Wedding anniversaries are special. Perhaps your Golden Wedding parents are, after 50 years of married bliss together, just too plain tired to plan a party celebration to mark their special occasion.
However, they need not worry; they have you!
Planning an anniversay party is not as daunting as it may first seem. All it takes is a little aforethought. If you have already bought into the idea, then why not make it a surprise party for your couple, golden or otherwise?
It has to be said, some intensely private couples would not thank you for being thrusted into the limelight against their combined will. So suss out whether your target couple is thrilled or terrified by the proposition.
Let's face it, most people will love it if you plan a surprise party for them. You will be doing all the work. They will be in blissful ignorance of the panic attacks behind the scenes. All they have to do, is turn up on the night in their best bib and tucker, and prepare to party with the best of them!
We're all decided it's a good idea to get that party started. But where the hell do we start?
Basically, as with all things, at the beginning. Compile a guest list (each person sworn to secrecy, naturally). Guests lists don't have to be bigger to be better. Invite the family and friends your couple would want at such an occasion. If you get stuck, have a sneaky decko in their phone book for clues on who to invite.
Any party dedicated to the wedding anniversary cause should have a corresponding vibe. A good way to achieve this, is to decorate the party venue in the colour associated with the particular theme or material of the anniversary being celebrated.
For instance, Silver Weddings can be decorated in a silver theme. This doesn't necessarily mean everything should be silver, including the guests. That way, your party may appear like a convention from Mars! Little table decorations with silver baubles and ribbons will create the perfect ambience.
Feel free to go to town with banners and the like, if you know your couple will appreciate it. And therein lies the key to successful party planning: keep thinking back to your couple throughout the process (marketeers call this 'targetting your audience'), and you won't go far wrong.
Decorating the party room with photographs of the happy couple on their wedding day is another nice touch. You could add Family Photos through the years, showing the progression of their married life together. Anniversaries not only bring back all the memories of the couple’s special day; they are also a celebration of the continuing commitment to each other, with the chance for friends and relations to join in and show their love and support. Putting up photos will take everyone back in time.
You might like to go the whole hog and get printed T-shirts of your couple, personalised with their names, the date and venue of their wedding. Key family members can don these with pride, come party time.
The venue is a really important consideration. You need to decide (a) your budget (b) convenience - is it easily-gettable-to? and (c) the type of party you want.
You may feel a lunchtime celebration is best, in which everyone enjoys a meal in good company. This is a good choice if a lot of your guests are elderly, as for some unknown reason, elderly people like to get home early. Ask Peter Kaye! Only joking.
Alternatively, you might want an evening party, complete with plonk aplenty, the mother of all buffets, and a disco resembling Saturday Night Fever in full swing.
Another idea worthy of consideration is to provide additional entertainment. The writer has been to various parties employing the varied skills of a flamenco dancer, magicians and even fire eaters. The latter will be wowing their audiences outside though - you want to raise the roof for all the right reasons, after all!