Category Archives: Wedding Anniversary

Everything for Your Anniversary Party

What items do you need for your 50th anniversary party? Enough to make it look and feel special. Enough to create a “look” without breaking the bank. Somewhere between dollar store and Martha Stewart.

Invitations

Champagne Invitations from www.naptimecards.com

Cost effective anniversary party supplies can start with a reasonably priced anniversary invitation that is special enough to draw the crowd you want. This anniversary invitation is an example of a very popular photo design that is a joy to receive. Customers love the positive comments they receive about the invitations which capture the then and now of this lasting relationship.

Sending out Save the Date cards is a good idea if your guests will be coming from out of town and you want them to have plenty of time to plan. Where invitations normally go out 4-6 weeks prior to an event, you can send out save-the-date cards much earlier, increasing the odds that more special guests can attend.

R.S.V.P. Card

You may want to include a separate R.S.V.P. card which will add a touch of formality to the event. Many people today are simply requesting their responses via phone or email, eliminating the separate enclosure. The separate card does help to remind guests to respond, but it is perfectly acceptable to simply include this as a line at the bottom of your invitation.

Sharing Cards and Memory Album

If you would like to encourage guests to provide some comments toward a scrapbook or anniversary album, one of the easiest ways to do this is to include a sharing card in with your invitation. The card can be used to collect comments, stories and well wishes to put into an album with photos. Display the album at the party, or provide the cards to guests at your tables and make the scrapbook afterwards with the resulting collection. Either way it is a memorable and meaningful gift to the anniversary couple … made easier.

Golden Centerpieces

Most options for banquet table centerpieces will add up to quite a lot of money. Some options to decorate your tables include:

  • Hire a florist to make floral centerpieces for your tables ($25-50 per table minimum)
  • Scatter the tables with gold confetti and gold finish frames of a variety of photos from over the years ($5-10 per table and time to buy frames, order prints, and put them together.)
  • Order anniversary photo centerpiece kits like the ones from NaptimeCards and assemble them at the event. ($13 each)
  • Use gold pop-up table centerpieces from the party stores. (about $6 each)

Signature Photo Mat

A popular alternative to a guest book is to offer a large white photo mat for guest messages and signatures. Craft stores like Michaels carry these in stock. Add a current photo of the lovebirds, and set it out at the entrance of your party. Be sure to put the first comment and signature on the mat so that guests understand they are supposed to sign. Give this to the anniversary pair after the event in the frame it came with.

Party Favors

While not required, offering small party favors to your guests is a nice touch. It serves as an immediate thank you, the guests get something to take home, and the favor itself becomes a decoration on your tables. Easy and inexpensive options include chocolates in little white boxes with a gold bow, gold wrapped truffles, small gold frames that double as place cards, and gold pens. Many items sold as wedding favors make excellent anniversary favors as well.

Memorabilia Display

Open that box in the attic! Display mementos from the original wedding day. You can display everything from the wedding dress, marriage certificate and cake topper, along with photos of the couple through the years, to create a great conversation center at the gathering. Arrange photos on the wall  bulletin-board style, or form the snapshots into a large numeral 50.

Thank You Notes

Required! Be sure to send hand-written thank you notes to the people who attended the party for sharing the day, especially if they gave an anniversary gift.  Not only is this good manners, but it also lets you share your feelings and strengthen your friendships.

 

Hosting a Wine Tasting

 

wine tasting invitation
Add a wine tasting to any special event where friends and family gather!

If you simply enjoy wine, or are a bona fide wine expert, hosting a wine tasting is a great opportunity to have some fun with friends while trying some new vintages. Planning is simple! Invite a few good friends, select a few varieties to sample, and your party is off and running.

Pair a wine tasting with a family dinner, or add a champagne tasting to your parents gold anniversary dinner. Wine works with all occasions! If you would like to add a sense of competition to the party, try dividing your guests into male and female groups and see which one does better in a blind tasting.

First decide what you want to taste. You could sample different varieties from a specific region, regional varieties from one type of grape, or simply wines that have the same color. Grocery stores now carry wines from around the world, but you may want to visit a wine store if you have any specific questions. Be adventuresome and select a wine you wouldn’t normally buy. Even blind tasting can be interesting. Cover all labels and price stickers before your guests arrive and test to see who has the best palate for knowing what wine comes from where or what the most expensive ones are just from taste and aroma. Be ready for some surprises! The best finds are the $10 bottles that drink like $20 vintages.

