Planning a wedding for the first time can be stressful especially with a whole new lexicon of terms to learn! Read on for some of the most common wedding terminology explained!
A/N: Any term denoted with “*” is a BRIK-specific term or is explained in terms of our venue!

Photo: Ripperton Films

Banquet Event Order

Commonly referred to as a “BEO,” a banquet event order is a document that outlines the details of your event.

Bridal Portraits

Bridal portraits are usually taken before the wedding day. They give you an opportunity to take formal (or fun!) portraits in your wedding gown without the rush of the wedding day to worry about. This is a great time for your hair and makeup trials as well! Plus, who doesn’t want to wear their dress more than once?!

Ceremony Backdrop

Your ceremony backdrop is the decoration at the end of the aisle that is behind the couple and the officiant. These come in all shapes and sizes and can be as ornate or as simple as you would like!

BRIK has a few ceremony backdrops included in your rental!


Not just for your phone! A charger is the large, decorative base plate that sits beneath the dinner plate. A charger can completely change the vibe of your tablescapes and can be rented.

Cocktail Hour

Cocktail hour is the time in between the wedding ceremony and reception. At BRIK, we often have cocktail hour in our courtyard. If you opt out of doing a first look, you’ll be taking all your formal and wedding party portraits during this time.

Want to know more about wedding day timelines? Check out this blog post!

Day-Of Coordinator

A day-of coordinator is hired to help with the timeline and organization on the day of your wedding. Coordinators often do not help with planning itself but step in in the last couple of weeks or month before your wedding to help with logistics and keeping the wedding on track on the day-of.

Final Meeting*

At BRIK, your final meeting takes place one month before your wedding date. You’ll meet with our venue concierge, Adela, who will finalize your layout, vendor list, and any other wedding day details.

First Look

A first look is an opportunity for your partner to see you before your walk down the aisle. First looks can also be done with family, friends, and the wedding party.
Check out our First Look Guide for more about first look options!


A “flip” refers to the need to convert a room from a ceremony space to your reception. This often involves moving a lot of tables, chairs, and decor, and can take quite a while!

At BRIK, we don’t need to flip since we have the ceremony and reception in separate spaces!

Full Cleaning*

At our venue, “full cleaning” means you take everything you want to keep out of the venue at the end of the night, and we clean up the rest! All hanging installations must be on the floor before departing, and all bussing and catering trash must be taken care of by catering staff.

Grand Entrance 

A Grand Entrance is when your wedding party and the couple enter the reception and are introduced to the room! This often leads directly into the first dance.

Groom’s Cake

A groom’s cake is a special bonus cake that reflects the groom’s interests or hobbies! We’ve seen all kinds of creative takes on this from college-themed cakes to Yeti coolers, from an firetruck to a full model of Lambeau Stadium!

Photo: Created by Noah Cake: Sugar Bee Sweets

Head Table

A head table holds the newlyweds and their wedding party. Often confused with a Sweetheart Table, which seats just the couple.


When a venue says something is “In-House” it means they either provide that service as a part of your rental or have an exclusive partnership.

For example, we have an in-house bartending company, HD Liquid Catering. While their packages aren’t included in our rental price, they are the only bartending company our couples may use.

Open Flame Policy

Be sure to ask your venue about their open flame policy – basically, if open flames are allowed in the venue or not. Some venues require candles to be inside a glass hurricane holder.

At BRIK, we allow open flames! See how gorgeous taper candles look in our reception space?

Photo: Jenna Marie Co.

Open Vendor 

“Open vendor” means a venue allows you to select whoever you’d like for your vendor team, from planner to caterer to florist and everything in between. Always ask on venue tours if the venue is open vendor or if they have in-house vendors!

BRIK is completely open vendor except for bartending services.


A rehearsal is typically done the day before your wedding or on the day-of before guests arrive. It is a walkthrough of the timing for the processional (walking down the aisle) and helps the wedding party practice how slowly or quickly to walk in time with the music.

Rehearsal Dinner

A rehearsal dinner is slightly different from a rehearsal; dinners may not include a walkthrough, and may not be hosted at your venue at all. It is a great way to welcome your out-of-town guests.


A send-off is the very last event of the wedding day! Your guests will create a pathway for the couple to their getaway vehicle (or motorcycle, or Cowtown Cycle Party – whatever you’re into!), and see you off with whatever exit prop you chooose (sparklers, fireworks, foam sticks…. anything!)

Photo: Angela Germany Photography

Styled Shoot

When you see wedding vendors posting about a “styled shoot,” they are talking about a team of vendors creating a wedding day design for photoshoot purposes. They often include models in the place of a bride and groom (although the models are often couples!). Styled shoots are used to showcase vendors’ talents and creativity.

Sweetheart Table

A sweetheart table seats only the two newlyweds at the front of the room. Often confused with a Head Table, which seats the couple as well as the wedding party.

Sweetheart Dance

A sweetheart dance is the last dance of the night shared by just the bride and groom in an empty venue. Guests are usually outside preparing for the grand exit during this time.

Photo: Feather & Twine


“Tablescape” refers to the design of the tabletops at your reception. No two events have the same tablescapes, and there is no limit to the creative freedom you have when piecing together your tabletop aesthetics! Use flowers, runners, candles, tablecloths, books, ginger jars, thrifted objects, and rented cutlery, chargers, and plates for a truly custom look.

Photo: Epic Productions

Venue Host*

A BRIK, your venue host is the person who holds the keys to the castle on your wedding day! They will be available in the office all night long to answer questions, help you onto the rooftop, and more. They will also be checking on and restocking the bathrooms all night long!

Venue Concierge*

Our venue concierge, Adela, is your venue BFF! She helps with collecting payments, can help you select your vendor list, assists with creating layouts, and will be there every step of the way to help with your BIG DAY!

Walk Through Wednesday*

Walk Through Wednesday is hosted at BRIK on the first Wednesday of every month. This venue open house lasts from 6-8 p.m., and couples, families and friends, vendors, and anyone interested in checking out the venue in a casual setting is welcome!

Wedding Party 

Your wedding party consists of your bridesmaids, groomsmen, and anyone else who stands by your side and supports you on your big day!

Wedding Planner

The wedding planner role can look different for each planner, but generally, a wedding planner helps you plan your wedding day, selects vendors, creates your timeline, handles design, and also covers day-of coordination. Be sure to ask potential planners what packages they offer and what they include.

We hope our dictionary of Common Wedding Terminology Explained was helpful to your planning process! What terms did we miss? Let us know in the comments!