Wedding Anniversary Party Ideas

wedding anniversary
Sweet old couple celebrating their wedding anniversary
Whether it’s the first, the fourth or the fiftieth, wedding anniversaries are always worth commemorating. It’s an important day when loving couples are reminded of their steadfast love and loyalty for each other. Together with their close family and friends, it lets them look forward to many happy years in the future.

If you’re a couple who wants to celebrate your anniversary, or someone very close to you is, there are some important factors to consider when having this type of event. Here are some helpful tips for a successful wedding anniversary party.

Wedding Anniversary Basics

Although the anniversary isn’t as grand as the wedding itself, you can’t plan it just like a typical birthday or dinner party. There are a few crucial decisions you need to make before you can have a successful wedding anniversary celebration. Here are several questions you need to answer before you can move on to planning the party.

  • wedding anniversary
    50 years of love celebrated
    How much is the budget? The budget determines it all: what kind of party you can hold, how many guests you can invite and which venue to choose. Make sure you have a set budget before moving onto the different party details. Better yet, allot a certain budget for every aspect of the party (like décor, food and favors). It’ll be embarrassing if you have extravagant decorations, but a meager, tasteless banquet.
  • What year is it? - Although every wedding anniversary is worth celebrating, not all of them are extra special. There are milestone years that are considered more significant than other years, like the 1st, 25th, 50th and 60th. During the less important anniversaries, you can lie low on the party and make it simpler, but if you’re celebrating a milestone year, make sure your party’s very exuberant.
  • Who will be invited? Usually only the families and several close family friends are invited to the anniversary, but if you want, you can extend the celebration to your co-workers, neighbors and other acquaintances.
  • When’s the date? Most anniversary parties are held on the wedding date itself to make it more significant, but if you think you have to move it, it’s okay. After all, you have to consider factors like the venue’s availability and everyone’s schedule. Weekends are advisable because they’re more convenient. You also have to decide on the party time.
  • Where’s the venue? The venue depends on the number of the guests you’re having, your theme and your estimated budget. Many people hold it at home, since it gives a sentimental touch. Others prefer hotels or restaurant function rooms. If they have a theme, like a Hawaiian party, for example, they choose a more creative place.
  • Is it a surprise? To make it more special for the couple, many people plan surprise anniversary parties. This is exciting, but the problem with this is the celebration you plan might not fit the couple’s taste, and they might not enjoy it much. So unless you really know them, don’t make it a surprise and involve the couple in all the planning stages.
  • Traditional or Unique? Most wedding anniversary parties are traditional, with a serious or formal theme, but to make it more enjoyable and unique, you can use a theme too. The theme unifies the whole event, making it easier to plan.

Once you’ve answered these concerns, it’s time to move on to the other party aspects.

Themes You Can Use

Formal wedding anniversary celebrations are common, because they’re more traditional and serious, but if you’re thinking of a one-of-a-kind celebration, then you should use a creative theme. Here are some fun ones you can have.

The Invitations

At least four to six weeks before the party, send the invitations to your prospective guests. This will give them ample time to get gifts and clear their schedule. Wedding anniversary invites are readily available at different party supply stores in elegant or fun designs. If you lack preparation time, just grab a bunch of these.

wedding anniversary invitation
A sweet wedding anniversary invitation
It’s also a popular trend nowadays to send electronic invitations through the Internet. Just make sure you’ve got the active e-mails of all the guests you plan to invite. You should also include an RSVP, so you’ll know whether they received the invitations and if they can make it to the party.

Ready-made invitations are practical for solemn anniversary celebrations, but if you’re thinking of something more enjoyable, then you can play with your imagination and come up with homemade invitations. One idea is to use original wedding pictures. Photocopy a photo, then place on cardstock paper. Use creative wording like “We’re doing this all over again. Join us as we celebrate the __th anniversary of our matrimony”.

Another fun idea is to use caricatures. Just draw a cartoon version of the couple and use it for your invitation drawing. If you don’t know how to draw, ask a professional artist to do one for you, then simply photocopy it.

You can also send actual objects as invites. Find some that fit the anniversary. For example, the modern symbol for first wedding anniversary is clock. Send miniature alarm clocks to your guests, with simple notes attached to them. Write something like “Time has passed by so quickly! Join us as we celebrate our first wedding anniversary”.

Decorating For The Party

Creating a heartwarming feel for your party is very important, so you must get the right decorations to make it look festive. Here some décor ideas you can try.

  • wedding anniversary
    Colorful decorations for the party
    Have a color motif. As a couple, discuss which hues you’d like to use for your celebration.  One idea you can try is to choose a color combination, like silver and blue, or white and purple, or even brown and light yellow. You can also base it according to your theme. For example, if you have a Christmas anniversary party, use gold and red or red and green combinations.
  • Stick to the basics. If you want to save money on décor, then it’s a good idea to get the usual items, like confetti, streamers and helium balloons. These are inexpensive, but can give a festive look to any place.
  • Decorate according to your theme. If you have a theme, you can use it to inspire your decorations. For example, if you have a beach-themed celebration, use shells, sand and tiki lamps.
  • balloon decorations
    Wedding couple made out of balloons
    Decorate according to the anniversary symbol. Every anniversary year has a corresponding symbol, like silver for 25th wedding anniversary and gold for the 50th wedding anniversary. Others include wood (5th), leather (3rd), and Steel (11th). Use these symbols to inspire your decorations. For example, use lots of paper origami and paper place mats for a first anniversary party. Hang up silk fabric everywhere for a 12th anniversary.
  • Decorate with your memories. Hang up pictures of your life as a couple, including wedding pictures, photos of children and grandchildren and memorable keepsakes.
  • Allot some dancing space – Couples, young or old, love to dance, so make sure you’ve got a dance floor and some music to put them in a groovy mood.
  • Mind your tables. Use tablecloths in the motif you choose. For a more formal look, use place cards for the settings.
  • Have a guest book. Put this by the entrance, so guests can sign in their greetings and warm messages for you. In the future, you can keep this as a lovely remembrance of the fun day you had.

