Wedding Planning Lingo Revealed

bride and groom kissing at sweetheart table

All the different wedding lingo can be slightly overwhelming when you first start planning your wedding! Your pros get used to throwing terms around and may leave you wondering “umm… what is that exactly?” While many terms are obvious to some, others may be unsure – so we are here to assist! We have created a wedding glossary aka cheat sheet to enlighten you. So, when you are meeting with your wedding planner or vendors, you will be ahead of the game and will know exactly what they are describing. Less questions equals more time to plan!

wedding ceremony with mountain and lake view Photo Credit: Ely Roberts


A wedding arbor is a simple way to personalize an outdoor wedding and define the head of the ceremony site within an open space. We love the variety of rental arbors available from local vendors, Curated Event Rentals, Heirlooms and Co. and Aspen and Pine Design Co.


Who doesn’t love a long beautiful train on a wedding gown? But, what happens after the ceremony, when you are ready to boogie down? Enter the bustle. This features loops, buttons, or ribbons used to pull up and tuck the train of a dress. Most bustles attach on the outside of the skirt, pulling fabric up toward the waist to create a drape. Depending on your dress, make sure to communicate with your wedding planner when you want this done, just to ensure there’s a small window of time built out in the timeline to get you all tucked!

charger plate with food Photo Credit: Natalie Puls


For wedding receptions, a charger is a larger plate that is used as the base of a place setting. Served plated courses are placed on top of the charger. We typically recommend letting your caterer know that you would prefer to clear them after the entree service, so guests can enjoy the beauty as long as possible!

Escort Card

Escort cards are displayed at the entrance to the reception area, ultimately directing each guest to their assigned dinner table. Not to be confused with place cards which tell your guests exactly where to sit once they’ve gotten (or been escorted) to their table. Place cards are often seen in more formal settings, where escort cards are more casual and require less pre-planning for the couple. We also recommend table assignment displays (especially with the wind gusts in Central Oregon!) which directs guests with a single statement sign with the table assignments. 

bride surprising groom with beers on a bridge Photo Credit: LundynBridge

First Look

We are fans of the first look! This intimate moment happens before the ceremony, a grand reveal of your wedding looks, and gives you the opportunity to spend time together alone before the wedding formalities begin. It is a wonderful way to get photos before the ceremony, which ideally will provide more time for mingling at the cocktail hour versus using the majority of that time for taking photos.

Gobo Lighting

Gobo lighting is when you place stencils in the front of lights to create patterns that can be projected on the floor or the walls to add depth and texture. A fun addition is to create a custom gobo with your wedding monogram, your names or another design to shine on the dance floor. 

bride and groom kissing at sweetheart table Photo Credit: Ely Roberts

Sweetheart Table

A cozy table just for you two! A sweetheart table is a table for the bride and groom only, a wonderful way to enjoy your dinner together. You might be surprised how apart you can feel on your wedding day, so this allows for a few extra minutes to enjoy the meal that you so meticulously selected, and gaze into each other’s eyes while taking in the rest of the room full of your family and friends.

Welcome Bag

This one is for the destination weddings! A welcome bag or box can be as simple or as complex as you’d like. We recommend including the wedding weekend’s itinerary, suggestions for restaurants/things to do in the area, snacks, bottled water, sunscreen or Advil. We love including local products to showcase the location as well! These bags are often handed out at check-in at the guest’s accommodations or can also be put into the guest’s room for an extra special touch.

couple cutting wedding cake Photo Credit: Gwen Shoemaker


Let them eat cake! Fondant is a sugary exterior of a cake that provides a sleek, smooth look. Keep in mind, this is often removed prior to serving. Your cake baker or pastry chef can assist with direction if this is needed based on your cake’s design. Too Sweet Cakes, Dreamin’ Desserts, and Foxtail Bakeshop are just a few of our local favorites!

We hope this revelation of planning lingo assists you along your wedding planning journey. Of course, never be afraid to ask further questions or recommendations of your wedding pros, that’s what we are here for! We ensure all goes smoothly and no questions are left unanswered so you can fully let go and enjoy your special day. 

For more wedding day tips, design, and information about The Indigo Bride, check out our portfolio and blog and follow us @theindigobride.

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