Top 25 Common Wedding Terms Explained

Navigating the world of wedding planning can sometimes feel like learning a new language. With a variety of terms, abbreviations, and phrases unique to the industry, understanding what they all mean is crucial to planning your dream day. As experienced Toronto wedding photographers, we’re here to demystify some of the most common wedding terms you’ll encounter during your planning process.


Boutonniere: A small, decorative floral piece that is traditionally worn on the lapel of a suit or tuxedo jacket. Typically, boutonnieres are worn by the groom, his groomsmen, and close male relatives such as fathers and grandfathers.

Corsage: A small bouquet worn on the wrist or pinned to the dress, often by the mothers and grandmothers of the bride and groom as a symbol of their special status at the wedding.

Bouquet: The collection of flowers carried by the bride and her bridesmaids. The bride’s bouquet is often more elaborate, and during the ceremony, she may hand it to her maid of honor for safekeeping.

Reception & Ceremony

Cocktail Hour: This is the interlude between the wedding ceremony and the reception, offering guests drinks and appetizers while the wedding party and family take formal photos.

Elopement: A small, more intimate wedding ceremony, often with just the couple and a handful of guests. It’s a simplified alternative to traditional weddings and can occur anywhere from a local courthouse to a destination abroad.

First Look: A moment before the ceremony where the bride and groom see each other for the first time on the wedding day. This private moment is cherished and provides an opportunity for beautiful, intimate photos.

Grand Entrance: The moment when the newlyweds are introduced as a married couple at the reception, often accompanied by music, applause, or even a dance.

Processional: The sequence of entering the ceremony venue, starting with the wedding party and ending with the bride. This marks the official start of the wedding ceremony.

Send Off: The celebratory conclusion to the wedding events where guests cheer, throw rice, or wave sparklers as the couple departs for their honeymoon.

Room Flip: A transformation of the ceremony space into the reception venue during the cocktail hour, typically handled by the venue staff or wedding planners.


E-shoot or E-session: This is just shorthand for an engagement photo shoot. Engagement sessions are a great way to announce your upcoming wedding to loved ones. Many of our couples use these photos for their save the dates!

Shot List: During our planning sessions, the couple and wedding photographer will plan a shot list. This is simply a list of photographs that the couple wants to be taken. It’s best to be as specific as possible, especially when it comes to different people combinations so that you get everything you want.

Golden Hour: Often considered the best time for photographs due to the soft, diffused light just after sunrise or before sunset. This lighting can make wedding photos feel particularly romantic and ethereal.

Second Shooter: An additional photographer who assists the primary photographer, capturing different angles and moments that the main photographer might not be able to cover simultaneously. This is especially useful for large weddings.

Bridal Session: A photo session focusing solely on the bride in her wedding dress, which can take place before or after the wedding. This session allows for more personalized and detailed shots of the bride in her gown.



BGR: Bride getting ready

BM: Best Man

BP: Bridal Party

FG: Flower Girl

FH: Future Husband

FOB: Father of the Bride

FOG: Father of the Groom

FW: Future Wife

GGR: Groom Getting Ready

MOB: Mother of the Bride

MOG: Mother of the Groom

MOH: Maid of Honor

RB: Ring Bearer

Understanding these terms not only simplifies communication with your vendors but also helps you make informed decisions throughout your wedding planning journey. If you’re planning a wedding in Toronto or beyond and looking for expert photographers who understand the nuances of your big day, contact us. We’re here to capture every moment from your first look to your grand exit, ensuring your wedding memories are beautifully preserved.

Ready to capture your story with precision and care?

Contact us today to discuss your wedding photography needs and how we can help document your special day.

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