About one month before the wedding day, your venue manager would likely initiate a meeting to finalise the plans for your banquet or reception. During this meeting, he/she would require that you provide him/her with key details such as the number of guests expected, the dietary restrictions your guests might have and other logistical details like the reception program and sometimes even hotel rooms arrangement.
After the meeting, your venue manager will generate a document called the “Banquet Event Order” or simply “Event Order”, listing all the details you have shared with him/her. The document will be sent to you for your final review before being disseminated to the operations team on duty during your wedding day. Here we explain what this is all about so you can be sure that the team managing the banquet is prepared to host your wedding reception.
Banquet Event Order or BEO, is the next most important document other than your contract with your venue. It contains the final details after months of discussion with your venue manager. This document will be used like a manual by the banquet manager for execution on your actual wedding day.
What’s on it?
As you can see, there are tons of information on the BEO. With so many details, here are some of the main things you should look out or request for:
1. Guaranteed and Expected Attendance
These two terms are often confused and here are the differences:
Guaranteed attendance is the minimum number of persons you’ve agreed with the venue will attend the reception. This number usually make up the total amount payable to the venue at the end of the celebration. However this is not always the case if you have purchased additional services or items from the venue OR if you’re expecting more guests than the minimum number you’ve agreed on.
Expected attendance as the name suggests is the number of guests you’re expecting will attend the reception. This number can be lesser or more than the guaranteed number you’ve signed up for when you first book the wedding venue.
It is wise to provide a lower guaranteed number to the venue because that is the amount you will be held accountable for at the end, plus any additional guests that goes on top of the minimum guaranteed if any. For example, if your initial agreement with the venue is a guarantee of 200 guests and now you’re expecting 250 guests. During the BEO, it will be sensible to inform the venue manager that you guarantee 240 guests but that you’re expecting 250 guests.
2. Food and beverages
Check that the food and beverages listed match your selected menu, and reflects any comments you’ve made during the food tasting session so that the Chef and Banquet team is aware!
Check that you have discussed service style of food and beverages with your venue manager and the agreed arrangement is stated. For example, if you do not want to start alcohol consumption for your guests too early, the timing of alcohol services should be listed so the banquet manager can assist to manage consumption rate. Or if you ordered your own wine, have the breakdown and labels indicated to ensure they are accounted for.
Check that if you have any special dietary requirements from guests, such as vegetarian, vegan, halal food, gluten-free, etc. they are all stated in the BEO, together with the quantity. For some venues, the table numbers of where these guests are seated at will be listed down as well.
Setup lists down every single logistics detail for your wedding, right down to having bottled water and mirror in the changing room for your convenience. Here are some important things to look out for:
- Choice of décor – such as your table linens, show plates, napkin folds and colours are all indicated
- Any special arrangements such as table for your photo album display, additional extension cord for your ice-cream live station, or power socket for your photo-booth
- Double check the names that will be indicated in the venue signage. With venues sometimes hosting multiple weddings a session, we don’t want your guests to get lost!
4. Special requests
You would like your wedding cake to be sliced and served after you’ve cut it? Have a specific hard liquor to be served to a specific table? You have a friend who wish to perform for you and your partner at a specific point during the reception? All these should be indicated so that the banquet manager can help to manage the service.
5. Early check in request
Do you have an early auspicious timing and would like to get to the hotel to rest earlier? Try asking for an early check-in request and have that reflected in the BEO, this way it will make your entire check-in a breeze and more time for you to sneak some snooze before your evening program!
Ordered something from an external vendor as your wedding favours that will be delivered to the venue? That should also be indicated so the banquet manager will know to look out for the delivery and have them arranged accordingly.
These are only but a few key things to look out for when you’re reviewing the final arrangement with the venue. There are loads of information included in the BEO and if you’re lost, it helps to know what is a priority to you and to convey it to the venue manager so that they are prepared in advance. Leave the rest to your wedding coordinator and the operations team and trust their expertise in running a splendid reception for you. There must be a reason why you chose them in the first place, right?