Popular Wedding Terms


March 5, 2019




Destination Weddings







When you fall in love, the world feels new. It's as if everything is happening for the first time. That's why we love photographing weddings. Each wedding has us falling in love over and over again—it reminds us that there is wonder and mystery in this shared life we all build together. The most aspirational thing to us is rekindling that initial spark of falling in love. We want to give you that experience with your wedding photos, perfectly captured and forever remembered. It's here, in our journal, we celebrate your love story so all can enjoy it.


How much wedding terminology and wedding lingo do you know?

When we got married, Leidy instructed Josh to pick up some “chargers” from a seller for our wedding day.  During the drive to the seller’s house, it occurred to Josh he has no idea what he was actually picking up.  “A charger?  For your phone?  Why do we need 150 of them?”

Leidy eventually explained to Josh that he was picking up a decorative plate to go under the plates for the table setting a the reception.  While Josh still doesn’t understand their purpose, “So you don’t eat off them?”, it underscores the point that when it comes to weddings there is a LOT of wedding lingo.

We know that wedding terminology can be confusing when wedding photographers use their wedding lingo, leaving clients thinking “What the heck does that mean?!” That’s why we put together a list of wedding terms!  To help clarify the wedding lingo we have created a small explanation under each.  We are also adding some practical photography tips in here so you’ll be fully prepared for your next wedding photographer meeting!



A small collection of florals and greenery worn on the lapel of a suit jacket or tuxedo.  This typically matches the brides and bridesmaids florals.  It can be worn by the groom, his groomsmen, and the fathers of the bride and groom.

Bridal Shoot

This is a separate photography session AFTER your wedding day.  It gives the bride a second chance to wear her wedding dress for some portrait time.  It can be done at the wedding venue or in a different location.  We absolutely love bridal shoots because they generally allow for more time than a wedding day.  This also means a more relaxed photo session.  Also, it can provide a different setting for your wedding photos.  For example, if your wedding was in the summer, consider a winter bridal session for a totally different experience.

Cocktail Hour

This is the time between after the ceremony but before the reception.  The bride and groom, now husband and wife will either socialize with their guests or steal an hour to themselves to retouch makeup and enjoy each others company.  At this point, we split up.  Leidy will head to the reception hall to take all those magazine-worthy shots of your wedding reception decor.  She loves to capture the setting, flowers, menus, centerpieces, and head table perfectly arranged before your guest come and set their things down.  Josh will stay with your guests during cocktail hour and capture candids of all your happy guests mingling with one another.  If your wedding is in the spring or fall, this is also an ideal time to capture the dreamy, romantic golden hour sunset photos.  Be sure to keep that in mind when working with your wedding planner or photographers to create your wedding day timeline!


Like a boutonniere but worn on the wrist.  A corsage can be worn by both men or women but or usually worn by females.  It is typically worn by the grandparents and the mothers of the bride and groom.


Couples can opt for a very small and intimate wedding over the hustle and bustle of a full wedding day.  In wedding elopements Michigan that can small reception on the lakeshore or a trip to the Peninsula and invite only their dearest and nearest to join them at a small restaurant reception.  However, some couples might choose to run away and elope in an epic destination wedding such as the Carribean or Europe!  Either way, it’s still an elopement.  And the good news is we can photograph all of those!

Engagement Shoot or Engagement Session

One of the most common wedding terms, this is the photo session before the wedding day announcing your engagement to the world!  We believe it is one of the most important parts of your wedding photography.  It allows you the chance to get a feel for your potential wedding photographer.  It is the secret ingredient to making your wedding day photos stunning.  To prepare you for your engagement session we wrote our Engagement Session Guide so you can be fully prepared.  We generally shoot an engagement session for one to two hours and believe us, it’s a great excuse to put on fancy clothes.  And as exclusive wedding photographers, we include an engagement session in every wedding package.  We believe it is THAT important.

