Every anniversary deserves recognition, but an anniversary guest scrapbook can add an extra touch to the big milestones like the silver, gold and diamond celebrations.
Photos and Memorabilia
Much of the fun of preparing an anniversary guest scrapbook comes from gathering the photos and memorabilia to include. The longer the couple has been married, the more possibilities you'll have. Look for pictures from the wedding as well as from different years during the marriage. Include photos with their children and grandchildren, from holidays or vacations. Photos that include the various homes the couple has lived in or cars they owned will help illustrate the passage of time.
Long-married couples may have an abundance of photos, but their memorabilia is probably long gone, tattered, or has been added to a wedding scrapbook many years ago. If it's missing, your options may be limited, but for items that are fragile or glued in place, a scanner or color copier can come to the rescue. Try to find wedding or engagement announcements from the local newspaper, a copy of the marriage license, or wedding invitations.
Journaling and Storytelling
One of the most appealing parts of an anniversary scrapbook is the stories that can be told. Ask the couple to tell stories of the courtship, their wedding, and their memories of their life together. One fun approach is also to speak to each of them separately and see what different versions they remember.
Some ideas to get started:
- How did you meet?
- What was your first date?
- When was your first kiss?
- How did he propose?
- How did you tell your family, and what did they think of your fiance?
- What do you remember most about your wedding day? Were there wedding disasters?
- What was life like as newlyweds? (Ask about mother-in-law stories, learning to cook, setting up house, etc.)
An anniversary scrapbook is a chance not just to share what the couple remembers, but to collect memories from friends and family as well. Contact the invited guests to ask them to participate.
Try to get copies of pictures of the couple with family and friends, asking if there's a story that goes with the picture. Find out how they met, what drew them together as friends, and things that they have done together over the years. Ask the invited guests to write a short note to be included in the book. If you're trying to keep the book visually coordinated, send matching paper to the guests for their notes.
Having everyone sign a guestbook is a tradition at gatherings, but instead of buying a ready-made guestbook, consider making guestbook pages that can be added to the scrapbook afterwards. Decorate several pages of either lined or plain cardstock to match the colors and theme of the book. Have guests sign with an acid-free pen.
Finishing the Anniversary Guest Scrapbook
Most of the book should be put together prior to the party so that it can be shared and enjoyed, but remember that there will be things to add afterwards. There will be pictures and souvenirs from the party itself, cards from well-wishers and the usual lists of flowers and gifts. You'll also want to the honored couple to have an opportunity to record their own thoughts and memories after the big day is over. You may choose to leave several pages at the end of the book, but also consider leaving spaces throughout the book for extra pictures or journaling.