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Question
My neighbors are getting remarried - remarried to each other after they were divorced and seperated for a couple years.  Her sister and I are throwing a surprise reception celebration for them.  When it comes to the traditional things that typically occur what is etiquette??  They were married at court house and obviously this will be casual dress and a surprise no wedding party and ceremony before hand.....The reception will have music food and soda and tea coffee bar.  Should we do specifics dances or anything traditional at the reception or what would you suggest???
toast, dance, etc?

Answer
Hi!  How tremendous for them, and how lucky they are to have such considerate friends!   I think you let the event evolve organically; toasts, for sure; maybe a dance if they feel so inclined, but I'd plan just the skeleton and see what happens!  If it's truly a surprise, that will catch them off guard (happily!) and having too much going on may feel awkward rather than celebratory. Etiquette, in its purest form, is meant to make everyone feel comfortable, and I think a lovely afternoon party with some spontaneous toasts and maybe a dance (if they'd like) fits the bill perfectly.

You're planning a wonderful gift to them!

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Celia Milton

Expertise

I can answer questions about wedding etiquette, wedding ceremony ideas, reception ideas, sticky situations....really, anything wedding. I cannot give specific legal advice, but I can connect couples with the correct information about state licensing.

Experience

After running a successful, upscale catering business for over 15 years, I went to seminary and then Celebrant USA to train as a wedding officiant and become ordained. I have personally officiated at over 700 weddings, and I now head a group of six other officiants. We have written and performed weddings and civil unions for mixed couples, non religious couples, and everyone in between. I am well versed in ethnic and cultural rituals, as well as creating new rituals for my couples that desire them.

Organizations
American Association of Wedding Officiants New Jersey Wedding and Event Professionals

Education/Credentials
William Paterson University, BA, Philosophy, 2000 Union Theological in the City of New York, Masters of Divinity, 2003 Drew University at Madison, attended, 2002 Fordham University, Bronx, NY attended, 2003-2004 Celebrant USA, 2005-2006. Graduated in three disciplines

Awards and Honors
145 5 star reviews at http://www.weddingwire.com/reviews/celia-milton-celebrant-north-haledon/25ebd20dcf22a932.html Featured on TLC's "Four Weddings", Fox 5's "Good Day Street Talk", in "Contemporary Bride", "NJ Bride",and "201 Magazine" and "Four Aces.com" "Wedding Wire Brides' Choice 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012", and "Best of the Knot 2011, 2012". Profiled on Sage Wedding Pros, Natalie Bradley's "Bride Attraction" and Small Business Opportunities.com and So You're EnGAYged.com

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