Wedding anniversaries are always special occasions. It’s a day when you continue to remember that special event which officially joined your lives. As fewer and fewer couples begin making it to their next anniversary, these anniversaries are becoming more special.
Many couples or their families want to celebrate these anniversaries, particularly when they reach those special milestones, such as 25th and 50th. But those celebrations require invitations and those invitations need to be carefully ordered.
Ordering Wedding Anniversary Invitations
One way to acquire these invitations is to simply purchase pre-packaged ones at a local store. These are cheap, and they get the job done. However, finding cards that reflect your celebration and that are as special as the occasion requires either making your own or going through a commercial printer.
Either way, you’ll need one invitation for every couple you are inviting, as well as one invitation for every single person and one for their guest (if they have been in a long-term relationship). You may also want to keep an invitation for the anniversary couple (if they aren’t throwing the celebration) or one for yourself.
You should place your order between six to eight weeks before the actual celebration. Make sure to order extra invitations and envelopes in case you make mistakes. It’s also a good idea to have maps printed up if many guests will not be familiar with the celebration’s location.
You may have heard about the concept of traditional gifts for different anniversaries. For example, the perfect gift for one spouse to give to the other on their first anniversary is paper. That could be anything from a magazine subscription to cash.
If you’re planning a anniversary party, you may want to consider these traditional gifts as you’re selecting or designing your invitations. Let’s look at a few examples:
Fifth anniversary – wood
Tenth anniversary – aluminum
Twentieth – china
Twenty-fifth – silver
Fiftieth – gold
Sixtieth – diamond
For the 25th anniversary, you might choose a silver paper for the invitations or silver ink on a dark-colored paper. If you want a more traditional looking invitation, you could fill it with silver confetti, decorate it with a silver ribbon, or apply small amounts of silver glitter to the card.
Similar ideas could be used with most of the other anniversaries as well. Remember to think creatively. If you’re having trouble finding what you want, you might want to contact a graphic designer to help you craft the perfect invitation.
Vow Renewal & Invitations
While some couples simply celebrate with a party, others take it a step further and renew their vows. Although there are very few hard and fast rules about renewing your vows, generally couples don’t have quite as elaborate a ceremony. They typically don’t have a wedding party nor do they register for gifts.
Destination weddings are popular for renewing your vows. Island locations and, of course, the marriage capital of the world – Las Vegas, Nevada – are ideal choices. However, some couples choose to have a simple ceremony in their backyards or a family’s home.
Remember that since this is not a legally binding ceremony you don’t need an officiant who is licensed to perform weddings. You can actually choose any friend or family member.
However, no vow renewal is complete without guests and that brings us to the topic of the invitations. Because the ceremony is not going to be as formal as a first wedding, you have a lot more choices available for the invitations.
You can find some invitations that state the anniversary you are celebrating. These can be a good choice. Or if your first wedding was very traditional, you might choose to be more casual this time around. Perhaps you could pick pastel or bright colored papers instead of the traditional white and ivory shades.
If you don’t want to be creative with the paper colors, you could change your choice of ink colors and font styles. You might also pick special, imported paper, then print your own invitations. The choice is yours.
One of the nice things for some couples is that since many of the original wedding decisions were influenced by the parents who may have been paying for the celebration this time around those choices are left mostly to them.
Of course, adult children can sometimes throw a vow renewal celebration for their parents, too.
Vow Renewal Invitation Content
While the content of traditional wedding invitations is usually very formal, for a vow renewal ceremony they can be more casual. The wording should reflect who is hosting the celebration, however. Below are two examples. In the first, the ceremony is hosted by the couple themselves. In the second, it is being sponsored by their adult children.
Joshua and Angel Hughes
as they reaffirm their wedding vows
and celebrate 40 years together
January 19, 2007
St. Mark’s Cathedral
The children of
Joshua and Angel Hughes
Request the honor of your presence
as their parents renew their vows
and celebrate 40 years of marriage
on January 19, 2007
St. Mark’s Cathedral
Again, there are no formal rules as to how the invitations have to be worded. You could add a poem, movie quotes, song lyrics, or whatever elements you desire.
Other Important Points to Remember
Even though your invitation doesn’t have to be extremely formal, you do have to include other elements when you mail it. For example, it’s a good idea to include a response card so you’ll have a pretty good idea of how many people will be attending. This is especially important if you’re having a sit down dinner.
Also, if the renewal ceremony is being followed by a reception at a different location, then you should include a separate reception card and maps to both locations.
Incidentally, if your renewal celebration takes place over a holiday, in the summer, or is out-of-town, then you may want to send out save the date cards about four to six months in advance. These cards allow your guests to make the necessary plans to attend your ceremony and ensure that they won’t make other plans for your big day.