Leo Hein Photography

If you don’t work in the event industry, chances are there will be some words you have never heard before.  Not knowing these words (or the definitions) can sometimes affect your wedding planning and quite possibly your wedding budget.

Here are 10 “good-to-know” definitions you may find helpful as you plan your wedding reception.

1. a la carte – Each item is priced and sold individually on the menu.  (As opposed to a package.)

2. Banquet Captain – The catering staff member in charge of the banquet service at your wedding. This person is also the supervisor of the rest of the catering staff.

3. Banquet Event Order or BEO – Catering information sheets that list the details of a meal function, including times, number of people, menu, special instructions, audiovisual equipment, and billing information. This is all from the catering manager’s perspective.


Allison and Chris Britton Photography

4. Catering Manager – The staff person responsible for selling and servicing local food and beverage functions.

5. Crudité Display – An hors d’ oeuvres display of raw vegetables, usually served with a dip.

6. Food and Beverage Minimum – An amount you must spend for food and beverages, not including taxes, gratuities, and/or service charges. If you spend below the amount, you are required to pay the difference between the minimum and the actual amount spent.


Morningstar Photography

7. Guarantee — The number of servings to be paid for by the host (or the couple) whether or not that number is actually consumed. This is usually required to be provided 10 to 15 business days prior to your wedding or event.

8. Plus Plus (++) – Service charge and taxes are identified as “++.”  You will see this on your food and beverage estimates when the service charge and taxes are not inclusive in the price.

9. Kosher – Food prepared according to Jewish dietary laws and restrictions.  This should not be confused with Halal.  Halal is food prepared according to Islamic dietary laws.

10. Pre-Set Service — Placing plated foods on the banquet tables prior to seating the wedding guests. There are instances salads are pre-set.


11. Waiter Parade – White gloved servers circle the room, usually with flaming dishes, before placing the food on the tables with a flourish.

Okay, there you have it!  You may also be interested in our post, “10 Words to Know When Selecting Booze for Your Wedding Reception.”

Love & Soul Always, Kay