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Wedding Encyclopedia

 

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"Save the Date" Card These informal announcements precede the wedding invitations several months ahead and allow guests to make the necessary arrangements to attend your wedding.
   
Sabrina Neckline A wide, shallow, straight neckline that begins two inches inside the shoulder and is close to the base of the neck.
   
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.
   
Scalloped Edge A fabric detail featuring a delicately curved or cascading edge.
   
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-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 Jews whose traditions and culture originate from 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 A form fitting gown that contours to your natural silhouette; straight, slim lines.
   
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 Referring to the shape of a dress according to the human profile. (see A-Line, Asymmetrical, Ball Gown, Fit and Flare, Mermaid, Modified A-Line, Sheath, Trumpet)
   
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 Strap Skinny straps that attach at the front and back of the dress or tie at the neck, often detachable.
   
Spencer Coat A tuxedo alternative, this open coat cuts at waistline and is worn without buttons.
   
Strapless A popular neckline for bridal gowns featuring no straps; a garment made or worn without shoulder straps.
   
Stroller Coat A semi-formal jacket colored grey or black that resembles a tuxedo, but worn for daytime weddings.
   
Sweep Train A train that just brushes the floor; slightly longer than a brush train.
   
Sweetheart Neckline A neckline that is shaped like the top of a heart and is 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.
   
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 gown or skirt with a hem that falls between the bottom of the knee and the bottom of the calf. For a look of casual elegance, tea length dresses are perfect for summer weddings.
   
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.
   
Tiered Veil A design element, which features multiple layers of netting. This effect is also popular on skirts and tops.
   
Tiers (Cake Tiers) Numerous layers of a wedding cake, usually differing in size.
   
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 An extension to a wedding gown or bridesmaid dress that trails along the floor.
   
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 A dress or skirt that is fitted at the top, tapers close to the legs and flairs at or below the knee.
   
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)
   
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.
   
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.
 

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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. Examples of wedding undergarments includebridal bras, bridal bustiers, bridal slips, crinolines, body smoothers, and bra cups.
   
Underpressing Pressing on the reverse side of the fabric to mold it so it will retain its shape.
 

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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-Neckline As the name implies, the neckline dips down from the shoulders into a v-neck in the front and often in the back as well. The depth of the V can vary, ranging from demure styles to plunging. The demure cut is a popular style for plus size wedding dresses.
   
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.
   
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.
   
Waltz Veil A long veil that flows from the headpiece down to the ankles. The waltz veil is an appropriate choice for wedding dresses without trains.
   
Warp The set of vertical threads through which the weft is woven.
   
Watteau Train A single panel that attaches to the top of the dress, either at the upper-back or shoulder blades, and falls to the ground. Typically a watteau train is the same length as the dress at the hemline.
   
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 The largest of the three neckwear knot styles, it is a wide triangular knot. Worn with wide spread collar shirts. (Half-windsor is worn with medium spread collar.)
   
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.
 

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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.
 

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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.