Anniversary Celebration Tips
Anniversary celebrations are a wonderful way for people to get together and recognize the most important people in their lives. Each year a new milestone is reached and it is fun to share a special milestone with loved ones. Many married couples wish to commemorate the love and commitment they have for one another with an anniversary party, usually during the milestone years such as the twenty-fifth or fiftieth anniversary. Often times the celebration is hosted by the couple’s children or other family members, close friends or even the couple themselves.
As with any other party, invitations should be mailed three to six weeks before the event. It is a good idea to indicate on the invitation how many years of marriage the couple is celebrating. Many couples want to make it clear to their guests that gifts are not expected from every guest at the celebration. In fact, soliciting gifts or money is not considered good taste! Invitations may include a notation such as “We consider your presence your gift” or “No gifts, please”. However, some guests will want to bring something to observe the occasion anyway. If this occurs, the couple should graciously thank the guest and set the gift aside to open at a later time so that other guests will not feel uncomfortable. One way to solve the “No Gifts” dilemma is to request that guests bring a favorite photo of the anniversary couple or a card in which they have recalled a special memory of a time shared with the couple. This gives guests something tangible to contribute to the celebration yet does not result in an accumulation of unnecessary items for the couple.
One very important item for an anniversary celebration is a guestbook. There are many styles available to coordinate with the theme of the party. Hosts can take the lead by signing the guestbook and, if the honored couple wishes, add a personal note or shared memory for the couple to read and enjoy later. An alternative to a traditional guestbook is a “guestbook frame” that allows the guests to sign an oversized mat which surrounds a picture of the couple.
The décor for the anniversary party should be compatible with the formality of the celebration. Whether a brunch, dinner or casual buffet, many hosts incorporate the traditional colors and precious elements that are associated with anniversaries. Most common are white and silver for twenty-fifth wedding anniversaries and gold for fiftieth anniversaries. Candles and vases of flowers are easily utilized to decorate tables as well as photographs of the couple and their family in coordinating frames. Scrapbooks of photos and mementoes showcasing the years the couple have been together – including those all important courtship years! – are enjoyed by guests. By all means, if the wedding ceremony was videotaped, set up equipment so the film can be shown several times throughout the party. If the couple has other memorabilia from their wedding day such as a dried bridal bouquet or corsage, unity candle holder or a garter belt, these items can be displayed on a special table nearby.
Anniversary celebrations may take a cue from weddings by incorporating an elaborately decorated cake as part of the refreshments. A special cake top can set off the cake beautifully. The couple may also wish to have their own toasting glasses engraved with the date to use during the celebration. The couple may wish to offer a toast to each other and the guests or someone else may choose to toast the honored couple.
Guest favors are a wonderful way for the couple to thank their guests for helping them celebrate their special day. Favor Boxes with the couple’s name and anniversary date filled with candies are lovely. Pen, votives and other items typically associated with weddings are also appropriate.