Monday, December 19, 2011

The Anniversary Party

Today my parents celebrate 35 years of marriage! My sister and I really wanted to do something for their 35th anniversary, but our plans kept getting thwarted. Finally, running on pure determination and excellent teamwork, we threw together a surprise anniversary party in about a week. It wasn't as elaborate as it would have been if I'd had a month to plan, but I think it actually worked out better that way!

Debra came to Memphis on Friday night and helped me with last-minute preparations. Our parents didn't know she was in town. I had told them I'd be picking them up for a surprise around noon, but Debra was the one who pulled up in their driveway! She blindfolded them and took a meandering drive back to my house, where a bunch of their friends were waiting. They were VERY surprised!

Debra brought her wedding veil for my mom to wear at the party, and I made a felt-rose boutonniere for my dad. (One circle of felt and a glue gun. Couldn't be easier.)

We had a light soup and salad lunch. I made Ina Garten's Italian Wedding Soup (get it?), which was enjoyed by all - I'll definitely make it again. After lunch we played a round of the Not-So-Newlywed Game. :) Although both of my parents forgot some things about their marriage, they both correctly answered "What is the first thing your spouse does when he/she wakes up in the morning?" even though my mom never gets up before my dad leaves for work. That's oneness right there.

Of course, we had cake and champagne! I felt too overwhelmed to bake a cake from scratch, so Debra brought a delicious Publix bakery cake from Nashville. If you see the "Lemon Infusion" cake at Publix, I highly recommend it. (We almost had a Cake Wreck, though - the bakery worker had to be reminded how to spell "Anniversary.")


Since Kevin and Lance (my brother and brother-in-law) couldn't be there, we printed out photos of their heads so they could appear to be participating. LOL!

The decorations were my favorite part (and also the most time-consuming). I smuggled some old photo albums out of my parents' house, scanned an assortment of pictures, and reprinted them in black and white so they'd look uniform. Then we hung twine clotheslines around the living room and attached the pictures with clothespins. Everyone enjoyed looking at them! We also made a giant banner - actually, Debra did most of the work on that.

My dad's friend volunteered to take a group picture, then snapped away like a paparazzo even though no one was ready. Things got pretty crazy, but we ended up with a couple of good shots.



All in all, the party was a success and my parents had a great time! I'm very thankful for their strong relationship. If not for their great example, I'm honestly not sure if I could keep believing in marriage. I don't take it for granted.


  1. I'm so glad it all worked out in the end! The party sounds like it was perfect, and I love the pictures strung on twine. :D

  2. This is wonderful - both their longevity in marriage and the party thrown by you and your sister. :) Happy Anniversary to them!

  3. This is so sweet, Brenda. This looked like quite a nice event for having only one week to plans. Well done!

  4. Very interesting anniversary party! It seems like everyone has fun time over there. Even we want to host such a joyful indoor 50th anniversary bash for our parents. We will be booking the prettiest indoor San Francisco venues for that. I am sure that will find a good venue within our budget.