Though the wedding may have been a formal affair, an anniversary party is a chance for a couple and their friends to get down and have fun. If you're honoring the couple by throwing the party, you can ask them how they'd like to celebrate; if you're the couple and are paying for everything yourselves, you can do it your own way. Make the party an event to remember by using a theme that gives it a real sense of distinction.
A party with a specific decade theme gives you the chance to convince the couple's friends and family to join in by wearing costumes. Use the wedding decade as your theme to remind everyone of how long the marriage has lasted. If your couple (or you) only tied the knot a few years earlier, use the birth decade (or decades) of the couple as your theme. Hit the thrift stores and party stores to find decorations and brush up on your period catch phrases, and be sure to go all out with your own costume. You can't expect your friends to don '80s clothes if you're not willing to do it too.
Most couples have taken various vacations and weekend trips throughout their marriage. A travel-themed party celebrates favorite memories, and as a bonus, you can use souvenirs the couple already has as decorations. An option for a less globetrotting couple is to use a dream destination as your theme. Even if Bora Bora remains a distant fantasy, filling a party with blow-up palm trees and drinking pina coladas will let everyone pretend for a little while.
He's got hobbies, she's got hobbies, and hopefully they have hobbies they both enjoy together. If you're planning a casual anniversary party that celebrates the things a couple loves, go ahead and decorate the room with all their fishing gear or memorabilia from the football team the two of you support. If he and she don't share the same interests, decorate each table with a different hobby, with half the tables devoted to his favorite things and half devoted to hers. Just keep that collection of taxidermy squirrels out of sight.
Wedding Part Two
Recreating the wedding will make everyone nostalgic, even the people who weren't there when the couple said "I do." Turn the party venue into a replica of the banquet hall where they held their reception. Use the same colored tablecloths and serve the same dishes if possible (but don't even think of asking the bridesmaids to wear those dresses again). Display photos and wedding videos so guests can see where it all started and laugh at the groom's powder-blue tux.
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