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Acetate Fabric Acetate is a thin, synthetic fabric with the luxurious look of silk.

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Alencon Lace A fine needlepoint lace fabric, made of linen or cotton thread; featuring corded designs on a sheer net background, and often embellished with beading, sequins or pearls.

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A-Line Silhouette The A-Line dress is a universally figure-flattering silhouette, featuring a fitted bodice and a hip-skimming skirt that gradually flares out from the body, starting right below the natural waist, forming an "A" shape, as it reaches the ground. (May also be referred to as the "Princess Silhouette")

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Anniversary Cake A small cake to be enjoyed on the anniversary of a wedding.

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Antebellum Waistline A waistline style, featuring a bodice that dips two to three inches below the natural waist, meeting at a point, front and center, forming a v-shape. (See also: Basque Waistline)

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Appliqué A piece of decorative fabric design or lace cutout applied to another fabric such as a dress, veil or shoes.

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Ascot Tie A wide, formal tie, worn folded over, and fastened with a stickpin or tie tack.

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Asymmetrical An irregular or unbalanced design element that creates visual interest, e.g. – gathering of fabric on one side, a high-low hemline, a one shoulder neckline, etc.

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Aufruf (OYF-roof) A communal acknowledgment of the upcoming wedding, Aufruf is the Jewish custom of a groom being called up to the Torah for an aliyah.

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B2B An acronym for "bride-to-be".

Back-Up Cake A sheet cake of the same flavor as your wedding cake, used to serve guests after the display cake has been served.

Ball Gown Silhouette The ball gown is the most formal silhouette, characterized by a fitted bodice and a very full skirt. The full skirt of a ball gown dramatically flares away from the body, starting almost immediately at the gown’s waistline, and fully extending to the floor.

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Ballerina Length A very full skirt ending just above the ankle, often seen in tulle ball gowns.

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Ballet Veil A tier of veiling that is from 54-56 inches in length. Ballet length veils are sometimes referred to as princess or waltz length.

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Basque Waistline A basque waistline, like an antebellum waistline, dips in the middle two to three inches below the natural waist. A basque bodice begins at the natural waistline on the sides and dips to a point in the front.

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Basting The temporary sewing together of two pieces of fabric to assure perfect pattern matches. Threads are removed once it is time to cut the fabric. Also known as underbasting.

Bateau Neckline A wide, shallow neckline that runs horizontally across the collarbone, from shoulder to shoulder, with equal depth in the front and back. (See also: Boat Neck)

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Batiste A very soft, lightweight, opaque or sheer fabric in a plain weave, often used for linings.

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Battenberg Lace (Battenburg Lace) Large cutout needle lace pattern of delicate floral or geometric designs. Also known as Renaissance Lace and Mezzo Punto.

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Beading or Beadwork The art of attaching beads to one another or to cloth, usually by the use of a needle and thread or soft, flexible wire.

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Bedeken (b'DEKEN) Translating as "veiling," Bedeken is the ceremonial veiling of the bride by the groom in an Orthodox Jewish wedding. Also known as Badeken, B'deken, Badekenish, or Bedekung.

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Bell Sleeve Relatively full in circumference, this sleeve is fitted at the shoulder and flares as it approaches the wrist.

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Bertha Collar A decorative collar, often trimmed with lace, which is attached to the neckline. It ranges in length from nine to 18 inches.

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Besom (be'-zum) An interior pocket with edging or stitching on the pocket lip. Also known as a piped, bound, welt, or "Reece" pocket.

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Best Man The chief, male assistant to the groom at the wedding.

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Bias Cut A sewing cut that runs diagonally to the weave of the fabric, rather than perpendicular.

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Bishop Sleeve A full sleeve set into a normal armhole and gathered on a band at the wrist.

Black Tie Required An event where a tuxedo or dinner jacket is required. No other options are permissible.

Black Tie Invited An event where a tuxedo or dinner jacket is encouraged, but not required. Proper dress other than a tuxedo would be dressy attire, such as a coat and tie.

Black Tie Optional Common for a less formal or non-wedding event. A white dinner jacket, black trousers, and black or colored accessories may be worn as an alternative to the classic black tuxedo.

Blouson A garment with a gathered or fitted waist and fabric drooping in fullness from bodice to waist, often blousing over the waistline.

Blusher Veil A shoulder length layer of veiling used to cover the face before the ceremony. Typically combined with a veil of another length, the blusher is then removed or flipped back.

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BM(S) Acronym for bridesmaid(s).

Boat Neck A wide, shallow neckline that runs horizontally across the collarbone from shoulder to shoulder, with equal depth in the front and back. (See also: Bateau Neckline)

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Bodice The portion of a dress that extends from a gown's neckline to its waistline.

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Bolero Jacket A cropped jacket that remains open in the front.

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Bomboniere Italian for "favors," bombonieres are passed out to wedding guests as a keepsake in appreciation of their attendance.

Boning (Corset Boning) A rigid piece of steel, nylon, or plastic that is inserted into a corset to give it structure.

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Bouffant Slip The fullest of all slips, built with multiple layers of ruffle or tulle. Typically built with a drawstring at the waist, this style gives a slimming effect.

Boutonnière ("BOO-tin-ear") This is a single flower or bud or small group of flowers or buds worn by the males of the wedding party.

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Bow A knot with two loops and loose ends, a bow is a popular addition to bridal and special occasion fashions. Bows are also occasionally used on invitations.

Bow Tie The bow tie is a style of men's neckwear, popularly worn with formal attire, such as tuxedos, suits, or dinner jackets. It consists of a ribbon of fabric tied around the collar in a symmetrical manner, such that the two opposite ends form loops.

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BR Acronym for bride.

Braces The English term for suspenders, available in either button-on or clip-on.

Breaking of the Glass The symbolic smashing of the glass by the Chatan at the conclusion of the ceremony at a Jewish wedding.

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BRG Acronym for bridal gown.

Bridal Bouquet (Bride's Bouquet) The bouquet of flowers carried by the bride during the wedding ceremony; traditionally given to the bride from the groom.

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Bridal Party The bridal party consists of the members of the wedding party from the bride's side. (Bridesmaids, Maid of Honor, etc.)

