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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
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    12,188

    Default Anniversary party - am I forgetting anything?

    Not quite wedding, but wedding-ish.

    My sister and I are throwing a surprise 35th wedding anniversary for my parents. We're doing a lot "mix and match" and trying to keep costs down. I just wanted to make sure we're not forgetting anything.

    We're having a Sunday luncheon. Guests arrive at 11, parents arrive at 11:30. Lunch 12-1, dancing 1-4. Approx 120 guests.

    Venue - having it at the same place as my wedding. We know the menu (same chef/coordinatro) and my parents loved it. This is the bulk of our costs. We'll have an open/tab bar. The bar is a concern for us... it can either be a HUGE cost or relatively mild. My cousin did offer to help with the bar costs (whew!)

    Photographer - my sister's friend's sister is a new photographer and is looking to build her portfolio. She is charging us $100 for the day and we're feeding her and a guest/assistant lunch. We'll be meeting with her to discuss what we would like, but it's not like it's a wedding with "must have" shots abound. We'll have a few, but really we'd like pictures of my parents and their family/friends.

    DJ/Music - we're renting a speaker/wireless mic and hooking up our iPods. We couldn't find a DJ cheap enough, and this option is less than $100. I wasn't too sure about just having iPods, but it is what it is.

    Flowers - getting the centerpieces made through Costco. My mom had yellow roses in her bouquet, so we're going to do small vases of yellow roses on each table. The supplies, labor and delivery will be about $200. My sister and I don't live close enough to do this on our own (but the labor is about $50 so not bad at all)

    Cake - still debating on this. The venue will serve us ice cream, we also wanted a cake. The bakery the venue recommended will be about $250 for a sheet cake and a small 2-tiered wedding cake (thought it would be nice for pictures). Also looking into the cost of cupcakes.

    Invites - a friend designed/printed them for me. We are assembling them this weekend and they will be mailed out next week. We also needed RSVPs, so we have cards for those as well.

    We know how we're going to get my parents there so we've got that covered.

    Am I missing anything major?
    Kidlet 1 - 8/06
    Kidlet 2 - 7/09
    Kidlet 3 - 12/12

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
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    20,270

    Default

    I don't think you are missing anything major. I don't see favors mentioned, but of course those are optional.

    I wanted to note about the bar - if you are concerned about the costs, you can ask the venue to cap the bar or at least alert you when the tab reaches $X amount. That way you know if it's at your limit and the party is only halfway through, you can make some adjustments. You can also limit the bar by having a 'signature drink' and then just beer and wine, if you want to go that route. Open bar is nice, but for something like this, it's such a wild card. (I do event planning for my job and we often have the same issues.)

    ETA: That said, I threw an "open bar" party for my husband's 30th bday and the bar costs were not nearly what I had imagined/feared.
    isabella noelle :: 12.7.09

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
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    6,491

    Default

    I agree w/what Laura said for the open bar.
    It’s just my opinion, but I’d really try and do the tiered cake if you can. I think having your parents up there cutting the cake again will bring back a lot of great memories and also make a GREAT photo.
    Loving my DDs and DS

  4. #4
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    Jul 2005
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    7,149

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    How generous and sweet of you and your sister!

    I don't think you're missing anything either and would definitely take Laura's advice on managing the bar costs.

    My only concern is the size of flowers on the tables. you mentioned small vases of yellow roses. Is there anything you can add to the table to fill up the center a bit? Or, maybe buy some fabric and cut overlays (very inexpensive through Joann's with the coupon). Photos of them through the years to personalize? Or maybe them with some of the guests and, of course, family?

    For the cake, do you have to go through the recommended baker? I just saw a blog post about how the latest thing is to buy grocery store cakes frosted in plain white and add your own decor to keep costs down.

    The music/ipod thing is totally doable and just fine. you'll just need to make a playlist that "ramps" with the event. I'd do 11-1 with a pretty mellow mix of about 45-1 hour and just repeat it. Then, at 12, switch playlists to something more upbeat for the dancing portion. For this, you're not really going to want the music to repeat, so that's a lot of music!! I assume you'll pause for toasts, speeches and also have special songs? That will help for sure.

    How fun!!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
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    clearly NOT at the cool kids table
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    Invitations?

    I definitely second the idea of lots of photos through the years, especially early photos. These are so fun to look at! Maybe a time line of their married life with key moments marked?

    Do you have a Publix near you? They are a grocery store that does fab cakes, especially wedding cakes! At a very reasonable cost.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
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    2,454

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    If you can go with your own baker, I highly recommend checking out what a grocery store would charge for a tiered cake. We did that for my parents' 35th and it was good and fairly inexpensive.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Upstate, NY
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    16,413

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    Does the venue have any centerpieces that you can use? Most do for free of charge.

