wedding vendor language

It’s true! Event professionals have their own special language. Acronyms and special words that mean something to us. It’s just like any other industry. We try to use normal language when clients so they aren’t confused. So if you’ve heard a few of these words or abbreviations, here it goes:


Stands for: Banquet Event Order. Your venue or caterer will deliver a BEO to you before your event. You must read carefully over this document before signing it. It is basically everything that will happen at your event.


Stands for: Food and Beverage. Because if you work in catering, clearly you are too exhausted to say all three words.


Stands for: Save the Date. Did you think it was something else? (And the twelve-year-old girl in me still giggles when I use it).


Stands for: Request for Proposal. Actually, this is a typical business term.


It’s a decorative plate that is at your place setting before dinner service begins. The catering staff will serve your salad and/or entree and place on top of the charger.

high tops

Gathering tables, Tall Boys, and more … these are smaller tables that are tall. They’re placed strategically in areas for guests to rest and put their glasses/appetizers on.

clear mid or span

This is tent talk: you can upgrade the roof of your tent to have a clear vinyl. It’s like a moonroof to your tent.


I actually had a groom ask me what that is. It’s the tablecloth/fabric that goes on tables. Easy, right?

banquet table

Nonwedding professionals may refer to this table as, “rectangle tables”. The correct term is “banquet”.

60″ or 72″ rounds

The round guest tables that are traditionally used at banquets/receptions. The difference is the size. A 60″ round (or 5′ round) will seat 8 guests comfortably. A 72″ round (or 6′ round) will seat 10 people comfortably.

ghost chairs

Clear acrylic chairs, very modern.


Easy for you to spell. These are chairs that have “bamboo” like legs and backing. It’s the chairs you see in every Pinterest board.


You know the lit monogram you see on a dance floor or wall? Or a lighted pattern on the ceiling? That’s made from a custom gobo (light). The actual gobo is a thin metal insert that has the diagram cut into it.

pin spot

Ever see a wedding cake or a centerpiece that looks like it has a mini spotlight on it? That’s a pin spot.


This is not a bunch of workers holding signs and standing on the curb. It simply refers to the act of loading out at the end of the evening.

There’s so much more to list, but this was a good start. Wedding professionals, what did I miss? Please leave a comment!

feature photo credit: pfe iphone

plan on!

celebrating international women’s day 2019

Today is International Women’s Day, March 8, 2019, and I wanted to celebrate it by writing this post.

I’ve seen social media posts encouraging us to think about women who have made an impact in your life. It had to stop and think about it. Women are such powerful creatures. We have so much to offer. And, I’ve been blessed to know a handful of strong women personally and would like to thank them.

here are the lovely ladies that should be honored

I would like to thank my high school physical education teacher. She was a wife, mother, teacher and a friend to all of us. She was just what I needed during that time in my life, growing up my mother was sick and wasn’t able to be there for me. Thank you, Mrs. Dana Silcox.

My first boss and the person that gave me a chance at my first job, Ms. Dora González. An immigrant from Mexico, she fought her way top management of a local insurance agency. When I came to see her at 17 years old, I pleaded for her to give me a chance and she did. I’m forever grateful as I started working professionally in business at that young age.

And to my only other female boss, Mrs. Kim Gonzales, you are what shaped me into much of what I am today. Oh, I’m not lost on the irony of the similar last names. Kim’s husband was Portuguese, sans the different spelling. Kim was a powerhouse of a person, one of the hardest working people I’ve known. She was ethical, would share victories, would encourage and reward innovation in her employees. Was never competitive or jealous. And she would roll with the all-male management team, by just being herself. She was truly a person I learned from and went on to try to emulate as I’ve managed my own business the past sixteen years.

So cheers to women! Please take a moment to reach out to someone who has made a significant impact on your life. I’m sure it would make that person’s day.

Who are your people that you’d like to recognize?

photo cred: pfe iphone


state laws about your wedding bar …

Hello lovelies! It’s been a minute since our last post. Summer and fall are so busy and then winter hits, and it’s time to deal with all your personal goals that you’ve put off working every week and weekends. Blogging gets put in the back burner.

