You may be very aware by now, that weddings come with their own terminology. Some of which you may have heard time and time before, but others you may be thinking ‘what on earth does that mean?!’. If you have found yourself experiencing the latter throughout your wedding journey thus far, do not panic, that is what we are here to do for you!
We have put together an A-Z run through of all things weddings and all things bridal, in the hopes that you won’t feel in the dark again when discussing your big day! If anything, we want you to feel like a wedding pro!
Whether you are planning an extravagant church ceremony, or an intimate destination celebration, it is more than likely that you have thought incessantly about the moment you walk down the aisle, to marry the love of your life! Some would say it is one of the most exciting and memorable moments of your big day, walking down the aisle as a fiancé and back up the aisle a newlywed, with lots of smiles (and maybe even tears) in between. There are countless ways that you could decorate the aisle to compliment your big day, from a candlelit walkway to a stunning, simplistic aisle runner or even an abundance of bold and beautiful bouquets, the choice is yours and is definitely something to think about to set the tone for the rest of your celebrations.
Bridesmaids. Now we know this will be a term you’ve all heard of, you may have even been planning who you were going to ask to be your bridesmaids long before you were engaged (I know I have!) or you may be finding it difficult to choose just a few! Your bridesmaids should be the friends or loved ones that you feel you couldn’t do the most important day of your life without them by your side, through every tear, laugh and celebratory glass of champagne! The people that you can rely on to calm you down through every potential bridezilla moment and to pick you up if wedding planning becomes slightly overwhelming. The people you can trust to tell you the truth when dress shopping and to squeeze your hand that little bit tighter before walking down the aisle! Then, of course, the bridesmaid’s dresses! Finding your loved one’s beautiful gowns to compliment your dream dress adds to the list of endless wedding planning excitement! Whether you have a colour scheme in mind and wish for your bridal party to wear matching gowns, or even having them in entirely different dresses, it all helps your day to be unique to you!
Choosing the right bouquet to compliment your dream dress can be the final touch to complete your look, the cherry on the cake! Bouquets can come in so many different styles, colours and sizes which makes them all the more unique and therefore all the more beautiful. You may be more of a simplistic bride, who loves the neutral tones and delicate flowers, or you may be a bride who is all about the drama and LOVES the bright, bold and colourful tones. Either way, having a bouquet to match the theme and/or colour scheme of your day is a touch so beautifully subtle, but one that everybody will notice!
4. Bridal Boutique
(Pictured at TDR Bridal Halesowen)
One of the biggest and most important decisions to make when on your journey of becoming a bride is 100% finding a bridal boutique that you can whole heartedly trust to take care of you and your dress every step of the way! It’s one thing finding a boutique that provides endless stunning gowns for you to try on before experiencing the big ‘Say Yes to the Dress’ moment but it’s another to know that you are in safe hands when it comes to the storage of your dress, the aftercare of your dress and having an overall relaxing and enjoyable experience from start to finish, with never-ending support from the bridal shop team who helped you along the way!
Picture this, you have just walked back up the aisle, hand in hand with the love of your life, as newlyweds (finally!). You walk out of your wedding venue and are greeted by the smiling faces of your loved ones, dad subtly wiping a tear away in the background, and you are filled with a degree of happiness you never knew possible. Suddenly, your friends and family cheer, throwing confetti in the air, celebrating your love and the love they have for you! Confetti on your big day is, of course, optional but is definitely a beautiful way to start the celebrations as you mean to go on, not to mention the stunning photos!
6. (Say Yes to the) Dress!
The Dress. The majority of us would be lying to ourselves if we tried to say that finding the DREAM wedding dress didn’t slightly take the edge of being the most exciting part of the wedding journey (other than tying the knot of course!). Finding the perfect dress for you is it’s own experience entirely, and should be one you look back on in delight for the rest of your life, where you shed tears of joy with those you love the most, and where you truly start to visualise yourself as a bride for the very first time! If you are approaching your first appointment, it is likely you have had that little worry of ‘how could I possibly find a style that I will fall madly in love with, when there are so many styles to choose from?’, but one thing I can assure you of, is that you will! Your stylists will be with you every step of the journey, working through all styles, colours, designers (you name it!) to find the PERFECT dress for you, and the saying is true, when you know you know and you will never look back! The magic you will feel when finally saying ‘Yes to the Dress’, is a once in a lifetime feeling and you will cherish that moment forever!
