When a couple reaches a certain milestone in their partnership, they often throw an anniversary party! This is a great way to celebrate a marriage with friends and family. When planning a wedding anniversary bash, there are a number of tips and tricks to consider, including everything from choosing a venue, to deciding on a budget and picking an outfit!
Set a budget
It’s important to pick a budget, as this will help you to stick to it! Otherwise, you may find you quickly spend more than intended. The budget will affect everything from the venue to the number of guests you can put on the guest list. The scale of any anniversary party will often be dependent on the occasion – a landmark anniversary will often be marked by a larger party, for example, and especially if the couple has been married for 20 years or more.
Decide on a guest list
It’s likely you want all of your nearest and dearest to attend this celebration! With this in mind, a guest list is hugely important. It’s traditional to invite close friends and family to these particular parties. Most likely those who intended the wedding in the first place, along with those you have met during your marriage. If inviting people from further afield, be sure to send invites in advance as it’s likely they’ll need to book flights and accommodation.
Choose a date
Picking a date is easy as most will hold their anniversary party on the date of their anniversary. However, if this is a weekday, it’s wise to pick the weekend before or after, especially if hosting a big bash! It’s also wise to avoid scheduling the party on a bank holiday, during the school holidays or close to Christmas time, as this both increases expenses and makes it difficult for some guests to attend.
Choose a venue
This comes down to a few factors: your budget, your guest list and whether you want to hold a small, intimate party or something more extravagant. A small informal party can even be hosted at home, while a larger party may require the likes of a bar or hotel venue. If the latter, be sure to make reservations early to avoid disappointment. If using a larger venue, you may also need to think about hiring caterers, entertainment (such as a DJ or band) and a photographer. Certain venues will include these extras in the hire package.
Consider a theme
It’s often fun to have a theme and you may wish to ask everyone to arrive in fancy dress or embellish the venue with your favourite flowers! A theme is a great idea as it will provide a good starting point. There are many themes to choose from, including dressing up in outfits from the decade when you met, or as characters from your favourite movie.
Send out invitations
If the event is smaller or more informal and you have a budget to stick to, consider sending online invitations or even inviting people by phone. For a more formal event, choose designer invitations and mail them to your nearest and dearest. On the invite, be sure to include children or plus-ones, the dress code, and ask if there are any dietary requirements. When sending out invitations, post them at least a few weeks in advance.
Include traditional or memorable elements
You may decide to decorate the venue with anniversary flowers you chose on your wedding day, or alternatively, serve the wine from the big day. You may even want to re-create your wedding cake or use the colours or blooms associated with the anniversary year. For example, if celebrating your 25th wedding anniversary, the flower is an iris and the hue is silver.
Decide on the menu
If serving food, it may be wise to order in or hire a caterer (depending on the size and venue) as this will give you time to enjoy the party instead of worrying about whether there is enough food or something is burning. Consider the theme and the event type when setting the menu. If throwing the party for a lot of people, consider dietary restrictions, or choose a menu that has something for everyone. Also, decide on whether you want finger food or a formal sit down meal.
Purchase, rent, or make decorations and favours
Why not consider decorating pictures of the couple taken throughout their years together at the venue or gifting all guests a plant or bouquet of flowers. Gifts and decor are a great touch if your budget allows for it.
Decide on the entertainment
This could be a slideshow of pictures of the couple, dancing, a DJ, game or karaoke. If you’re planning on documenting the event, you may wish to hire a photographer or photo booth.