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How to Plan an Anniversary Party

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Anniversary Party Overview

Anniversary parties are special because they bring back fond memories of a couple's special day. It is also a celebration of the couple's enduring commitment and love to each other. Commemorate this special occasion by celebrating it with relatives and friends by holding an anniversary party.

While most people keep their anniversary celebrations within family members or between them, those who love to party will often invite close friends to commemorate the event.

The Host's To-Do List


Pre-planning: A month before the party

It's easier to plan a party if you have a guide to help you through the things you need to do. Even if it's just a simple event, having a plan makes it easier.

  1. When is the party? Weekends are usually best to hold the party.
  2. Where will you celebrate? Your anniversary party should turn out that way you want it to be, whether that means a simple yet fun get together in your home, or a more elegant affair in a function room of a hotel or restaurant.
  3. Who do you invite? It depends on what kind of party you are having. If you want an intimate family gathering then immediate family members and close relatives should be on your guest list. If you're having a big bash, then you can widen the circle to include close friends and other relatives.
  4. How much do you spend? To avoid spending more than you can handle, set aside funds for the party and plan how or where you spend it.

Planning the Details: 3 weeks before the party

With only a few weeks to plan for the event, getting down to business right away is what you need to do.

  • Food – if you're having the party at home, it's best to have it catered so you'll have time to enjoy the party. A buffet is the best way to serve food rather than a sit-down meal. This encourages people to mingle. Serve tasty appetizers and drinks for before and after dinner.
  • Decorations – decorations can be as simple as placing glass photo coasters of you as a couple at the venue. Hang a banner with your picture and event name. Maybe you can also display the wedding dress if it's still intact. Or display some original items from your wedding day. These items are great conversation starters.
  • Entertainment – if you're having an informal party at your house, use your home sound system and play your favorite music during the party. Rent a karaoke machine and have a sing-fest. If you're having a big gathering, then hire a DJ.

Anniversary Party Etiquette FAQs

Planning an anniversary party can be a stressful enough, so we've compiled a few more useful tips to keep you on the right track:

Does the couple need to give a speech?
A speech is expected from the couple when the party is more formal.

Do I need to send out a written invitation?
If you're having an informal and intimate anniversary party, then a simple note or call is enough for an invitation. However, it is good to send out invitations for a more formal event.

At a restaurant setting, can I ask guest to pay for any extra meal they consume?
It is not that uncommon for guests to pay for something extra that they ordered at the restaurant.

Should children throw a party for their parent's 50th anniversary?
Typically, the couple hosts and organizes the anniversary party themselves, especially during the earlier years of their marriage. For a golden anniversary, children may choose to organize it for their parents, though it is not expected.

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