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Do you speak the language of wedding planning?

Michelle Whyte is the owner of Ambiance Events, a full service event planning firm based in Northern Virginia. She recently sent me this blog post chocked full of helpful tips and I just had to pass it along to Brides & Weddings readers. Take a moment to familiarize yourself with the language and customs of weddings before you venture off on your own planning trip and be in the know …

Before you jet set to Paris or Belize, chances are you’ll want to learn a bit of the language – how to say hello, order a meal, and/or ask for the restroom. The initial stages of wedding planning are no different. A wedding is very much like a different country with its own customs, courtesies, and language. Before you jump into the details, schedules, and to do’s of planning your wedding, the first step is to learn the lingo.

No matter the style of your wedding, you’ll undoubtedly use technology to help you research, book and plan. And with that technology, just about everything is abbreviated. Here’s a quick guide to often used terms:  

B2B: That’s You – the Bride To Be; G2B: Groom To Be

E-Ring: Engagement Ring

FH: Future Husband; FI: Fiancé; SO: Significant Other

FMIL: Future Mother In Law; FFIL: Future Father-in-law

BP: Bridal Party; MOH: Maid Of Honor; BM: Bridesmaid and/or Best Man

DW: Destination Wedding; OOTG: Out of Town Guest

OTT: Over the Top

Knowing these commonly used wedding acronyms will help you navigate wedding websites with ease and prepare you to decode a few more you’re are sure to see along the way, like Flower Girl (FG) and Ring Bearer (RB). And when you’re ready to research and book vendors, here are a few terms and customs to help you prepare:

* Each vendor may ask your wedding budget. This is not to overcharge you – it helps determine which products/services you may be most likely interested in and if they fit into your budget.

* The majority (if not all) of your vendors will require a deposit, not just your venue. The deposit means a vendor is prepared to save your wedding date up to a year in advance and is a good faith gesture for both parties.

* Expect to pay your remaining balance about two weeks prior to your wedding day. Some vendors will allow you to pay the balance on your wedding day but be prepared for the majority to ask for advance final payments.

* Plus/Plus (++) is a term that refers to the addition of tax and gratuity. You will hear this term when talking with venue sales managers, caterers and transportation professionals.

* Corkage Fee is a fee charged for every bottle of alcohol served that is NOT purchased through the location/restaurant.

When it comes to wedding planning, many of the same safety rules apply as when in a foreign country. If it sounds too good to be true – it probably is. Protect your identity and personal information, especially when shopping online.  And if you feel uneasy about a deal or a vendor, continue to shop.

Understanding the language and customs of weddings will help you enjoy the planning process and you’ll feel comfortable and confident in the decisions you make for your “happily ever after”.

Thanks for the great advice, Michelle! Are you looking for a “tour guide” for planning your wedding day? Learn more about Michelle and her services by visiting her profile page on our website or call 855.DIY.PLAN.

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