If you are a bride who has done her research on dress designers, then the name Enzoani will likely be very familiar, if not, I am here to give you an insight into the wonderful mind of an unbelievable designer! Enzoani released their first collection in 2005 and have since catapulted onto the bridal scene with a bang, providing high end quality gowns that combine traditional and modern styles, from the more simplistic satin numbers to gowns laced with flirty and romantic applique. High necks with sweep trains, to low backs and trains so long they take your breath away. All styles oozing with sex appeal whilst still finding the balance of elegance and class – the perfect combination! The attention to detail Enzoani provides is next to none and is 100% worth trying, you will not be disappointed! Enzoani have 4 different collections within the brand: Enzoani, Blue by Enzoani, Etoile and Élysée. All the individual collections put their own stamp on the dresses, from boho chic to sleek & sultry – the list is endless, and you will be sure to find a dress perfect for you!
8. First Dance
The First Dance. Nerve-racking for some, and a chance to show off their dance skills for others, but all in all a beautiful, personal moment between you and your new hubby or wife! The chance to showcase your love to a song that has strong meaning to the both of you and which will forever remind you of this special moment! Some couples choose to go for the more romantic, slow dance, arm in arm with their loved one, swaying along to the music and taking all of the love in. On the other hand, there are couples who may opt for a more upbeat track with a thought-out routine, to really get the party started (which often goes horribly wrong, but that’s part of the fun hey!). The first dance is a moment that you will cherish forever, so make sure to do it as elaborate or laid back as you want to, and most importantly, have FUN!
9. Guest List
The Guest List. Start by writing a list of everybody you had once thought you should invite, because this can be the one topic that causes a little bit of a difference in opinion when wedding planning. Understandably, you want to keep the price to a minimum, whilst not offending people you may have to give the chop! It can be tricky, because it is guaranteed that combined you and your partner know far more people than you had once anticipated, but, our biggest advice here is to ask yourselves ‘who could we not celebrate our big day without?’ and then slowly but surely, go through the list and ask yourself why they should be there.
If you met them in the pub 3 years ago and haven’t seen them since, that’s probably a good enough reason to save yourself a little bit of money and space! Don’t let making your guest list put a dampener on the experience, because at the end of the day, it is your celebration and therefore, entirely your decision (plus, you could always just invite them to the evening do!).
10. Hair Trial / Hair Accessories
Of course, one thing every bride wants on their big day, is to feel and look the best versions of themselves! This means that trialling out exactly how you want your hair and makeup to look on the day is a must! Whether that be doing it by yourself or leaving it to the professionals. A hair trial is your opportunity to work with someone who knows exactly what they are doing, to perfect the look you’re after. If you are between minds on hairstyles, this is no problem, trying multiple out helps you to narrow down the perfect look for you and means you can feel at ease and put your trust into the hair stylist as now they know exactly what you want – and they will deliver! A little advice before going for your hair trial – firstly, be completely transparent and honest, if you do not like the way something turns out, tell them! I can assure you, your hair stylist wants to make you feel amazing as much as you want to feel amazing, so making sure to tell them where you want changes is vital! Also, if you are planning on wearing hair accessories on your big day, for example, a tiara or veil, it is a good idea to take sample pieces for your stylist to try out with your desired look! Being able to practice different layouts of your accessories will 100% help to top off any look, then come the big day, you will feel on top of the world!
The style of your wedding invitations is one of your first opportunities to really set the tone for your big day! If you are planning to stick to a colour theme, incorporating these colours into invitations / save the dates is a lovely, subtle way to give your guests a sneak peek into the beauty of what is to come! Adding floral details which match your bouquet would also be a lovely touch! There are so many ways in which you can make your wedding invitations unique to you, from handwritten invitations to add your own personal flare to even electronic invitations (because you can do anything online these days!).
12. Justin Alexander
Justin Alexander. ‘Classic, Refined and Timeless!’. Justin Alexander’s label first started all the way back in 1946 in New York City and has since expanded to over 1500 retailers across the world! Justin Alexander gowns embody luxury at its finest, with 4 different collections within the brand, all of which display the true array of the designer’s talents! Justin Alexander gowns ooze pure elegance and class whilst incorporating hints of Hollywood glamour, every single dress is a hit and if you hadn’t considered their gowns before, we strongly recommend you do. Pure bliss!
13. (Sealed with A) Kiss
The kiss! Your first kiss as newlyweds, and the most perfect way to put an end to a beautiful ceremony! The moment you have waited for for so long, to finally get to kiss your new husband/wife! The term sealed with a kiss actually originated in the war time, where servicemen would write the phrase on the back of envelopes that they would be sending home to their partners, to indicate that they kissed it as an act of sending their love back home. Romantic then and romantic now, an all-round beautiful moment, sure to stick with you forever – so make it last!!