Party Activities

No matter how beautiful the decorations, the delicious the food, and well-dressed the people are, it’ll be very boring if you don’t have any activities to keep everyone preoccupied. To make your party more exciting, here are some enjoyable activities you can have.

  • Party Games- Even adults like to have a little fun every now and then. Try these games for your celebration. You can use these as ice-breakers or if everyone seems to get a little bored already.
  1. The Couple Trivia – Prepare a set of questions for guests to answer, like “where did the two meet?”, “where did they go on their honeymoon?” or “who cried first at their wedding?”. Write these down, and during the party, ask an emcee to read them to the guests. The person who answers the most questions wins a prize.
  2. Musical Chairs – A kiddie parlor game adults will also enjoy. Count the participants, then arrange chairs in a circle for them, but with one less. Play the music and let the guests walk around the chairs. When the music stops, everyone must sit on the chair. The person left standing is out of the game. Before you start another round, remove one chair from the circle. The last person in the game wins.
  3. Find Your Partner – Ask all the couples to stand in the middle of room and divide them into two teams, male and female. The two teams line up in front of each other. The participants each get a turn at being blindfolded, and once they are, they must walk towards the other group and try to find their significant other.
  4. Dance Competition – Let everyone show their moves on the dance floor. Award prizes like “Grooviest Couple” or “Best Dip”.
musical chairs
The guests enjoying a game of musical chairs
wedding anniversary dance
A couple having fun at the dance floor
  • Reaffirmation – This is where you and your spouse reaffirm your wedding vows to each other through a simple ceremony. It’s very popular for milestone weddings like the 25th, 40th, 50th, 60th, but there are also couples who do this for all their wedding anniversaries. Ask a priest, a judge, or a reverend to preside over the ceremony. You can even wear your old weddings gowns. It’s a wonderful part of your anniversary you’ll never forget.
  • Picture-Taking – You must preserve memories of your wonderful celebration, so make sure you take lots of photos. You can hire a professional photographer to do the job, or you can just ask a friend or relative to cover the event for you. Capturing it on video is also a great idea, so you can replay it over and over anytime you want.
  • The Toast – This is another popular tradition when it comes to wedding anniversaries. Ask several people to say their own messages or advice for the couple and lead the other guests into toasts.
picture taking
The celebrants having their picture taken together with the anniversary cake
wedding toast
A wedding couple drinking after their wedding anniversary toast

Anniversary Food

Just as you and your spouse are filled with love, you must also fill up your guests with delightful food. The type of food you serve is usually based according to the theme of the party. For example, if it’s a summer barbecue party, then grilled meat is a great idea. If it’s a black-tie cocktail celebration, then finger food will suffice.

  • shrimp cocktail
    Shrimp cocktails are the best appetizers
    Appetizers – Easy ideas are nachos and dip, fruit and vegetable platter, or a chocolate fondue with crackers, cheese and marshmallows. Shrimp cocktails, crackers with tomato, cheese and basil on top, and stuffed mushrooms are elegant choices.
  • Soup – You can serve crab chowder, chicken noodle soup or the famous Chinese Nido soup.
  • Salads and Pasta – These can be delightful side dishes to your meat or fish. Serve healthy green salad or potato salad. For the pasta, spaghetti bolognese, fettucine carbonara or garlic alfredo are great.
  • Here’s a video for a healthy Spaghetti Bolognese recipe.

    You need to a flashplayer enabled browser to view this YouTube video

  • roast turkey
    A mouth-watering roast turkey dinner
    Main Course – Meat dishes like roast turkey, golden chicken, ribs, or lamb are great. You can also whip up a casserole dish, like Chicken and Rice Pilaf with Pecans.
  • Dessert – Serve a variety of chiffon cakes and cheesecakes for everyone. Another fun idea is to imitate the wedding cake the couple had during their wedding day, then share it with the guests.
  • Drinks – Serve alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks, like fruit juice, punch, soda, red wine and beer.

Party Favors

In exchange for their presence during your special celebration, it’s nice if you can give your guests a little gift. Hand out party favors before they leave. You can give out scented candles, carved soap and chocolates or cookies in decorated tin boxes. It doesn’t have to be too extravagant, just as long as it’s heartfelt.

Another great idea is to give out CDs with all your favorite love songs.

Every year in a couple’s life is a milestone worth remembering, so whenever your anniversary comes, it’s only right to commemorate it. Try these ideas and hopefully, you’ll have another wonderful and heartwarming party to celebrate your blissful marriage.

* Celebrating wedding anniversaries makes married couples nostalgic. Do remember how you proposed to your sweetheart? It probably was a classy, sentimental affair, but do you know you can do it in a unique, but sweet way? Check out these creative wedding proposals.

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