Guest Book with Pen

If you are having an Anniversary celebration this this is a great book to allow guests to record their own salutations for the couple to have as a keepsake of the celebration. It could also be passed around family and friends to record special messages prior to presentation on the day. The front cover has ‘Our Guests’ embrodered on the front along with a rose design with organsa fabric as petals. The book has 20 leafs and each side of the leaf has Guests printed at the top with 9 lines across the page in silver. Each page is 25cm wide by 19cm high. Overall the book has dimensions of 32.5cm wide by 20.5cm high. The extra space is used to incorporate the mount for the pen with retractable nib and black ink.

Wedding Anniversary Etiquette – how?

Anniversary Celebration Parties and Gifts

We’ve been asked plenty of ‘how’ type questions and have repeated the regular ones below, if we have not addressed your concern then please email us via our contact page and we will endeavour to answer your question.

How do I ….

Q. I am making a anniversary speech/toast any suggestions

Q. How do I celebrate my Anniversary ?

Q. Helping a person plan an anniversary party?

Q. I am looking for information on the 75th wedding anniversary?

Q. How do I convey requests for money to the guests?

Q. We are renewing of our vows for our 50th anniversary, are there any do’s or don’ts?

Q. Would it be proper to put on the invitation RSVP or proper to enclose a response card?

Q. My mother wants to have an anniversary celebration and was told that it was not good manners to invite family?

Q. How long is the Longest Marriage on Record?

Q. I am making an anniversary speech/toast any suggestions

Yes, a few actually! One key thing that we’ve learnt whilst trying to find non derogatory jokes about wedding anniversaries for our web site (you’ll notice there is none on our site because we couldn’t find any!). Take great care not to include a joke which will slight/insult either partner. Remember it is both of them that are celebrating their anniversary and they should be able to enjoy it. If you do want to include a joke that may be considered risky make sure it is told in a third party i.e. I knew a couple who were married……

Q. How do I celebrate my Anniversary ?

Well, the first thing is don’t ignore or forget your Anniversary. This is the one day a year that is special for you and your partner.Traditionally celebrations often involve giving and receiving of cards and gifts that match the anniversary year being celebrated. Often these gifts are made of a specific material that symbolises the year being celebrated. To find your anniversary symbol select your anniversary via our anniversary by year page and all the details  including suggestions of ways to celebrate will be given to you.

Q. How do I plan a party

A. There are plenty of resources available such as books, web sites and videos that will detail how to plan a party, you could even employ a specialist party planner who will take all the stress of party planning away from you. We’ve expanded the answer to this question on our anniversary planning pages

Q. I am looking for information on the stones/metals and/or colours associated with the 75th wedding anniversary.

A. The 75th Anniversary has the following materials associated against it; diamonds, diamond-like stones, gold. Source; Chicago Public Library

Q. Money as an Anniversary gift ~ My sisters and I are throwing my parents a 30 year anniversary party.  My parents already told me that they do not want any gifts, but would prefer money.  How do I convey that to the guests?

A. It is difficult to ask for money on invitations to an anniversary celebration. I assume your parents have a specific goal for asking for money such as a holiday or a specific gift. If this is the case then it is best to use this fact. i.e. on the invitation state that your parents are saving for whatever.. and a contribution towards this would be gratefully received…. or the most appropriate gift….

Q.We are trying to plan a celebration and renewing of our vows for our 50th. anniversary, are there any do’s or don’ts to be consider, we  were married very young, so we are not really that old; still young at heart. Are there any suggestions for this  we would like to do it the proper way.

A. There is not a fixed way to have a 50th celebration and it can be up to you, the couple celebrating the anniversary, how you would like to celebrate. Even with your decision to renew your vows can be done in many ways from a low key celebration up to a re-creation of a full wedding breakfast.

Q I am have a 50th wedding anniversary celebration for my parents in February. I will be sending out invitations for this.  It will be an Open House at my parents’ home starting approximately  6 pm .  There will be food and beverages.  Would it be proper to put on the invitation to RSVP as to how many will be attending or proper to enclose a response card as to how many will be attending? — Even though it is an Open House event?   It would help in knowing how much food to prepare.

A. As you are having an open house I think that an RSVP would be most suitable.  Depending on your Social cycle it may be appropriate to put a note after the RSVP to say that it is to ensure that sufficient food is available

Q My mother wants to have an anniversary celebration and was told that it was not good manners to invite family.  This cannot be correct is it?

