As many of you know, my husband and I have been celebrating our Silver Wedding Anniversary. It really has been the best anniversary ever. My husband had to work on the actual day, but we were together in the evening. We also managed to extend our celebrations (on and off) for a whole month, with a trip to Vancouver and lots of celebration meals, culminating in a black tie dinner event. All the planning for our celebrations got me thinking about what makes for the best anniversary celebration.
Of course, we are all different and the kind of celebrations we enjoyed might not be the best anniversary celebrations for you. The ideas I want to share with you are some I came across (at all price points and for lots of party styles) when planning our celebrations. But first, let me share a few of the highlights from our party as I promised in my Hearth and Soul Hop post this week. (The hints and tips to help you enjoy your own best anniversary ever are at the bottom of this post.)
Our party took place at the beautiful Phyllis Court Club on the banks of the Thames.
Emma, our lovely florist from Green Parlour in Pangbourne, listened to my dreams and ideas, refined them and planned gorgeous floral decorations.
We had three large arrangements, two on the antique fireplace and one on a plinth at the back of the room in front of a long mirror. We also had a variety of sweet little vases on each of the tables, all surrounding a candle in a glass hurricane lantern. Plus there were lots of shiny, sparkly tea light candles to make it look romantic and elegant.
I love dressing up and so do many of our friends, so we decided to make the dress code Black Tie.
This meant that the men all wore dinner suits and bow ties and the ladies wore long dresses, cocktail dresses or evening trousers.
The food was amazing. We offered a choice of two starters, three main courses and two desserts. Everyone chose their meals in advance so the service was flawless.
This was my starter and main course – Parma Ham and Melon (I need to learn how to make those melon flowers!) and the most wonderful Salmon en Croute in a peppercorn sauce. The other starter choice was Tomato and Mozzarella Salad and there were two other choices for main course – Chicken in a White Wine Sauce or Ravioli with Mushroom and Ricotta.
Dessert choices were Vanilla Crème Brûlée with Homemade Shortbread or Pear and Frangipane Tart with Homemade Pear Sorbet.
Of course, the very best thing was having some of our family and friends around us. I’m so grateful we were able to celebrate with them.
Tips for Enjoying The Best Anniversary Ever
Decide what the best anniversary means to you
What do you and your spouse like to do best? Do you like to get out and about or are you more the stay at home type? Do you like to have lots of friends around you in large groups or do you prefer more intimate gatherings?
If you enjoy time alone together, the best anniversary celebrations may be a long walk and a picnic for two, a weekend away or a meal for just the two of you. You don’t necessarily have to go out, you can always prepare a romantic dinner at home. You may want to involve others in the celebrations – or you may not. You could host a more intimate cocktail party for friends or a larger event at an outside location – or you could take that trip of a lifetime you’ve been planning for years. Do what suits you and have fun – after all, it is your anniversary!
Let others help you enjoy the best anniversary ever
One of the things that made our anniversary so much fun was that we shared our special event with the restaurants and hotels we visited. We were given champagne, beautiful desserts, flowers, and small gifts by restaurants and hotels over the course of our celebrations, all at no charge. So don’t be embarrassed – share your happy news!
If you best anniversary involves a big event, enlist assistance.
If you are planning a larger event be sure to enlist others to help you. Our event coordinator and other staff at Phyllis Court looked after all the details. We were able to choose menus and event details but everything else was taken care of, right down to the place cards. My florist looked after all the decorations and floral arrangements. All I really had to do was send the invitations, collate menu choices, figure out the table plans and decide what to wear. If you are planning an event at home, ask friends to help with food, drinks and planning, consider involving a caterer, generally make things easy on yourself so that you can enjoy the event as well.
Despite knowing I was in good hands, I stressed way too much. Everything will turn out fine in the end so relax and enjoy it! Our best anniversary ever certainly did!