It’s not necessary for you to buy all the wine yourself. Send out the invitations and include whatever theme there may be and encourage your guests to contribute a favorite of their own.Let your guests know what you’re planning to serve to eat so they can select wines to pair with the meal. If taste testing from a specific region you can serve dishes that country is best known for. If you are not serving a meal, offer cheese samples from the wine region with crackers and fresh fruit.

Aside from having wine glasses for each guest, you will need to offer some light food to clear the palete between wines. Rinse the glasses between varieties. Offer some paper and pens for guests to rate and comment on the wine. If you wish to have a blind taste test, be sure to cover the labels before the guests arrive.

wine tasting cardAvoid having strongly scented flowers or candles near your tasting area. The strong fragrances will make it much harder to enjoy the bouquet of the wines. If not already well versed, learn a few wine basics before the tasting. This will help you to encourage discussion of the various aspects of each vintage: bouquet (smell), texture, color, mouth feel, acidity, and of course flavor. Savoring the wine from different aspects increases the enjoyment of the experience. A favorite book, Great Wine Made Simple by Andrea Immer, can give you the basics.

After the party you could send out an email that includes a list of the wines served and where they were purchased so that guests can buy a bottle of their own.

Vow Renewal Ceremony Ideas

Photo by Mary R. Vogt

While on vacation, we visited a Polynesian cultural center and learned about traditional Fiji weddings. The customs were complex, but the vows were very simple…the bride and groom promise to never leave one another. That’s it. Wedding vows, from a celtic hand-fasting to an lengthy wedding mass, are essentially saying the same thing. I promise to stay with you.

Recently we printed a vow renewal invitation for customers who chose to publicly renew their vows since they chose a simple civil ceremony years ago. This time they chose a church ceremony to stand up in front of their child, parents, friends and family and repeat their vows. It was a special gift to the bride from the groom to have the ceremony they had wanted. A celebration of love and family followed.

Your plans may include any traditions and ceremonies you wish, and special symbolism and messages unique to your relationship. After years together, this set of vows celebrates your history as a couple, the support and love you have shared and the future together.

Attire for your vow renewal ceremony can be as formal and public as you wish. Your vow renewal could be a private rite… just the two of you holding hands and stating your vows to each other on the beach. A small casual event may include a garden or chapel ceremony officiated by a family member or friend, followed by a luncheon gathering. A formal event may include a larger church service, formal attire, a photographer and a dinner dance. Unlike the traditional first marriage which often caters to the needs of the extended family, the canvas is blank. This event is yours to make it exactly as you wish.

Some ideas to include your history and personalities in your ceremony:

  • Write personal messages to each other that include a description of how you have grown together as a couple. These can be included within the vows or used for a toast during the celebration.
  • Include a thank you to the people who mentored or supported your marriage.
  • If you are having a vacation vow renewal, consider some of the local wedding customs to add meaning and color to your service.
  • Incorporate some cultural traditions your ancestors used to celebrate marriages, like a traditional folk dance, costume or music.
  • Make a ceremony of presenting your parents, or other relatives or friends, with a gift in thanks for their support of your marriage.
  • At the start of your ceremony, light a candle for each of your parents, or have your children light them.
  • During the exchange of vows, invite other couples to stand and repeat their vows to each other as well.
  • For the relatives just beginning their adult life, share short stories of how you weathered the good times and the bad, or a brief list of “why I would marry you all over again.”

If you are planning a vow renewal, perhaps to coincide with a milestone wedding anniversary, you may want to read our vow renewal planning article.

Customize Your 50th Anniversary Invitations

50th anniversary invitationsIf you and your spouse have reached the milestone of fifty years together, you deserve a special celebration. You may have help from family and friends to arrange the festivities, but everything you do should be directed at making the occasion memorable. Don’t rely on cookie cutter sentiments and appearance for your 50th anniversary celebration. Make it personal!

In today’s culture, especially in the West, the milestone of half a century is celebrated with gifts of gold. These can be household items or personal items. A gold foil wrapped bottle of champagne is something that is a little bit outside the box. Between partners, jewelry and quality timepieces are traditional gifts. Most seniors today are trying to reduce possessions, and already have all they need. For this reason, it is common to see “no gifts, please” or “your presence is the only present desired” comments on invitations.

Many people approaching the milestone are happy to have friends and family available to share the occasion. Friendship is one thing you cannot have too much of! Creating and sending custom invitations is a must to clarify the details of the event and have your guests mark their calendars. Using an original picture of the bridal couple on the invitation is always fun to receive, especially in contrast to a current photo.

When preparing your 50th anniversary invitations, be sure to allow enough time for designing and printing. Check online sites for the information about lead times and shipping times. When you design your own notices, you can use all the creative ideas you can find online, or work with a design company that will help to capture the concepts that you want.

Save the DatesConsider sending save the date cards out early if you know the date of the celebration in advance. Invitations normally go out 4-6 weeks in advance, which requires getting the printing and list prepared a few weeks prior to that.

If you are unable to gather for your parent’s anniversary, due to health or distance, consider sending your parents a “card shower”. Send out invitations to friends and family letting them know of the impending event and request that they send personal greetings to arrive by the anniversary date. Receiving all the  cards and memories from friends and family is almost as wonderful as seeing everyone in person.

New Orthodox Cross Invitations

Patriarchal Cross Invitations
In Pink, Blue or Sage

Naptime Productions has recently introduced several new designs for baptism which include a patriarchal cross design used in Byzantine, Greek and Eastern Orthodox churches. With lovely results, their customers can now choose between “plain” cross versions and the more detailed patriarchal version.

The history is vague as to the symbolism of this double cross. It has been suggested that the two upper cross bars may have been meant to symbolize the secular and ecclesiastic power of Byzantine emperors, or symbolize the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. The lower, slanted foot-rest is said to be slanted to represent the two criminals crucified with Jesus… one repenting and ascending to heaven, the other ridiculing Jesus and descending instead.

orthodox cross invitationThe letters shown with the cross, IC XC, are an abbreviation for “Jesus Christ” in Greek. The longer version, IC XC, NI-KA is an abbreviation for “Jesus Christ conquers” in Greek.  Be sure to take a look at these new designs when planning your baptism.

Also offered are gold versions to use when celebrating golden wedding anniversaries. They make a beautiful way to invite guests to celebrate the long-lasting marriage.

Naptime Productions offers fast turnaround, real people to talk to and actually read over your invitation. You will love their customer service!

50th wedding anniversary invitationGold anniversary invitaiton with orthodox cross

 

 

Save the Date Cards Save the Day

Save the Date AnnouncementAn large birthday or anniversary party has many benefits, the greatest of which is the reunion of family and friends at the celebration. The last thing you want to happen with your anniversary party is to miss important guests because of schedule conflicts. Invitations mailed 4-6 weeks before a party often do not give enough notice for events during the busy spring and summer months. Many people have vacation plans made months in advance and multiple invitations arriving for those precious weekend days.

Ensure that schedules are free for your celebration by sending save-the-date cards out prior to your invitations. When you have confirmed the date of your celebration, send out save-the-date cards to “reserve” your guests.

Save-the-date cards include only the most basic information about the event. You will want to include the date, and general location of the upcoming anniversary party, along with the names of the anniversary couple. All other details of the party can be provided later with the actual invitation. Most save-the-date cards conclude with the phrase, “invitation to follow,” or “details to follow.”

Save-the-date cards are crucial for occasions with guests who will travel to the event, or events which will encompass several days. Include a R.S.V.P. with your save-the-date card to gather an early list of attendees for destination events, such as a group vacation, family reunion, or Caribbean wedding.

Naptime Productions offers many save-the-date cards for anniversary parties, milestone birthday parties and weddings. Choose from popular themes, like western or tropical, or select a design to match the invitations you plan to send later. Either way, you will help to ensure the success of your big event!

Planning an Anniversary Celebration

Your anniversary invitation sets the tone for the event.

Celebration of your parents anniversary provides you with a way to honor their years of commitment with the greatest gift: time with the people they love. While most parents would agree to a party, many anniversary parties are thrown as a surprise to remove any party-planning worries from the guests of honor. Surprise parties are also simpler to plan with fewer chefs in the kitchen.

Avoid planning stress by meeting once with siblings as a group, up front, and decide the event basics: date, time, location, guest list, food, beverages, and budget. Skype or GoToMeeting, email and telephone conferences make this much simpler to accomplish.

Get sneaky. Borrow your parents address book for a day to gather addresses. Or, recruit a friend of their to help assemble the guest list.

Delegate. Divide tasks immediately and let each contributor make all decisions about their task. Group decisions on details will cause delay, stress and wasted effort. Be specific and crystal clear about what each person has agreed to do and send email updates to keep people moving.