Bridal Procession The entrance of the bride and her attendants in the wedding ceremony. Traditionally, the bride enters last escorted by her father.

Bridesmaid A girl or unmarried woman who atttends a bride on her wedding. Historically, the bridesmaids protect the bride by wearing similar clothing to the bride's attire in an attempt confuse any "evil spirit" as to who the bride was.

Brocade A heavier fabric woven with a rich raised design to create a tone-on-tone pattern. Often the pattern is a floral or ribbon design.

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Brush Train A very short train length, the brush train just barely "brushes" the floor.(Also known as a "Sweep Train")

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Bubble Shaped Veil A veil designed in a "bubble" or fountain shape to create a voluminous look.

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Buffet A self-service style meal at a wedding reception. Food and drinks are presented on a long table or series of tables for guests to serve themselves. Typically the most affordable option, however costs can rise as less control over food portions are exercised.

Bun Holder/ Wrap A medium to small circular headpiece that wraps around a bun, which is often decorated with beads or lace.

Burnout A process chemically treating fabric to create a distinctive pattern produces burnout fabrics.

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Bust Measurement The tape should be at the fullest part of the breast, which is typically at the nipple line. This measurement should be taken by someone else to allow the bride or bridesmaids' arms to be relaxed at their sides.

Bustier A form-fitting article of clothing which supports the breasts to create cleavage.

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Bustle The pulling up and fastening of fabric at the back of a dress to shorten the skirt or train. A longer train of a wedding dress may be bustled with multiple tiers.

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Buttercream Icing This classic icing is made of butter, confectioner's sugar, and milk that can be colored or flavored. Used for decoration or filling on of wedding cakes, buttercream icing is soft and creamy making it versatile in texture.

Butterfly Sleeve Similar to a bell sleeve, the butterfly sleeve starts at the shoulder and gets wider toward the end of the sleeve. The butterfly sleeve connects to the garment across the front and back and is usually no more than four or five inches long.

 
(Walking)Cane A men’s formal wear accessory, this type of walking cane is straight and black with white tips on both ends. Traditionally carried when wearing a wedding tuxedo, "white tie and tails," it is accessorized with white gloves and a top hat.

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Calligraphy This is an ornate, highly stylized form of handwriting seen on expensive wedding invitations and other places.

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Candelabra A large, decorative candlestick holder with several "arms" or "branches" for holding candles.

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Candle Lighters The people chosen to light the taper candles before the wedding ceremony. The bride and groom will use these candles to light the unity candle, during the wedding ceremony.

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Cap Sleeves A very short, often rounded sleeve style, which barely covers the tops of the shoulders, and do not extend below armpit level.

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Capelet Sleeve Falls several inches below the elbow in a soft flare.

Capelet Train Flows from back of shoulders.

Cashmere Fabric A highly appreciated dress fabric; cashmere is commonly used in the making of formal sweaters, wraps, and and shawls.

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Cathedral Train A very formal train length, extending approximately 90 inches (7.5 feet) behind the gown, from the back of the waist.

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Cathedral Veil A long, formal veil, typically three and a half yards in length.

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Center Fold Card Center fold is a card with folds on both right and left which fold toward center.

Centerpiece Cake A specialty cake that takes the place of flowers as your table decorations.

Chantilly Lace Fabric A style of lace, known for its outlined patterns and intricate detail; named after the city of Chantilly, France.

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Chapel Train A train that extends approximately 4 feet behind the gown, measured from the back of the waist.

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Chapel Veil A long length veil, typically two and a half yards in length.

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Charmeuse Fabric A lightweight fabric woven with a sativ weave, where the warp threads cross over three or more of the backing (weft) threads. The front side of the fabric has a satin finish - lustrous and reflective - whereas the back has a dull finish. Charmeuse wedding dresses are youthful and sexy, hugging the body and showing off curves.

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Chatan (ha-TAN) Hebrew for groom. In Yiddish, the "Chossen."

Chiffon Fabric A flowing fabric made from silk or rayon that drapes well on the body. Chiffon fabric is delicate, sheer, and transparent with a soft finish. It is often layered because of its transparency, making it practical for bridesmaid dresses and destination wedding dresses.

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Chupah (hoo-PAH) The wedding canopy. Usually made of fabric with four corners attached to poles, this canopy is stretched over the couple.

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Cocktail Length A hemline that lands just above the knees.

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Column Silhouette The column silhouette is a long, narrow, slim-fitting style. (See also: Sheath)

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Comb A decorative headpiece that is held in place with comb teeth. It can be worn alone or with a veil.

Continental Vest A backless vest designed to accommodate varied sizes of men. Available in a wide array of colors and fabric patterns. With the exception of boys sizes and extra large sizes, the vest comes as a "one size fits all." Includes adjustable strapping at the back of the neck for length and across the lower back to adjust waist. Also known as a waistcoat.

Corded Edge A slender length of twilled or twisted fabric creating a subtle raised line, often used as a border or edging pattern on netting.

Cornelli A complicated decorative form of icing used on wedding cakes which resembles lacework.

Corsage A single flower bloom or a small spray of blooms which are attached to a lace and either pinned to the front of a woman's dress or worn at her wrist. At weddings they are usually only worn by female relatives of the bride and groom. Currently, orchids are among the most popular flower choices for corsages.

Cotton Fabric A soft, natural, fabric produced from the vegetable fiber growing around the seed of the cotton plant. Cotton is a popular fabric choice for easy to wear bridesmaid dresses.

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Court Train A court length train extends approximately 3 feet behind the gown, measured from the back of the waist.

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Cowl Neck A style featuring loosely draped fabric around the neck; creating a soft, swinging neckline.

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Cravat A style of men's formal neckwear; a band of fabric or scarf worn around the neck.

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Crepe de Chine Fabric A soft, thin crepe, usually made from silk with a slightly crinkled surface.

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Crepe Fabric A silk, wool, or polyester fabric of a guazy texture, having a crinkled appearance.

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Crinkle Chiffon Fabric A lightweight, gently-textured sheer fabric with a fluid movement.

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Crinoline Chrinoline was originally a stiff fabric with a weft of horse-air and a warp of cotton or linen thread.

