If you’re looking for a simple wedding anniversary planning checklist, we’ve broken down the process into 14 easy-to-follow steps. We’ve put together a step-by-step checklist on how you can plan a wedding anniversary party to celebrate the many years of a successful marriage.
Every wedding anniversary calls for a special celebration, but traditionally, anniversaries below 20 years are marked quietly between the couple or with a few friends and family. However, times have changed – it’s not surprising to see couples throwing big parties for even their fourth or fifth year (wedding) anniversary. With the rising number of divorce, only a few couples ever make it to their fifth year together in marriage, and so we definitely understand that successfully staying married for 5 or 10 years is a very big deal that calls for a celebration.
How to Plan a Wedding Anniversary Party on any Budget in 14 Steps
Before you start planning, you need to know that the entire planning process will require your time and attention and if you are a very busy person, consider hiring an event planner to help you organize it. Organizing a wedding anniversary party, like every kind of party, involves some details and planning, and logistics. You’ll find the party planning less stressful if you have a to-do list or planning checklist itemizing what needs to be done and when. Here’s our 14-step wedding anniversary planning checklist for organizing a memorable vow renewal party that will wow your guests. Read on.
1. Fix a Date and Time for the Wedding Anniversary Party
Weekends are the usual and best time for any kind of party and will be more comfortable for your guests. So, consider fixing your wedding anniversary party on a weekend or around a public holiday. The best time to host a wedding anniversary is a date near your actual anniversary day – either fix it on the same date as your actual wedding date or a few weeks before or after the actual wedding date.
Some factors may cause you to move your anniversary party far away from the actual anniversary date, such as the when your most important guests (VIPs), your children or closest friends would be free to attend – I mean, those people that you can’t think of having the party without their presence, and don’t mind shifting the date in their favor.
2. Fix a Spending Limit (Budget) for the Wedding Anniversary Party
First decide on the type of wedding anniversary party you want to host – big or small, low-key? Obviously, you won’t want to spend your entire life savings to throw a wedding anniversary party, so that is why you should set a spending limit by making a party budget – set aside a specific amount of money for the party.
Your party budget will determine every other detail about your party – such as the number of people you can invite, the type and size of place to use as a venue; and the quantity of food and drinks to buy. Basically how much you set as the budget will determine whether the party will be a low-key or a big owambe.
To avoid overspending, once you fix the overall wedding anniversary party budget, break it down into a rough estimate as follows:
- Catering/ Food + Drinks
- Optional, if you’re looking at having a big or classy-but-small wedding anniversary party:
- Venue: this could be a hotel, restaurant where you rent a space or block one or more tables for you and your guests.
- Venue Decoration
- Entertainment/ DJ (music)
- Souvenirs (gifts for your guests)
HINT: For a low budget wedding anniversary party, you’ll want to use what you have – your house or backyard as the venue; play music from DVDs you have at home; cook the food yourself. If you have grown-up kids, they will be thrilled if you involve them here and there – children love to be part of their parents’ anniversary celebration.
3. Decide How Many Guests to Invite
You don’t want to invite more guests than you can feed, so it’s best to determine how many people your food budget can cater for. Remember that if you invite more than you can feed, the hungry ones will abuse you – I know that you don’t want that.
A very easy way of doing this is to ask event caterers how much a plate of food will cost. That’s if you plan to use a restaurant or hotel as the venue of your wedding anniversary OR if you can use the per-plate-price of your favourite restaurant to do a rough calculation. To figure out the number of guests within your budget to invite, divide your total food budget by the per-plate-price.
4. Decide on a Place for the Party
After completing steps 1 to 3 above, you should know the how much you budgeted to hire a venue (that’s if you’re not using your house); and since you now know how many guests you will host (from step 2 above), you should have a rough idea of the size of venue that will be right for your occasion.
So, it’s time to book the venue – ensure to do so early (at least 6 weeks in advance) as most good venues get booked full fast.
Where you choose to host your wedding anniversary party is your choice – your house or a rented venue. If you plan to book a venue. To give you an idea of great wedding anniversary party venues, popular choices among couples include the couple’s house or backyard, a restaurant (you can book one or more tables, depending on how many guests you expect), a hotel meeting room or event room, a garden or park.