The Glossary for the Bilingual Bride - Miles + Smiles







The Glossary for the Bilingual Bride

Oh, to be bilingual! The joy of having two languages in your mind at all times and simultaneously alternating from one to the other without even flinching. We have been blessed with this great gift but when it comes to a formal affair, it feels a bit like a curse! Don’t get me wrong, I wouldn't change this for the world but I have had such a hard time creating a bilingual wedding.

Our wedding is a couple of days away, but I’ve had the intention to write this for a while since I lived through this experience. This guide might be helpful to future bilingual brides. This time of celebration will also be a time of reuniting family from Colombia whom we have not seen in over 15 years. There is a lot of pressure to make them feel comfortable since it's an environment they have never been to, however, we also have a big part of the invitees that live or are from the United States. So, basically everything has to be in both languages (thank God we live in Miami and having a bilingual ceremony is an option!).

So let’s take a dive into wedding world! I have divided it by category so that hopefully when you are planning your wedding you can refer back to this easily. Also, keep in mind that I am Colombian and I will translate everything into my language, but there are many ways to s express things in different countries.


I won’t get into flower names because that is a nightmare, so here is a list of general terms.

-       Center pieces: Centros de mesa
-       Bouquet: Ramo de la novia
-       Boutonnieres: Botones florales
-       Halos: Coronas de flores
-       Succulents: Suculento/a
-       Corsages: Ramillete
-       Wreaths: Corona
-       Floral Tape: Cinta de floristeria
-       Floral Wire: Alambre de floristeria

Talking about flowers, I want to give a huge shout out to Field of Flowers and Lush Celebrations for partnering up with me and helping me bring my vision to live on one of the most special days!


My fiancé and I decided to use an online tux and suit service for convenience because his groomsmen are from Maryland to Colombia and everywhere in between, and getting them all together was just impossible. We went with Generation Tux and it was a great experience. I love how they made everything very crystal clear, especially with measurements. Okay, back to the glossary.

-       Best man: Padrino
-       Groomsmen: Cortejo
-       Tuxedo: Esmoquin
-       Tail Coat: Frac
-       Lapels: Solapas
-       Cuffs: Mangas
-       Bow tie: Corbatín
-       Neck tie: Corbata
-       Cuff links: Mancornas
-       Measuring tape: Metro
-       Overarm: Sobrebrazo
-       Outseam: Medida exterior de la pierna
-       Inseam: Medida de entrepierna
-       Inseam: Tiro


At first, I concentrated on that all my bridesmaids needed to look the same, but as time went on I figured out that the easiest thing to do was to tell them the color and they would find their own dress, according to their budgets and taste (with my blessing, of course).

-       Maid of Honor: Madrina
-       Bridesmaids: Cortejo
-       Bridal Party: Cortejo de la novia


We chose to do a Catholic ceremony, so here are some terms that I encountered.

-       Witnesses: Testigos
-       Ushers: los hombres del Cortejo / ujieres
-       1st reading: Primera lectura
-       Gospel: Evangelio
-       2nd reading: Second reading
-       Prayer: Oración
-       Psalm: Salmo
-       Officiant: Oficiante/ sacerdote/ ministro de bodas
-       Vows: Votos
-       Ring bearer: Pajecito
-       Flower girls: Pajecitas
-       Wedding party/ Bridal Party: Cortejo y padres
-       Sacrament of matrimony: Sacramento de matrimonio
-       Blessing: Bendición
-       Holy communion: Comunión
-       Homily: Homilia
-       Gathering song: Cancion de entrada
-       Offertory: Ofrendas
-       Blessing of the rings: Bendición de los anillos


-       Wedding Registry: Lista de regalos
-       Favors: Recordatorios
-       Guestbook: Libro de invitados
-       Place cards: Tarjetas del lugar en la mesa
-       Save the date cards: This is a very american tradition and does not exist in Latin America
-       First Dance: Primer baile
-       Bouquet toss: Lanzamiento del ramo
-       Toast: Brindis
-       Photo booth: Cabina de fotos
-       Cake cutting: Cortar el pastel
-       Bridal Garter: Liga de la novia
-       --: Hora loca. Doesn’t really translate since this is a very Colombian tradition
-       Vendors: Proveedores
-       Hors D’ Oeuvres: Pasabocas
-       Sit down dinner: Cena
-       Buffet: Buffet
-       Sweetheart Table: Mesa de lo novios
-       Table setting: Arreglo de la mesa
-       Cocktail Hour: Hora de Cócteles


-       First-look: There is no real translation but this is that photo when you both see each other at the ceremony
-       Shot list: Lista de tomas. Please do this ahead of time so that your photographer knows exactly what you want to see afterwards!
-       Boudoir shoot: No real translation, this is a sexy shoot from the bride to the groom
-       Digital Proofs: Pruebas digitales

Hope this can help you on your big day! If you know any other terms that I can add here for other brides, please share with me in the comments below!


  1. What a great resource! Must save for later!

  2. I love this blogpost about your wedding planning - it's so great!

    Boyu xx

  3. What a great resource for any wedding planner. Nice post. xx

  4. You are so cute! Such a helpful resource for brides! Great tips, girl.


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