How to Plan a Surprise Anniversary

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Surprise anniversary plans can be major events where scores of extended family and friends come together to toast the happy couple or more intimate events that are just for the couple. Planning a surprise shows your partner or the couple celebrating how much they are cherished and how happy you are to have them in your life. Planning a surprise anniversary does not have to be complicated if you follow a few simple steps. 

Time and place

Book your anniversary surprise to be as close to your actual anniversary if the actual date itself is not practical. Give yourself as much time as possible to plan. If you are involving others in your surprise, give them several weeks notice, so they can book leave from work and organise travel and accommodation if they are not local. 

Organising a surprise anniversary for parents is more of a challenge. Consider asking one to be involved, leaving it a surprise for the other. This means that you can be sure the surprise is what they would both like, for example, whether it is a daytime or evening event as well as the people they want to be there.

Choose your theme

Anniversary themes also work well when considering the gift you want for the occasion. Anniversary gifts for friends should show how much you value their friendship, so a gift they can keep for a lifetime is symbolic in its own right. This could be a natural rose dipped in silver to mark a 25th anniversary or something you have created yourself.

If your planned surprise is solely for your spouse, choose something they love, making it more about them than you. This could be tickets to see their favourite team or a play at the local theatre.  If you have to travel away from home overnight, tell them to keep the dates clear in their calendar and that you’ll planning something special for just the two of you. Let them know the dress code but keep the rest as a surprise.

If you are planning a party as the surprise, decide if you want a casual event like a rustic outdoors hog roast or a seated formal dinner. You can use the symbols for each anniversary as a template for your invitations, décor etc. from paper for your first anniversary, bronze for eight, lace for thirteen and the most well-known being the 25th silver anniversary and the 50th gold anniversary.

Food and drink

Whether your surprise to mark another year together is to go paintballing with friends or on a hike in the local nature reserve, have food and drinks ready for later. You can also arrange to meet people before and after the event, at drinks or a meal, so be sure to ask for RSVPs on the invitations you send out so that you can cater accurately. 

If you, or the couple celebrating their anniversary, were unable to have the wedding reception of their dreams, create it for them now. You can include reminiscences from their family and friends, which can be incorporated into a book that can be printed out and kept as a memento. Remember to order a special cake for the couple and to cater for those with special dietary requirements or allergies. Also include non-alcoholic beverages for drivers and those who choose not to drink. 

Book a photographer

Whilst most people have a camera on their phone, you may want to have someone take special photos of you on your anniversary, which you can cherish. Talk with a professional photographer in advance about the plans for the day and the photos you would like. 

It may be enough to ask one of your family to take responsibility for group photos and let everyone in the party share their photos on a private online site as a memento of your anniversary.

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