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  • Writer's pictureShannon K. Wendt-Heath

Wedding Planning Glossary- The Decor

Updated: Jan 4, 2022

Sometimes, we wedding professionals use terminology that non-wedding folks may not be familiar with. I have found myself going on about "vignettes" and "linens" and I get the blank stare. LOL

So I have created this glossary of 10 terms we often use, and perhaps with starting this list, I won't get that stare anymore. I hope that it helps as you begin your wedding planning. I'll be discussing the basics first, most of which are items that are must haves: tables and chairs, for example.

Ceremony Terms:

  1. Arbor/Arch/Huppah (or Chuppah) or Moongate/Circle Arch- These terms refer to structures that are end of the aisle and where the two of you (and any officiant you might have) will stand. Arbors can be wood or metal and generally are square or rectangular in shape. A huppah (or chuppah) is typically a wooden structure that is 8' x 8' and draped over the top for Jewish ceremonies. Moongates (or circle arches) are just that: a tall structure of wood or metal in a circle shape. Nowadays, other geometric shapes can be found as well (we also have a cedar wood triangle that is one of our most popular ceremony rentals). All of these look even more beautiful draped or with floral.

2. Shepard's hooks are metal hooks styled after that of a shepard, hence the name. They are typically used to hang lanterns or jars which can contain candles or flowers.

3. Wedding Signage

- This is a term that I use to describe any signs that you would have posted at your ceremony site, whether at the beginning of the aisle or elsewhere in your venue. These signs are typically for couples having an unplugged (no cell phones) ceremony or we've also created welcome or order of events signs for here as well.

Reception Terms:

1. Table Linens

- Tablecloths, Napkins and Runners. Tablecloths are just that: a covering over your reception tables. Always make sure that the linens you rent or that the venue supplies are FLOOR LENGTH. No one wants or needs to see table legs (unless you're renting our farm tables, that is). Napkins are cloth and come in many different fabrics and styles and the choice is up to you! Here at Heart, we have a nearly endless selection of napkins styles to choose from. Runners are a strip of cloth that runs down the center of your tables. They add just a pop of color and are a great way to pull in one of your accent (secondary) colors. We also have these in nearly every style and color imaginable.

2. Reception Tables

- Banquet/Guest/Sweetheart. These terms refer to the size and shape of your reception tables. Banquets are rectangles and typically used for the head table and for accessory tables such as gifts, cards and displays. Although, nothing says you can't use these tables for guest seating if space allows. Guest tables are just that, where guests are seated. These tables are round and come in 5' or 6' sizing. A sweetheart table is generally a table that is reserved for the couple and they come in many different sizes and shapes. The choice of a table for this is usually personal. Most of our couples choose one of our handmade farm tables for their sweetheart or our smaller 4' round with one of our linens.

3. Reception Chairs

- Garden or Chiavari. Garden chairs are wooden and super versatile. They are our most popular style of chair to rent. Chiavari chairs are a wood or resin chair that is perfect for a ballroom, Castle or modern style wedding. They are not good for outdoor weddings as the thin legs can sink into the ground.

4. Table Setting/Tablescape- this refers to the decor that is placed on your table. This would include glassware (drinking glasses, whether water, wine or champagne), plates, flatware (silverware) and any other elements that you might add to the table to customize it. Charger plates AKA chargers can also be part of the table settings. They are a gorgeous and affordable (if acrylic, not glass) way to dress up your tables and pull in an accent color, such as a metallic. Our most popular styles: gold plain edge, silver beaded and rose gold plain edge. We also carry naturals such as rattan and water hyacinth.

7. Candles are almost a must-have for your wedding at this point! I use some style of candle and candleholder at every single wedding that I do.

- Types of candles include, from small to large: tea, votive, floating, taper and pillar candles. Tea candles are small and are typically housed in a plastic or metal holder. Votive candles are usually a few inches tall and are perfect for votive candle holders. Floating candles are just that: candles designed to float atop water. Taper candles are slender and come in various heights, depending on the size of the holder. Pillar candles are the largest and come in various heights and thicknesses. And candles don't have to be all the same size. Mix and match them for a more eclectic look!

8. Cylinder vases (hurricanes). These super popular vases are perfect for pillar or floating candles, holding flower bouquets or even things like stones or gems. They range in size from just a few inches tall to over two feet! They look beautiful lining aisles, as centerpieces, or atop your memory, gift or other tables. This style of vase is my most popular request.

So that's the first 10. There are many more to come! Little details will be what I tackle next. Questions about any of this? Hit me up with the contact form, text, or email.

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Various Photography: @samarahmad from Unsplash, @kariannephotography, @carlylynnevisuals @leidyandjoshphotography @weddingsbycheyenne @mandie.forbes

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