A. I’m not sure how this idea came about but it is not true. A lot of Anniversary Celebrations are arranged by the family especially ones above the 25th. Wedding Anniversaries can take the form of a intimate celebration for just the couple right up to a full recreation of the original wedding with a blessing service in church followed by a Anniversary Breakfast.

Q. How long is the Longest Marriage on Record?

In Australia the longest marriage on record is that of Wesley Arney (Wes) and his wife Vanetta who in 2003 celebrated their 79th anniversary unfortunately Wes passed away the same year. A brief news story on their marriage is available here.

In Britain the longest marriage on record was a couple from Bradford who celebrated their 87th Wedding Anniversary together in January 2012 (News story

Wikipedia have started a page on long marriage here: Longest Marriages

Wedding Anniversary Speeches & Toasts

Making a Speech

If you are having a gathering of friends and family to celebrate your wedding anniversary whether formal or informal, speeches and toasts are often expected. If following formal etiquette then a speech and toast is required, if informal then it is not required however it would be a nice gesture for someone to do.

The people expected to give a speech are the hosts and the guests of honour, if the hosts are the children then one of them should be appointed the spokesperson to deliver the speech and toast on behalf of the rest of the children.

In a formal setting it would be expected that the Man of the couple would give the response speech as spokesman for the guests of honour. In an informal setting then either partner or both may give a speech.

If a toast is made then it should be short and to the point e.g. To Jack and Jill congratulations on 45 years of marriage, here’s to the next 45, Jack & Jill.

There are a number of things to keep in mind when making speeches at wedding anniversaries. One key thing that I learnt whilst trying to find jokes about wedding anniversaries for our web site (you’ll notice there is no jokes on our site because we couldn’t find any non-derogatory ones!). Take great care not to include a joke which will slight or insult either partner. Remember it is both of them that are celebrating their wedding anniversary and they should be able to enjoy it. If you do want to include a joke that may be considered risky make sure it is told in a third party i.e. I knew a couple who were married……

The content of the speeches are very flexible however they should include a toast to the guests of honour and the hosts if different.

The replies a couple would make to any speeches made are very dependent upon your family circle & culture; Typically anniversary speeches follow along similar lines to a wedding celebration and thus thanking those who organised the event and for the people who turned up to join you in your celebration.

Speech Writing Resources.

Below are some books available from Amazon that we recommend to help you write speeches that not only captivate they also help to make them humorous.


Formal Anniversary Party Planning

If you want to hold a formal anniversary party there are plenty of resources available to help you plan and execute a successful party.

An Anniversary Party in a formal setting follows very similar lines to an actual Wedding Reception.

A formal reception starts with the receiving line where the Hosts and Guests of Honour would greet the guests as they enter the reception. If the guests of honour are elderly or cannot stand for long periods then you could arrange a place of honour where they can be seated to greet the guests.

The reception would then proceed with other events depending upon your chosen program such as formal sit down meal or hors d’uvre etc.

Speeches and toasts would be expected at a formal event. They would be given by the couple’s children (or friend), Host and a response from the Couple, generally given by the man.


A program is a printed list of the events and prominent players in the celebration activities.

For a formal party it is not necessary to have a program printed however if you have a number of events within the celebration it can help the flow of the party.

The program could have a photo of the couple on their original wedding day printed upon it.

In addition to the listing of the events the program can also contain the history of the couple’s marriage (which makes for a unique present) You could also include the couple’s children (and grandchildren) and their birth dates as a useful keepsake.

As an alternative and if available you could include a list of the original attendees at the wedding.


Only the major anniversaries normal attract any publicity unless they are particularly long standing marriages, the longest marriage celebrated by a living couple I am aware of is 82 years celebrated by a couple in central England in 2002. This attracted national newspaper interest as it makes a great human interest story.

Invitations are the most common way of publicising an anniversary party, if you are having an intimate family celebration e.g. going to a restaurant with you close family, and you would like to let your friends know it is your anniversary then you could put a notice in you local press.