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Croquenbouche A specialty wedding cake formed with profiteroles (cream puffs) filled with hazelnut pastry cream, dipped in hot caramel, and placed on top of one another to create a cone shape.

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Crown This traditional headpiece sits atop the head and usually features jeweled or beaded embellishments.

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Crumb Catcher A strapless neckline, featuring pleats, gathering, or ruffling, and standing slightly away from the body (as opposed to lying closely against the body).

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Cufflinks A decorative fastener worn by men or women to fasten the two sides of the cuff on a dress shirt or blouse.

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Cummerbund A broad, pleated waistband, made of satin, and worn in place of a vest or waistcoat.

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Cutaway Classic daytime formal attire that was traditionally worn only for events prior to noon, but is now acceptable up until mid-afternoon. A single button charcoal grey or black coat with a long coachman back. Also known as a morning coat.

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Damask Fabric Damask (Arabic: دمسق‎) is a reversible figured fabric of silk, wool, linen, cotton, or synthetic fibers, with a pattern formed by weaving.

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Detachable Train Train that can be removed by a series of snaps or buttons.

Dias A podium or platform raised from the floor where the bride and groom are seated for the wedding reception. Also used to describe the centerpiece of the head table which drapes over the front for visual effect.

Die-Cut Cuts, slits, and holes in the paper which allow other pieces of paper or folds to tuck or slip into. The main purpose of a die-cut is for decoration, or to hold things together in the invitation decoration.

Dinner Jacket Panama weave, single or double breasted, self-faced shawl collar dinner jacket with black formal trousers. Traditionally in white, off-white, or Sahara tan, worn with pleated wing-collar or spread-collar shirt.

Dolman Sleeve A sleeve set into a very low arms eye - the arms eye may extend to the waistline, in which case there will be no underarm seam on the bodice.

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Dotted Swiss A type of fabric, first made on hand looms in Switzerland, in 1750. While there are many variations of dotted Swiss, the original look is always the same: a sheer, lightweight fabric, with a dotted motif.

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Double Envelopes Invitations and announcements typically come with double envelopes: an inner envelope and an outer envelope.

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Double Tier A two layered veil with one layer typically longer than the other.

Dragees Round These are the edible and brightly colored balls of sugar seen on wedding cakes.

Drop The number of inches smaller the trouser waist of a suit is than the coat. A size 40 regular suit, for example, usually has a six inch trouser drop - a 34 inch waist.

Drop Waist (Dropped Waist) A horizontal waistline style, featuring a long bodice, which extends below the natural waistline, usually right above the hips.

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Duchesse Satin Fabric A lightweight hybrid of silk and rayon (or polyester), this fabric is elegant and lustrous. Duchess satin is a shiny, heavy, and luxurious fabric commonly used for both couture and designer wedding gowns.

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Dupioni Silk Fabric A crisp, lustrous fabric often woven from two different colors of threads, allowing it to shimmer or change color in the light. Made from an irregular, rough silk, dupioni has a crisp drape, reflective luster, and a nubby texture.

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Elbow Length Veil A shorter veil, often in multiple layers, extending to the elbow.

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Embellishment Adornments sewn onto a bridal gown - may include embroidery, lace, glass or crystal beads, ribbons, bows, sequins, fringes, pearls, and others.

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Embroidery Elaborate designs stitched into the gown by hand or machine; may be beaded.

Empire Silhouette The empire silhouette has a waistline that is located directly under the bust, and a loose skirt that drapes softly to the floor (sheath), or flares away from the body (a-line).

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Empire Waistline The empire waist crosses the body directly under the bust.

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Enclosure Card One of several invitation cards: reception, response, at home, ceremony, informal, thank you. Often identical to or coordinating the invitation, this is usually a folder card with five to six lines of print.

Euro Tie A long necktie with a square bottom, blending the look of an ascot tie with the style of a regular men's necktie.

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Evening Dress Also known as full evening dress or white tie; this is the most formal dress code that exists for civilians today. A lady must wear a formal ball gown.

Extended Cathedral Train The longest, most formal train length, extending 9 feet or more behind the gown, from the back of the waist. (Also known as: "Grand Cathedral Train," "Monarch Train," & "Royal Cathedral Train")

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Extender Sheer netting or veiling that extends the length of the cathedral gown.

Eyelet A small hole edged with embroidered stitches to prevent unraveling.

 
Faille Fabric A heavier-weight, softly structured fabric with a delicate horizontal matte weave, creating a distinctive textured feel.

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Father of the Bride Responsible for escorting his daughter down the aisle. According to tradition, the Father of the Bride pays for everything at a wedding but in modern times both families often share the costs.

Favors Small, inexpensive gifts given to guests at a wedding ceremony or reception as a thank you, and to serve as a souvenir. (See: "Wedding Favors", "Wedding Party Favors")

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Fedora (fí-dôr'-uh) A soft felt hat with a fairly low crown creased lengthwise and a brim that can be turned up or down.

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FI Acronym for fiancé.

Fiancé or Fiancée Traditionally, the title of the groom or husband-to-be between the engagement and the wedding. A man who is engaged to be married is called his partner's fiancé. A woman similarly engaged is called her partner's fiancée.

Fingertip Veil A popular veil usually consisting of several layers that extend to the fingertips.

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Fit and Flare Silhouette The fit and flare silhouette features a form-fitting bodice, which extends right below the hip, where the bodice then meets the skirt, flaring away from the body. (Also known as “fit-n-flare”)

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Flat Taffeta Fabric A medium-weight iridescent fabric with body and a relaxed all-over texture and sheen.

Flower Girl A young girl, typically 3-8 years of age, who walks down the aisle directly before the bride, scattering flower petals from a basket along the way, or carrying a small bouquet of flowers. Young lads may also fill this role, in which case, they are known as the "flower child".

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Flyaway Veil A short, multi-tiered wedding veil that reaches to about shoulder-height. Flyaway wedding veils are typically made from a stiffer tulle material, allowing them to "fly away" from the wearer's head.

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FMIL Acronym for future mother-in-law.

FOB Acronym for father of the bride.

FOG Acronym for father of the groom.

Foil Foil is a shiny imprint commonly used for invitations, personalized napkins, and most paper accessories.

