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The Celebration Advisor - Wedding and Party Network Blog

Interested in planning a wedding? Curious about party planning? Do special events intrigue you? Then The Celebration Advisor is the place for you! We are a community of people who enjoy sharing the ins and outs of planning a celebration. Party planners will find topics ranging from party themes to party ideas. Wedding planners will discover wedding tips including handy checklists, learn about wedding traditions and find the answers to issues of etiquette. In this party and wedding blog, we invite you to share your experiences while exploring the celebrations of others. Welcome, let's celebrate!

by Tracy Brengard

Vacations, swimming pools, lemonade stand, all of these things remind us of sweet summertime! While it still may be hot outside, school days are just around the corner. Soon there will be no more sleeping in, so ease into that back to school routine with some fun activities for the family.

Here are a few ideas to get the entire family ready.

Host A Party

Host a cookout or picnic at a pool or in your backyard. Keep the food simple and kid-friendly, as well as the decorations. For example, cover tables with white paper and fill mason jars with crayons for centerpieces. Use a large chalkboard to welcome guests and let them sign in as they arrive. Apples and flash cards or any other school related item as décor for tables or wall hangings is a great idea as well.

For an educational twist, set up a map with some push pins and allow guests to plot where they have traveled for summer vacations. A door prize can be given to those traveling the longest distance. Involve the kids by having them bring items for school that can be donated to a local school or charity that accepts supplies to distribute to those in need.

Family Activities

If a party isn’t in your plans, there are some things you can do at home with your family. Start a new tradition that will make memories for years to come. Here are a list of ideas:

  • Create a countdown calendar to mark off the final days of summer.
  • Cook a special breakfast on the first day.
  • Buy a growth chart or even find a space on a hidden wall to mark your child’s growth each year.
  • Host a family fashion show and have each child model their first day of school clothes.

The entire family will look forward to their beloved tradition each and every year.

Think About The Teacher

Another person to consider on the first day of school is your child’s teacher. Here are a few ways to show your excitement that you have them as a teacher:

  • An apple for the teacher is a fun, inexpensive way to start the year.
  • A handwritten note from you or your child, thanking the teacher and expressing your excitement about the school year might be a thoughtful idea.
  • A basket with supplies any educator would appreciate might include paper clips, sticky notes, or copier paper.
  • A small container with quarters for the soft drink or snack machine would definitely come in handy.
  • Flowers are always an option! A cheery bouquet of sunflowers, daisies, chrysanthemums, or summer wildflowers will brighten any teacher’s desk.

Going back to school each fall is a milestone event for any family. Make that transition smoother by finding a way to celebrate while making memories that will last a lifetime.

by Tilda Helgesson

There's a lot of things to think about when planning a wedding and the reception is a big part of it. This weeks Inspirational Friday highlights a few of the trends right now when it comes to wedding decorations.

Right now there's a lot of focus on how to make the lighting fun and unique. Use lanterns or chandeliers, whatever suits your style best, to create this cozy and intimate feeling at your wedding reception. Natural light is used as well to create an outdoorsy feeling even if the reception is held inside. Another thing that we see is the use of greenery, almost domination of actual flowers or in combination with pastel colored flowers. We hope these ideas inspire you for your wedding reception.

Check back next week for more wedding inspiration!

Do you desire to have a wedding as unique as the one you’re in love with? Have you always wanted to break the traditional mold and be original? Weddings As You Wish is your source for the perfect wedding and the perfect wedding officiant. Don Goodrum is a Christian wedding minister performing traditional and unique marriage ceremonies throughout Florida. Whether you're in Panama City, Destin or Pensacola, he services them all along the Emerald Coast.

Personalized Wedding Ceremony

Weddings As You Wish mean just that. Don has married couples in all sorts of unique venues and even costumes! Your wedding ceremony can be as elaborate, or as simple, as you desire. Once a plan has been established, Don executes flawlessly. He’s been known to say “the flowers and tuxedos are just to make the pictures pretty and to make your momma happy.” That’s why Don guarantees only to take instruction from the bride and groom. No one else. This is your special day and should be exactly what you want it to be.

Premarital Counseling

Don Goodrum also provides premarital counseling. This is a specially designed 4-hour course. Stepping in to marriage can be a daunting task with many unseen obstacles. Walking through some of those obstacles in premarital counseling is essential to a successful marriage. Because of this, the class is taken seriously. Once couples have completed the course, Don does offer a discount on the ceremony!

Whether you want to get married on the back of your Harley or dress up like characters from Star Wars, Weddings As You Wish is the perfect weddings officiate for that special day. Remember, as you wish truly means just that! Contact them today to schedule your perfect wedding.

by Tilda Helgesson

Your Wedding Wednesday Question

Do I need to serve another dessert besides the cake at my wedding reception?


No you don’t have to but do keep in mind that in case any of your guests has any dietary restrictions this might be a good idea. You can always talk to the cake baker about making other options such as a small gluten free cake and etc.. You can also consider serving ice cream or fruit as an option and don’t forget, it might go well with the cake too. In the end it is completely up to you.

 We hope this answered your question!

