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How to have an anniversary party for your parents

How to have an anniversary party for your parents

The question:
My parents will be celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary soon. We'd like to throw them a great party and provide them with a family keepsake. Do you have any suggestions? - Kate in Utah

The Party Experts answer:

Congratulations to your parents for reaching such a milestone! You will undoubtedly want to make this party as memorable for your guests as it is for your guests of honor.

The first thing you need to do is select a theme for your party. You want something that would mean something to your parents -- perhaps recalling a different time in their lives, your family heritage, a hobby, or favorite vacation spot. Some ideas might include:

Roses and Romance
Hearts
Ribbons & Roses
California Dreaming (beach party theme)
Once Upon A Time (a fairy tale)
Victorian Tea
South of the Border
Western
Sock Hop
Roaring Twenties
Magic Carpet
Cruise Ship
Mardi Gras Ball
Carnival
Italian, French, German, etc.
Caribbean Calypso
Dixieland
Safari or any travel
Sports or Las Vegas
Academy Awards style

After you choose a theme, the next step is to make your guest list. When you send the invitations, is the time to start involving all of your guests in the activities. Here's how to begin:

If time permits, slip a note inside each of the invitations asking guests to bring one or all of the following ideas that you like: A photo of themselves with the anniversary couple to tell about it to everyone; a baby photo of themselves so everyone can guess whose baby photo goes with what guest; photos from the anniversary couple's childhood or their own.

Prepare a memory book to put these photos in along with photos from the party so that it can be looked at anytime to recapture the party. Another item to include would be newspaper clips or what happened the year they were married. You can find this information through an internet search or a newspaper archive site. Ask guests to be prepared to say something about the anniversary couple, such as the nicest thing he/she ever did for me, most embarrassing moment, funniest, etc.

Find things from the anniversary couple's childhood or the year they were born - make up personalized bingo cards (remembering to make them all different or everyone will be winners) to include the birthdate, birth city, spouse's name, children's names, and other things from their era and play Bingo.

Some ice-breaker games can be adapted for any age anniversary or birthday parties. (To get some ideas, click here.) These are simple, quick and get people talking.

Pin a tablecover or sheet onto a wall and have all the guests sign their names using permanent marking pens for fabric. The anniversary couple can use this each year for their special celebrations. If you or someone else quilts... then cut squares of muslin or a white on white print fabric. Your guests can sign the squares and then they can be assembled for a keepsake. You can assemble the quilt prior to guests signing. Be sure to use the special fabric markers or when it is washed it will run.

Be sure to take a photo of the anniversary couple with each guest, both for the memory book and to use as a special "thank you" for coming. If you have a large group, you can take a group picture to use instead.

For party planning assistance, click on these topics:
Party Tips: http://www.thepartyworks.com/party2.htm
Party Check List: http://www.thepartyworks.com/checklist.htm
Party Planning Tools: http://www.thepartyworks.com/partyplanning.htm

We hope this helps you plan a wonderful and memorable party. If we can help further, please let us know!

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