Fondant This is a sweet icing made from sugar, syrup and gelatin that has supple qualities which enable a layer to be draped over the wedding cake like a fabric. It is then used as the base for other elaborate decorations and designs.

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Fountain A veil style, where part is gathered up atop the bride's head and the remainder set loose to fall around her face. A fountain veil will reach to either side of the shoulder or the elbow, depending on preference.

Four-in-Hand Knot The simplest, most popular style for knotting a necktie; it creates a small knot to wear with a narrow-spread collar. The knotted tie hangs vertically, similar to a business suit tie. It can be fastened with a tie tack and should be worn with a spread collar.

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Fullback Vest Similar to the continental vest but with a full satin back like on a traditional three-piece suit. Usually found with an adjustable strap across the lower back to cinch-in any excess fabric. Also known as a waistcoat.

Fur A garment, such as a shawl or jacket, made of or lined with the dressed pelt of a mammal. Faux fur fabrics are often used as they come in a variety of thread lengths.

 
G2B Acronym for "Groom-To-Be"

Gabardine Fabric A tightly-woven fabric with a firm, durable finish, and single diagonal lines on the face. Gabardine is commonly used to make suits, overcoats, trousers, and other garments.

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Ganache A thick, delectable icing made of chocolate and heavy cream. Ganache (from the French word for "jowl") refers to a variety of icing, fillings for pastries, and glazes.

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Georgette Fabric A semi-sheer lightweight fabric similar to crepe, with a soft drape and flow. Georgette fabric is a textile traditionally made from silk, although synthetic fibers, such as polyester are sometimes used as well. The thing that makes georgette fabric distinctive is the crinkly, crepe-like texture, which feels slightly rough and dull, but gives the fabric a bouncy, flowing look.

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Gibson Sleeve Full at the shoulder and fitted at the wrist. (See Leg-of-Mutton Sleeve)

Godet A design feature where an extra piece of fabric in the shape of a circular sector is set into a garment, usually a dress or skirt. The addition of a godet causes the article of clothing in question to flare, thus adding width and volume.

Gorge The seam on a coat, where collar meets lapel.

Grand Cathedral Train The longest and most formal train extends approximately ten feet from waistline.

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Groom's Cake A smaller version of the wedding cake or cake themed to the groom's interests. Usually served at the engagement party or the rehearsal dinner. A groom's cake is a wedding tradition typically associated with the American South. While a wedding cake may often be decorated in white and light in texture and/or color, the groom's cake can take a variety of forms, many incorporating chocolate or fruit.

Groom's Party The groom's party is made up of the members of the wedding party from the groom's side. (Best Man, Groomsmen, etc.)

Groom's Tish The groom's table. This is where the Chatan, his groomsmen, and male family members gather for song and dance before the wedding ceremony. Traditionally, the groom attempts to deliver a learned discourse about that week's Torah portion. However, the assembled throng do everything possible to ensure that the groom's discourse is not delivered.

Groomsman A man who attends the bridegroom at his wedding. Traditionally, the groomsmen protect the groom from anyone trying to steal the bride or interfere with the wedding.

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Grosgrain Fabric A closely woven silk or rayon fabric with narrow horizontal ribs; the fabric is often used to make ribbons or trims. Some tuxedo pants incorporate a braided grosgrain stripe down the pant leg.

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Gum Paste This is a sweet icing made from sugar, syrup and gelatin that has supple qualities which enable a layer to be draped over the wedding cake like a fabric. It is then used as the base for other elaborate decorations and designs. (see Fondant)

 
Hacking Pocket A slanted flap pocket on a coat, rarely found in formal wear. The hacking pocket originated from the need to reach into a slanted pocket while riding a horse than if it were horizontal.

Half Crown An ornate headpiece for the bride, which lies between a crown and tiara in size and weight.

Half-Windsor Knot A method of tying men's neckties, forming a neat, symmetrical, triangular knot, slightly smaller than the Full Windsor Knot. (Also referred to as the "Single Windsor")

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Halter A neckline featuring straps that wrap around from the front and connect at the back, behind the neck.

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Handkerchief A traditional handkerchief is a hemmed square of thin fabric carried in the pocket or purse, its use is intended for personal hygiene purposes. In formal wear, a handkerchief or pocket square is a silk or satin fabric square folded in a variety of manners and placed in the outer breast pocket of a tuxedo.

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Hat Band This adjustable hat band can be added to any hat to coordinate with tuxedo accessories. This is a popular accessory for proms and quinceaneras when paired with a scarf and cane.

Hattabin These are the male friends and family of the groom at a Muslim wedding.

Headband A band that follows the shape of the head; an excellent option for a bride wearing her hair pulled back or down.

Herringbone A classic zigzag effect resembling the backbone of a herring. This is achieved by altering the direction of the twill.

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High Low (Silhouette) The High Low Silhouette (also: Hi-Low) features an asymmetrical hemline, which is higher in the front, and grows longer as it transitions to the back of the gown.

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Hollow-to-Hem Measurement The measurement taken from the hollow of the neck, to the hem of the dress. (The overall length, or desired length, of the wedding dress.)

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Honor Attendants These are the best man and maid (or matron or man) of honor.

Hora A dance at a Jewish wedding where the bride and groom are lifted high on chairs.

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Huppah A flower bedecked canopy that is an essential part of a Jewish wedding.

 
Ikebana This is an extremely dramatic and artistic form of flower arranging that originated in Japan, but is now popular worldwide and often seen at weddings. Japanese-style flower arrangements are aesthetically in unison with space, size, earth, and air.

Illusion Neckline A neckline with a panel of sheer fabric, which attaches to the gown's bodice.

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Illusion Sleeves Similar to the illusion neckline, this sleeve style is made of sheer fabric, usually lace, tulle, organza, or other netted fabric.

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Iman Zamin This is a good luck tradition after a Moslem wedding where the mother of the bride ties a coin wrapped in silk around her daughter's arm.

Informal Card An enclosure card that is printed with the names of the new couple on the front of the card. It is generally left blank inside for a personal written verse.

Inverted Basque Waist A waistline style which crosses the body below the natural waistline, and rises in the center, forming a peak, or an inverted v-shape.

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Iridescent A fabric with a changeable color effect depending on the angle of view and lighting. It is usually the result of weaving with one color in the warp and another in the weft.

