Party Planning Lingo

Over the past few years, I’ve noticed I throw around industry jargon while with couples or hosts/hostesses of parties. Most people shake their head and nod in agreement, and some people come right out and let met know they have no idea what I’m talking about.

It dawned on me that this would be a great blog post topic since I frequently sit through conversations with family members who work for big corporations (Target, McDonald’s, Miller Coors, etc.). All of these companies have more acronyms than I can count, and although I don’t feel like the event planning industry has quite as many, I thought I would create a little guide to party planning lingo:

BEOBEO: Banquet Event Order
This is an overview of the party or event, which usually includes set-up instructions, timing, menus, etc. It’s usually a way for planners to communicate to their clients to make sure they have understood everything correctly, as well as a way for staff who work at venues to know what the event consists of. This can also be referred to as a “function sheet.”

F&B Minimum
This is the minimum amount of money you must spend to host your event at a location. Since a lot of venues are not open regularly for dining or regular customers, a food and beverage minimum ensures the venue is making money on your event and not losing money through labor cost, food cost and general overhead costs.

Chair Covers
Let’s be honest. Banquet chairs aren’t always the most appealing things, especially with parties and events that have a particular color scheme. Instead of renting different chairs, venues will often offer covers for the chairs. Sometimes the chair covers are made of spandex material and fit to the chair perfectly and others are flowy, so if you have a preference make sure to ask! I’ve also hear them called “chair skirts” or “chair dresses.”

Jacquelyn Bair & Connor Price Wedding
Photography compliments of Scott Patrick Myers Photography.

Corkage Fee
If a venue is unable to obtain or does not carry particular beverages or alcohol for you, sometimes they will allow you to bring it in. By allowing you to do so, they will charge a corkage fee, which is usually a per person fee.

Serp: Serpentine Table
AKA….a half circle table shaped like a half moon.

Sweetheart Table
In lieu of a head table, couples sometimes choose to sit at a smaller round table with just the two of them or themselves and a Best Man and Maid of Honor. These tables work out great if you are trying to maximize seating at your venue, or if a lot of you bridal party has dates or family they would prefer to sit with during the reception.

You know that pretty gathered fabric that is often on tables? Yes, that’s skirting, and the pretty draped linens over the skirting? Those are pinups.



Theatre-Style Seating
Theatre-style seating means exactly what it says. Chairs are lined up in rows, and this style is usually used for presentations and seminars.

This a definite must if you want a dramatic event. There are lighting companies as well as DJs that will supply uplighting for events. It can be as simple a monochromatic splash of color, or you can get really interesting by adding pin spot lighting and ceiling designs.

Photo courtesy of Courtney Tompson Photography.

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