Milestone celebrations are a great way to honor a spouse and the priceless memories created together.
While some anniversary celebrations could cost as much as a wedding, there are plenty of ways to help make these special events more affordable. With careful planning and budgeting, you can ensure that you, your guests, and your wallet are happy.
Set a Budget
Setting a budget from the beginning can be one of the most important steps as it will help you determine the scope and scale that you could afford. Start by setting a cap on how much you're willing to spend and create a high-level plan with a few high spending categories. These categories can include:
- Food and beverage
- Size of your guest list
Once you identify your high-level must-haves, you could begin to estimate the expenses for each and have a better projection of the total expense.
Determine How You'll Finance Your Party
In most cases, your guests will expect you to fund the party - so plan with your wallet in mind and borrow only what's necessary. If you need to borrow money to fund your event, you could consider:
- Taking out a home equity line of credit (HELOC)
- Taking out a personal loan
- Using credit cards
It's also important to note that while some vendors are flexible with different forms of payment, others may prefer cash. Additionally, tips for the staff and musicians/DJs are also traditionally given in cash, so plan ahead to have some cash available.
Choose a Venue
Once you've estimated the size of your guest list you can start to research a few venues that best fit your budget and group size. The type of venue generally depends on the formality of the event as well as the number of people you'll be inviting. It's better to choose a venue that specializes in the group size that you're looking for to help ensure that everything runs smoothly. For example, larger venues may also offer bundled services (such as food catering and staff). Some ideas for your anniversary location include:
- Your home or a relative/friend's home
- Local recreation room
- Club or lounge
- Private room at a restaurant
- Church hall
- Hotel ballroom
Create a Guest List and Send Invitations
Once you have a general idea of your target group size you could begin to create the guest list. Review your guest list multiple times to narrow down who you'd want to attend, as well as ensure that no one is missing from the list.
Once you've finalized your guest list you can start thinking about how you'll be sending your invitations. You may send out formal paper invitations through the mail, or you can opt for a more budget-friendly e-vite (which could be sent via email or text).
When creating your invitation, include the following information:
- Names of the couple
- The number of years the couple will be celebrating
- Date and time of the event
- Location and address
- Dress Code (if applicable)
- RSVP information
Once the heavy lifting is done, you can wait for the big day to arrive and enjoy your friends and family celebrating your time together.
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