Today we need to talk about a serious and non-sexy topic: your bar at your wedding and bartenders. We’ve touched before on some drinking issues, but this post is specifically to cover the laws and what is important for you to know as a guest, wedding party member or family attending a wedding.

We’ll concentrate on the laws of Indiana, however, the laws are pretty similar state-wide with a few different nuisances.

Here are the laws:

  1. Excise Police encourage requiring identification from anyone appearing under 26 years of age when making sales for on-premise consumption. Acceptable forms of identification are picture ID’s, including but not limited to, a driver’s license, state-issued ID card, US Government identification. REMEMBER: If you still question the age of the person you should refuse to serve them.

Let’s discuss: This means, that whether you are a family member, guest or in the wedding party, if you are over the age of 21, you must carry a legal, picture ID with you and on your person. Being a bridesmaid and not having a little purse with your driver’s license won’t cut it. The bride’s father cannot vouch for you. The caterer with the liquor license will be subject with a minimum of $500 fine and/or higher if caught serving a minor.

2. It is a criminal offense to sell or furnish alcoholic beverages to an intoxicated person. In addition, the provider may experience civil liabilities if death or injury, even to a third party, occurs as a result of the act.

Oh-oh. So, let’s be kind to bartenders who have to cut off Uncle Harry, who is drunky-drunkerson.

3. Minors (those under 21 years of age) need to know that, in accordance with Indiana Code 7.1-5-7-7, it is illegal to knowingly:

  • Possess alcohol
  • Consume alcohol
  • Transport alcohol on a public highway when not accompanied by at least one of his/her parents or guardians.

No more discussion needed. Source.

If you don’t believe the excise police make random checks at restaurants, bars, liquor stores, sporting events, AND weddings, then check out Indiana violations that are clearly listed here. There are event venues where we plan weddings and corporate events that are often visited, very discreetly by Indiana excise police.

Take away:

  1. Remind your wedding party to bring their driver’s license to the reception.
  2. Don’t get upset with your caterer or bartender when they cannot serve someone who doesn’t have proper identification. They are not trying to be difficult. They don’t want to pay fines or potentially lose their license (too many infractions).
  3. Consider hiring a sheriff to be on-site. Many venues require it.
  4. Finally, some people just need to be cut off from the alcohol and turned over to a responsible, sober person to take them home.
feature photo credit: equinox photography

plan on!


chinese sky fly fire lanterns at your wedding

Update: Guess what kids? According to this site, Indiana has banned the use of sky lanterns. As of now, Kentucky still allows it.

Everyone loves the Chinese Sky Fly Fire lanterns at the end of their wedding. They are sweet, romantic and make for awesome photos! However, as planners, we are the ones behind-the-scenes making sure that this event (if incorporated in your wedding) goes off without a hitch.

Besides the obvious fact of having a lot of room in the sky for the lanterns to take flight in the air and understanding that you cannot, I repeat, cannot light these if winds that are over 10mph … we thought we’d give you some real tips on the Chinese lanterns.

hot tips on creating an awesome chinese lantern event at your wedding:

1. Buy lanterns that are already assembled. 

These thin paper products range in prices. You may be tempted to purchase the cheapest ones. Stop. Do not do it. You’ll deeply regret it and probably burn yourself. The cheap ones require you to assemble the burning mechanism in the lantern in advance. It’s time consuming and often will not stay in place. If you DO get it lit, sometimes the “on-fire” burning portion will fall out … while the lantern is in air. And that may land on you! So spend the extra money per lantern.

chinese sky fly fire lanterns 1

2. Buy disposable lighters that are “wind resistant”.

This is almost as important as the type of lanterns you purchase. Lighting the lanterns is the biggest headache of all. You’ll want to use lighters that you would use for the grill (I’m sure you already thought of that). But if there is any type of breeze, the lighters are hard to use. Especially with the child safety. Your thumb grows tired and it is frustrating. Opt to spend a little extra and purchase a wind resistant lighter. It is disposable but when lit, looks like a little butane flame. We like the Coleman brand.

chinese sky fly fire lanterns 2

3. Have sober people disperse the lanterns and manage the lighters.

If we are onsite, that is us! But if you haven’t opted to get a wedding professional to help you with your day, then designate someone that will be sober. The management of getting the lanterns distributed and actually lit will make the process safer. Trust this.