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Iridescent Taffeta Crisp, lustrous fabric with a changeable color effect depending on the angle of view and lighting. It is usually the result of weaving with one color in the warp and another in the weft.

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Jacquard Fabric An intricate variegated, self-pattern weave with a clear finish. Examples are Brocade, or damask fabrics. Named for Frenchman Joseph Marie Jacquard who invented the loom in the early 19th century, jacquard fabric is often seen in intricate tapestry.

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Jersey Fabric Jersey fabric is a knit textile commonly made from cotton or a cotton/synthetic blend. It is typically characterized by its ability to stretch up to 25% along its grain. Jersey fabric is warm, flexible, stretchy and insulating. Undershirts and undergarments are often made from jersey fabric because its soft texture, and its ability to insulate and cool.

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Juliet Cap A close fitting cap often decorated with precious stones and sometimes worn as a bride's headpiece.

 
Kallah (KAH-lah) Hebrew for bride.

Ketuba (k'too-BAH) The wedding contract between the bride and groom in Jewish weddings. It is usually highly decorated and often framed and put on the wall in the couple's home.

Keyhole The keyhole design can be seen in the neckline or the back of dresses, and can be a revealing style, or may show very little skin.

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Khaki Fabric A sturdy twilled fabric made from worsted cotton, linen, wool, or synthetic fiber blends. Khaki pants are commonly paired with blazers and worn by the grooms' attendants.

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Knee-Length As the name suggests, a knee-length hemline stops right at knee height, usually just grazing the tops of the knees.

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Koumbaro The koumbaro is the best man in Eastern Orthodox Christian weddings. The koumbara is the female version. (see Crown)

 
Lace A fabric patterned with open holes in the work, made by machine or by hand.

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Lamé Fabric A type of fabric woven or knit with thin ribbons of metallic yarn creating a glistening effect.

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Leg-of-Mutton Sleeve Sleeve with a very full puff at shoulder and tightly fitted on the forearm. Also known as Leg-o-Mutton.

Lined Inner Envelopes Colored liners are offered as a decorative addition to the inner envelope.

Linen Fabric Produced using the fibers of the flax plant, linen is a strong natural fiber.

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Liner (Envelope) A shiny or decorative layer used on inner and outer envelopes of invitations to give a sturdy structure.

Low Rise Style of trousers in which the rise (the distance between inseam and outseam) is lower than average.

 
Maid of Honor The chief unmarried female attendant to the bride. She is responsible for a number of duties including holding the ring designated for the groom, holding the bride's bouquet during vows, and attending to the dress.

Man of Honor The male equivalent of the maid of honor if the bride prefers to have a male friend stand as chief attendant.

Mantilla Veil A wedding veil, made from a circular piece of fabric, and draped over the crown of the head, and secured with a comb. The Spanish translation is "little cloak."

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Marzipan A substance made of sugar, egg whites, and almond paste used as a base for icing or to mold decorative forms.

Matchbooks A popular keepsake favor, matchbooks are often personalized in color and design.

Matron of Honor The married equivalent of the maid of honor.

Mermaid Silhouette The mermaid silhouette tightly hugs the contours of the body from the bodice to the knee. The skirt then flares out to the hem, beginning at or below the knee.

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Mezzo Punto A mixed lace composed partly of bobbin or woven work and party of buttonhole stitches. (see Battenberg Lace)

Microfiber A lightweight synthetic fiber woven into fabrics, microfiber is available acrylic, nylon, polyester and rayon. The soft, luxurious fabric is wrinkle resistant and machine washable.

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Mizinke (meh-ZINK-a) A joyous dance towards the end of the simcha (reception), which honors parents who have brought their last daughter or son to the wedding canopy.

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MOB Acronym for mother of the bride.

Mock Neck A similar style to the turtleneck, without the portion of folded fabric. (Also called the "Mock Turtleneck")

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Modified A-Line A style of skirt that skims the hips and gradually flares to the hem, forming an "A" shape. The skirt of the modified A-line fits closer to the body than traditional A-line skirts.

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Modified Sweetheart Neckline A modification of the sweetheart neckline, displaying more subtle rounding above the bust, and a shallower plunge at the décolletage. (See also: Sweetheart Neckline)

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MOG Acronym for mother of the groom.

MOH Acronym for maid/man/matron of honor.

Moire A heavy silk taffeta with a subtle, wavy design that has the look of wood grain.

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Monarch Train The longest, most formal train length, extending 9 feet or more behind the gown, from the back of the waist. (Also known as: "Grand Cathedral Train," "Royal Cathedral Train," & "Extended Cathedral Train")

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Monograms A graphic symbol consisting of two or more letters combined. On wedding invitations it is common for a monogram to consist of the first initials of both bride and groom and the last initial of the groom.

 
Natural Waistline (Natural Waist) The term used to describe the measurement taken at the natural waistline, typically across the naval. Another way to find the natural waistline is by bending to one side, the crease marks the location of the natural waistline.

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Neckline The "line" formed by the top edge of a gown, at or below the neck, in reference to height and shape of the style as viewed from the front.

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Neckwear Men's formal neckwear includes neckties, bow ties, cravats, and more.

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Normal Rise Style of trousers in which the rise (the distance between inseam and outseam) is standard.

Nosegay Small, round bouquets, approximately 16-18 inches in diameter. The are often wired or tied together and composed of densely packed round flowers, greenery, and herbs. (see Posies)

Notch Lapel Type of lapel on which the top line slants down in line with the collar seam. This creates a look on both sides of the jacket as if a notch was "cut out."

 
Oasis A specialty hard foam used by florists in bouquet holders or vases. flower stems to fit into holes in the foam, which also retain water. Therefore, water is preserved for a long time allowing for fresher looking flowers throughout the wedding.

Obi Sash A wide sash originated in Japan that is fastened in the back by a large flat half-bow.

Officiant One who officiates, typically a cleric or secular official that carries out the ceremony.

Off-the-Shoulder Neckline A neckline featuring straps (or sleeves) resting on the outside of the shoulders, to showcase the collarbone and shoulders.

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One-Shoulder Neckline An asymmetrical design, featuring one strap on one side of the gown, and a strapless neckline on the opposite side.

