Anniversary parties are a great way to celebrate the love, dedication, and perseverance it takes to make a marriage thrive through time. It is not an easy feat, and if anything should be celebrated, it should be this great achievement. Celebrate with a memorable party that will not only acknowledge the triumph of love but motivate the couple to continue their loving journey.
A Taste of the World
Who needs a passport when you can enjoy the flavors of the world right a home? Host a Mexican fiesta, an Italian extravaganza, a Chinese festival, or even a Parisian soirée. A theme party with foreign flavors is ideal for couples that cherish that magical honeymoon they had abroad or who harbor the thought of traveling the world together. Choose a destination that will stir up the couple's wanderlust and let them savour the joys of traveling without leaving home.
The simplest locations with the greatest wow factor will be specialty restaurants. Choose one with a strong foreign vibe and a great menu to match.
For example, if you are going for a Chinese-themed celebration choose a restaurant with traditional Chinese architecture, book a private room or hall, and let them know you are planning a wedding anniversary party. They will surely suggest some Chinese wedding items for the menu as well as décor that you might want to include.
Design the invitations with foreign flavored motifs. If you are hosting a Parisian soirée, go ahead and include that gorgeous Eiffel Tower silhouette. Use a couple of French phrases or even a few lines of a favorite French song or poem to set the mood. This works well for any foreign-influenced party, from France to Mexico.
Foreign flavored parties can be set out to any degree of formality. If the affair will be a formal one, let guests know in the invites. If you think it might be fun to include some kind of accessory, you might want to prepare a selection for guests to dress up and take some photos during the party. For example, at a Spanish tapas night out, you might want to set up a party photo booth with traditional fans, mantilla combs, castanets, hats, and maybe even a bullfighter red cape!
Don't be shy and go all out. Use typical colors and styles of the destination you've chosen. For a Mexican fiesta, you may want to hang strings of cutout paper flags, dress the tables up with sarape style fabrics and create center pieces with traditional clay jars and bright paper flowers. You can tone it down or keep to a color scheme for a more elegant vibe.
Food and Beverages
In addition to the location, the food and drinks are key elements of the experience. It doesn't have to be super authentic but certainly super delicious. Of course you get bonus points for authentic and delicious! For an Oktoberfest-themed party offer a taste of Bavaria biergarten style. Include delicious beer and a sumptuous buffet complete with soft pretzels, bratwursts, and sauerkraut!
You can incorporate all kind of wedding anniversary games and activities to a foreign themed party. The focus, after all, is still the couple and their love. Add some exotic touches to personalize them and remember to prepare some theme gifts too! A little flavor can be added by:
- Use typical music for a game of musical chairs or traditional dancing. For example, fun salsa and calypso music can be used to spice up the game at a Caribbean party. At a bash celebrating your love of Ireland, teach guests the Irish jig!
- Play bingo with a twist. A game of bingo can be made more challenging by asking the winners to shout out "I love you" in a foreign language. For a French infused game, bingo winners shout out "je t'aime" for every line they complete and "je t'aime plus" for a full card.
A Costumed Celebration
It doesn't have to be Halloween to play dress up. (Although a Halloween anniversary party could be fun!) Plan a costume party, masquerade, or cosplay around a theme and invite friends and family to enjoy themselves as their alter egos. Draw inspiration from the couple's interests. If they are film and TV buffs, you can plan a famous couples costume party. If they are English literature buffs perhaps a traditional masquerade would be in order. Or how about a throwback to the couple's youth by going all retro?
Send out invites with motifs that set the tone for what's to come and clearly state the theme. Make sure to invite friends and family to join in the fun by donning costumes or themed clothing. For a retro inspired party chose a decade that has special significance for the couple; it can be their golden years or just a favorite epoch. Use styling and colors particular to the retro theme you've chosen and ask guests to dress up accordingly.
For a costume party the attire is everything! Invites should clearly state the theme and should include the request for guests to come dressed up.