4. Trash cans.

Unless you unpack each individual lantern (from the packing cellophane in advance), you’ll need a trash receptical to collect a lot of packing material. Even then, sometimes you need to throw away ripped lanterns. Keep your reception looking neat.

chinese sky fly fire lanterns 3

5. Don’t forget music in the background.

This isn’t critical, but since we are always thinking about a great guest experience, don’t forget about having some background music as you watch the lanterns float away into the air. The last time we did this, we simply moved a boom box (it was a quality one) outside and played a few pre-designated songs. No need for moving out your DJ’s equipment, as this event usually happens at the end of the evening anyway.

Final words, there is an art to doing these, so practice in advance. But always be sure to do so in a safe area. Not in the middle of your subdivision with a lot of trees. Over water (with proper direction of the wind) is the best environment.

photo credit: photorexit photography

ps The photos above were “in real life” photos as we tried to get lanterns lit in too strong of winds. The photographers and us had a great time with it. And due to the winds, we had to cancel this event.

plan on!

underage drinking at a home wedding, lesson for us all …

The beauty of planning a home wedding (which is one of our expertise wedding planning services that we offer) is that it is so personal and intimate. It’s almost as if you feel you “aren’t having a formal party”, like you might if you had attended a country club or rented a hotel ballroom. However, you still have to abide by the laws, especially when it comes to under age drinking.

There is a juror case that is happening right now in Raleigh,, N.C. where an 18-year-old was killed in a drunk driving accident after leaving a wedding reception at a private home. The parents of the wedding reception are being charged with aiding and abetting the underage teen. It is still under speculation where the teenager and his friends got the alcohol, however it’s being implied that at the wedding reception there was more than enough alcohol to consume. Being a planner of many home weddings, this doesn’t surprise me. It’s much easier to get booze at a private event.

My heart goes out to both families. I am confident that no one wanted the end of that day to be this outcome.  So what can we learn from this?

how to manage your bar at your home wedding

1. Hire licensed bartenders.  

These are people who are competent and have complied with the laws of their state to not over serve. Back them up if they refuse to serve over intoxicated people. NOTE: New Indiana law requires bartenders to not only be licensed, but to carry an additional certification with the State of Indiana.

2. Take out additional liability policy on your homeowner’s insurance. 

You should do this anyway, even if you are not having alcohol to protect yourself. However, an open bar it is paramount to have additional liability. And for TWO days. If the reception concludes at 12am, it’s the next day. NOTE: A licensed bartender does not exempt you from liability, it’s not the same as a catering license to sell alcohol. And it still doesn’t exempt you from liability.

3. Use your caterer’s licensed bartenders. 

Point #1 is for people who wish to provide their own alcohol (which saves money). If you can spend the extra money, it’s a better peace of mind to use their bartenders.

4. Lock up the booze in the house.

Your family knows where you stash your booze.

5. Be aware.

This is difficult to do as wedding guests are pulling you in different directions, especially if you are the hosts. Back up the bartenders … do not let them serve underage. If you see a teenager with a drink, pour it out. Don’t let them leave.

6. Take away keys.

The truth is, an 18-year-old will find a way to drink at a wedding, or at any other event for that matter. As a pre-caution … be sure your son or daughter’s friends are going to spend the night. Or they have to check in with you before they leave. This is not condoning the situation, just being cautious.

One of the saddest part about this story is the 18-year-old who died called his Mom and said he needed a ride. While in route to pick up him, he got in a car and drove anyway. An impaired decision.

Let’s turn this tragic situation into a learning tool so this doesn’t have to happen to someone else’s family.

feature photo credit: pfe iphone

plan on!