Tips for Planning a Low-Budget Wedding Anniversary Party

Don’t let a limited budget put a damper on your wedding anniversary party planning. With a little resourcefulness and a lot of creativity, you can host a fabulous anniversary celebration that doesn’t break the bank.

Throwing a wedding anniversary party is a great way to let parents, grandparents or special friends know how much they mean to you and how happy you are about their marriage milestone. But can you throw a fabulous anniversary party on a limited budget? You bet! The information below will help you plan a low-budget anniversary party that looks like a million bucks.

Buddy-System Budget
If you’re throwing an anniversary party for your parents or grandparents, get together with your siblings and other relatives who want to help host. This way you can share responsibilities, as well as the cost. Once you’ve done that, decide on a budget you all can live with.

Timing is Everything
Having a late afternoon party can save you money in a couple of ways. First, you may not need to provide alcohol – or at least not as much alcohol. Second, you can probably get away with just serving finger foods and cake, instead of a full-blown meal.

Location, Location, Location
While it may be tempting to rent the grandest ballroom in the tri-state area, it’s probably not practical if you’re on a limited budget. But don’t let that stop you from throwing a fabulous bash. For a more intimate, informal party, host it at someone’s home or at a local church or hall. During warmer times of year, you can also consider having it outside, provided you make arrangements for awnings, tables and seating.

Savvy Shopping
Dollar-type stores are gold mines for wedding anniversary supplies and decorations. From candles and faux flowers to supplies for eating and clean-up, you’d be amazed at what you can find, and how little it may cost. Be sure to look at clearance areas, as well, since you can use holiday lights and other accessories to make unique – and elegant – party decorations.

You may also want to try your luck at local thrift stores and garage sales. Table linens, vases and unique decorative pieces can often be found at these places for next to nothing.

Invitations can account for a large chunk of your budget, but making them yourself can save you a bundle. If you’re good at crafts and have the time, you can buy the supplies you need to make unique invitations yourself. Many people are also turning to the Internet for free printable invitations. The quality is exceptional, and all you need to provide is your own paper and a color printer.

What type of food you serve may very well depend on what time of day you have the party. To save on your food bill, you may want to consider having a mid-afternoon event. Parties held in the afternoon do not necessitate a full meal and full bar – just finger foods, cake and possibly champagne for the toasts. However, if the party is in the evening, you still have some options. Many dishes for a buffet-type meal are easy to make and freeze ahead of time, so all you have to do is heat them up – and you can find good deals on the ingredients at wholesale clubs. Don’t be shy about asking others to pitch in with preparing the food.

Although entertainment is not an absolute necessity, it’s nice to at least have some soft background music going. This can be accomplished by using your own sound system and some CDs (you can even make your own “anniversary party” CDs quite inexpensively). Of course, if you know a DJ, you can probably cut a good deal on his services. Also check around to see if anyone knows a talented musician (pianist, harp player, violinist, flutist or singer) or music school students. You can usually get their services fairly inexpensively and still have fabulous music.

You also may want to consider whether the anniversary couple wishes to renew their vows. If so, you’ll need to contact the officiant to see if he can perform the renewal ceremony at the party location. This in itself provides lots of sentimental entertainment.

Say Cheese
Photography is an important way to capture the moments of this special celebration, and the happy couple will treasure these photos for years to come. If you’re on a very tight budget, you may want to ask that photography enthusiast you know to act as the photographer and/or videographer. Leaving disposable cameras on the tables for guests to use also yields some unique photographs. You can always treat the anniversary couple to an affordable, professional portrait at someplace such as WalMart or Target.

Decorations on a Dime
With a little creativity (lights, candles, faux plants and trees), anyplace can be transformed into a beautiful reception location. Remember, your guests are there to celebrate the happy occasion, not point out flaws in decorating. And there are scores of table decorations you can make yourself that are quite affordable. Don’t be shy about asking family and friends to pitch in on making the decorations and decorating for the party. Most times, they’re more than happy to help.

For a silver (25th) or gold (50th) anniversary, invest in metallic pens in either silver or gold. You can use these to address invitations, make place cards (if needed) and banners, and a host of other things. It’s a cost-effective way to make a variety of things look more elegant.

There’s nothing wrong with asking for help. Know someone who has some faux ficus trees? Ask to borrow them – they’re beautiful with lights strung on them. Who do you know that has vases (besides everyone)? Know any cooks, bakers, musicians, amatuer DJs or budding photographers? How about people to help you make decorations? People who know and love the anniversary couple will be more than willing to help make their celebration the best it can be.

Don’t let an anniversary party bury you under a mountain of debt. With a little resourcefulness and creativity, you can create a beautiful, low-budget party filled with memories that will last a lifetime and celebrate the special couple

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