On your list you may want to include these tasks:

  1. Venue. Choose and arrange for party location
  2. Invitations. Order and mail 3-6 weeks prior. Include sharing cards for inclusion in a scrapbook with invitations and RSVP information.
  3. Decorations. Collect memorabilia for display, guest book or scrapbook, family photos for cake table, anniversary sign for the door.
  4. Food and dinner ware
  5. Beverages and cups
  6. Entertainment (music? games for children?)
  7. Toast to the couple or Anniversary Speech
  8. Memories slide show
  9. Setup and cleanup

Keep in mind that simple is good! None of this has to be complicated. The goal is simply to be together and make the celebrants feel special. All your efforts will be worth it when you look back on this milestone as a cherished family celebration.

 

Top 5 wedding anniversary gift ideas

If you have recently received a wedding anniversary party invitation, you may be struggling to find the appropriate gift for the couple that’s close to your heart. Consider some of these choices to commemorate a first anniversary or a 50th.

1. Then and now picture frame. Find a photo of the couple on their wedding day and a current photograph for a charming retrospective of their love for one another.

50th anniversary invitation2. Personalized wine bottle. Many companies will create an anniversary wine bottle enscribed with their names and the years they’ve been together.

3. Hand-drawn sketch of home. Commission an artist to draw a hand sketch of their home for a unique gift that will hang on their wall for years to come.

4. Photo on canvas. A treasured family photo that is reproduced on a canvas could be a wonderful gesture that they will treasure.

5. Personalized cake knife and server set. An engraved cake knife and serving set could bring back warm memories of the couple’s wedding day and will commemorate their anniversary.

No matter what you choose, make sure your gift comes from the heart and will help the couple reflect on the love and admiration that keeps them together.

Related Articles:
Making an Anniversary Time Capsule

An Anniversary Gift of Poetry, by YOU!

Golden Anniversary Party Decorations



gold centerpiece

memory cards


golden anniversary frame


The celebration of a golden wedding anniversary is a very special day and it deserves some special attention to detail to mark the occasion. Whether it’s a table set with candies wrapped in gold foil or table runners made of gold swirl printed cellophane, the little touches can make the day. Color coordinated table settings, confetti, place cards and centerpieces can bring the look together.

Try something out of the ordinary that will create a memorable keepsake such as a guest book frame. Place a treasured photo in the center of a frame and have your guests write their sentiments of congratulations surrounding the photo making this a treasured gift. Or, a custom guest book with scrapbook pages so that guests can write messages as they sign in, maybe adding a few special photos on the pages that will remind everyone of the years of love shared by the special couple.

A memory jar is filled with little remembrances, jotted down by your guests, and collected in a decorative container, like this ceramic gift box with a golden bow. Simply provide paper strips about 2″ x 11″ that they can fold and add. Sharing cards work in a similar way, and can be mailed with the invitation, or placed at each place setting to encourage contributions. A collection box or basket can be centrally located. Insert gold wrapped bon-bons or candies into each place card for a table favor.

 

40th Wedding Anniversary Planning

A wedding anniversary celebrates moments from many years of marital “bliss”: homes and travel, family and work, grandchildren and play. For richer for poorer. For better or worse. This milestone in the marriage is worth a special party to bring together many of the people who’s lives have been touched by this marriage.


Then and Now 40th anniversary invitation
So whether you celebrate with a dinner at home for extended family, or decide to hold a big bash at a local reception hall, complete your planning with special touches.

Begin with an invitation to set the mood. Be sure to include on the invitation information about any projects that you wish your guests to contribute to, response information, and your preference for attire. You want to send these out 4-6 weeks prior to the party.


ruby paperweight


Red photo centerpiece
Rubies rule for 40th anniversary celebrations so fill the room with bold an energetic red.


Lynchs King Crown

Ruby tiaraDefinitely include music from the era to dance to, including a favorite song for the first dance.

You may want to set up a memory table with the wedding invitation, wedding photos, photos family events and vacations and of the couple through the years. Perhaps the actual wedding dress or cake topper is available to show.

And be sure to prepare a special toast, and ask others to contribute comments during the evening. Here is a lovely, short toast we found on freeweddingtoasts.net:
“To (Husband) and (Wife) who have taught us the true meanings of devotion, commitment, and love. Thank you for the example you have given to each one of us about how to make a marriage last. We raise our glass to you as you celebrate a lifetime together. May your love carry you for another 50 years!”