wedding anniversary celebration ideas for parents

Ok guys so this time it’s your parents turn for their wedding anniversary. Here’s our tips if you are looking for some anniversary ideas for parents to help you celebrate when you are a bit stuck for inspiration.

1 – Throw your parents a party

Let’s start with the obvious one – throw them a party.

Now depending upon your own age and ability to do this it may not be an option. Your parents also may not be the partying type.

But if they are then you should consider making it a special one. There are so many internet resources on how to throw a successful party that we don’t want to go over them again here because we’d rather throw some alternative ideas aside from the decor and food which if you ask us is just a given.

So in the first instance here’s a few good resources for you to check out if you want to get inspiration on wedding anniversary party ideas:

Ok so you have your food ideas and your decor in mind now let’s look at some ways that you can create a memorable and fantastic event which your parents will love:

Create your parents a DVD of the event with a bit of twist

It’s not too difficult to take a video film with a camera and then burn it onto DVD but you want to do a bit better than that surely, push the boat out a bit with your videoing skills. There are plenty of phone apps and computer editors that allow you to do this for free but if you need a bit of hand here’s a guide from Wikihow (tip – email yourself the video’s or connect to your computer and copy them across).

  • Attach a Go Pro to a bottle

You can pass a bottle of Champagne or other liqueur of choice for a unique way of getting a shot of everyone at the party.

  • Record messages of well wishes from the guests

The video above shows well wishes for a wedding but the principle is the same – ask your friends and family / party goers to record a message for your parents wishing them well for their anniversary.

  • Karaoke / Record a song

This is somewhat a personal idea that came direct from knowing my own parents. pretty much all of my family are musicians and what I’d like to put as a title for this idea is write and record a song together for the occasion but I know that not everyone can play an instrument. BUT there are plenty of Karaoke tracks available online, you can even find them on YouTube.

So as a suggestion – record the event. Dig out a fave song of your parents or one that the whole crowd of party goers can belt out together. If you can record it then all the better, your phone is probably a good device for recording it on (video or audio) but there are plenty of simple recording device built for the occasion on places such Amazon like this one – see what the reviewers on here are saying for example.

The idea is to create a DVD that when edited together (and it would be a great idea to take recordings from various people at the party) to edit them together and give your parents a gift of the even including all of the well wishes and funny moments including the GoPro on the bottle idea.

Play some party games

Now depending on how old and what your parents are like you might want to refine the type of game you play with them. If they are young at heart and hip as can be then play some drinking games or if they prefer something a bit more sophisticated you can play more formal party games with them.

Here’s a few examples:

A general knowledge quiz

A bespoke quiz about the couple themselves! – e.g. where did the happy couple first meet? – split up into teams and see who knows who the best.

How well do you know their bum – involves a blind fold and a bit of feeling around in the dark, how well do they know each other?

Team games – egg n spoon style, you can create games that involve putting on as many clothes as possible and having somebody else take them off as quickly as possible, do this in teams to compete.

Board games – the old family faves are the best such as Monoply or Trivial Pursuits but there are some really good weird ones too on Amazon:


Bingo – everyone loves a game of bingo! What prizes can you come up with? You could invent some crazy prices.

Duck / Swing apple – I’m in the UK and I’m not sure this is a thing in other countries but on Halloween we have a tradition where we hang apples from strong and tie our hands behind our back and try and eat the apple. You can also do this with the apples in a water bowl too. Traditionally we put coins in the apples to try and win them as a prize but you can come up with your own variation on this.

Sit down meal or buffet

Depending upon the size of the party you could plan a buffet or a sit down meal. As we said above there’s no need to go through decor and recipe ideas on here as there’s so much on the internet to be found but basically it would be a good if you can tie the party theme into their traditional wedding symbol for that year.

In case you are not aware each wedding anniversary has a traditional and more modern commercial equivalent symbol which represents it. We’ve said many times on here before that Eleanor and I prefer the traditional symbols as they are more romantic but they are just that – symbolic.

So if it is your parents Golden anniversary for example that doesn’t mean you have to drape them in Gold jewellery etc it just means that you have to represent something in gold so this could be the type of decor you go for – golden place mats and napkins etc.

Don’t want a party? Here’s some other suggestions for your parents anniversary

Anniversary celebration ideas for parents

2 – Give your parents a group family photo

You could arrange for a professional photographer to take a photo for you but it’s not totally necessary. Most phones these days take a really good picture and all you need to do is to get the image professional blown up and framed. Distribute a copy to everyone who wants one (you could make them pay if you want) but the idea is to give this as a gift to your parents. You can include message written on pieces of paper from everyone within the frame. This makes a great present.

You could include this as a part of your party if you like but it could also be done as a standalone gift in it’s own right.

3 – Give your parents a personalized gift

There are so many of these out there but it seems that some of the better ones can be found on Etsy and also on NotOntheHighStreet.

Amazon have also now started to offer personalized gifts in a bid to compete with Etsy – see here.

4 – Give your parents a trip away

If you have the budget then why not considering sending your parents away on a trip? This could a be a surprise for them or they could help you plan it in advance.

Some suggestions are:

  • Send them to their original honeymoon destination.
  • Have they ever wanted to visit a particular city or location?
  • Do they have a bucket list of places to visit?
  • Book them a surprise trip to a place you have visited and loved but they haven’t.
  • Book a spa break or couples hotel retreat.
  • Go away as a family, spend some quality time together.
  • Book a large house and invite family and friends to stay together for a few days.