For a Hawaiian Luau ask guests to come in full Hawaiian style. You'll be sure to see plenty of tropical prints, a variety of grass skirts, and leafy tops. Make sure to have flower leis for all (they can be bought or made within an ample price range) and a bunch of flowers and leafy headdresses for that photo-op!
Costume parties can be enhanced by the location. A great old manor can serve as a wonderful haunted house for a "'Till Death Do Us Part" costume bash. A terrace with a swimming pool would be great for a luau. A planetarium would be phenomenal for a costume party featuring favorite characters from sci-fi films. And of course, a luxurious banquet hall would be beyond lovely for a formal masquerade.
Include your theme in all aspects of the decor. For a fairy tale costume event, King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table, or Medieval times kind of affair, try to start with an adequate location. Use heraldry, emblems, old fashioned candelabras, candle lamps, and heavy drapes for decor. If possible include a couple of armors (they can be drawn to life size in cardboard) and maybe even a dragon ferociously awaiting to pose for pictures. If you are choosing a theme for a costume party, embrace it all the way!
Food and Beverages
These should reflect the theme of the party as well. For a Hawaiian costume party, include Mai Tais and other rum concoctions, fruity cocktails, and of course Polynesian-inspired fare. Think of fresh tropical salads, coconut shrimp, chicken satay, sweet and sour delights, fruity sorbets, and maybe even a pineapple-upside down cake.
Costume contests are must in a costume party so you'll definitely want to include that no matter the specific theme. For a famous couples theme party, you could also include charades and reenactments of famous movie scenes (preferably with a romantic undertone) and even give awards to the best performers.
Some couples and some anniversaries just call for a truly glamorous celebration. A formal affair with guests dressed to the nines and a rich luxurious ambiance is certainly something everyone should experience at least once. This may be especially true for couples who had a low key wedding, eloped, or may be celebrating one of those big milestone anniversaries.
Let guests know you are going all out. Reflect the luxury and glamour of the even from the very beginning.
For a Glamorous Old Hollywood celebration chose invites that include an art déco motif. Stick to a monochromatic color scheme and add at touch of glitz with gold or silver. Chandeliers, fancy fonts, and black and white schemes are appropriate for any glamorous event.
A glamourous event is best enjoyed by glamorously dressed guests. Make sure the invites clearly state the formality of the event and the preferred dress code. For Black and White party let guests know they should wear either one or a combination of both colors only. Remember to state the formality level clearly and make sure the invite matches up to the request.
Chose a location with great style that already matches the look you are going for. Some great options are:
- A mirrored banquet hall with amazing crystal chandeliers will have lots of sparkle and glitz right from the very beginning.
- A museum hall is also a wonderful place to celebrate a glamourous event. Most museums have wonderful design, whether traditional or contemporary, and offer and magnificent backdrop for a glamourous event.
- You can also choose a fine dining restaurant that exudes the kind of vibe you are going for.
Choose your location wisely and the décor will be more impactful. For instance, a warm lit location with architectural accents in gold (like thick gold leaf mirror frames and light fixtures in gold) will set the tone for a magnificent gold-themed party. Dress the tables with golden accents such as candelabra and dinnerware and you'll have a magnificent set-up with half the effort.
Food and Beverages
You don't need to host a seven-course dinner in order to enjoy a glamorous celebration. For a glamorous cocktail party, offer select signature drinks, set up delightful food stations, offer Champagne to toast the lucky couple, and include a desserts table to cater to the guests' sweet tooth. For a silver-themed cocktail party make sure the table scapes have plenty of silver decor and don't be afraid to offer silver colored treats and desserts. Of course, if want to splurge, a delightful full course meal can be the experience of a lifetime and you can totally make a statement with the tableware and center pieces.
Glamourous parties match well with traditional anniversary party games. You can organize a game of trivia to see which guests know more about the couple. Alternatively have the couple engage in a "How well do you know your spouse?" game. And of course you can test all attendants and have them compete how much they know about wedding anniversary traditions. If you are going all out and have hired a band or DJ you may also want to consider a dance off or even a lip-sync/karaoke battle.