14. Low Back
Low Backs? yes, yes YES! This gorgeous dress feature is delicate, elegant and sexy all in one! Whether it be a cut-out back, a completely bare low back or even low cut lined with stunning illusion lace detail, it is a yes from us! Low Backs can be a feature on absolutely any style of dress, fit and flare, princess, a line – you name it! So if you are a bride who has always dreamed of wearing a princess dress whilst finding yourself attracted to the beauty of a low back, you won’t have to make any compromise because that dress is out there for you! Low backs can also work with absolutely any neckline, from a structured sweetheart neckline to a fully embellished sleeved gown, the options are endless! Finding a boutique that offers (what appears to be) an endless array of styles for you to try is key when searching for THE ONE.
When starting to plan your wedding, you may be faced with a little moment of panic in thinking ‘where do I even start?!’, and you will find there is a lot you need to think about, but starting with creating your own pinterest/handmade moodboards can be a perfect way to begin putting the foundation of your big day together, to make the whole journey feel that slightest bit easier! You could make as many as you feel will help the process! Things to include could be different colour schemes, table decorations, bridal gowns – the list goes on! Moodboards on one hand, can be greatly beneficial on the organisation front, as it can help you to work your way through the jobs that you know need to be done. On the other hand, if you are finding yourself to be quite indecisive, having different options and comparing them side by side can be a good way to help you narrow down to your favourites! So, if you haven’t thought about starting your own yet, it is definitely worth giving it a go!
16. Mori Lee
Mori Lee. This stunning brand was founded in 1953 as a family business. Each Mori Lee gown starts as a hand-drawn sketch in NYC and is developed from that moment on, and it has been this way for generations! Mori Lee is a brand who specialise in both unbelievable bridal gowns as well as a stunning array of bridesmaid dresses! The versatility within Mori Lee’s collections is out of this world, designing dresses of all styles, materials, colours and prices! No matter what style of dress you are looking for, Mori Lee will be sure to have something to offer you! At ‘The Dressing Rooms’ in Birmingham, we are a premier stockist of Mori Lee bridal gowns, meaning we hold the best price point in the UK, as well as having the ability to get any dress from the collection into store. So, if you are finding yourself drawn to Mori Lee, we are definitely the boutique to visit!
It’s the morning of the first day of the rest of your life. You’ve just woken up, your bridesmaids are singing with joy and preparing to get you ready for your big day, but you can’t shake that crazy feeling in your tummy, so take a deep breath, have a celebratory glass of champers and enjoy the ride, because one day you will look back on this feeling with so much love and so many beautiful memories of the day that followed. Pre wedding jitters, every bride gets them, as does every groom, so if you’re ever feeling like a bit of a lemon with those constant butterflies fluttering around, the one thing to remember is you are not alone! Throughout the day, those nervous butterflies will change into feelings of unbelievable love and happiness as everything you have planned for the big day has worked out exactly as you had hoped, if not even better. You will eventually realise that what you thought were flutters of nerves, were not about the day running smoothly or whether the food will be as good as you remembered, but were more so feelings of delight and overwhelming excitement to finally be marrying the love of your life, so cherish them!
A Wedding Officiant is any person who performs the role of officiating a legal marriage ceremony. This can include all types of people, from friends or family members who have never performed a wedding ceremony before and will likely never perform one again, to professional wedding officiants who perform hundreds of ceremonies a year. If you are planning to get married in a church, it is likely your wedding officiant will be a priest, however if you are planning a more intimate service, and want to add your own personal flair, having a loved one officiate your big day could be such a wonderful memory to share and reminisce on for the rest of your lives. Either way, the officiant of your wedding is the person who makes your marriage to the love of your life final, so whether they are a loved one or not, you will forever be grateful for the part they played in your special day!
The photographer. The person who captures all of the raw, beautiful moments that your wedding day holds, from photographs of the dream dress, the first kiss as newlyweds, to the cutting of the cake. The person you can rely on to display all of the memories of your big day to you in picture form, that you will look back on and cherish for the rest of your life! Finding a photographer you can trust is so important, as well as finding one who works in a style that will compliment the finest details of your day perfectly! Every bride says that their wedding day flies by in what feels like the blink of an eye. You are so distracted by the endless hugs, kisses and glasses of champagne the day has to offer that you wish you could do it over and over again, just to be able to witness all of the moments that you may have missed! That is exactly what the photographer is there to do, they capture all of the memories! Of course, you will have the planned photographs of you and your new husband/wife, which we all LOVE, but what often goes unnoticed is the candid moments they can capture too, the moments of pure joy, laughter and fun, and being able to look back on the wonderful memories of your loved ones celebrating your love story, is something you will be forever thankful for!
