Anniversary Party Details (The Fun Stuff)

Your anniversary party planning is at the fun details stage. You have the date, the place and already sent the invitations. Now create a detailed list under each category so you'll have the time to go to plan B for those items that don't work out according to original plan. That never happens, right? Start planning as you should have your main category list set up—assign tasks if you have co-hosts.

If you are using a party consultant service, they'll have their own checklist, but write down your planning details. It's too easy to go over budget on impulse, so be sure to bring your list (and your budget) when you meet with your party planner.

An open-house party is a low-stress way to celebrate a 25th or 50th anniversary. The party can be stretched out longer—people come and go at different times, so the couple has more time to leisurely chat with family and friends.

  • Schedule an open house for about 4–6 hours. To make sure everyone doesn't show up at once, divide your list into groups. Enclose a handwritten note with the invitation and ask some to arrive earlier, some later. For example, family and friends with small children can come earlier, adults later.
  • It can be as casual or as elegant as the couple prefers. Plan to have it catered and serve food buffet style so all you'll have to do is decorate and enjoy the party!

Make A List and Check It Twice

You can trim down your party planning list later, but for now, go through every category and write down everything you think you want to include.


  • Do you want to plan a buffet or a sit-down dinner?
  • Set up an appointment with the restaurant or caterer to select hor d'oeuvres, entrees, desserts and beverages. Do they provide restricted diets? Which selections cost extra?
  • Submit final list of guests to venue.
  • Open or paid bar? Have champagne on hand to toast the couple?
  • If the venue is a rented hall, do you want to set up a self-serve beverage station or hire a bartender?
  • Wine, beer or distilled spirits? How much? (The free plan anniversary party guide includes a drink estimator.)
  • Tents for outdoors celebration. (The guide has a space estimator.)

Entertainment and Celebration Ideas

  • Live music or DJ? What type of music? Put the couple's favorite songs on a playlist and select tune to play for their anniversary dance.
  • Would they enjoy being "roasted?" Line up family and friends to prepare their stories (and set a time limit). This makes a wonderful storytelling session about the couple's life together.
  • Planning a story time-line is another wonderful anniversary party idea. Begin with guests who knew the couple in their earlier years and finish with stories from their children or grandchildren.
  • To create a time-line using real events, use this free day in history tool which gives world, U.S., sports, entertainment and science events in the year the couple was married or events in history that happened on their anniversary date. Here's another free day in history tool for more events.
  • Create a simple PowerPoint presentation and use a laptop computer to display photos with captions. Synchronize with your stories.
  • Create a loving "Through The Years" gift with a personalized photo album or a scrapbook. Keep blank pages for family & frieds to add their well wishes. If you have a digital scrapbook, digital party photos can be immediately added, so it can be an alternate "guestbook" as well.
  • Couples celebrating their 50th anniversary or later can receive an anniversary card from the President of the United States. Planning your request at least 6–8 weeks in advance is suggested. The card can be sent to you or to the couple. Address your request to: The Greetings Office, The White House, 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, Washington, D.C. 20500.

Room Decorations

Order party decorations & goods here.

  • Silver 25th or gold 50th anniversary color scheme. Paint small hobby items silver or gold and use to decorate. For example: golf balls, fishing ties, garden tools.
  • Personalized Happy Anniversary banner
  • Custom helium balloons

Table Decorations

  • Personalized anniversary favors. What about a photo of them in a silver or gold heart frame? Or print out a small photo with their names and anniversary date and include with the favor. Mount on silver or gold cardboard. Choose a personalized gift for a couple from our selection.
  • What do they enjoy most? Find or create themed anniversary favors and spray paint them silver or gold. Or wrap a favor with a personalized silver or gold ribbon.
  • Shop our unique themed wedding favors store with a huge selection of unique favors.
  • Disposable cameras to take candid shots.
  • Decoration for the couple's table. A floral arrangement? Create an arch made with a collage of small objects and family photos from their life at the top.
  • Ice sculptures aren't only for weddings. If you want something very special, locate an ice sculptor at the National Ice Carving Association.
  • Votive Candles & Unity Candles. Note, some small, private venues can't afford the extra insurance or it may be against local fire code laws to have lighted candles. Call the venue and make sure that you can use candles.
  • Cake Table
  • Gift Table
  • Personalized Anniversary Napkins
  • Personalized Party Favors


  • Centerpiece for couple
  • Entrance arrangement?
  • Corsage and boutonniere for the honored couple?
  • Are you planning a small arrangement or several bud vases? For more people per table, use 2 or 3 bud vases.

Other Anniversary Party Ideas

  • An anniversary party program. Folded letter-size booklet with their photo and 25th or 50th anniversary year date on front. The inside has more images with highlights from their years together, quotes by them, and from family and friends. Design and print from your computer.
  • Place a display ad in your local paper. Include their photo, and details about them and the anniversary party. This makes a lovely addition to their scrapbook.

Go through your categories, prioritize those "must have" party items and handle these first. Planning to stay on budget is easy if you write down the cost next to each item and then total it up. Go through your list a second time, prioritize the rest and make further budget adjustments as necessary.

Your Anniversary Party Planning Is Done!

Hopefully, you'll have some time to unwind on the party day. Sneak in a nap so you can enjoy the party you lovingly planned.

The warm spirit of the occasion is what will make your anniversary party a success. Don't make yourself crazy planning the party details, because when all is said and done, they won't matter much to anyone but you.

What your family and friends will carry in their hearts and memories
is how much fun they had celebrating the honored couple.