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ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATIONS

The wedding season is officially here. Are you thinking about love songs and wedding bells? Summer is typically full of marriage ceremonies and anniversary celebrations. It’s a great time of the year to celebrate the joy of love and marriage with your group of senior adults. Share some remembrances of the courtship, engagement, wedding, and marriage of some special couples. Ask: How did you meet your spouse? How long was your courtship? What year did you get married? When is your anniversary? How did you celebrate your wedding anniversaries over the years? What shaped your view of love and marriage? Enjoy Guy Lombardo’s recording of the “Anniversary Song” as your group reflects on milestone anniversaries, such as the 25th, 50th, or even 60th.

Here are more activities to use with your group throughout the month.

  • Name some terms of endearment used by couples who are dating. Examples: sweetheart, lovey, honey, sweetie, sugar, doll.
  • Describe an old-fashioned marriage proposal. Ask: How did your spouse ask for your hand in marriage?
  • Sing some favorite love songs, e.g., “I Love You Truly,” “Love and Marriage,” “I’m in the Mood for Love,” “Let Me Call You Sweetheart,” “You Made Me Love You.”
  • Share wedding day reminiscences. If available, display wedding mementos from group members, e.g., invitation, cake topper, toast glass, wedding album. Ask if anyone in the group had a special wedding dance at the reception.
  • Display a “Just Married” sign. Reminisce about the first year of married life. Ask: What advice would you give to newlyweds?
  • Pass around photographs of vintage wedding chests. Ask if anyone received an heirloom gift that has been passed to another generation. Share some of these gifts with your group, e.g., a traditional double wedding ring quilt or hand- embroidered linens. Ask the ladies if they wore a wedding gown made by their mother or a local seamstress. Did anyone wear Grandmother’s wedding dress?
  • Reminisce about 1940s wartime weddings. Ask if anyone married while the groom was on leave from the military.
  • Enjoy watching the 1954 musical film Seven Brides for Seven Brothers.
  • Look at wedding gown ads from bridal magazines. Compare bridal wear from different decades. Listen to traditional wedding songs: Bridal Chorus from the opera Lohengrin (“Here Comes the Bride”), “O Perfect Love,” “Because,” “Wedding March” (Mendelssohn).
  • June is National Rose Month. Display a bouquet of red roses as a symbol of love. Enjoy the scent of some fresh rose petals. Serve some wedding cake (ask for old wedding cake recipes) decorated with roses.
  • Define love. Talk about the beauty of mature love. Ask: How does love change after many years together?
  • Compose a “Recipe for a Happy Marriage,” e.g., a touch of humor, one cup of trust, a dash of common sense.
  • Use Emily Post’s traditional gift suggestions for the first, fifth, tenth, fifteenth, twentieth, twenty-fifth, and fiftieth anniversaries to talk about gift giving. Example: First anniversary – paper. Ask your group to name paper gifts to give to a special couple, e.g., tickets, books, artwork.
  • Encourage participants to reflect on their wedding day vows. Ask: Did you ever celebrate a milestone anniversary by renewing your wedding vows? Use the following verses from Robert Browning to compose some wedding vows: “Grow old along with me! The best is yet to be. . . .”
  • Write a wedding anniversary toast for a special couple.

 

COUPLES TRIVIA QUIZ

Many couples enjoy a fairy tale romance and wedding. Encourage special love stories among group members. Ask participants if there was a married couple that they admired through the years of marriage. Did anyone in the group ever mentor a young couple?

Enjoy the following couples trivia quiz with your group. Give the name of one member of each couple and ask participants to guess the other member.

  1. Franklin Roosevelt – Eleanor Roosevelt
  2. Queen Elizabeth – Prince Philip
  3. Jack Benny – Mary Livingstone
  4. Bill Cosby – Camille Cosby
  5. Lucille Ball – Desi Arnaz
  6. Paul Newman – Joanne Woodward
  7. John Kennedy – Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy
  8. Billy Graham – Ruth Graham
  9. Bob Hope – Dolores Hope
  10. Prince Rainier – Grace Kelly
  11. Jimmy Carter – Rosalynn Carter
  12. Roy Rogers – Dale Evans
  13. George Burns – Gracie Allen
  14. Walter Cronkite – Betsy Cronkite
  15. Harry Truman – Bess Truman

THOUGHT FOR THE MONTH

“It is not the magnitude of our actions but the amount of love that is put into them that matters.” ~ Mother Teresa

“ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATIONS” written by Sue Hansen. © 2007 ElderSong Publications, Inc. All rights reserved.

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