Hawaii Beach Wedding

Wedding Lingo 101 (post #1)

Wedding Lingo 101: Venue

You will hear and see many wedding terms appear and reappear in many different places. Let us guide you down the aisle of basic wedding terminology!

 #1. Minimum Requirements and Room Rental Fees:

Most wedding venues will have a “minimum requirement”. Whether it is food, beverages, the amount of guests, there will be a minimum dollar amount you will need to spend in order to host your event at their establishment.  These terms will usually be found in your BEO/catering contract or menu options and may vary depending on each venue.

Remember, no matter how much your plans change over the months of planning your wedding, you are locked into that minimum number so you have to be comfortable with hitting it. If the minimum requirement isn’t met, the venue will offset the cost by applying fees. Sometimes a labor charge or room rental fee will be applied if the minimum requirement is not met.  On the bright side, at some venues, your room rental fees can possibly be waived depending on your minimum expenditure. Some venues may even allow you to exchange the Labor Charge with the Room Rental Fee. Please keep in mind that each of these fees may have additional service fees + state tax.

  • For Example: If your wedding reception is held at a hotel’s ballroom, the BEO/catering contract could say: “Room rental fee waived based on a minimum of $15,000.00 net revenue from food and beverage only. If the minimum net revenue is not met, the difference will be charged as labor charge + tax and service fees.” This means that your room rental will only be waived if you spend $15,000.00 in food and beverages alone (NOTE: beverages are not always included in the “minimum”). If you decide to have your ceremony there as well, the cost of your ceremony will not be applied towards the minimum stated on the contract.

JnW-Finished Ballroom 02

#2. Bar Services and Special Requests:

When deciding the specifics of your bar and beverage service, you will come across many different options and exceptions. But don’t worry, we’ll go over some popular bar service options to give you a better idea on which service will work best for you. (NOTE: not all options are offered at all locations. Country Clubs usually require you to have a completely hosted bar)

  • Hosted Bar: This is when the bride & groom pay for the entire cost and drinks are complimentary to the guests.
  • Partially Hosted: This can either mean the bar is hosted during specific times (ie: 5pm-9pm or during cocktails until open dancing), the bar is only hosting certain beverages (ie: ONLY beer, wine, and soft-drinks), or the bar is only stocked with certain beverages (ie: beer, wine, and soft-drinks).
  • No-Host Bar: This is when the guests will pay for their own beverages. Most of the time, guests are given “Drink Tickets”. The amount of tickets each guests receive, as well as what type of drinks the tickets can apply to (ie: anything at the bar or only specific beverages) will be determined by the Bride & Groom.
  • Bar Cap: Since there are a number of options on how you can serve alcohol (or not) at your wedding, cost is probably one of the biggest concerns. With a “Bar Cap” you can determine a set dollar amount as your limit for a Hosted Bar. Please keep in mind that if you set a limit, you will need to determine if that limit is inclusive with sales tax and service charge, or not. If it’s not, the service charge and tax will be added on top of your limit (after it is reached).
  • Special Requests: After selecting your bar service, should you have any special requests, please be sure to notify your venue through your BEO/Catering Contract.
    • Example #1: Your BEO/Catering Contract may say something along the lines of: “Banquet Captain to notify father of the bride when bar reaches $1000.00, FOB may choose to extend and will make the call at that time, whether the bar will be hosted or to be switched to a no-host bar.”  In this case, the father of the bride will be  making the decision instead of the Bride & Groom.
    • Example #2: If in the event that the bar is NOT fully hosted, often times you can make special  accommodations for specific individuals to be fully hosted throughout the entire event:

A. ONLY the Bride & Groom

B. ONLY the Wedding Party

C. Only the Wedding Party & Immediate Family


Photo by: Dylan Dawson Photography

***NOTE:  If you plan to host the immediate family (but not the guests), they can often only be “hosted” while seated at their “family table”. Otherwise, the banquet staff would not be able to identify the “immediate family”.  It is usually easy to identify the wedding party, so they would not need to be seated, to be hosted.

#3. Vendor Meals:

Although it is not required to feed your vendors (unless it is mentioned in their contract), it is customary to do so. Especially for the vendors that will be at your event for an extended amount of time like your coordinators, photographers, videographers, DJ and MC. These people will be at your event from start to finish and they won’t be able to step out to grab food elsewhere, nor do the venues allow. Each venue offers different “Vendor Meals”. You have the option to provide them with the same meal you and your guests are having, a version of your what your guests will have, or even a “vendor meal” (something completely different) from the venue.

  • NOTE:  If a vendor is not fed, they may leave to go and eat elsewhere and return which potentially means they might miss something important.

    The wedding cake decorated with red, purple and creme flowers

    The wedding cake decorated with red, purple and creme flowers

#4. Final Gte (Final Guarantee):

This is the final count and guaranteed number of guests that will be attending your wedding. If more guests are in attendance than the guaranteed number, the actual number served will be charged. Venues are aware that the counts are constantly changing (even on the wedding day) so it is understood that the “Final Guarantee” might not be final. However, if you have a significant count increase, the venue can’t guarantee that they will be able to accommodate your large increase due to shortage in food or wait staff. Please keep in mind that the food is purchased and prepared based on the final guarantee. In order for your venue to efficiently serve you on your big day, this number needs to be as accurate as possible and in most cases, provided to your venue at least 3 BUSINESS days prior to your event date.

  • NOTE:  If fewer guests than  the Final Guarantee you provided to the venue attends, you will still be      charged for the amount of people you guaranteed.

We hope this information was helpful and will continue to post more information about other “Wedding Lingo” in the future :-).

Happy Planning!

~A Perfect Day~