Occasions, such anniversaries, are meant to be special. How can you add an extra touch to make that particular celebration even more memorable? Here are two options: you can go to a posh restaurants and spend 2 weeks of groceries on one meal, or you can do it at home. Dining at home doesn’t seem very special, let alone romantic, especially since you do it practically every day. But, as I recently found out, there are ways to create a unique and lovely dinner. Let me break it down into the key features I used so that you can customize to your own liking and style.
Setting: You can do it outside with twinkle lights, table for two, and play waiters to your special friends. If the weather does not cooperate and you’d like to eat together, inside works out fine as well.
Surprise: Everyone loves surprises to some degree. My husband took our friends on some errands they needed to do while I set up.
Menus: Since you will be doing the cooking and already have the dishes planned, the purpose of menus in this case is to add some class. In an elegant font, I listed the courses for the evening as well as choices of dressing and beverages. After printing it on heavy paper, I glued to it a fancy piece of scrapbook paper. Lay a small flower arrangement on it and you’re good to go.
Flowers: Flowers always add beauty to any occasion. I originally thought using flowers from my own yard was kind of tacky. When my talented friend made an arrangement though, my view changed. It was beautiful! Take one nice leaf, arrange a few various flowers on it, then wrap the leaf around the bottom and tie a piece of ribbon or raffia around it. For the table, use a short vase and 1-3 big flowers so you can still see each other.
Boutonniere/Corsage: We are usually feeling kind of old as our anniversaries start to become double-digits. By giving the special couples a boutonniere and corsage (what they call wristlets now) they can feel like a dating couple again. Buy a wristlet in the wedding section of your local craft store and hot glue gun an arrangement on it. For the boutonniere you just stick a leaf with a flower and wrap it with green floral tape. It’s easier than it sounds, really.
Candles: Candles are an instant mood maker. Make sure you use either lightly scented or unscented candles so you do not overpower the food later. After the initial entrance and picture taking, you can blow out the candles so your family and friends do not receive burns in addition to their dinner.
Table: You must use a white tablecloth to make the occasion formal. If you don’t have one, I got a disposable one at Smart & Final for $4.99 that ‘drapes like cloth’. Pull out your good dishes, glasses and flatware. Do NOT use paper plates and plasticware.
Dessert: Make a simple cake, add some frosting, and write something on it. Your friends will appreciate this a lot more than a store-bought cake even if it looks amateur and might not taste that great.
Top it off with a small speech of appreciation and a modest gift. Remember, it’s ‘the thought that counts’. This can be altered if you want to celebrate your own anniversary.