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Anniversary party etiquette

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Invitations to an anniversary party should be sent out at least four weeks in advance of the celebration. An invitation does not imply the need for a gift. Indeed many couples are uncomfortable about receiving gifts and often request that no gifts are given by the guests at their anniversary, perhaps they feel they don.t really need anything or they may not want their guests to feel obliged. It is important that you try and respect their choice, but if you insist on giving a gift, it is advisable to do so after the event so as not to embarrass the hosts or the other guests who did not bring a gift.

Generally it is not deemed good etiquette to ask for a monetary gift although asking for a small contribution towards a commemorative gift such as a tree or sundial is a nice way of getting around this. If traditional gifts are given it is normal for the couple to open them later rather than during the celebration, although again this is down to personal choice. Personalised gifts make great anniversary gift ideas as the personal touch makes the present much more meaningful. If a personalised gift is to be given it is often more usual to include the number of years married plus the couples. names rather than the date of marriage.

The seating of guests at an anniversary party is really down to personal taste although traditionally the oldest son sits beside his mother and the eldest daughter beside her father with the best man or maid of honor from the couple's wedding day and with their respective spouses also seated at the main table. Typically a short speech of some type is expected even at a very informal affair. Often one of the children says a few complimentary words about their parents and this is followed by a response by one or both members of the couple in order to thanks the organizers etc. Above all, any wedding anniversary celebration is a celebration of a couple's love for one another and can be as large or small , formal or informal and private or shared as you want it to be.