In Margery Williams’ book, The Velveteen Rabbit, the stuffed Rabbit asks “What is Real?” The Skin Horse replies, “It”s a thing that happens to you. When [someone] loves you for a long, long time, not just to play with, but really loves you, then you become Real.” He continues, “Generally, by the time you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out and you get loose in the joints and very shabby. But these things don”t matter at all because once you are Real you can”t be ugly, except to people who don”t understand …”
While this story is about the love of a stuffed toy by its owner, its message can easily be applied to marriage. In fact, this passage is often included in wedding ceremonies; it speaks volumes about the kind of love that develops after years and years of marriage. Wedding anniversaries celebrate Real love. If your anniversary is coming up, I invite you to consider one of these unique ideas for celebrating your Real love through the years.
ONE YEAR: A PIECE OF CAKE
Remember cutting your wedding cake and feeding each other a bite? All eyes were on you but you probably were too worried about your groom smashing the cake in your mouth to notice. Fast forward a year.
It’s just the two of you. Pull the top tier of wedding cake out of the freezer, thaw and enjoy. The cake will taste delicious if it was properly wrapped and stored…and tasted delicious the first time around. Didn’t preserve the top tier? No worries. Ask your local bakery to make a small cake in the same flavor as your wedding cake.
TEN YEARS: LUCKY IN LOVE
Ok, ten years together really isn’t a matter of luck, but seeing as the modern anniversary gift is diamonds, I suggest a trip to Vegas! Plan your anniversary adventure to include slot machines and Blackjack tables, as well as fantastic shows and all-you-can-eat dinner buffets. Unwind with a round of golf or spa package. Who knows? You may end up at the Little White Wedding Chapel to renew your vows! Can’t get away? Host Casino Night in your home and invite a few close friends to celebrate your good fortune.
25 YEARS: LOVE ON THE SILVER SCREEN
Like silver, your love is precious yet durable. To celebrate 25 years of marriage, host a movie party reminiscent of glamorous old- Hollywood. Invite family and close friends, serve concession-style refreshments and watch your love story unfold on the silver screen. Th e movie can be as simple as creating a collage of special photos in PowerPoint and adding music. Share your history by giving copies of the movie to family members; this gift will be especially valuable to younger generations.
40 YEARS: PEACE, LOVE & HARMONY
Couples now celebrating 40 years of wedded bliss were married in the 1970s, an era defi ned by bellbottoms, wide lapels and Farrah Fawcett hairstyles. Host a celebration that recreates this moment! Invite guests to return to the place you married. Have fun reminiscing by incorporating “then” and “now” photos; display photos taken when you were married and take current photos at the party. Don’t forget the photo props…and accents of Ruby red!
50 YEARS: MEANT TO BEE
By the 50th anniversary, it’s fair to say your love was meant to “bee”! Surround yourself with generations of children by hosting a family vacation. Start the “buzz” early by inviting your children, grandchildren and great-great grandchildren to a destination celebration … perhaps at the family beach house or locale of your honeymoon.
Depending on your budget, you may choose to pay for all expenses or perhaps a portion, such as a lovely brunch. Whatever your decision, make sure to clearly communicate these arrangements with guests early so that expectations are set before arrival. As for the “bee” theme, use black and white decorations with touches of golden honey for a fabulous 50th anniversary celebration!
However you celebrate your anniversary, remember it’s a celebration of your Real love, the kind of love that happens when someone loves you a long, long time!
ASHLEIGH DORFMAN is a certified special events professional and owner of posh productions, LLC, an event management, marketing and consulting firm specializing in corporate, not-for-profit and personal celebrations. She lives in Reston, VA with her husband and three children.