If you’ve been following along on my Instagram page this year, you know it’s been a pretty big year for our family. All of us celebrated big birthdays, we had an amazing trip to Europe and hubby (Mr. LBH) and I celebrated our 25th Anniversary in April. We really wanted a backyard celebration with family and friends and since the weather in April isn’t quite warm enough yet in Vancouver, we decided to delay until the summertime. We returned home from Europe in late June and hosted our party just 4 days later. Talk about a tight timeline! So how did we pull it off? Lots of pre-planning and organization. It was an absolutely perfect day in every way and I’m so excited to share and show you How to Plan the Perfect Backyard Anniversary Party!
25 years of marriage is something to celebrate!! Having our closest family and friends celebrate with us was reminiscent of how we felt about our intimate and elegant wedding day celebration. Thankfully no rain on this beautiful June day.
To help you plan your backyard anniversary celebration, which could be any celebration really: a small wedding, birthday, shower or other intimate gathering, I’m sharing all my tips to help you plan the perfect day too!
Set your budget:
When we started discussing our vision for our anniversary party, we knew that our wishes for our special day would ultimately have to match our budget as well. Thinking about things in terms of must-haves and maybes is a good place to start. Determine what’s most important to you and consider the things you can compromise on. Give yourself time to see how it all fits together.
Save the date:
Once you pick a date, I recommend sending out a little save the date to your guests. Especially if your event is during peak holiday time, your guests will be more likely to keep your date in mind and be able to attend.
Photographers book up well in advance so this is something to book as early as you can. Look for a photographer who’s aesthetic and editing style you like. Light and bright or dark and moody? Check out their previous work on IG and their website and meet with them beforehand if possible. Recommendations from family and friends are a good place to start. I recommend giving your photographer a shot list for the day so that you get everything you’re dreaming of captured. Our photographer, Kamilia Shin Photography, knew I had specifics as I’d be sharing on the blog, but we also wanted her to capture some candid shots of the party. She did an excellent job!
You can choose to do your own flowers or hire a florist depending on your budget. Either way, try and choose flowers that are in season to keep costs down. If you can, I highly recommend going with a florist, especially if it’s your big day. You wan’t to be relaxed and enjoy the party without arranging flowers at the last minute. Decide on a colour palette and style. I always gravitate towards white and green as it’s so classic and l adore the look of organic arrangements that aren’t too formal. If you’re local, I highly recommend Vivio Flowers for their arrangements and cut flowers.
We hired a family friend to pour refreshments for us and it was a nice touch since we didn’t do a full bar service. We enjoyed a lovely Sparkling Rosé by Steller’s Jay for toasting. Located in Summerland, BC, they are known for their sparkling wines crafted with a traditional French method. Elegant, delicious and refreshing!
You can prepare your own food, do pickup/delivery or hire a caterer. Again, if the party is for yourself, I highly recommend having it catered. We chose The Lazy Gourmet and it was so nice to have everything delivered and then picked up the next day. It really meant we could focus on our party and guests and not have to fuss with that aspect of it. We host friends and family regularly and love it, but for this celebration, we wanted to feel like we were enjoying with our guests, not hosting them. You’ll need to think about tableware and glassware and larger items like tables, tents and additional seating if necessary. As our event was on the smaller size, we opted for self-serve grazing boards but you could consider a sit down meal and hot canapés as well. As you can see, it was all presented beautifully and our guests loved it!
We offered a selection of wine from one of our favourite wineries in the Okanagan, Covert Farms Family Estate Winery. We love that they are a fourth generation farm and winery and enjoy visiting for their wine, beautiful property and delicious organic produce. It’s a must-stop if you are in the Oliver area.
We served beer from a local craft brewery, Mariner Brewing. We love supporting local and enjoy visiting for date night beers and share plates.
Tips for how to plan the perfect backyard anniversary party wouldn’t be complete without a special dessert, now would they!?! I wanted something simple and elegant and this naked cake from Cassandra Cake Co. was exactly that. Vanilla cake and buttercream icing with lemon filling: so light, summery and delicious! Anniversary party tip: display your cake along with your wedding album and some flowers so your guests can look back on your day. You can also serve some additional desserts with your cake if desired.
We didn’t do any formal decorations as we wanted our backyard to be a natural backdrop for our party. You could certainly do some balloons and if your party is going into the later evening, I would really recommend some string lighting and lanterns for ambiance. Since our pool is a focal point in our backyard, these pool floats from Bello Sole made the perfect accent decor. Aesthetic and practical, we’ve been enjoying them all summer!
By planning ahead we were able to make this amazing day happen and have everything come together just a few days after coming home from our Europe trip. What better homecoming than being surrounded by our family and friends to celebrate this special milestone. We’re blessed to have each other, our two beautiful children and the most wonderful family and friends. What a wonderful day it was! If you’re planning an upcoming celebration, I hope you find my tips for how to plan the perfect backyard anniversary party helpful and thanks for stopping by today.
I also wanted to say a huge thank you to the following brands who helped make our party happen: