As of August 17, 2015, my parents have been married for 40 years. It’s a huge achievement and I’m incredibly proud to be a product of such a successful marriage. My husband and I decided to throw them a party to properly congratulate them. If this isn’t cause for celebration, what is?Though planning started last winter, my parents didn’t find out about the party until they received their invitation. I wanted there to be some element of surprise, but I still wanted them to have time to look forward to celebrating (and I wanted my mom to have time to buy an outfit…and get a hair cut…and get her nails done). To further the surprise, when guests sent me their RSVP, I informed them that it would be up to them whether they wanted to reveal to my parents that they were coming. Happily, many people opted to keep their arrival a surprise! It was such a treat to see my parents’ faces when surprise guests walked into the room. The photos towards the end of this blog show lots of the guests’ arrivals. To many people, I’m sure they just look like a bunch of pictures of strangers hugging, but to me, they are the faces of 40+ years of the folks who have loved and supported my parents throughout their marriage.
I decided to make the party décor representative of my parents’ two favorite vacations spots: the beaches of South Carolina and the mountains of Jackson Hole. Golden buffalo, moose, and elk were paired with starfish, sand, and seashells. Delicious sugar cookies brought the theme to life with mountain and sand dollar cookies and the guest favors included a treat from each location: bear claws from River Street Sweets in Charleston and huckleberry cordials from Jackson Hole. My mom’s favorite color (red) decided the color palette.
It’s hard to know what to say about a party that is so personal to me. The night was exceedingly special. I am so thankful for everyone who attended, particularly for those who traveled across the country to help us celebrate. I will leave you with an excerpt from the toast I gave that night…
“The world has changed in so many ways since 1975, yet people still choose to get married, myself included. And for me at least, it’s because I see people like you two being successful at it. I am so very proud to be your daughter: a reflection of your love for each other, the perfect combination of both of your insanities — and as Kyle and I approach our first wedding anniversary next week, I look to you for inspiration as I always have.