The following is provided as a suggestion on wording if the celebration is being organized by the children of the couple;

‘To celebrate the forty-fifth Wedding Anniversary
the children of
Mr and Mrs William Smith
Accompanied by the immediate family will
Entertain them at the Anniversary Inn
Thank you.
Friends and neighbours
For making their lives together
A pleasant and fruitful union’

If you would just like to publicise the event then most local papers still carry an announcements section as do their on-line entities to allow such an advertisement to be displayed. If the event is major some local newspapers may cover it more in-depth with the publication of a photo and couple of paragraphs of details and thus it may be worth giving some thought as to the content that would be appropriate. If this does occur it is worth keeping the clippings of these and adding them to a scrapbook for the couple to keep.

Anniversary Party Planning & Etiquette

Party Planning FAQ

Any celebration needs a level of planning to ensure it is successful. A common question is when do you start this planning? This is depends on what type of party you are having and what you need for the party. We’ve found, especially with Anniversary parties, the opposite is often the case in that you’ve become aware the anniversary is coming up and decide to have a party late in the day.

The starting point is deciding when you want the celebration. The obvious choice is on the actual anniversary date however if this falls midweek then you may consider moving it to the nearest weekend to allow your friends and family to attend without having to take time off work etc. It’s also a good idea to have it at the weekend as it helps the party atmosphere when people are more relaxed knowing they do not have to get up for work the next day.

As an aside your 25th anniversary (Silver) would generally fall 4 week days in advance of your actual wedding day e.g. if you got married on a Sunday then your 25th Anniversary will fall on a Thursday, likewise your 40th (Ruby Wedding) will fall on the week day after the week day you got married with the 50th Anniversary (Golden Wedding) will fall on the actual week day you got married or the day before. These are estimates that take into account leaps years for marriages that occurred between 1960-2000, the actual day however depends on the number of leap years between the two dates.

Etiquette experts are divided on whether it is appropriate to have an anniversary party at an alternative date or season. We would generally recommend it is best to have it as close as possible to the anniversary date and if possible within a month of the anniversary date either way.

Combining an anniversary with another event is not a particularly good idea as this detracts from the focus on the couple, this is especially true for the major anniversaries.

Check the date selected with key people. 

At any party, large or small, make sure you have checked that the guests of honour, closest friends and family will be able to attend and that the date does not conflict with other major anniversaries (particularly bad anniversaries, e.g. deaths of prominent figures either in the family or in society) that may conflict or take away the focus on the couple celebrating the anniversary before you set the date in stone. If you are worried about key people being occupied on the specific date then it may be worth sending out a “save a date” notelet or postcard as early as possible to notify them in advance of the official invitation

If you want a popular location you’ll generally find you would have needed to start last week; don’t you always find that? You go to book a venue and they say the date you wanted was booked last week! Anyway I digress.

If you are planning on a large celebration then you should have thought about it well in advance possibly as far away as a year. If you think of marriages, these are often planned up to a year or longer in advance to ensure you can get the right venue and other requirements, as you would use similar resources for large anniversary celebrations you are effectively competing with these other events for the right venue.

This is more important if you want a weekend celebration as with only 52 weekends a year of which 2 are likely to be the most appropriate to when the anniversary falls then it is important to secure a popular venue early.

Who to invite and how many people?

These two questions are often interrelated, the answer also depends upon the type of party you are having, if you are having a intimate family gathering then the number and who will be decided within that circle. If however you are having a repeat of your wedding breakfast then who to invite is opened up to friends both past and present and your extended family.

Bookings resources (caterers, restaurants, MCs, bands etc.)

Allow at least two months to book up caterers or a restaurant. Remember: the bigger the party, the more notice you need to give. Even if you’ve decided to cater for yourself and only want to hire some waiters, more glasses and plates, you’ll need to book these up too. The more you can plan in advance the easier it will be nearer the time.

Resources for those unable to attend the event.

How about setting up a web cam for the event and letting people unable to attend know the how to access it on the day so that they can log on to send their congratulations. This is especially good for a geographically dispersed family.

Failing that you could get them to send in congratulatory emails/telegrams/letters/cards ahead of time so that they can either be placed on a wall board at the event or read out during a speech.

What to call it.

  • Cocktail parties only occur after 5.00 pm
  • Open house parties (a.k.a. Come and go parties) occur at any time.
  • Dessert celebrations typically occur in the afternoon.
  • Pitch-in celebrations can occur at any time.


An anniversary party is what you want it to be, whether that means a relatively straightforward get-together in your home or a more formal affair in a location with caterers and possibly entertainment or a private function room in a restaurant or hotel.