An anniversary party celebrates milestones in your marriage, but it doesn't have to be held at a busy restaurant or an impersonal banquet hall. An at-home anniversary party is intimate, family-friendly and creative. Instead of limiting yourself to a menu assembled by a caterer or cook, delve into your culture, history and life as a family to inspire a menu and memories that you'll treasure for years to come.
Luck, Love and Food
You've made it to your anniversary, so celebrate with foods that are said to bring luck to married couples for many more years of bliss. Italians serve almonds coated in sugar at weddings to celebrate the bittersweet nature of life. These sweet treats can be translated into a cake decorated with marzipan, or sweet almond paste, or in kid-friendly finger sandwiches of almond butter and jam. Fish are thought to bring abundance to newly married Chinese couples and are easily incorporated into many anniversary menus. Serve a Chinese-themed meal with steamed rice, homemade versions of restaurant favorites like sweet and sour pork and Peking duck, as well as a baked whole fish like salmon or snapper. For a more modest meal, fill sandwiches with wasabi-spiced tuna.
A Date to Remember
An intimate bistro, casual barbecue, friendly coffee shop -- wherever you and your partner had your first date -- can inspire an anniversary dinner menu. If it was a romantic date at an Italian café, serve a menu of pasta, red wine-braised beef, fresh salad, garlic bread and tiramisu for dessert. A casual coffee shop encounter frames the perfect menu for a low-key get together with tea, coffee, scones, fruit salad and sandwiches, like chicken salad or turkey and Swiss cheese. If you remember what you ordered for dinner, attempt to recreate it at home, and if you can still fit in the outfit you wore for your first date, slip it on for a blast from the past.
Picnic in the Park
A picnic dinner may sound like a romantic date, but it can also be a family-friendly way to celebrate your anniversary. Pack a basket and head to your favorite lake, park or beach for al fresco family fun. Treats like oven-fried chicken, peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, potato salad and chocolate-chip cookies are a hit with kids, while adults might enjoy additional treats like lemon-orzo pasta salad and fresh strawberries with champagne. Invite other families to bring a basket of their own and join your celebration, and bring a sheet cake to share. If your anniversary falls in winter or an unexpected shower rains out your plans, push the furniture back in the living room and spread the blankets on the floor for an indoor picnic.
United We Eat
Anniversary parties are the perfect time to celebrate the things that unite you as a couple and distinguish you as individuals. Serve a menu that includes both of your favorite dishes, dishes that reflect your heritage and a favorite that you share as a family. If you constantly crave sushi and your spouse could eat enchiladas for the rest of his life, so be it. Let California rolls and refried beans share the table, just for one night. It may not be the most thematically unified menu, but it celebrates who you and your spouse are as people, as well as the family that you have created. Invite guests to bring their favorite appetizers, salads and dressings, and desserts as well to create a homey, potluck atmosphere.