Sioux Falls Wedding PlanningAre you a professional meeting planner?  Have you ever planned an event of significant size?  Do you have a strong knowledge of food and beverage, specifically when it is involving catered food and beverage?  If the answer is no, you are not alone.  A vast majority of the population have never planned, executed, or even worked at an event….specifically an event that has catered food involved.  Consequently, most engaged couples do not have experience in these areas.  So, you might ask yourself….is it necessary for you (the bride and groom) take time to educate yourself in these areas?  I am here to tell you, in my opinion the answer is absolutely.  Planning an event without a basic understanding of the procedures and industry terminology involved puts you at a big disadvantage.  The bride and groom have an obvious goal in mind, and that is to secure a venue that will meet their needs, exceed their expectations, and make planning their wedding reception fun and stress free!  Therefore, as a customer, the couple should have a plan of action.  I would suggest researching the potential venues prior to scheduling site tours.  The internet is an evident resource to accomplish this task quickly.  Look for information on specs (this an industry term, short for specifications) on the venue.  This will give you the dimensions of the spaces, and capacities.  Also check their websites for photos.  A professional venue will always have photos to showcase what their space can look like for different types of events.  Next, educate yourself on other industry standards / jargon.  This will give you an advantage when you are onsite with the sales manager / catering manager of the facility.  Here are some terms I would consider “hospitality industry / event lingo” that might be helpful to get you started:

1)       Plus-Plus – you might also see this listed as (++) on menus or documents – this indicates that the items listed are subject to service charge and applicable sales tax

2)       A la carte – this term basically means, according to the menu – or –  reference to a menu of items priced and ordered separately

3)       Hosted – this term is generally associated with the bar, and it means that you are taking care of / paying for the beverages for your guests…you are “hosting” the beverages for them.

4)       Action station – a food station that is Chef attended, and as the title indicates….food is literally being prepared in front of the guest, “action” is happening live.

5)       Corkage fee – a charge for opening and serving a bottle of alcohol that was not purchased from the venue

6)       GOBO – light projection of a design, this is usually seen as a monogram or the names of the bride + groom, that is utilized as décor for the reception space (popular as a backdrop behind the head-table or on the dance floor)

7)       Duo Plate – a plated meal that features two entrees, on the same plate

8)       Butler Passing –  a term used to describe the type of service….servers will circulate throughout the room, offering guests appetizers or cocktails

9)       Tallboys – refers to tall cocktail tables that are typically scattered near the bar areas, giving guests a place to set their drink

I hope this information is interesting and helpful to you.  Taking the time to do the prep work for something of great importance such as your wedding reception will most definitely pay off in the end!

– Jill Hericks | Director of Sales & Marketing | 605-367-4156 | Sioux Falls Convention Center

(Sioux Falls Convention Center and Sioux Empire Wedding Showcase will Feature a Bridal Show on October 21st, 2012.)

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