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Tips for Planning a Wedding Anniversary Party
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Tips for Planning a Wedding Anniversary Party

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Anniversary Party Invitations When many marriages don't even make it to the 10-year mark, a 25th anniversary is a milestone worth celebrating-and a 50th anniversary is one for the record books! One way to recognize the commitment and love of a happy couple married 25, 35, 45, or 50 years is with a wedding anniversary party in their honor.

Not only is an anniversary party a way to show respect and admiration for the couple, but it's also a wonderful opportunity to inspire younger generations and newlyweds who are just starting out in the adventure of marriage. A wedding anniversary party gives the couple's children, family, and friends a chance to congratulate them and wish them well-and gives the spouses of honor a chance to bask in their many years of love, honor, and respect.

Like any party, a milestone anniversary party requires planning and organization. But it also involves a number of specific considerations. Here are some tips for throwing a fabulous party-and a celebration worthy of the inspiring guests of honor.

Hosting duties
There are a number of options when it comes to hosting an anniversary party. A common, and appropriate, scenario is having the child or children of the couple host the party. This is a perfect way for them to offer their congratulations and show their appreciation, and their parents will no doubt be touched and delighted. Another option is to have close friends or siblings of the couple host. Friends who were present at the couple's wedding and have been close to them throughout their marriage are an especially meaningful choice. Finally, the couple themselves may choose to host their anniversary party. This can be a wonderful gift for them to give to each other, and a way to express their continuing affection and dedication.

Date of party
It's ideal to schedule the party for the date of the wedding anniversary-or the weekend before or after if it falls on a weekday-but this is not always possible. If the anniversary falls on a holiday or during a busy season, or if the couple wants to spend the actual anniversary on a vacation together or simply by themselves, choosing a date near to the anniversary, or in the same season, is acceptable. Other considerations when picking a date are the ease of travel for out-of-town guests and the availability of party VIPs-which may include the couple's children, closest friends, and the members of the original wedding party. If you are planning an anniversary party at a busy time, consider sending out a save-the-date in advance so that guests can get the event on their schedules.

The invitation can really set the stage for the event: a more formal affair might feature an elegant design and script, while a casual get-together with a small group of family and friends would be best served by a more low-key invitation. Elements to include are similar to those for other parties or showers: names of the guests of honor; day, date, and time of the event; name and address of the venue; names of the hosts; and contact for RSVPs. You'll also want to note what anniversary is being celebrated. You can add a line indicating that gifts are not expected if the couple feels strongly that they not receive them. When you order invitations, consider purchasing matching stationery for replies, seat placements, and thank-yous.

Anniversary colors
You'll want to take note of the traditional color associated with the particular milestone anniversary you're celebrating-for the simple fact that it provides abundant inspiration for invitations, decorations, and favors. For example, the color for the 25th anniversary is silver, for the 35th is coral, for the 45th is sapphire, and for the 50th is gold. If the couple is less traditional, you could research the modern versions of these colors, which may be slightly different, and perhaps more suited to the couple's personalities.

Party venue
The options for anniversary party spaces are unlimited, but popular choices are a restaurant or event space, the couple's favorite spot in their city or even vacation destination (for a smaller gathering), or the couple's own home or backyard. A few caveats: If you plan to host the party at a restaurant, make sure you book far in advance-up to a year ahead if the date falls during the winter holidays or the summer season, or another busy time. If you'll be throwing a destination anniversary party, be sure to give guests plenty of time to make travel arrangements. And if the party will be at the couple's home, of course, make sure the couple is open to the arrangement!

Types of anniversary parties
When deciding on the type of party to throw to celebrate a milestone anniversary, keep a few things in mind: the couple's personalities and interests, the number of people who plan to attend, and the time of year. A laidback couple who just enjoy grilling out with family and friends would probably be happiest with a backyard barbecue or casual open house. If the couple's anniversary falls during the temperate spring months, a garden party luncheon or outdoor cocktail party under the stars might be in order. The couple who love nothing more than a day on the golf course together might appreciate an event at their golf club. And for the fun-loving couple who enjoy a fabulous party? A catered dinner or restaurant party, followed by a DJ or band and dancing, is a perfect choice. Other options include a surprise party and a vow reaffirmation followed by a reception.

Guest list
Deciding who to invite to an anniversary party is fairly straightforward, as long as you have input from the guests of honor (or their closest friends or family). The guest list will also depend on the size of the party (venue and number than can be accommodated), as well as the budget. Essential people to include are the important people in the couple's life: close friends and family, including the couple's children, and members of the original wedding party. You'll want to decide if children will be invited to the party; if they will not be, make sure that is clear to the guests.

Speeches and toasts
At a more formal affair, speeches by the guests of honor and toasts by the hosts are expected. If the guests of honor are hosting, it's a thoughtful gesture for other guests to stand up and offer a toast to them as well. For a casual get-together, it is appreciated but not required that a few guests give toasts. These are wonderful ways to briefly offer congratulations and express admiration for the couple, so try to arrange them beforehand if possible.

A milestone anniversary-really, any wedding anniversary-is an occasion to celebrate. Take the time to plan a thoughtful event, and you'll honor the couple, and the institution, in a meaningful way.

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