5 – Record a personal message

If you want to show your parents that you care then why not record them a personal message. You can do this with your phone and just talk into the camera about how great a couple they are what they’ve meant to you over the years.

You can go as in depth with this as you want even including other people in the message, if you encourage other people to leave a message too then it can be compiled together as a single video to be enjoyed. You can burn this onto a DVD for them too if you wish and present it as a gift in that way.

6 – Wrap a gift using the symbol of their anniversary year

You can also wrap up a gift complete with a bow using something that represents the symbol of the year they are celebrating.

See our other posts for their year and what their traditional symbol / gift is represented by – remember you do not literally have to present them with a gift of the tradition i.e. platinum or silver but merely a representation of that symbol so to wrap a DVD in silver wrapping paper tied up with a silver bow is more than enough to keep in with traditions.

7 – Ask your parents what they want

This is somewhat overlooked but how about simply asking what your parents themselves would like for their wedding anniversary? If they don’t know they you can make suggestions from some of the ideas on here. They may just want something simple but if you make suggestions to them instead then you may just inspire them enough to go from “meh” to “yay”.

8 – Breakfast in bed or meal treats

Breakfast in bed is a bit of a tradition when it comes to helping other people celebrate an event but always one that is welcomed. Why not encourage your parents to have a lie in on their big day and make them breakfast in bed, this gives you an opportunity to present them with any gift you may have bought or made.

9 – Make them a gift

This post isn’t about how to make your own gifts we do have one planned though for the near future. Eleanor is a whizz with arts and crafts and has some great ideas lined up for you. But in the meantime as a suggestion why not make them something personal?

There’s a number of things that you can make yourself for a low cost and if you search the internet there a whole load of ideas for you to get involved with some of which we’ve already suggested within this post i.e. make a compilation DVD, a group photo complete with messages on paper that you can include within the picture frame. You can also hand make them a card, another idea is collage of photographs that show the happy couple of the years.

You can also make them a scrapbook detailing the years that they have spent together, this is a great way to reminisce over the times gone by.

10 – Buy a time capsule and fill it with memories

You can buy time capsules on Amazon fairly cheaply and we think this is a great idea. Basically collate together  a bunch of memories over the years and add to the capsule each year. You don’t have to dig it up you could keep it as a keep safe box somewhere – as some time capsules are designed for – but of course the tradition is to bury these things and then dig them up years later. What we’re suggesting is that you actually dig it up each year and fill it with memories from that year – this could be photographs, trinkets of memories from events and things that took place that year, newspaper cuttings etc. Whatever in years to come makes you look at something and recall that particular year.

Unfortunately when your parents eventually do pass away this will serve as a fantastic way to remember them too and honour their memory. It’s never too early to get going with this type of thing and if you have read other blog posts on here you will notice that we often do advocate collecting an annual memory and putting it together with something that you collected last year. This means that each year you are recording and building upon memories which is really good to re-visit and take a mental trip down that memory lane.

11 – Do something a bit different, such as…

What over the top or whacky things can you think of which would demonstrate how you feel toward your parents. Some of the things that we think are great but maybe a bit extreme depending upon your personality are

  • Mark the event by getting a tattoo – your parents may really love the fact that you did this for them
  • Book an adrenaline trip for your parents – would they jump out of a plan in tandem?
  • Re-create their wedding day – not impossible but tricky. The fact alone that you made the effort to in the very least tried to recreate a part of it (and one example could be that if you hold a party for your parents that you re-read the wedding speeches from the big day itself).
  • Buy them a pet – gotta be careful with this one as a pet is for life as they say but you know your parents well and if you think that the introduction of a new family member is something that they would love (some people just love dogs or cats for example) then this has the potential to be a heart warmer.

12 – Donate to a charity for them

Some parents would actually prefer any money that would potentially be spent on them to go to Charity. Ask them, see if they would like this. See if your parents have a favourite charity and make a donation on their behalf.

Are you planning to throw a party? Here’s our recommended list of MUST HAVE accessories.

To see more of our recommendations see our:

Recommended anniversary gifts for couples

wedding anniversary gifts for couples - surprise
Recommended anniversary gifts for couples (click image)

Recommended anniversary gifts for him

wedding anniversary gifts for him - surprise
Recommended anniversary gifts for him (click image)

Recommended anniversary gifts for her

wedding anniversary gifts for her - surprise
Recommended anniversary gifts for her (click image)

By the way did you know that this is the most sold gift on Amazon for ANY anniversary event? We were surprised! What do you think? Leave a comment below.


Whatever you decide to do for your parents on their anniversary if you’ve been looking for inspirational wedding anniversary ideas for parents then hopefully this list has given you some food for thought.

We’ve looked at the fact that you could hold them a party, give them a personal gift, do something off the wall or send them away on a trip or simply provide them with breakfast in bed. We’ve always touched on the fact that each wedding anniversary is denoted by a traditional symbol or gift and this is merely symbolic but in keeping with wedding anniversary traditions your parents may appreciate the effort you go to if you bear the tradition in mind when helping them celebrate.

We’d love to hear your thoughts and comments below.


Eleanor & Graham

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