Mar 22 2010
Planning a wedding anniversary party is a lot of work but well worth the effort. The most important piece of advice to follow for any anniversary celebration is to consider the couple and what type of celebration they would enjoy. If possible involve the couple in the initial planning of the party.
Planning a formal affair if the couple is more laid back and casual would only make the honorees uncomfortable if on the other hand the couple enjoys a formal night on the town a celebration including a formal invitation, venue, and program might be just the thing.
The first things you need to consider in addition to the type of celebration are:
- Who would the couple like to attend their celebration?
- What will the theme for the party be?
- Select a venue for the party and caterers if you are planning the celebration somewhere other than a restaurant.
- Hire or arrange for entertainment either professional or amateur if you are from a talented family or if the couple has friends who would enjoy pitching in.
- Select and make or have made the perfect invitations, printed or emailed, so everyone can get the event on their calendar.
Unless you know the couple very well coming up with the invitation list and addresses for the invitees is definitely something you will need their help to do.
It is probably a good idea to also include the happy couple in the selection of the party theme. If you are at a loss for a theme some popular ideas for anniversary parties include:
- For the couple planning an anniversary cruise consider a send off luau
- A South of the border fiesta would make a fun evening complete with sombreros, Mexican beer, tacos and burritos
- If you are planning the party in a climate that allows outdoor affairs consider a BBQ or pig roast. You could work in western decor, cowboy hats and maybe even square dancing.
- If the anniversary is in February or March consider a Mardi Gras theme complete with beads, masks and New Orleans cuisine.
- Or the ever popular 50’s, 60’s or 70’s parties depending on the age of the couple – asking the guests to come in their favorite costumes from the decade is always a good conversation starter and the reminiscing the costumes will generate is right in line with the anniversary theme.
Once you have the invitation list and the theme you are ready to select a venue. There are lots of commercial options if you have the budget. Many restaurants offer private rooms or you can rent a hall and have a caterer provide the food. Many, if not most, anniversary parties are at a home, park facility, recreation center or in a church hall. The park shelters, recreation centers or church halls tend to be less expensive and are generally perfect venues for larger affairs. You can either all chip in on a pot luck affair or have a caterer do the food preparation and set up. An anniversary party in someone’s backyard or private home is a great choice for smaller, informal affairs.
Entertainment does not have to be a band, MC or dance troupe it can be as personal as a movie video you put together showing special times and special people from the couples life together. It could be the grandchildren showing off their special skills or old friends reminiscing about their exploits with the couple through the years. If you are featuring a band, DJ or other entertainment be sure to check with the entertainers about special electrical or other requirements and with the venue so you are not surprised the evening of the event when the band’s speakers blow all the fuses and the guests are in the dark.
Now that you have the guest list, the theme, the entertainment and the venue you are ready to start looking for the perfect invitation. The website www.party411.com is one place to start. This site helps you design personalized invitations with pictures of the couple. While you are on the site check out their selection of personalized anniversary favors. Another site with many premade and custom anniversary invitations to select from is www.mygatsby.com. The site www.lcipaper.com lets you design your own card and they will print it on any one of their many paper selections. You can even get matching envelops if you want to go all out.
You can of course choose to make your own invitations on the computer. Invitations designed by you and printed on your home inkjet printer are easy, inexpensive and truly unique invitations. You can splurge a bit and make the invitation even more remarkable by selecting a special paper stock on which to print the invitation. You can find hundreds of beautiful papers to choose from on www.thepapermillstore.com.
If time is short or if the folks you are inviting are more comfortable with email than snail mail consider www.mypunchbowl.com or www.evite.com which help you design and send an online invitation and keep track of the RSVP’s.
If your venue provides internet access, consider video conferencing in friends and family who were unable to attend in person. This is really easy with a Skype account and a computer with a video camera. To find out more about Skype see www.skype.com. Or if the venue has no internet access, have those who cannot attend send you a video message ahead of time which you can bring to the party and play on your computer or a television monitor for the couple and their guests to enjoy.
Do not forget to designate someone, either a friend or a professional, to document the anniversary party with photos or movies so the couple and their friends can enjoy the evening over and over again. You can load the pictures up on Facebook http://www.facebook.com or create your own webpage for the anniversary so all those who attended and those who were unable to attend can see the pictures and add their comments or photos of their own for all to enjoy.