Whether it is for a first anniversary or a fiftieth, a backyard party is a very special way to celebrate a very special day. One of the best things about a backyard anniversary party is that there are so many different ways to make it a memorable event. Read on to learn how to throw a backyard anniversary party.
Things You'll Need
- Table for Guests' Photos and Guest Book
- Outdoor games or Entertainment
- Altar or Decorations for Renewing Vows (Optional)
- Table for Gifts
- Comfortable Seating
Set a date. If the party is not a surprise, ask the anniversary couple to choose a date that works well for them. You may want to plan the party for the precise day of the anniversary, but that is essential. Since this will be an outdoor party, weather will be a major consideration. Try to settle on a date that is likely to offer pleasant temperatures.
Prepare the guest list. The size of the guest list will depend on the size of your backyard as well as the number of people that know the couple and will want to help celebrate. Consider beginning the list with the participants and guests from the couple's wedding. Then add family and friends who have entered the couples' lives since their wedding.
Plan the party set up. Have a back-up plan in mind in case of rain, perhaps by renting a tent or setting a rain date. If the anniversary couple would like to renew their vows, reserve a section of the yard for the service. Provide ample seating, a central area for the ceremony, and consider adding flowers and or lanterns for ornaments.
Invite guests to bring snapshots of anniversary couple's wedding. Set up a "Great Memories" table for the pictures. If possible, include the original guest book from the wedding. You may also want to include a special guest book for your backyard anniversary party, encouraging guests to write their congratulations, advice for the future and any special good luck messages.
Plan the refreshments, snacks, food and beverages. The menu should fit the mood of the party. If you have decided on a fairly informal outdoor gathering, you will want to barbecue favorite meats and vegetables. You and your guests may be most comfortable with a potluck, so that everyone can make a contribution. For a more formal gathering, you will want to arrange to have the event catered.
Decide what type of entertainment is most appropriate. If the anniversary party will be an afternoon family event, you may want to provide outdoor games such as a ring toss, croquet, volleyball and beanbag toss. Depending on your budget, you may want to rent some inflatable toys for children. If, on the other hand, the party will be an evening event, you will want to arrange for a band or disc jockey.
Check with the various vendors that you will be counting on, just a day or so before the backyard party. Make sure everyone is clear on timing and on what you are expecting of them. Then make out a checklist for yourself of last-minute items you need to attend to just before the guests arrive.
Tips & Warnings
- Whether you have a barbecue or more formal dinner, consider ending the meal with a cake that is just like the couple's original wedding cake.
- If the anniversary couple would like to renew their vows, discuss with them the possibility of inviting the clergy member or other official who officiated at their original wedding ceremony.
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