Post # 1
Ladies- every year since 2014 ( we were married 2013) my husband and I throw a lovely backyard catered BBQ event the same weekend as our wedding date. We always invite all of our original wedding guests as a sort of thank you and way to keep in contact as life seems to slip by so quickly. Its been a wonderful way to stay in touch, reignite our friendships and make sure we see each other at least once a year. I call it my “Annual Backyard Bash”- and very few people realize its the celebration weekend of my wedding, oddly. I mentioned to my Brother-In-Law that we do it each year as a way to thank and celebrate our incredible friends, who without, my husband and I wouldnt even be together— and he was shocked, saying he had no idea and no one else probably does either… and that we should tell people that.. WTH? How do you tell people that? dont they know that from the invitation? Hey- we love you and want to see you, feed and water you? Idk.
Anyway, not that it matters, but to put it into $$ perspective we spend no less than 3k every year, I mention this only because I want it to be clear this isnt a gift seeking venture… let me explain; this year I was thinking of calling it a “5th Anniversary” party- and taking my BILs advice and literally standing up and thanking our friends, (Hubs and I were both late bloomers (38 & 41), gun shy and did NOT toast at all at our wedding and my Brother-In-Law is also very shy and said very little of value during his toast) but I realize its only 5 years… Im not looking for gifts, in fact would like to state such on invite (ie discreetly at the bottom stating : “the gift of your presence is all we ask”). is it silly? It would be the same party only labeled anniversary… thoughts????? Thanks In Advance.
Post # 2
sarahb1371 : just tell them they’re invited to your annual cookout. I think it’d be weird if you follow your BIL’s advice and tell people it’s for your 5th wedding anniversary. I also don’t see why anyone would think gifts were required for such a laid-back event.
If anythjng, just send it out on super casual stationery OR via text or email. I vouch for using electronic communication, because that makes it even more informal. Again, stating you don’t want gifts for a bbq would be weird, as no one should assume gifts are necessary for a bbq. If they do, I need those types of friends lol
on another note though, it’s so cool of you guys to host all your wedding guests each year for a bbq. It sounds like loads of fun!
Post # 3
I wouldn’t call it an anniversary party, because it makes it all about you (I know that’s not your intention). Just keep throwing your backyard bash. If you want to, you and your hubby can absolutely stand up and make a toast, including mentioning your anniversary. I just wouldn’t make a big point of that on the invitation.
Post # 4
Just keep your regular event. If you want you can start calling it the 4th annual backyard bash.
Post # 5
I would keep the invitations the same. If people have not made the connection to your wedding date themselves, after 4 years, it might look like you were reminding them, no matter how you phrase it.
I do think however it is fine for you to mention your anniversary at the party in a short thank-you to your guests for coming. Doing it then, not in the invitation, avoids it looking like you are, in fact, asking for gifts.
“The gift of your presence is all we ask” should never be added to invitations. It gives the impression that, without your permission, your guests should have been thinking about buying a gift.
Post # 6
Great feedback ladies- thank you so much!
So – Im secure in the fact that I am sending paper invites as I do every year- and the party is in fact called the Annual backyard bash!!! LOL- so thank you for the excellent suggestions! 😉
The suggestion to not mention gifts is a good one, agreed, its a slippery tacky slope- but I live on Long Island, its a little different here than the rest of the country, so Im still not sure. Im half way there…. thsnks girls.
Post # 7
Self celebratory parties aren’t endorsed by etiquette, and certainly not yearly anniversary celebrations in your own honor. In fact, traditionally, more than three milestone events involving the same guest list in an entire lifetime is considered distasteful! LOL.
As mentioned, the way to get around that is to make no mention at all about your anniversary on the invitations and then perhaps have a brief surprise toast in the moment. Personally, I wouldn’t even do that.
There should be no mention of gifts no matter where you live. Just because a lot of people do the wrong thing doesn’t mean you have to. If you go on calling it a yearly barbecue, no one can think of it as a gift grab. That’s really the best way to make it about your guests.
Post # 8
I agree with not mentioning the anniversary on the invites. If I received an invite that mentioned anniversary party, I’d be wondering if I have to bring a gift and would feel guilty coming with nothing. If it was an invite to the normal yearly BBQ then I’d just bring some type of food or drink like I normally would. I think a speech thanking everyone and bringing up the anniversary would be ok though.