20. Place Setting
Place Settings. You walk into the reception following the most beautiful ceremony you could ever have hoped for, to the room decked out with the finest table decorations and place settings for your guests. This is another aspect of your wedding that you can make completely unique to you and your big day. Even down to the most subtle details, such as the font used, the colours and even the party favours! When it comes to place settings, the options really are endless, from beautifully handwritten name cards and menus, to personalised napkins or crockery, nothing is too big or too small and your guests will love it regardless because they love you – so make it your own!
Throughout your wedding planning journey, you will likely find that you have hundreds of questions running through your mind every day, and we cannot stress enough how important it is, whether you think it may sound small or silly, that you ask them all. The main reason for this is that, your wedding journey should be an exciting and joyful experience from start to finish, and you don’t want this to be tarnished with worry, or the feeling of being in the dark regarding any detail of your big day! The suppliers you use will want to be there for you every step of the way and are the people with all of the answers to anything playing on your mind, whether it be the dress, the cake, the venue – anything! So, to keep your mind at peace, get them off your chest. We promise it will help!
Your wedding reception! Now ladies, if you have always loved the idea of planning how your reception will look/feel, this really is your time to shine and to go to town on the planning front! The attention that you pay to all of the subtle details and features within your wedding reception really can take your big day from a 10/10 to an 11! This doesn’t have to refer to just the aesthetics of course, but also to features such as having a DJ/band, a dancefloor with a playlist so good you never want it to end, maybe even including a photobooth / polaroid camera book where guests can leave messages!
The list of possibilities to really make your big celebration unique to you, is endless and it is always so exciting to see how couples add their own flair to their day! It is the time where your loved ones can truly rejoice in your love, with dancing, singing, laughing, drinking (sometimes a little too much!) and overall showing overwhelming feelings of happiness. Memories to last a lifetime!
Seamstresses. When we say that these people are miracle workers, we truly mean it! The seamstress you choose is the person who will take your dream dress, which of course we are already madly in love with, and make it yours. When you first find the one, your stylist can manipulate the dress to show you how it will eventually look but you still have the most exciting day to come! The day that you get to see the most stunning gown, tailored to fit you like a glove, hugging every curve and enhancing your gorgeous shape! Brides often worry that when it comes to alterations, it’ll mean that they have to compromise parts of the dress, such as the shape, or pattern of applique but we strongly advise you put all of your trust into your seamstress! They are trained in this field and will not finish a job until they know that it is perfect and until they know that you are over the moon with it! Being completely honest with your seamstress is so important, this is your dress and therefore you want it to be everything you have always dreamed, and your seamstress can make those dreams come true!
24. TDR Bridal
Accept nothing less than perfection! We have mentioned previously, how important it is to find a bridal boutique that you can wholeheartedly trust when on the journey to finding THE dress and The Dressing Rooms in Birmingham is 100% that place! At TDR we pride ourselves on the experience our brides receive. To us, it is not just about the dress (although obviously that is extremely exciting), it is also about the service that we can provide, from start to finish. We are there for every single bride, every step of the way! We have a group of wonderful stylists that we can assure you, you can put all of your trust in! We aim to make the experience as blissful as possible for every bride, from a glass of fizz on arrival, to cheering in celebration when you find the one (we would be lying if we said we don’t shed a tear every now and then as well!). With over 400 gowns in store, you have the opportunity to try on as many styles as you need, to put your mind at ease that the dress you have chosen truly is the best of the best and is perfect for you! After 13 years of business, we grow stronger and stronger every day, as a team and as the TDR family. We love each and every one of our brides and are so lucky to play a part in so many incredible women’s journey to becoming a bride!
‘What underwear should I wear for my big day?’ – a question we are repeatedly asked, and we completely understand why! Firstly, when dress shopping, if you feel you could easily visualise what a gown would look like without a VPL, it isn’t that important what underwear you decide to wear. However, if you want to see how the dress will look in its truest form, we would advise wearing seamless, skin toned underwear, because we appreciate it can be difficult to imagine yourself wearing a dress down the aisle when you are distracted by a bright pink pair of pants! In terms of wearing a bra on your wedding day, you won’t need one! Seamstresses tailor the dress to fit you so perfectly that you will be 100% secure in your gown! We like to say you could do a cartwheel and nothing will move (but maybe don’t try that one!). Despite all of this, it is all personal preference and the most important piece of advice we can give is that comfort is key! Ladies, wear whatever makes you feel the most comfortable and what makes you feel amazing! There is no right or wrong, as long as you are happy in your decision, that’s the most important!
