Over the past few months, we've added new words to our everyday vocabulary (Zoom, COVID-19, social distancing) while others (hand sanitizer, face masks, anything virtual) have taken on new meaning. In our world, this year has thrown us so many curveballs that there are simply no words to describe weddings when weddings, as we know them, are not allowed to happen.
As a result, engaged couples have found entertaining ways to describe nearly every aspect of wedding planning. Postponing your wedding? You'll want to consider sending change-the-date cards. Did you put your honeymoon plans on pause for the time being? Congratulations, you can now orchestrate a latermoon instead. Of course, some of these phrases have been around for years (eloping is nothing new, after all)—they've just seen a resurgence in the past six months. In fact, you may have even attended a micro wedding in the past, but it's now a household name.
Wondering what half the words we just wrote are? Don't stress because you're not alone! We've defined all of these terms and more below, so keep reading for the 411 on every wild wedding word 2020 has brought us.
Micro weddings are intimate nuptials, typically with no more than 50 guests. These celebrations usually include the same traditions as larger weddings, just on a much smaller scale.
"Instead of tying the knot in front of 250 relatives and friends, we are hosting a micro wedding with just our family."
Even smaller than micro weddings, a minimony is a tiny wedding ceremony, typically with no more than 10 guests. Despite the small guest count, minimonies do not shy away from tradition and can still include all the customs of a larger wedding. Many couples who choose to host minimonies often plan larger, more traditional wedding receptions for the future.
'While we will celebrate our marriage with a big reception next year, we're tying the knot during a minimony at home."
Not a new term, an elopement is a marriage conducted without the knowledge of the couple's family and friends, particularly their parents. Typically, those who elope only have a ceremony and do not host a reception or celebration.
"Only our officiant knows that my fiancée and I are eloping tomorrow."
Socially Distant Wedding
A socially distant wedding is a ceremony and/or reception that follows the social distancing measures put in place by state and local governments to mitigate the spread of a contagious disease. Such measures might include a limited guest count and specific regulations, such as no congregating and special seating, to ensure that guests stay six feet apart, at minimum.
"You cannot forget to display hand sanitizer and place tables at least six feet apart at a socially distant wedding!"
A virtual wedding is a marriage ceremony conducted via video conferencing platforms like Zoom or Skype. Instead of attending the wedding in person, guests are invited to witness the ceremony through a live stream. In some states, officiants are no longer required to administer wedding ceremonies in person and instead can do so virtually as well.
"My best friends are having a watch party for my virtual wedding, but I wish they could be there in person."
A sequel wedding is a couple's second wedding celebration. The first wedding is usually a smaller, more intimate affair while the second wedding, or sequel wedding, is more traditional and larger-scale.
"After originally tying the knot in May 2019, Joe Jonas and Sophie Turner had a sequel wedding in Paris in June 2019."
Short for coronavirus, a corona bride or groom refers to anyone planning a wedding during the COVID-19 pandemic. This includes brides and grooms who wed after March 2020 or altered their wedding plans because of coronavirus.
"When the pandemic impacted my summer wedding plans, I officially became a corona bride."
Similar to corona brides and grooms, COVID couple refers to couples planning a wedding during the coronavirus pandemic. Typically, this term is used to describe engaged partners who tied the knot during COVID-19.
"Just call us a COVID couple since we said 'I do' during the coronavirus pandemic."
COVID-conscious is a term that means being cautious of coronavirus and aware of one's surroundings. In the context of weddings, COVID-conscious couples take every safety precaution possible at their nuptials including limiting guest count, providing masks and staying six feet apart from others, or even postpone their celebrations due to COVID-19. You can also define a socially distant wedding as a COVID-conscious event.
"Michelle is a COVID-conscious bride so she is postponing her wedding to 2021."
Change the Date
Like save the date cards, change the date cards are sent to guests to announce a new wedding date. They are only mailed if save the date cards were previously sent and if a new date is set.
"Since we moved our wedding to 2021, we have to inform our guests with change the date cards!"
Unsave the Date
A sister term to change the date, unsave the date announcements inform guests that a wedding has been canceled are only sent if a new date is yet to be determined. They signal guests to ignore the details given on the original save the date card and instead wait for a new invitation to arrive with more details.
"Because we postponed our ceremony, we cannot forget to send unsave the date cards to our guests."
Original Wedding Date
An original wedding date refers to the day a couple initially planned to host their nuptials but had to inevitably cancel or postpone to a later time. Most couples do not let their original wedding date pass without acknowledging it, however, and typically plan some form of celebration for the day.
"We were supposed to wed on October 10, 2020, so we're going to celebrate our original wedding date with a romantic date night at home."
A belated bach refers to both delayed bachelor and bachelorette parties. While a belated bach can still occur before the wedding, the event is typically hosted after the bride or groom has wed.
"We had to cancel my stag party next week, so my best man is planning a belated bach instead."
A latermoon is a holiday taken by newlyweds to celebrate their marriage and refers to original honeymoons that have been postponed or canceled. However, unlike honeymoons (which are taken immediately after the wedding), latermoons do not occur until several weeks or months past the wedding.
"We are planning a latermoon to Antigua in 2021. We can't wait!"