/ Toastmaster

A host who announces the newlyweds to the wedding breakfast and makes other announcements including introducing the speeches. Just let me know if you would like any more information from me regarding how we can put a bespoke package together for you to include a Master of Ceremonies.

Receiving Line

The married couple welcome all of the guests one by one in a line formation as they enter the wedding breakfast room.