Your Guide For Common Event Industry Lingo

A short glossary of ‘what the heck’ Event Professionals are talking about.



When us Event pro’s get together, it can sound like we’re speaking another language- especially when words like: “strike” are being thrown around. Today’s blog discusses a few common terms and phrases that you might hear during the event planning process.



The Lingo:


Zero – K


8-1-1; “Call before you dig!” This hotline is used to see what’s below the surface of your yard (etc). We use this when we’re installing tents, to make sure there aren’t any power lines, water mains, etc.

Arbors vs. Arches; Basically, they’re the same thing! The only difference being: Arches are typically curved structures, while Arbors can be both curved and rectangular.

Arm Chairs vs. Club Chairs; Arm chairs can be seen as the “main category” while Club Chairs can be considered a “sub category.” Club chairs are typically thicker and could also have shorter legs.

Banquet Table; A basic table style, usually available in sizes: 8ft or 6ft.

Bar Back; A shelving unit or bookcase placed behind the bar to display bottles, hold extra glassware, etc.

Boutonniere; A small floral arrangement pinned to the lapel of tuxedo/ suit jacket.

Bouquet; Also described as “Personal Floral,” a bouquet is an arrangement of floral that you hold as you walk down the aisle.

Bustle; Framework used for fullness at the back of a wedding dress. Modern gowns utilize buttons and string-pulls to gather the bustle in a way that allows the wearer to dance/walk more easily.

Chafing Dish; A metal pan with an outer pan of hot water, used to keep food warm.

Charger Plate; A decorative plate that’s placed under the dinner plate to add color and texture to the place setting.

Force Majeure; A French term that means, “superior force.” It describes a clause, commonly listed in a contract, that exempts a vendor from carrying out his/her duties due to extreme circumstances- that couldn’t have been foreseen. Ex. Hurricanes.

Delivery Window; A timeframe we use to help determine our delivery schedule. For each event, we create our “window” based on these times: earliest we can arrive at the venue, when your rentals need to be set by, the end-time of your event, the time we need to be out of the venue.

Ecru; A term used by stationery professionals to describe unbleached cream or ivory paper.

Event Insurance; A form of liability insurance. Can include coverage for: damages, overtime fees, etc.

Event Rentals vs. Event Furniture; You say potato…. They’re pretty much the same thing. Event rentals tends to cover a wider range of products such as: tents, staging, etc.

Flatware vs. Silverware; They’re basically the same thing! Flatware is used when the forks, knives, etc. aren’t silver.

Fondant; A hard frosting made of sugar and water, that’s mixed / cooked / cooled. Used on the outer layer of cakes.

Glassware vs. Stemware; They’re basically the same thing! Stemware is typically used to describe wine glasses and champagne flutes, while Glassware could be used to describe cocktail glasses and vintage goblets.

Heft; In terms of vintage furniture, it describes the “weight of appearance.” For example, a Club Chair would be considered to have a heavy appearance, therefore, it carries a lot of heft.

Highboys; Another term for “tall cocktail tables.”

King Louis Chairs; A seating style derived from French interior designs. These chairs can be seen to have a round/oval back, armrests that extend from front to back, fabric seats enclosed in wood frames, and more. This seating style has seen decades of design evolution!


L – Z


Load In/Out; Terms that can be interchanged with “Delivery” and “Pick Up.”

Maid/Matron of Honor; An unmarried / married woman (respectively) acting as principal bridesmaid. Fun fact: bridesmaids used to act as the bride’s bodyguards! They would protect the bride from evil spirits and those wishing to do harm.

Nosegay; A small, densely-packed bouquet gifted to a person of great importance to the bride.

Palette; Describes the range of colors used in a work or design. Palette could also be interchanged with “Wedding Colors.”

Pipe & Drape; Also know as: “Draping,” Pipe & Drape refers to decorative panels of thick of fabric, used to cover eye-sores in an event space / add interest to an event space.

Place Setting; Table service for a single guests. Settings typically include: flatware, glass/stemware, and dinnerware.

“Plus Plus” ; A catering term used to describe the “cost per person.” Ex. The price is $30++ (one + refers to gratuity, the second + refers to tax).

Pomander; A round, densely-packed bouquet typically used by the flower girl(s). Could also describe the bouquet used at the top of candelabras.

Royal Icing; A hard, white icing that’s made from egg whites and powdered sugar. Used to decorate cakes.

Stanchions; An upright post, bar, or frame used to act as a barrier.

Stationery Suite; Term used to describe all stationery sent to guests. Includes: save-the-dates, invitations, reply cards, reception cards, etc.

Sternos; Portable food warming tools that are placed under Chafing dishes.

Stretcher; In terms of vintage furniture, Stretchers are horizontal support elements that “tie” two furniture pieces together. You’ll notice these on our Clover Sweetheart Chairs!

Strike; Another term used to describe “pick up,” and “load out.”

Tablescape; Another word for table arrangement. Typically includes the place settings and centerpieces.

Tableware; Typically includes: flatware/silverware, glassware/stemware, dinner plates, etc.

Uplighting; A small, often portable, light box that’s used to display lights/patterns on a wall.

Vellum; Heavy, transparent paper that’s often used as an overlay on wedding invitations.

Vintage Furniture vs. Retro Furniture; Vintage/ Antique furniture can be classified as furniture pieces that are 100 years or older. “Retro” refers to furniture of the recent past.

Wedding Design Styles (a brief list);

  • Beach/ Tropical – characterized by a “laid-back” style. Common elements used: palm leaves, pampas grass, bright floral, driftwood, soft pastels/neutrals, seashells.
  • Bohemian – best known for the “hippies-at-heart.” ‘Boho’ can be characterized by the whimsical vibes this design style evokes, as well as, the romantic and care-free vibes it promotes. Common elements used: desert/western décor, geometric shapes, unkempt floral, fringe, crochet lace, vintage furniture; Really, anything goes with this style.
  • Classic – characterized by bright neutrals and simplistic décor. Common venues for this design style: ballrooms, estate homes, and country clubs.
  • Glam – best characterized by bling!
  • Minimalist- perfect for couples who believe: “less is more.” This design style derives its vibes from modern looks. Common elements used: geometric décor, muted/neutral color palettes, industrial elements, wide open-space.
  • Romantic – a concept that focuses on transforming a space with a whimsical, fairytale vibes. Common elements used: hand-tied floral, pastels, vintage furniture, ballgowns.
  • Rustic – characterized by ‘country-side charm.’ Rustic designs evoke coziness and heart. This style is all encompassing, and includes our girl: Joanna Gaines’s Modern Farmhouse aesthetic.
  • Shabby Chic – not quite ‘rustic’ and not quite ‘romantic.’ This style places an emphasis on an eclectic feel. Common elements used: rustic décor, vintage furniture, pastel colors, wood elements, playful details.
  • Themed-Wedding – characterized by the design of an event corresponding to a specific idea. Ex. Roaring 20’s, All-White Party, etc.

Wedding or Event Planner / Coordinator / Designer;

  • Planner – these event pro’s are all about the logistics. They take the guesswork out of the planning process, making the event as seamless as possible.
  • Coordinator – synonymous with “planner,” but coordinators could take on fewer hours than planners. They might handle the day-of stuff and function as the point of contact on the big day.
  • Designer – as you can imagine, designers are all about the aesthetics. They help with decisions that’ll lead to a cohesive and stylish event




Photo credits: Blue Ribbon Weddings, Jessica Perez Photography, Art and History Museums- Maitland, Gatherer Floral Co.
Featured products: Bamboo folding chairs, white tent, lighting