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20th Dec 2016

D’Feck Is A Boutonnière? A Crash Course In Wedding Lingo For The Newly Engaged


Okay, so you’ve just got engaged (congratulations!) and like it or not, for the next year or so your life is going to change.

Like a lamb to the slaughter you have now entered the ‘wedding bubble’ and only those who are in it or have went through it before will ever understand.

‘Weddingy’ words and terms are now going to be bandied about like the clappers and people will expect you to know what they’re on about.

Scared? Don’t be – here is our handy crash course in the vocab you’ll need.


The flower yokes that the groom, groomsmen and parents of the bride and groom pin onto their jackets or stick into their buttonholes. They’re traditionally a mini version of the bride’s bouquet so a consistent aesthetic can be evident, darling.


Civil ceremony

A non-religious ceremony that is carried out by a HSE staff member in a Registrar of Civil Marriages office or any other location approved by the HSE. The general rule is the venue has to be indoors and must have the necessary ‘gravitas’ for the occasion.

Music, readings, vows, exchange of rings and flowers can be a part of a civil ceremony just like a traditional church wedding.

Civil Ceremony


Not to be confused with ‘tears’ AKA the hysterical bawling that generally accompanies a wedding ceremony. No, ‘tiers’ refer to the number of cakes making up your wedding cake. For example, a cake could have three tiers – one in choccy biccy, one in lemon and one in (gak) fruit. Capisce?


Save the date

Not always necessary, a save the date is a pre-invite to lock down the date with your guests, especially ones that live outside the country (so they’ll have no excuse!). A more detailed ‘formal’ invite then follows a few months before the wedding.

Save The Date Cards


Not to be mixed up with the kind of favour where you ask a neighbour for a lend of a stepladder. A wedding favour is a small, inexpensive gift placed beside each guest’s plate.

Some people love them; others think they’re a tacky waste of money. It’s really up to you if you want to include them.


Christening layer

This is actually quite a sweet tradition. Couples who go in for it make the bottom tier (look at you, you’re a pro!) of their wedding cake a fruitcake – because everyone knows that fruitcake can survive a nuclear war – and on the day their first sprog is christened they roll out the tier and serve it to their… ahem… thankful guests.

Christening Layer

Humanist ceremony

A humanist ceremony is legally binding – just like a civil and church wedding – and is performed by an accredited ‘solemniser’. The ceremony is non-religious and instead focuses on shared philosophical beliefs.

Humanist Ceremony

Cake topper

A decoration that signifies unity and love that you plonk onto the top of your cáca milis to make it look purdy.

Cake Topper

Marriage course

If you’re getting married in a church you’re obligated to attend a weekend pre-marriage course that’s intended to prepare you for married life.

You might resent not being given the choice but if it puts your mind at rest most couples find it helpful and actually a bit of craic, we promise!

Marriage Course

Seating plan

This is the plan you carry out with military precision to figure out where your guests are plonking their bums at the reception. Imagine a really hard Sudoku crossed with a Rubik’s cube splashed with a cheeky dash of The Times’ complex crossword and you have an idea of the hellish task ahead of you.

Seating Plan

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