The Veil. Wearing a veil, although very traditional, may not be for everyone! For others, it can be the finishing touch to top off your look! Veils come in all styles and designs, similar to dresses. If you are set on the idea of a veil but aren’t sure of the style you’d like, it is definitely worth trying a load of different styles out whilst wearing your dream dress, to see which one makes you feel the most amazing overall! Veils come in several different lengths, from shoulder length to cathedral, and even longer than that! You can also get veils in either a single tier or 2 tiers, depending on the desired look you are after! Veils can often be completely plain, so if you want all of the attention to be on the dress, plain veils are definitely an option to consider! On the other hand you can also get veils with a satin edge, a lace trim or even beaded all over, so if you have a little bit of glitz throughout your gown and want the veil to match, there will definitely be one out there for you! At ‘The Dressing Rooms’, we have over 30 different styles of veil to try on, so it is 100% the place to visit!
27. Wedding Planner
Some brides may love the idea of planning their big day themselves and have looked forward the opportunity for years! Whilst others may prefer to hire a wedding planner! There are several benefits to hiring a wedding planner. First and foremost, they’re experts! This is the career they work in day in, day out, so when it comes to planning a wedding, you can rest assured they know exactly what needs to be done! On top of this, they will have all of the best resources and connections to really bring your vision to life, the right planner will turn your dream wedding from a fantasy to a reality, so it is important to find somebody you trust! On the first initial meeting with a planner, it is important to make sure that the two of you are on the same page and share the same vision. Whether you’re envisioning an elaborate church ceremony or a rustic barn celebration, the right planner will have access to all of the best venues and suppliers to make it perfect for you! So, if you feel that planning a wedding yourself could become too overwhelming, hiring a planner could definitely be an option to consider!
28. Your Special Day
Something many brides tend to focus on when planning a wedding, is making it perfect for all of their loved ones, as of course, you want it to be a celebration that everybody looks back on with the fondest of memories. But ladies, you must remember that this celebration is all about you and your Mr/Mrs! Make sure to take a step back every once in a while, even if it is for just 5 minutes of the day, and really relish in the moments with your new husband/wife! This is your special day and as much as we all want to please other people, the most important people to please are yourselves! You will adore your wedding day regardless but allowing yourself to take in every beautiful moment you can, will make your big day all the more special! Trust us!
Dare to be different with Zander. Oh WOW Zander! Now, we know this isn’t necessarily ‘wedding terminology’ but, I am sure you can all appreciate that this beauty deserves her own moment in the limelight! Zander is one of many incredible gowns, created by the wonderful minds of designers, Sottero & Midgley! In 3 different colours, black, ivory and champagne, this beauty of a gown could be fitting for absolutely any bride! With an unbelievable illusion lace bodice, fully embellished sleeves and a plunge neckline and back, this gown embodies elegance at its finest and will hug you perfectly in all the right places! Not to mention the full skirt, a mix of heavy lace applique, with a stunning, delicate under layer of traditional Chantilly lace. There is no better word for it, but outstanding! The attention to detail in this gown, is heavenly. There is not one part of this dress that won’t blow your mind. If you are a princess bride, you do not want to miss out on Zander! A DREAM!
30. Zip, Button or Corset? – Fastenings
The fastening on your dream dress is most likely something you haven’t thought too in depth about, as understandably we are more focused on the overall look and the way the dress makes us feel! However, the fastening of your gown is another design feature which can add such subtle beauty and can really finish off the look! Often, with zip backs, brides feel that the dress speaks for itself already, and doesn’t need any extras. For example, if there is already an abundance of beautiful detail, you may not want to add buttons or have a corset back put in as you don’t want anything to detract from the beauty the dress already holds! Button fastenings, they can add so much elegance to a gown, and are a fantastic addition if you want to achieve a delicate, romantic look! From satin covered, to glitzy jewelled buttons, they can really enhance the back of a gown – any style, size or combination! Corset backs, not only do they look stunning and ever so classy, but the true bonus is the structure they can provide! They really allow for flexibility and if you are looking to be cinched in at the waist, with a tight-fitting bodice, then a corset back would be a great option for you! Of course, no fastening is more beautiful than the next, they simply have different benefits and uses, so whichever you go for is 100% going to make for a beautiful feature on your PERFECT dress!