    I'd also try to do a tiered cake.

    How nice of you to throw the party for your parents!

  8. #8
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    Jun 2005
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    Sounds like you've got everything major covered!

    I'll add a couple of small things we did for a surprise anniversary party for my parents' 25th (ack, almost 25 years ago now!).

    We had their cake recreated in a smaller version -- we knew what it looked like from pictures and brought the pics into the bakery to have them make it. We also had their original cake toppers on the cake. I have no idea why, but my mom always kept them in a nightstand drawer and my sister and I used to play with them as kids so we knew where they were.

    We didn't have dancing, but we did have a recording of their first dance song from their wedding played and they danced to that. Do you know their first dance song?

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
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    12,188

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    Quote Originally Posted by laura View Post
    I don't see favors mentioned, but of course those are optional.

    I wanted to note about the bar - if you are concerned about the costs, you can ask the venue to cap the bar or at least alert you when the tab reaches $X amount. That way you know if it's at your limit and the party is only halfway through, you can make some adjustments. You can also limit the bar by having a 'signature drink' and then just beer and wine, if you want to go that route. Open bar is nice, but for something like this, it's such a wild card. (I do event planning for my job and we often have the same issues.)

    ETA: That said, I threw an "open bar" party for my husband's 30th bday and the bar costs were not nearly what I had imagined/feared.
    We were thinking of giving the centerpieces away (we're buying them) to someone at the table as a favor. We might do a signature drink... that could be fun. Unfortunately, we have to do an open bar. I know, I know, sounds ... whatever. But in our family - you do an open bar. I think we'll be okay, but thanks for the help about the cost.


    Quote Originally Posted by sea74 View Post
    It’s just my opinion, but I’d really try and do the tiered cake if you can. I think having your parents up there cutting the cake again will bring back a lot of great memories and also make a GREAT photo.
    I'm going to talk my sister into it. She's iffy on it, but I think it would be neat. They had a 4-tier circle cake; nothing too ornate. We can definitely recreate it.

    Quote Originally Posted by Bloomwood View Post
    My only concern is the size of flowers on the tables. you mentioned small vases of yellow roses. Is there anything you can add to the table to fill up the center a bit? Or, maybe buy some fabric and cut overlays (very inexpensive through Joann's with the coupon). Photos of them through the years to personalize? Or maybe them with some of the guests and, of course, family?

    For the cake, do you have to go through the recommended baker? I just saw a blog post about how the latest thing is to buy grocery store cakes frosted in plain white and add your own decor to keep costs down.

    The music/ipod thing is totally doable and just fine. you'll just need to make a playlist that "ramps" with the event. I'd do 11-1 with a pretty mellow mix of about 45-1 hour and just repeat it. Then, at 12, switch playlists to something more upbeat for the dancing portion. For this, you're not really going to want the music to repeat, so that's a lot of music!! I assume you'll pause for toasts, speeches and also have special songs? That will help for sure.
    The venue supplies a small mirror and three tea light candles per table. We're adding the roses. For my wedding, they supplied the roses (and cake!) in the price which was nice. But, we didn't go that "full route."

    As long as the baker is licensed, we can use whomever. I'm going to check out Wal-Mart and Jewel and another bakery in the area. We've used them all and all have been very good.

    We're going to sync up to my parents iTunes so we can download some of their music. We're planning to have 2 hours of "jazz" type music for cocktails/dinner. Then dance music. My sister is going ot handle that - she goes home more often than I do, and she knows the types of music to get people dancing. She said she'd clear her iPod so we'd have enough space. And we're also going to burn CDs/bring a CD player (all will work with the speaker).

    Quote Originally Posted by jajacobsen View Post
    Invitations?

    I definitely second the idea of lots of photos through the years, especially early photos. These are so fun to look at! Maybe a time line of their married life with key moments marked?
    Got the invites - going out in the mail next week. We're trying to be on the sly with the photos. We're trying to sneak out their wedding album along with some other pictures. We're trying to devise a "school project" DD has to do - but there's only two more weeks of school. But I love photos and will definitely have some around. But - I should probably amp it up a bit.

    Quote Originally Posted by mcgwigan View Post
    Does the venue have any centerpieces that you can use? Most do for free of charge.
    Normally they do the whole shebang - fresh roses and all. But we opted for a luncheon/without the bells and whistles. So there will be something on the table (mirror and tealights) but we'd like a little more.

    Thanks for everyone's input!!! I'll work out a plan to get some photos the next time we're home.
    Kidlet 1 - 8/06
    Kidlet 2 - 7/09
    Kidlet 3 - 12/12

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
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    definitely do the tiered cake! and don't forget a little bouquet for your mom and boutonniere for your dad.
    v&j: jan 2004
    ds: 5 june 2006
    dd: 1 may 2009

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