If you have more wedding questions, send them to:
Every Wednesday we will post answers to your biggest wedding questions.

by Kelly Curtis

One of the latest wedding trends emerging is including more greenery in your wedding. Brides are including only greenery in fact and skipping on the flowers. A wedding bouquet filled with lush greens and herbs truly makes a statement. It doesn't stop there. Brides are including it in their table runners, on chairs, accents to their photo frames and even creating suspended decor with it. Greenery adds a true elegance to your wedding. How will you include it in yours?

by Kelly Curtis

Planning a buffet for your next party? This seems like an easy route to take to serve your food. However, there are a few tips you must keep in mind when setting yours up.

  1. What/Where – Decide what serving dishes you will use as well as where you will place each one. This is easier to do beforehand than stress the day of. All you have to do is place the food on each dish.
  2. Use Labels – This takes the guessing game out for the guests. This also helps guests with food allergies out so they know what to avoid.
  3. Plates First, Silverware Last – Why do this? Of course we understand why plates need to be first. But if we put silverware last, your guests won't have to juggle them as they move down the line.
  4. Make It Ahead – Don't spend your entire day cooking. Think of meals that can be prepared the day before or even a week before and are ok to freeze.
  5. Think About The Kids – Sometimes it's easy to overlook the children at the event, but they will appreciate you thought of the, as well as the parents. Add chicken nuggets or mini sandwiches.

We hope these tips help. Do you have your own buffet tips? Share them with us at

by Tilda Helgesson

Your wedding day is upon you and you have so much planning to do. There’s a lot of things to keep in mind when planning a wedding and it is easy to forget something. When it comes to who is going to provide the food for the reception, you need to remember that it is about more than just food.  Therefore we have compiled a list of 7 questions you should ask your wedding caterer.

  1. Do you have a sample menu I could look at?
    This will tell you what type of style and variation of food they have and give you a clue to how adaptable they are to your alterations and wishes.
  2. Is it possible to do a tasting?
    This could be a deciding factor when it comes to a cater because you want it make sure that you are getting tasty food. It might be good to do a tasting even if you have heard of them from a referral because everyone’s taste is different. If they do tastings, ask if there is a fee and add that to your budget.
  3. Do you have options for different types of dietary restrictions? Such as vegetarian, kosher, and/or different allergies.
    This depends on if your guests have any dietary restrictions but it is still good to know if the caterer has a variety of dietary options and are able to adjust to any changes.
  4. Will you provide chairs, tables and/or linens? If so do you have multiple options?
    It's always good to ask if your caterer provides tables and chairs or if you have to find them yourself. Often times, that is a separate service, but it is also important to ask if they provide the smaller things like linens, napkins, etc. While you’re asking about tables, also ask if they provide extra tables for gifts or candy bars as well.
  5. How many servers do you use per guest?
    This is important to know for various reasons. The servers to guest ratio will affect how smooth and fast the reception will be and hopefully avoid complaints from guests. This also adds to your complete total, so it is important to also know the cost per server per hour.
  6. Does wine come with the menu? Is there an extra fee for the wine?
    Some caterers include wine in their service but some don’t. If wine is included what options do they have and could you make any special selections. If wine is not included don’t hesitate to ask what wine they suggest will go complement the food and where is a good place to get that particular wine.
  7. Are your evening prices more than your daytime prices?
    The answer to this question might decide the time of the day that you will hold your wedding, especially if there is a significant different between prices.

We hope that these questions can prepare you more for your wedding day and make the planning a bit easier. Check back with Wedding and Party Network for more great ideas and tips!

by Tilda Helgesson

The style on wedding invitations are changing and becoming more personalized. We have compiled some examples to show you what’s happening and what’s in right now.

The trend for wedding invitations this year has gone to be more about making them unique and really letting the creativity flow. For example people are using tangible decorations on the invitation like ribbons or buttons. Another trend is switching up the cut of the card with personal touches. Also, it is now more common that people use their engagement picture in their wedding invitation. We hope this gives you a bit of inspiration for your wedding invitations.

by Murray Watts

Tasteful elegance is accomplished only by caterers who are experienced and professional in all they do. Columbia Chef Catering delivers only the best to your special event. Executive chefs Betty Spittel and Thomas Franklin combine over 45 years of culinary expertise to create the amazing meals for your dining pleasure. Established in 1989, Columbia Chef Catering has become Columbia, MD and the surrounding area’s preferred caterer because they can do it all!


Choose The Menu Right For Your Event

This team has unique catering menus to fit any palette. You will find they offer everything from breakfast, lunch, hot entrées, snacks, drinks and more for every event. Specializing in top-notch Hors d’Oeuvres, the selection includes smoked salmon on pumpernickel rounds to BBQ chicken wings. The possibilities are endless.


Host A BBQ

One way Columbia Chef Catering separates itself from the rest is the fully catered BBQ. The chefs will schedule a three-hour picnic that includes a server and a grill master. All your favorite meats are prepared right in front of you on the grill! Customizing orders is as easy as their homemade pies, too. A delightful summer picnic has never been as stress-free as when you let Columbia Chef Catering handle all the food.

Columbia Chef Catering takes your special event to the highest level whether it is a small business meeting, holiday party, birthday party or weddings. Don’t even think about looking elsewhere when these chefs can do it all for your event!

Your Wedding Wednesday Question

What do I do when I just completely forget to attend a wedding that I rsvp'd to?


Just be honest about what happened. Write an apology, send your best wishes and your wedding gift to the happy couple.

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