If you’re just entering into the world of wedding planning, you might be overwhelmed with the new lingo that may be hurled at you any given second. And as a new wedding planner, you certainly don’t want to have that deer in the headlights look when a venue manager asks you about the day’s events and uses words like “in-house” or “room flip”—and definitely not when in front of your first few clients. Don’t fret, though. Understanding the wedding planner terminology will come in it’s own time—the longer you’re in the industry, the more fluid the lingo will become.
Wedding Planner Terminology
We all had to start somewhere, right? Today, I’m breaking down the must-know terms so you can get through your first few weddings with confidence. Take a moment and study these new terms. Knowing the wedding planner terminology takes time. Don’t be afraid to ask a vendor friend to explain them in more detail if needed.
All-inclusive. this is a flat fee that includes a range of services. You see this most often provided by destination wedding resorts.
Final Guarantee/Final Count. This is the final head count given to the caterer. The couple will pay for this number and is usually needed roughly two weeks in advance.
First Look. The first look takes place before the ceremony where the bride and groom are staged to see each other for the first time.
Fondant. A pliable, decorative cake covering used to decorate or sculpt wedding cakes.
GOBO. A laser-cut piece of acrylic or metal that is placed inside or in front of a light source to control the shape of the emitted light. You will often see this at the reception on the dance floor or walls.
Grand Entrance. The moment when the members of the bridal party are announced to the wedding guests as they enter the reception.
Hard Stop. This is when the wedding reception comes to an end and the DJ stops playing music. You usually have about an hour left for cleanup.
In-house. Some venues offer more than just their venue space. Additional services may include furniture rentals, catering, and coordination. Due to liability reasons, bar service might also be in-house.
In-house Catering. This is when catering services are supplied by the wedding venue. Usually, off-site caterers are not permitted when this is the case. You will see this at hotel weddings.
Personal Flowers. This refers to the bouquets, corsages, and boutonnieres of the bridal party flowers.
Processional. The choreographed entrance of the bridal party into the ceremony.
Rain Plan. Also known as “Plan B,” a rain plan is created in case bad weather is threatening an outdoor ceremony and/or reception.
Recessional. The choreographed exiting of the bridal party from the ceremony space.
Room Flip. At weddings where the reception is being held in the same space as the ceremony, the guests will often be ushered into a different space for a cocktail hour while vendors transform the ceremony space into the reception.
Send-off. The event of all of the wedding guests getting together to say goodbye to the newlyweds, who typically leave the wedding reception. This could include sparklers, bubbles, petals, etc.
Stationery Suite. A matching set of wedding stationery that typically includes save-the-dates, wedding invitations, reply cards…
Tablescape. The stylish arrangement of items (e.g., place settings, centerpieces, candles) on a table.
Tasting. A service provided by some caterers for the bride and groom to sample different dishes in order to decide which ones they would like to be served at their wedding.
Uplighting. Using upward light to transform the reception space to take on a different ambiance for the night.
Vendor Meal. This is a meal provided by hotel or catering company which is typically paid for by the couple for a reduced rate. This is usually a cold deli sandwich and a bag of chips.
Venue Walkthrough. A service where the bride and groom can tour a venue to get a better understanding of what can be done with the space for their future ceremony and/or reception.
Watermark. Some wedding photographers will “watermark” their images, meaning their logo is included somewhere on the images.