Anniversary parties are a wonderful way to celebrate two people who have been together for a number of years. The most common anniversary parties are for 25 years and 50 years. There are many things you can do to make this day special for not only the couple, but all of their family and friends as well. Many people have shared in the joys and sorrows of the anniversary couple and they help to make this a special day as well. Planning an anniversary party is a huge undertaking, sometimes almost as big as a wedding.
Silver or Gold?
An anniversary party theme is fairly simple to determine. Unless the couple or their immediate family has requested a particular theme (this is unlikely), you should plan a fairly traditional party. A 25th wedding anniversary is traditionally silver, while a 50th anniversary is gold. Use this to plan the majority of your party, everything from invitations to decorations.
Who to Invite
An anniversary party can be as big as a wedding. While many people opt for a small get together consisting of family and close friends only, others look forward to a huge celebration with everyone who has touched their lives in past years. 25th anniversary parties tend to be of the smaller more intimate variety, whereas 50 years together definitely deserves more of a to-do.
If you're planning a huge bash, it may take quite a bit of time to come up with a guest list. If the happy couple knows about the party the easiest thing to do is ask them who should be invited. Family members and close friends are fairly obvious, but in addition you may want to invite old coworkers, church members, old neighbors, and the list can go on. If you are planning a surprise party for the couple, this can be a little tricky. Rather than getting the input of just one family member, send a tentative guest list to several family members and ask each for additions and deletions. This will help make sure no one gets missed.
If you're throwing a huge anniversary party, sending out invitations can be quite the task. If the party budget allows for it, get them custom made. You can order the invitations online and get everything shipped to you and ready to go. This will save an enormous amount of time. If the party budget is tight and that money would better go to use elsewhere, making your own invitations can actually be quite simple. All you need is a computer and a printer. You can download some great invitations templates that are simple enough to put together. All you need to do is add all the party information and perhaps a beautiful quote on the front and voila your invitations are ready to go.
Setting the Scene
Decorations for the party don't have to be hugely extravagant, but by adding some special touches you will help make the night even more special for the happy couple. Use the anniversary color almost exclusively; this will help make a great effect. Some ways to use either silver or gold are:
- Use gold or silver pen or ink for place cards, menu, and any other written items
- Gold or silver balloons make a beautiful yet inexpensive decoration
- Add gold or silver placemats or doilies at each place setting
- Gold or silver candles and or candle holders make a great centerpiece
- Dinnerware and barware should have gold or silver accents
There are many other ways in which you can incorporate these colors into the party. Just be sure not to overdo it since this may actually have a night club-ish tacky sort of look to it. Add plenty of white to balance it out.
Favors to Remember
Many couples will want to send their guests away with a little something to remember the night by and as a thank you for attending. One of the best favors ideas is a small picture frame of the couple. You can use pictures from their wedding day or a more recent photo. If you can find picture frames that hold two photos a nice idea is to add both a picture of their wedding day and a recent one. Friends and family of the couple will love taking this beautiful keepsake home.
Another great idea is a CD of songs form the era that the couple met and was married. This will bring back great memories for many of their family and friends and is probably one of the most useful favor possibilities. Be sure to check with local copyright laws to determine what type of fees apply to creating and giving away a music compilation. Make sure that all the music on the CD gets played throughout the night to really give guests something to remember.
A Night of Nostalgia
A great idea for any anniversary party, big or small, is a slide show. Start the show of with pictures of the couple when they first met and progress through the years of children and grandchildren. Don't be surprised to see a few eyes get misty during the show. Add some memorable quotes throughout the show, and play some touching music that reminds them of certain times in their lives.
If you want the slide show to be a surprise, you can ask family and friends for their favorite pictures to add to the show. You'll probably end up with more pictures than you'll know what to do with so don't worry if you can't get any of the couple's picture albums.
As you can see, planning an anniversary party can take a lot of time, so start planning as soon as possible. Since you could be inviting well over 100 people, starting a year in advance isn't too soon. Don't try and take this task on by yourself, you'll probably have plenty of offers from friends and family to give you a hand; definitely take them up on their offer. This will be a night for everyone to cherish and remember, and the happy anniversary couple will be on cloud nine after seeing how much they mean to everyone in their lives.
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