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Organdy Fabric A sheer stiff fabric of cotton or silk, used for light apparel.

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Organza Fabric A delicate, sheer fabric, often layered or worn over another fabric. Similar to a chiffon/tulle combination and popular for skirts, sleeves, backs, and overlays.

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Ornamental Designs Small printed designs typically at the top center portion of the invitation or announcement. Commonly referred to as a motif.

 
Pages or Page Boys Small children (usually boys) who follow the bride down the aisle carrying some of her train. Sometimes referred to as train bearers. (see Train)

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Paisley Pattern A fabric woven or printed with colorful curved (amoeba-like) abstract figures. Some paisley prints can take on a floral texture.

Parchment A finer, thinner vellum paper that often has a worn look with a rough edge.

Peak Lapel Type of lapel on which the top line slants up from the horizontal. Often forms a V shape on both sides of the jacket.

Peau de Soie Fabric ("POH-dih-Swah") A soft, satin-faced, high quality cloth with a dull luster, fine ribs, and a grainy appearance.

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Peek-a-Boo Sleeve Sheer, puffed sleeve with different fabric showing through underneath.

Peplum A short flounce or overskirt attached at the waistline.

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Pick-Ups A design element displayed in the skirt of many bridal gowns, in which fabric is picked up at various points and attached to the skirt; used to create volume.

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Pile The pile of a fabric refers to the threads that stand up from the weave (Ex. corduroy, velvet, faux fur).

Pillars The supports used to prop up varying tiers of a multi-tiered wedding cake. They may be made from cardboard, plastic or wood. Also known as columns.

Pima A fine grade cotton produced from high-quality yarn. Pima is a type of dyable cotton that is very soft and strong. A crossbreed of Upland and Egyptian cotton, it was developed in Pima County, Arizona.

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Pique A knit fabric with a waffle-weave appearance. The outside resembles a honeycomb or waffle and the underside is smooth.

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Place Card A small tent card that is used to show guests their seating at the reception dinner.

Plaid Pattern Fabric with an overlapping crisscross pattern made using different colored threads in the warp and weft. Originating in Scotland, plaid is known as a tartan and is traditionally worn to represent a clan or family.

Ply One of the strands in a yarn, two-ply would indicate that two strands have been twisted together to make one yarn.

Pocket Square A fabric square that may be folded in various manners, and placed in the outer breast pocket of a tuxedo.

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Poet Sleeve Pleated at the shoulder; very full from shoulder to cuff.

Point d' esprit A bobbinet or tulle with oval or square dots woven in an irregular pattern. Also known as spirit stitch.

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Polyester An inexpensive synthetic fiber that is woven into a strong and durable fabric.

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Pomander A round ball completely covered by flower blooms. They are carried on a ribbon by flower girls in the bridal procession.

Portrait Neckline A wide neckline that frames the collarbone with straps or sleeves that rest on the tips of one's shoulders.

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Posies Small and roundly shaped flower bouquets that are tightly packed and include greenery. They are held together by a twine or sometimes a wire. A posy can also be known as a nosegay, but generally a proper posy is slightly smaller and often includes extras like ribbons or silk flowers.

Pouf A piece of netting gathered up and attached to a headpiece or comb providing extra height to the veil.

Presentation An elegant bouquet of long stemmed flowers that the bride cradles in her arms. Also known as the pageant bouquet.

Princess Seams An elongating dress style, featuring vertical seams that from top to hem.(The term "Princess" is also commonly used to refer to the A-Line silhouette)

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Pump A low-cut, slip-on shoe for formal evening wear that does not have laces or straps. Pumps usually have an ornamental grosgrain ribbon bow in front and are often made of patent leather or dull calf.

 
Qazi The title of the cleric who conducts a Muslim wedding ceremony.

Queen Anne Neckline A neckline featuring a very short collar in the back, and curved, sweetheart-like lines over the bust.

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Queen Elizabeth Neckline A neckline featuring a high collar in the back, and a curved sweetheart line over the bust.

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Raised Tiers A type of cake in which layers are separated by columns to make the cake appear taller.

Rayon Fabric A fabric created from a semi-synthetic fiber that is similar to silk, but has a more elastic high lustre quality giving it a bright sheen.

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Reception Cards The reception card is used to tell guests where the reception is going to be. This card is helpful if the reception is going to be at a different location, time or on a different day than the ceremony.

Reception Dresses Many brides are choosing a second dress for their wedding reception, allowing them to have a more formal look for the ceremony and a more fun and comfortable dress for the reception.

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Renaissance Lace A type of lace in which woven tape motifs are joined by a variety of flat stitches. (see Battenberg Lace)

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Response Card Allows for an accurate guest count, and gives guests the opportunity to select meal options. The response card is filled out by the guest and returned to the bride and groom. According to wedding etiquette, it is proper to include a self-adresses, stamped envelope, when sending response cards with the wedding invitation.

Ribbon A narrow strip or band of fine fabric, such as satin or velvet. Ribbons are available in various widths, lengths, and fabrics. They are popular additions to bridal and special occasion fashions, as well as commonly used on invitations.

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Ring Bearer Usually a small boy (sometimes a little girl) who walks down the aisle as part of the bridal procession, carrying a ring bearer pillow that has two decorative rings tied to it.

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Rolled Fondant The finished product of basic fondant that has been rolled out into a flat round surface. Rolled fondant is used to cover cakes perfectly smooth without wrinkles or bubbles. (see Fondant)

Royal Cathedral Train The longest, most formal train length, extending 9 feet or more behind the gown, measured from the back of the waist. (See also: "Extended Cathedral Train" & "Monarch Train")

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Royal Icing A mixture of confectioners sugar and egg whites that is commonly used in cake decoration because of its quick dry properties. It can be piped through a bag to create flowers and other decorations that are allowed to dry and placed individually on a cake.

Ruching A sewing technique, in which tight, decorative gathers create flattering pleats in the fabric.

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Ruffles A sewing technique in which a strip of fabric, lace or ribbon is tightly gathered or pleated on one edge and applied to the garment creating a flowing, feminine detail.

Rukhsat A tradition in Muslim weddings where the father of the bride says farewell to his daughter on the promise the groom will look after her.

Russian Tulle A type of fabric similar to netting but with wide holes. It is commonly used to make birdcage veils.

 
Sabrina Neckline A neckline that curves just slightly under the collarbone, running from the inside tips of the shoulders, with equal depth in the front and back. (Similar to the bateau neckline, but more rounded, and not as wide)

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Satin Fabric A smooth fabric, woven with a glossy face and a dull back. Satin used to be made with silk, however it is made from rayon, polyester, acetate, and nylon. It is commonly used in bridal gowns because of its exquisite drape.

Save the Date Cards These informal announcements precede the wedding invitations several months ahead, and allow guests to make the necessary arrangements to attend your wedding.

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Scalloped Edge A fabric detail featuring a delicately curved or cascading edge.

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Scoop Neck A neckline shaped like the letter "U".

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Seal A neutral or decorative sticker used on your envelope flap or directly on the invitation.

Seersucker A thin, crinkled fabric that is commonly striped or checkered. This lightweight, all-cotton fabric is used to make spring and summer formal wear, specifically suits and slacks.

Semi-Cathedral Train A train that extends approximately 60 to 72 inches (5 to 6 feet) behind the gown, measured from the back of the waist.

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Semi-Formal A dress code, indicating the formality of clothes worn to a black tie event. The dress code of semi-formal events is between informal and formal. (see Black Tie)

Sephardim Refers to Jewish people whose ancestors hail from Mediterranean countries in the Iberian Peninsula (Spain and Portugal).

Sequins Small, disk-shaped beads of metal or plastic used for decorative purposes. They are often sewn or glued to a garment to add interest.

Shabbat (shah-BAHT) The Hebrew word for "Sabbath."

Shantung Fabric A rayon or cotton fabric with a rough nubby surface that imitates of silk shantung.

Shawl Collar A type of lapel with a rounded and smooth edge.

Sheath Silhouette The sheath dress has a long, narrow, slim-fitting silhouette. (See also: Column)

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Shirred Waist Fabric is gathered to make a horizontal panel at waist.

Shower A spray of long stemmed flowers, often mixed with ivies that cascade downwards as the bride holds it in her hands.

Silhouette As it applies to bridal fashion terminology, “silhouette” refers to the basic outline created by the overall shape of a dress.

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Silk Fabric An expensive fabric made from fine lustrous natural fibers. Silk comes in a number of weaves varying in density, suppleness, and sheen. Silk is the most costly and sought-after fabric for bridal gowns.

Silk Gazar Fabric A four-ply silk organza with more stiffness from extra sizing offering a slightly looser weave.

Silk Mikado Fabric A type of blended silk that is usually heavier than 100 percent silk.

Silk Shantung Fabric A heavy fabric with a rough nubby surface, made of spun wild silk. Similar to a raw silk, shantung is characterized by its rubbed texture.

Silk-Faced Satin Fabric A smooth silk satin, with a glossy front and matte back.

Simcha (seem-CHAH) A celebration of joy after a Jewish wedding. The purpose of this post-wedding party is to highten the jubilation of the bride and groom.

Sleeve The part of a garment which covers the arm or through which the arm passes or slips. (see Bell Sleeve, Cap Sleeve, Capelet Sleeve, Gibson Sleeve, Illusion, Leg-Of-Mutton Sleeve, Peak-A-Boo Sleeve, Poet Sleeve, Spaghetti Strap)

Snood A knitted net worn by the bride at the back of the head to enclose her hair.

Spaghetti Straps Skinny straps that attach at the front and back of the dress or tie at the neck, often detachable.

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Spencer Coat A tuxedo alternative, this open coat cuts at waistline and is worn without buttons.

Square Neck Just as the name suggests, this neckline is shaped like a square.

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Strapless Neckline A neckline without straps or sleeves, a very popular style in modern bridal gowns and bridesmaid dresses.

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Stroller Coat A semi-formal jacket colored grey or black that resembles a tuxedo, but worn for daytime weddings.

Surplice Neckline The surplice neckline is formed by one side of the garment overlapping the other; similar to the way a robe overlaps itself when tied.

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Sweep Train The sweep train is a short train length, just sweeping the floor (Also known as a "Brush Train")

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Sweetheart Neckline The sweetheart neckline is shaped like the top of a heart, making it very flattering to the décolletage.

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Taffeta Fabric A crisp, medium-weight fabric made from silk or synthetic fibers with varying sheen. Considered to be a "high end" fabric, taffeta is suitable for use in ball gowns, wedding gowns, bridesmaid dresses, and prom gowns.

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Tails Short for the tail coat, this style is worn for formal evening weddings. Tails are short in front and extend to two tails in back.

Tallit or Tallis (tal-lis) A prayer shawl, the most authentic Jewish garment, is a rectangular garment with four tzitzit (fringes) on each corner. The Tallit is worn by married Jewish men in Orthodox synagogues and all adult men (and some women) in Conservative, Reform, and Reconstructionist synagogues.

Tea Length A hemline extending to about the middle of the calf.

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Temple Ready "Temple Ready" refers to modest wedding dresses, held to the standards of modesty, as observed in Jewish tradition.

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Thank You Cards The thank you card is an enclosure card printed with "Thank You" on the front of the card and generally left blank inside for your own personal written verse or with a printed verse inside. Etiquette calls for writing your own personal hand written notes of thanks on the inside.

Tiara A tiara is a jeweled or beaded semi-circle headpiece that can be worn alone or with a veil. Depending on the shape and height of the tiara, it may be worn either on top of the head or worn at an angle.

Tiered Arranged in or having layers or rows.

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Tiers (Cake Tiers) Numerous layers of a wedding cake, usually differing in size.

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Tissue Taffeta Fabric Lightweight, voluminous fabric with a slightly crinkled finish.

Topiary The skilled art of clipping or trimming foliage or flower arrangements into the shapes of animals, lettering, numbers, or various but precise geometric forms.

Torted Cakes Cakes layered with mousse or fruit preserves.

Tossing Bouquet A copy or smaller version of the bride's bouquet which is thrown for the single female guests after the wedding ceremony. Traditionally, the female who catches the bouquet will be next to wed.

Train (Wedding Dress Trains) A train is the section of a gown's skirt that extends behind the dress, trailing along the ground behind the wearer.

