Listophilia: Wedding Vocab

Welcome to Listophilia!

For my day job, I’m an event coordinator at a small (but beautiful) event center. We are booked almost every weekend with weddings, so I tend to have matrimony on the brain.

Wedding vocabularies can be extensive, especially since there are so many elements: dresses, food, attendents, etc.

For todays Listophilia, I put together a lovely list (that contains other lists) of some odd-ball wedding-related words. I know you’ve heard of RSVPs, sweetheart necklines, and tiered cakes, but what about dingbats? Gobos?

No? Well, lets hop right in then.


  • Cornelli: A form of piping that creates a three-dimensional pattern of lace and squiggles
  • Dagrees: Small confectionary balls made of sugar, often with a hard outer shell
  • Fondant: edible icing used to decorate or sculpt cakes with a smooth texture and finish
    • The word “fondant” is French in origin, coming from the same root word as “fondue” and “foundry”, meaning “melting”
  • Ganache: A dark, rich combination of chocolate and cream used as a filling or icing
  • Marzipan: Hardened almond paste and sugar, this confection is traditionally used to make realistic cake decorations
    • The exact etymology of “marzipan” is unclear. The Old English equivalent, “marchpane”, was largely replaced by the German “marzipan”, but they both have the same root meaning of “March Bread”. The original meaning could’ve come from Latin (via the Italian word “Marzapane“) or Arabic (via the Spanish word “mazapán“), and there’s also a case that it came from the Persian word “marzban”. Check out the OED for more options, but we may never know.


Cake with fondant design



  • Biedermeier: A bouquet made up of concentric circles of different flowers for a striped effect
  • Boutonnieres: A single bloom (or several small buds) attached to the left lapel of a jacket. Boutonnieres are usually worn by grooms, groomsmen, ushers, and the bride and groom’s fathers.
    • Originally, boutonnieres were a spray of flowers worn in the button hole of a mans jacket, hence the words origin from the French word for “button hole”. However, they are now more commonly pinned onto the lapel of the mans jacket.
  • Pomander: A round “ball” of flowers suspended from a ribbon handle
    • While now used decoratively, pomanders used to have an entirely different purpose. The first pomanders were balls of perfume, worn in medieval times to protect against infection, or merely balance the pungent smell of the unwashed masses.
  • Topiary – Flowers or plants trimmed into geometric shapes


Biedermeier floral design



  • Deckle Edge: Rough, uneven edges on paper that give it an Old World look. Edges are more often torn or die cut to make them look unfinished.
    • A “deckle” is a removable wooden frame or “fence” used in manual papermaking. Originally, deckle edges were unavoidable because the deckle can’t guarantee a water tight seal when pressing the paper pulp. However, now deckle edges are often purposely made by tearing or cutting for the aesthetic.
  • Die cut: A precision cut mainly used in folder cards to create a “window” to text or images behind the first card, often made by lasers
  • Dingbat: A typographical term for a decorative motif used on stationery
    • This word has a wider use outside of wedding invites to mean any ornament, character, or spacer used intypesetting. Some fonts have symbols and shapes in the positions designated for alphabetical or numeric characters, or in the case of the Wingdings font, it’s made entirely of dingbats.


Skyline dingbats on a wedding invitation


Weddings around the world:

  • Nikah– The name of a Muslim wedding ceremony.
  • Chuppah: a decorated piece of cloth held aloft by four poles that Jewish couples are married under, symbolizing a ‘home’ for the new couple
  • Koumbaro (male)/Koumbara (female):  the person who will officially sponsor the marriage in Greek Orthodox Christian weddings
  • Mantilla: A bridal veil based on a Spanish lace or silk scarf worn over the hair and shoulders
  • Bomboniere – The Italian word for wedding favors, which often include Jordan almonds.
    • Jordan almonds are a classic form of dagrees!


Lace and birch chuppah

Did you like todays version of Listophilia? Take a moment to check out previous posts, including Phobia’s and Sesquipedalian Words.


(Resources: Bridal Guide,, Wedding Zone)

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