Venue Shopping Glossary!


Happy April lovely people! For a lot of you, it is what we call “booking season”! You’re learning all you can about all your possible vendors, taking a lot of tours, and solidifying details for your wedding. If you spent the last weekend touring or are getting ready to go on some tours, there are some important venue terms that may be helpful to know. I spent many years working at different types of venues, and sometimes we forget that the terms we use aren’t as common as they seem to us! So here is a small glossary for you for you to get you a step ahead!

BEO – Banquet Event Order. This is typically for your venues that also have catering. All of your details are stored on this document such as meal selections, pricing, timeline, upgrades, etc.

Venue Coordinator – A venue coordinator is usually not a day of coordinator. Though the exact parameters of this job can vary by venue, the average venue coordinator is your contact pre wedding and through dinner service of the wedding day. Many are able to help with small décor set ups and confirming timelines with vendors, but it is their main job to make sure the venue rules are being followed and their staff is following your BEO perfectly. It is always a great idea to confirm what exactly this means to each venue!

++ (plus plus) – Plus plus (or written as ++) is the price plus service charge and taxes. This means if it says $50/person ++, $50 does not include the service charge or taxes yet.

Service Charge – Service charge is not gratuity. Typically this does go to your service staff, kitchen staff, etc, but more in the form of their actual paycheck. Some places may require an additional gratuity, but many will not.  

Inclusive – This is a funny term as it is so broad and changes every where you go! This may be an “all-inclusive” venue where they have all the vendors on contract so they can easily book them all for you, or inclusive meaning the pricing includes the venue fees and catering fees. Always confirm what this means on your tour or consultation.

Charger – A lot of venues offer some décor updates, like chargers, and people start to hear it so often they don’t want to ask what it is, so I am here to tell you! A charger is simply a decorative plate. You do not eat off of them, but they will be at each person’s place setting and an actual plate will be placed on top of them. These are totally optional, but a great way to add a color or style to your table.

Escort Card – Escort cards and place cards are very easily confused, but if you are having a plated dinner, one of these is almost always required. Escort and place cards both have the guest’s name on it and an entrée indicator of some kind. The difference is an escort card also has the guests table number/name on it and the guest will grab this card from a table usually as they walk in. Place cards, however, would be waiting at the guest’s seat and the guest will look at a seating chart to find the table. All of that said, there are MANY fun ways to make escort and place cards, they don’t have to be actual paper if you don’t want them to be!

First Look – A first look is an opportunity for the couple to see each other for the first time in a private moment just between them (and their photographer!). This happens before the ceremony and gives more time for couple and group photos so you aren’t scrambling at cocktail hour to get in all of your pictures. These pictures may also be your favorite as it is SUCH a sweet moment.

              Hopefully these terms can help you feel like a wedding pro too! If there is something you keep hearing or have a question on, feel free to let me know and I would be happy to answer! Happy venue shopping!!!