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Train Bearers see Pages or Page Boys

Trellis A structure of open latticework or a woven wooden frame used as a screen or support for creeping plants and flowers.

Trompe-l'œil Cake Trompe-l'œil, French in origin, roughly translates to "trick of the eye." The term refers to a work of art rendered such that is tricks the viewer into believing it is something else. Thus, the trompe-l'œil cake appears to be something other than cake (Ex. dog, hamburger, stack of presents).

Trumpet Silhouette A trumpet wedding dress is fitted throughout the bodice, tapers close to the legs, and gradually flares to the hem, starting at about mid-thigh.

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Trunk Show Usually held at a local bridal shop, a trunk show allows a designer to "show off" their latest designs to the shop's customers. Trunk shows are typically offered for wedding dresses, bridesmaid dresses, or mother's dresses.

Tulle Fabric A sheer often starched silk, rayon, or nylon netting which is often used for bridal gowns, veils, and ballet tutus. (see Ballerina Skirt)

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Tussy Mussy From the Victorian era, a tussy mussy is a posy carried in a small, metallic, hand-held vase. Today, the term refers to the holder itself, which is used to make it easier to hold the bouquet.

Tux or Tuxedo A formal or semi-formal men's black evening jacket that may be either single-breasted (1-6 buttons) or double-breasted (2-6 buttons). Styles vary by occasion whether it is for prom or a wedding.

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Twill A textile weave in which filling yarns pass over one and under two or more warp yarns producing a diagonal rib.

Twist A yarn formed by intertwining two or more strands together. Different colored yarns are often used for unusual color effect.

Tzedakah (tz'dah-KAH) Tzedakah is Hebrew for charity, but instead of being an act of benevolence or generosity, it is an act of righteousness, fairness or justice. Tzedakah is the obligatory Jewish requirement of righteous giving and just behavior that ensures the basic well-being of fellow human beings.

 
Undergarment Clothing worn under outer garments, usually worn next to the skin. They keep outer garments from being soiled as well as shape and support the body.

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Underpressing Pressing on the reverse side of the fabric to mold it so it will retain its shape.

 
Veil A wedding veil is a headpiece worn by a bride, and is usually made of a sheer or semi-sheer white or ivory fabric.

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Velvet Fabric A soft, thick fabric with a felted face and plain underside.

Vent A slit at center or sides on the bottom of the back of a jacket or coat.

V-Neck A neckline style, featuring sleeves or straps, that dips down from the shoulders, forming a "V" shape.

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Voile Fabric A crisp lightweight, plain weave fabric made of silk, rayon, or cotton. Voile, French for veil, is a well-draping fabric that can be used to make wedding veils. Voile lace is a hand cut lace that has open spaces cut out in between the lace fabric.

Vows A solemn promise, pledge, or personal commitment to marriage; the vows exchanged between the bride and groom are promises of future loyalty, love, trust, and support.

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Waistcoat A British term meaning vest, the waistcoat is a short, sleeveless, collarless garment worn under a doublet or suit jacket.

Waistline The waistline of a gown encompasses the body horizontally, and is often the point at which the gown's bodice meets the skirt.

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Wali In Islam tradition, the Wali is responsible for the bride's life before she is married and ensures the proposed groom is a reliable and a trustworthy. A Wali can be the Bride's birth father, her paternal grandfather, brother, paternal uncle or any male relative from her paternal side.

Walima The Muslim name for a wedding reception, derived from walam, meaning to gather or assemble. After the Nikah (marriage ceremony), guests assemble for the marriage banquet, or Walima.

Warp The set of vertical threads through which the weft is woven.

Watteau Train A style of train that attaches to the top of the dress, usually at the shoulders or the upper back. (Pronounced: wah-toe)

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Wedding Favors Small, inexpensive gifts given to guests at a wedding ceremony or reception as a thank you, and to serve as a souvenir, of sorts.

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Wedding Party The Wedding Party consists of the bridesmaids, groomsmen, flower girl, ring bearer, and anyone else directly involved in the wedding ceremony.

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Wedding Party Favors Wedding Party Favors

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Wedding Programs A way for guests to follow along with ceremony proceedings. Wedding programs include the order of the service, wedding participants, and any other meaningful notations. Wedding programs can also serve as a sort of wedding keepsake.

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Weft The set of horizontal threads interlaced through the warp.

Welt A raised or strengthened strip of fabric sewn into a seam for ornament or reinforcement.

White Tie A very formal wedding or ceremony held after six o'clock in the evening. The male attendants wear black tails and patent leather shoes with white pique shirts, vests, and bow ties.

Windsor Knot The largest of the three methods for tying men's neckwear, the Windsor knot is a wide, symmetrical, triangular style. (Also called: "Full Windsor" or "Double Windsor")

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Wing Collar The most formal type of collar, shirts with a wing collar are the formal choice for wedding tuxedos. The front edges of the small standing collar are pressed down to resemble a pair of wings. Most wing collar shirts are pleated.

Wool Fabric A fabric made from the dense, warm, soft hair forming the coat of sheep. Naturally stain and wrinkle resistant, this highly durable fabric is used in tuxedo production.

Worsted Wool A type of highly durable wool created from the initial combing of the wool. This process leaves behind long, smooth fibers which are spun into yarn. The worsted yarn is then woven in for smooth, firm, compact fabrics.

Wreath A ring of flowers, leaves and fruit commonly decorated with ribbons and bows. Typically used for decorative purposes as a centerpiece, an ornament, hanging on a wall or door, or resting on a table; a wreath may also be worn on the head. (see Wreath Crown)

Wreath Crown Popular for bridal hair accessories, wreath crowns are a natural option made of flowers, leaves, and sometimes fruit. Ribbons and bows are also used to decorate the ring, which is worn on the crown of the head.

 
Yichud (YEE-hood) A Jewish wedding ritual immediately following the ceremony where the couple spend a period of time by themselves in a secluded room. They break their fast which they began in the morning and reflect on the day's events. It is customary to exchange gifts and for the bride to bless the groom.

 
Zip-up Bridal dresses may zip in the back or on the side. The zipper is normally hidden by fabric. Most bridal dresses offer zip-up or lace-up backs as they are the most common closures.


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