Other People's Anniversaries

Pouring champagne

As the years roll by and silver, ruby and gold milestones are reached, wedding anniversaries become public property - something to be celebrated by the extended family and wider circle of friends.

Often these larger parties are organised by the children of the couple - a tribute to the impressive longevity of their parents' marriage.

There is no formula for such occasions. The only inevitability is that the happy couple will be formally toasted and there may be some sort of speech, often by the eldest child. This speech should be short and celebratory - dwelling on the highlights and happiest moments of the parents' marriage (no mention of low points whatsoever!), and congratulating them on depth of their commitment to each other.

Under no circumstances should families coerce parents into these celebrations. While long-lived marriages are impressive achievements, they are - as they always have been - primarily the concern of the two people involved, and if they want to celebrate with a quiet dinner a deux, then that is their prerogative.

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