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Wedding Terminology That You Should Understand Before Planning

Whether you have started the journey of planning your big day or just thinking about it, there is definitely a lingo that goes with the industry. Once you begin to talk with different vendors it is very important to understand their terminology so that you feel confident in the answers you are getting or the information you are receiving. Below we have broken things down with the most common words used to give you an advantage in the planning process.

  • To Scale - this refers to the layout drawing of your venue in a CAD-type drawing system that allows your tables, chairs, bars, and any extra items to be added to the floor plan as they would fit exactly into the room. There are many different systems that wedding professionals use to handle this assignment.

  • F&B minimum - this refers to the Food and Beverage minimum that a venue requires you to spend to book their facility. Make sure you truly understand what the F&B minimum means to the venue. Ask what their pricing is per person to better understand how you meet this F&B minimum. If you do not meet their minimum you will still have to pay the minimum due established in your contract.

  • pp++ - this refers to the price per person plus service charge and tax. Many all-inclusive venues will give you the price for packages listed in a pp++. For example, your venue will give you three different levels to choose from; $130pp++, $145pp++, and $180pp++.

  • BEO - Banquet Event Order. This comes from your venue or catering team that gives the details of the items that they are providing for your wedding day. If you are using an all-inclusive venue, this BEO will include everything about the rooms that will be used for your celebration, the breakdown of items needed in that room from the venue, and the breakdown of food and beverage.

  • Venue Coordinator - this is the representative that works exclusively for the venue. On your wedding day, they do not work for you they work for the venue, ensuring that the venue is upholding their end of the contract on your day.

  • Wedding Planner - this is a professional that you hire to assist with all the wedding day items you would be responsible for handling. There are many different types of planners: Day-of coordinator (aka Month-of Coordinator or Event Management), Partial Planner (aka Event Management plus design), and Full-Service Planner. Below we have broken down the three different types of planners.

  • Day-of coordinator or Event Management - you handle all the planning of your day and they step in about 6 weeks out from your wedding day to take over. They will typically work 15-20 hours completing the planning and handling of your day.

  • Event Management + Design - you secure your venue and most of your vendors with just a few left to get. The planning starts to get a little overwhelming and are ready to turn it over to a planner. These planners typically step in 4-6 months prior to your wedding day and get to work.

  • Full-Service Planner - the thought of planning your big day overwhelms you from the start and are ready to have the guidance and experience of a professional planner to handle all the things. This type of planner, while an investment in your day, can usually save you money and time by knowing all the right vendors to bring your wedding day vision to life.

  • Escort Card vs. Place Card - Escort cards are used at the entrance of your reception space to designate your assigned table. These are used instead of a table seating chart. Place Cards are used at the designated seat for each guest. These cards also signify to the catering team what your meal selection is for an efficient service to your guests.

  • Invitation Suite - this is a complete package of your invitation needs. This suite typically includes the following; invitation, rsvp card, details card, thank you card, inner envelope, rsvp envelope, and main mailing envelope. Remember to order a few extra so that you will have one complete set for your photographer for wedding day detail shots.

  • First Look or First Touch - Do you know the difference? First look is used for couples that wish to see one another prior to their wedding ceremony. This does help get couple photos done prior to the ceremony allowing you to get to the cocktail hour. First touch is a very special moment when the couple will not see one another but simply have a first touch. They will typically have a wall, or a door, or stand back to back so as to not see one another. This allows couples to have a moment to just check on each other and get some of the nerves out prior to the ceremony.

  • Golden Hour - this is the time just before sunset that your photographer will definitely want to get couple photos done. It is important to consider the time of sunset on your wedding day when determining the ceremony time so that you get this golden hour perfectly.

  • Timeline - this is the document that keeps it all on track. The wedding day timeline should not be taken lightly and is the road map for anyone and everyone that is helping to ensure your wedding day stays on time and everything that you desire to be done gets done.

Understanding these terms will definitely give you an advantage when talking with wedding professionals and navigating the waters of planning. While there are many more terms, this is a good start to give you the basics of what you need to know. Planning a wedding is such a fun and exciting time, however, if you feel overwhelmed seek out a professional wedding planner to help. Many planners offer consultations to get you on track, many can step in and take over from the point you are at, or if you are just feeling like you would like to put it in the hands of a professional from the beginning there are professionals that specialize in this service as well.

Here at Blessed Magnolia, we specialize in full-service wedding planning. However, maybe you are feeling stuck and would like to talk with us about your day to see how we can help. Let's schedule a time to talk today to see how we can get you unstuck or step in and partner together to get you to your dream day.

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