Could something as seemingly innocuous as a crouton make a guest at your next event ill?

It could if they are sensitive to gluten, a protein found in wheat, barley, and rye (and many other grains), or if they have celiac disease, which is a serious autoimmune disorder triggered by eating gluten that can damage the small intestine.

After all, croutons are little more than tiny, tasty bread cubes — and conventional bread is full of gluten. Even though most people who have celiac disease or gluten sensitivity are extremely careful about what they eat, a crouton tossed into a…

Do your parents have a big anniversary coming up?

Hosting a party for them is a wonderful way to celebrate their commitment to one another — and express your love and appreciation for them.

And you have all sorts of options for making your parents’ celebration meaningful. You can weave in sweet design touches, add elements of nostalgia, or make dramatic, show-stopping gestures. Or…you can aim for all of the above!

Here are a few suggestions to get you on your way.

1. Start with a theme.

Selecting a theme gives you a great starting point for cultivating fun party…

If the words “children’s table” evoke memories of family Thanksgivings spent sitting in the kitchen, eating turkey and mashed potatoes (or, heaven forbid, Brussels sprouts) off paper plates, you’ll probably be surprised to learn how grown-up things are for kids now, at least in the world of weddings and other catered events.

No longer are children considered disruptive little beings who have to be corralled (or kept at home). …

For many, a rustic wedding can be a fairy tale brought to life — complete with stunning scenery.

Few elements, besides the beauty surrounding you, will help set the mood for your country wedding more than the food you provide.

Not only can you create a feast for the senses with your dishes’ flavors and aromas, but also, food has the power to evoke positive memories and even emotional responses. This is especially true for a rustic wedding, where comfort foods are natural menu choices.

With that in mind, I’ve put together a few ideas to help inspire you.

The Bell Tower on 34th, Houston, Texas

When you’re planning one of the most important events of your life, your wedding venue can be an important ally, a valuable source of advice and support. But as with other relationships, achieving this kind of mutual respect and trust requires ongoing communication on both sides.

A good wedding venue will be committed to being accessible, listening to your priorities, answering your questions, and sharing suggestions when asked.

That said, you have a role to play, too, in equipping your venue to make your wedding dreams come true.

I’ve compiled some guidelines that can help you interact effectively with the…

Do you want an urban wedding with an edgy, modern vibe, or do you dream of exchanging vows in a more peaceful, rustic setting? Is proximity to resources like restaurants, hotels, and bars a priority, or would you prefer wedding memories that include the sights and sounds of nature?

Not sure? That’s understandable. Both rustic and urban venues have something special to offer. And you have so many choices: from glamorous venues minutes from city centers to farms and country-style venues away from the crowds and traffic.

Picking the right setting to match your personality and preferences doesn’t have to…

Looking back 20 or 30 years, you’d be hard-pressed to find a vegetarian choice on a catering menu, unless you considered the most basic of garden salads or something simple like a cheese omelet. And a vegan option? That wasn’t on the radar at even the trendiest spots until the early 2010s.

But as times and tastes have changed, both vegetarianism and veganism have gone mainstream. It’s estimated there are 375 million vegetarians worldwide. And while the total number of vegans is considerably smaller at 1.5 …

Roger Igo

CEO: Excellent Events catering, The Bell Tower on 34th venue and Venues in Houston. Author of “Keep On Going, The History of The Bell Tower on 34th.”

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