Our friends are celebrating a milestone anniversary this year and I’ve been tasked with helping plan a small gathering for later this year. Whether celebrating a couple’s paper (first) anniversary or their gold (fiftieth) anniversary, finding that special someone is a blessing worth commemorating in an equally special way. Either you’re planning an event for your own wedding anniversary or a surprise for one of your closest friends; whatever the case, here are three essential tips I’ve found for making this party as special as it deserves to be.
Find the right location
Before you can throw any party, you have to figure out where you’re going to throw it. First, figure out if it’s going to be a big, lively event or a small, personal one. If it’s the latter, your own home might be a serviceable venue.
More than likely, though, you’ll be holding the event elsewhere. In that case, keep in mind that finding the right location is about more than just finding the most affordable one (although that definitely plays a role, too). You have to find one that accommodates your guest list, but also one that fits your needs (Do you need a stage? How about a dance floor? Is alcohol allowed on the premises? Etc.)
Last but not least there’s the “wow” factor. It isn’t always necessary or feasible, but when possible finding a location that adds to the atmosphere of the party is an excellent touch. Maybe it has a spectacular view or is itself an architectural wonder. It could even be something as small as the restaurant where the couple had their very first date. A little creativity goes a long way.
Don’t forget entertainment
It’s not a true party without some entertainment, and while it might be tempting to just hook your iPhone up to some speakers and put on a custom playlist, that really doesn’t make for a special party, does it?
You can never go wrong with a DJ or a live band, but don’t rule out more unique types of entertainers either: stand-up comics, magicians, shadow performers, aerialists, and even celebrity impersonators are all options that can make an anniversary party stand out and hammer home the rarity that finding true love really is.
That said, it’s also worth considering the preferences of both the couple and the guests. It’s not just a matter of what people do like, but what they don’t as well. For instance if there are going to be children at the event, Christian comedians and musicians tend to be appropriate for all audiences. Walter and I recently attended a Christian Comedian’s Stand Up Set on relationships and it would be the perfect entertainment for an anniversary party! Meanwhile, if you are looking for family friendly you’ll probably want to nix the all-nude chainsaw juggling-act. Use good judgement.
Planning the perfect anniversary party is like building a pyramid. It has to have three points. You’ve already picked the location and you’ve got the live entertainment figured out. The third and final essential you need to get right is the menu.
Cater to every taste
No matter how good a party you throw, if people don’t go home with a full stomach, they probably won’t go home happy. For smaller events, doing the cooking yourself or asking guests to bring dishes is perfectly acceptable. For larger events, though, you’re going to want to hire a caterer. But what kind? Do you want to serve your guests at their tables or buffet-style? Both have advantages and disadvantages: the former ensures good service but can also be a statistical nightmare for larger groups, while the latter allows guests to serve themselves to their heart’s content yet all but ensures long lines.
Then there’s the food itself. Once again, think about who you’re feeding and what they like. My family LOVES charcuterie and appetizers so those are crowd pleasers for my crew but always take your crowds likes in mind. Don’t forget about people with dietary restrictions and vegetarians, too. Ideally, your best bet is to provide multiple options. That way, everybody’s satisfied.
We are looking forward to when the world opens back up and we can start having parties on a full scale again. For now we still plan to keep living and celebrating our milestones as responsibly as we can with those closest to us. I hope these tips will help you with your next anniversary party or gathering and above all you enjoy the company you are with! I can’t wait to celebrate another milestone anniversary with Walter and have all our family and friends around us!