Great Outdoor Gatherings
Outdoor anniversary wedding celebrations take many shapes and forms, from fun beach parties and dreamy garden celebrations to rustic picnics and full blown camping trips. If you are planning a celebration for a nature loving couple, cater to their passion and celebrate their love in nature's company.
Choose a nature inspired motif that reflects the type of outdoorsy event you are planning as well as the general mood of the celebration. For a lovely Picnic Party choose invites with a picnic motif. Include info on what to bring, whether it is nothing at all, just a blanket, or even if you are going potluck style for the event. Remember to share as well the formality level and an invitation to bring their favorite outdoor fun enhancer, such as games or balls.
The type of event will greatly influence the attire. If there will be swimming, hiking, playing, or simply just enjoying a brunch in a garden, make sure to let guests know. For a beach party wedding anniversary celebration you may want to include information about the formality as well as about activities such as swimming during the day, playing beach games, and enjoying an afternoon bonfire. This will allow guests to prepare with adequate garments such as bathing suits, a change of clothing, and even a warm jacket for later in the day.
Outdoors is really not big enough of a word to cover the vast options available for outdoor celebrations in town and out of town as well. Some locations you may want to consider are:
- Backyards and lawns, yours or a close friend's
- Neighborhood or city parks
- Camping grounds
- Botanical gardens
- Rooftop gardens and terraces
- Local restaurants with terraces and even their own in house gardens
- Green areas at hotels
- National parks
- Beaches and beach clubs
- Country clubs and golf clubs
The location always dictates the decor. Tiki torches and luscious palm tree leaves can dress a beach party. Bunting, light strings, and jar lamps can set the mood for a backyard barbecue. You can just keep it simple by letting nature do the talking if you're in an especially woodsy or rustic area.
However, remember outdoors does not necessarily mean out on the wild! You can host a super classy afternoon tea party in a magnificent botanical garden. Comfy chairs, tables dressed up in lace with gorgeous floral centerpieces and silver tableware. Include vintage tea sets, tiered trays and silver platters, sconces filled with wild flowers… and some robust beer to balance things out for the attending gentlemen.
Food and Beverages
Different outdoor locations will offer different levels of convenience and ease. Some campgrounds, parks, and beach areas offer electricity and even access to a basic kitchen, some don't. Take into account the facilities offered by the location of your choice when planning the menu. The easiest will be those with food and banquet services, the more complicated ones will be those with nothing at all. Chose food and beverages that marry well with the theme and work well with the location. For example:
- At campgrounds without kitchens, plan a barbecue with all the fixings - grilled chicken, burgers, macaroni and potato salads in coolers, and fun decorated cookies.
- Garden parties hosted at formal botanical centers will usually come complete with a catered kitchen. Choose dainty tea sandwiches, crudité trays, cheese and fruit selections, and petite fours.
- Beach parties could feature similar foods as a camping-themed party, but with a summery twist. Go for brats, chips, and beans - and serve ice cream cones for dessert!
Outdoor wedding anniversary celebrations offer great opportunities for physical activities. Include fun activities like limbo dancing and volleyball for a beach celebration. A bonfire and s'mores session with singing as the evening downs on a camping get together is a great idea. A treasure hunt with items that tell the couple's story and fun team games can liven up a picnic.
More formal gatherings such as those celebrated in vineyard, country club, or a private outdoor space can include more traditional wedding anniversary activities such as matching wedding photos of yonder with the couples attending the party (they will need to donate photos and you will have to set up a display), mixing and matching anniversary celebrations with traditional gifts, modern gifts, and colors, and even having guests answer trivia questions about the couple.
The Point Is to Celebrate an Anniversary
Whether you are planning this celebration for a couple you love and cherish, or even planning your very own anniversary celebration. There is so much freedom in planning a wedding anniversary party that really, you can't go wrong. Feel free to experiment, to combine ideas, and to go a little out there. The whole point is to highlight a wonderful accomplishment - how you celebrate it is just the cherry on the pie!