First Look

A First Look is one of the most beloved moments on a wedding day.  It is truly a special moment when the groom turns around and see his bride for the first time on their wedding day.  We did one ourselves on our own wedding day and have been raving fans ever since.  We usually shoot the First Look before the ceremony and it is a great way to ease into bride and groom portraits.  The way it typically works starts with the groom’s back turned to the bride.  The bride quietly approaches him from behind.  She then gets him to turn around with either a tap on the shoulder or a call of his name.  He turns…they lay eyes on each other for the first time and we quietly let every single happy tear escape our eyes behind the camera.

Grand Entrance

This is the incredibly fun entrance for when the bride and groom make their entrance into the wedding reception and greet their guests.  It is the first time they are seen together as husband and wife.  There is really no wrong way to make your entrance.  You can run in dancing, casually walk together, make a dramatic dip with a passionate kiss.  However you do it, we’ll be there to capture it!


Do you know the song, “Here Comes The Bride”?  That is the wedding processional.  It is when the wedding party, and most importantly when the bride enters the ceremony space.  It is moments like these you will be grateful that you have a husband and wife wedding photographer team!  During the processional, Josh will hang up by the groom and capture his reaction.  Meanwhile, Leidy will be at the back to get your breathtaking entrance and your epic dress train!


A recession is when the wedding party departs the wedding ceremony space.  Josh typically stays in the front of the altar to capture the guests’ reactions while Leidy goes to the back to capture the bride and groom walking down the aisle together.  We love to capture everything for your gallery!

Room Flip

A room flip is when your wedding planner or venue coordinator changes the same room from the ceremony to the reception decor.  This usually depends on the venue and the bride and groom’s decision to keep everything in one room.  Scheduling enough time to flip a room is crucial.  The benefit of having a room flip is that your guests do not have to travel to a second location after the ceremony and it can sometimes be cheaper since you have only one venue.  From a photographers perspective, this is an ideal time to do sunset husband and wife portraits, the family formals, or a creative mini session.  Sometimes Leidy will use this time to shoot portraits while Josh captures candids of your guests enjoy their cocktail hour.

Room Reveal

This is the moment your wedding planner and stylist are most excited about us capturing.  A room reveal is a wedding term for when the couple see their wedding reception decor for the very first time.  As wedding photographers, we love to be there to capture your reactions!

Send Off

This is when the couple departs from the wedding day to ride off into the sunset and embark on their honeymoon! (Or back to the hotel).  All the guests gather to say goodbyes and send their love with the newlyweds.  We love to capture this moment.  It typically occurs late at night, everyone is relaxed and enjoying the party, and the heart filled goodbyes can be very emotional.

Wedding Itinerary or Wedding Timeline

If the wedding license is the most important document of the wedding day then the wedding itinerary is the second most important.  Simply put, it is the agenda for the wedding day.  It outlines where everyone is supposed to be and when.  The timeline is something created with a wedding planner or wedding photographer.  It is vital to finalize the schedule with both so the planner can be prepared for guests and the photographer has time to shoot everything.  Keeping everyone on the same page with a clear plan will make the day run smoothly.  It will also need to be shared with key members of the wedding day such as bridesmaids, parents, and those wild groomsmen….where did they go now?

Wedding Terminology Abbreviated

Lastly, here are some common wedding terms abbreviated you might come across when talking to your wedding planner or wedding photographer:

BGR – Bride Getting Ready
BM – Best Man OR Bridesmaids
DOC – Day-of Coordinator
FH – Future Husband
FOB – Father of the Bride
FOG – Father of the Groom
FW – Future Wife
GGR – Groom Getting Ready
GM – Groomsmen
H2B – Husband-to-be
MOB – Mother of the Bride
MOG – Mother of the Groom
MOH – Maid of Honor
STDs – Save-the-Dates
TTD – Trash the Dress

Popular Wedding Terms by Leidy & Josh Photography.


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