Marking your first year of marriage? Now that calls for a truly memorable celebration! And if your anniversary falls right around Valentine’s Day, all-out romantic would seem the way to go. But why not step out of the traditional hearts-and-flowers concept, and put a new, fun spin on the occasion? Think fusion!
For couples with different cultural backgrounds, celebrate the uniqueness you each bring to your marriage with an “East Meets West” twist to your Valentine-time anniversary. Start by setting a fun mood with a vibrant color palette. Then take the distinct features of each culture and apply them to the party décor, food and drinks, and other party elements. But most important, infuse elements that juxtapose your cultures in a creative way for that element of surprise.
Start the Party with these Stylish and Festive Ideas:
1. The Party Décor – Select basic elements to establish the East-meets-West theme the moment your guests arrive. Paper lanterns, for instance, give an instant East Asian flavor to the scene. But cast them in non-traditional pink amidst a red, aqua, and fuchsia color scheme—with some hanging and some positioned playfully on the floor—and you immediately give notice that this party will be different!
2. The Buffet Presentation – When serving up food and drinks, continue the play on two cultures. Set out distinctly Asian serving pieces such as bamboo trays, Oriental vases and stands, even delicate Chinese tea cups and saucers—side by side with decidedly Western goblets and wine flutes. Then use these to present a delightful mix-and-match of food and drink favorites from both East and West.
3. The Food – In this department, consider your respective culture’s favorite comfort foods. For Asian fare, serve lettuce wraps, potstickers, an array of dimsum dishes like sweet BBQ pork buns and dumplings, Asian slaw, and spring rolls with hoisin sauce dip. Noodles are also another great option—as who doesn’t love a good bowl of noodles? As for the Western selections, serve up old-time staples like grilled hamburgers, barbecued ribs, egg salad, and coleslaw. Or you can opt for a pan-Asian menu that offers fusion dishes of Asian and Western flavors.
4. The Drinks – Put a festive spin on the drinks as well. Set up a beverage table displaying champagne flutes filled with a special drink, such as a Kahlua® milk cocktail or Disaronno® with ice and milk. And as a unique decorative garnish, perch a fortune cookie on the rim of each glass! You can also concoct East-meets-West drinks such as tea-based martinis and (for something non-alcoholic) iced tea made with fresh oolong tea leaves served in stylish glass decanters.
5. The Guest Favors – Want to give something that represents both cultures? Prepare fortune cookies with a special anniversary message made just for you (hint: many sites on the web create customized messages). Then pop them into Western-style favor packaging in a color such as aqua. Oh, and lest we forget that it’s also Valentine’s, be sure that the favor box is heart-shaped! >> View this item.
Need some food and drink recipes for your two-culture party? Check out these sites: