How to Plan a Wedding Anniversary Party on any Budget in 14 Steps

Step 5: Wedding Anniversary Guest List

It’s time to think about the guests – who to invite and when to invite.  From step 3 (above), you determined how many people you are limited (by your budget) to invite.  You and your hubby/ wife certainly do not have exactly the same people as friends or family, so, it’s a good idea to invite some and let him/ her invite some.  If you’ll have 100 people at the wedding anniversary party, why don’t you ask him to write out 50 names and you do same.

First write a list of guests, and later tick the names as you make out the invites. Some people start writing random names on invitation cards without first making a guest list – the danger is that you are likely to forget to send an invitation to a very important person, and later remember when you have run out of invitation cards. Note that the more guests you have, the more you will spend on food and drinks (and sometimes, you will spend more to get a bigger venue). So, write a guest list before writing the invitation cards.

Next, write down names of people you want to invite, as well as their address, email and/ or phone numbers (depending on the medium you want to use to send out the invites). Start from names of the most important people in your life. Some couples choose to invite the men and women who were their bridesmaids and groomsmen during their wedding – how cool is that!

The type of people to invite will depend on the type of party you plan to have. Some couples choose to have an intimate wedding anniversary party, where they invite their immediate family some of their closest friends or only their close families. But if you plan to have an ‘owambe’ (big party), your guest list will include more people. Decide upfront the type of people you want to invite.

When making a guest list for your wedding anniversary party, ensure not to invite more people than your budget can handle – keep in mind your food/ catering budget and the maximum number of guests your budget limits you to (see steps 2 and 3 again). You also should be aware that your party venue has a limit on the number of people it can accommodate.

**NOTE: Mailing of invitation cards is not the only use of the guest list. After your wedding anniversary party, use that invite-list to send out thank you notes or messages to guests. These days, couples are also using bulk sms (via phone), whatsapp, emails and Facebook messaging to thank guests.

Step 6: Decide the Look and Feel of Your Party

How would you like the party? Will it be a formal or informal party? Will it be a small, private and intimate party or a big, owambe-style party? Do you want to throw a surprise anniversary party for your wife/ husband? Just free your creativity when deciding how your wedding anniversary party will be – there’s no right or wrong way here. It’s your party, so you should decide how you want it.

To help you out, here is a list of popular types of wedding anniversary parties in Nigeria include:

  • Low-key: A casual get-together with a small group of friends and family
  • Thanksgiving at the church, followed by a reception (party). You will need to inform the church in advance.
  • A vow renewal ceremony (with friends at any location) followed by a reception

The type of anniversary party can even be as simple as a get-together with either close friends or only your immediate family members.

The anniversary reception party can be any of these types:

  • An outdoor party in your backyard, a park or garden
  • A restaurant or hotel party with meals and drinks provided as part of the service
  • Any other location type, as your heart leads you

How do you want your guests to dress?

Let’s talk about what your guests’ outfits. Would you want them to wear whatever they feel like or would there be a dress colour code or do you want your wedding anniversary guests to wear a specific aso-ebi colour and/ or fabric? If so, ensure to make that clear in the wedding anniversary invitation cards.

<<PREVIOUS   |  >>Next Page 

Share This Post

Pages: 1 2 3 4

About Stella Anokam

Stella is the founder and Editor of this blog (NaijaGlamWedding). Follow us on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Google+ and Pinterest. Submit your photos to be featured - it's FREE, because we love everything weddings, bridal showers, engagement shoots.


  1. Hi Stella,
    This has been quite helpful and inspirational, as my parents are intent on celebrating their anniversary by December. Didn’t mention anything about photography though. Thanks

    • Hello Angie. Thanks for reading, and feedback, dear.
      You’re right – photography is a big part of wedding vow renewal/ anniversary party planning. Now that you pointed it out, we’ll find time to include that in post update.
      Congratulations to your parents, from us. And, if you’d like – you could update us with how you planned it for them, plus photos of the day.

  2. Hello Stella,
    The anniversary celebration has just been concluded….. Indeed, it was awesome. I will send some of the pics this week and contact the photographer for the rest.

    • Hey Angel:
      I’m so happy to hear from you again. Glad that your wedding anniversary party was a fabulous one – I had no doubt about that. That’s so nice of you to want to send me the pics. I can’t wait to see them. Have a merry Christmas, and may the new year be your best year ever! Hope to see more of you on our blog:)

  3. Thanx so much, ma….. This has really been helpful though we have done most of the preparations but this will help us to correct some of our mistakes.
    But please ma, I have a question. Do I need a bouquet as we will renew our marriage vows before the party?

    • You’re welcome, Angel. Thanks for the feedback.

      About flower bouquet: It’s perfectly okay to carry a bouquet on your vow renewal ceremony – I’ve seen a couple of women do this. To add some fun to it, your husband could pin a matching flower-buttonhole (aka boutoniere) on his suit.

      What to wear: Wearing white may appear somehow to your guests, even if the outfit looks great. As a Nigerian, you have the option of wearing a traditional wear and a long gown/ dress. If you choose to wear a long dressy-gown, any style or colour would do. Some stylish women choose to wear a long wedding-gown-like, dinner-gown-like dress that is NOT WHITE. The men don’t have problems with a choice of vow renewal outfit, your husband can wear a suit or a Nigerian traditional menswear.

      Don’t forget the Rings: Many couples choose to exchange new rings (anniversary bands) every year they renew their vows. While that is optional, most couples also use that time to upgrade their original wedding rings (especially if the original one has become tighter or was just a management-ring).

      Hope those tips will help. Feel free to ask me any questions. I planned to do these types of articles next year, but I’m happy that you’ve made me to write it now. My name is Stella – feel free to call me that:) What date is your vow renewal?

      • Thanx so much, Stella.
        I’m very delighted to read from you.
        Our date is 21st December. We have already bought new rings and the dresses. Our colours are white, blue and silver. As for the bouquet, what colour combination will it comprise of? Secondly, my little girl of 6 years will be the chief bridesmaid, is it also necessary for her to carry a small bouquet too?

        • Hi Angel. Awesome – your vow renewal date is awesome (will kick into Christmas:). A simple, white bouquet would do, or you may want to work in your chief bridesmaid’s (daughter) dress colour into the bouquet. It’s not necessary for your bridesmaid to carry a bouquet since it’s not a wedding – but then, who says you can’t? If you’d like that, you can let her carry one.
          I’m happy to know that you’re on top of the planning side, and you’re working with your traditional wedding anniversary colour. I’d like to see the pictures after the event – ensure to get a very good photographer and videographer.

          • Thanx so much, Stella.
            Reading from u has been a good source of inspiration. Thanx for being there for me. I have a very good photographer and I will definitely send the pics to you.
            About making a speech on that day, how do I go about it?

          • Hi Angel. You’re so welcome – thanks for the awesome feedback. We can’t wait to see the pictures.

            About the speech – here are some ideas:
            -To have one or some of your long-time friends (of you and your husband) narrate the love story of the celebrants (you and your husband). This should be someone that has known both of you for almost as long as you’d been married. A fun thing could be to invite your original bestman and/ or chief bridesmaid to give a speech or the ceremonial toast. You could also have a few of your immediate family members give speech too.

            -Other typical types of speeches you may want to include in your wedding anniversary program include: inspirational message from a friend and/ or a few selected guests. The last speech should be a ‘thank you message’ by the celebrants (both of you).

            -By the way, if they allow you to write your own vows (the renewal), that would be fun. If not, you may want to do so during the after-church reception party.

Speak Your Mind