Friday, June 19, 2020

Preparing for My Parents' 50th Wedding Anniversary

I am very lucky to have parents that will be celebrating their 50th Wedding Anniversary at the end of 2020. They don't like the limelight, so I won't picture them, but here's a logo one of my brothers designed for them.

One of the things we've been doing to prepare for this momentous occasion is ask them a question every week via email. They respond, and we'll put a book together about it so all the kids, grandkids, and future descendants can learn more about the people who are partly responsible for their existence.

I got this idea when an ad for Storyworth popped up in my Facebook feed before Christmas. The service sends a question to the person you choose and compiles their answers into a book. I bought it for my mother-in-law, as I'd like our kids to know more about their family history on that side.

For my parents, I wanted to personalize the questions more (although you can do that with Storyworth). Okay, the real reason is I didn't want to pay the fee and I wanted more creative control. But that also meant I had to figure out the questions on my own. I did some Internet searches and didn't find lists that I particularly liked, although did find some questions that worked. I came up with some on my own. And I asked my brothers all to contribute.

We've finished 25 weeks of questions, so I thought I would list them in case that helps anyone else find out more about their history. And one of my brothers recommends answering these questions now, not waiting until after 50 years of marriage, as it might be hard to remember the answers to some of them!

25 Questions to Ask Married Couples as They Celebrate Anniversaries

  1. What is your first memory of your spouse?
  2.  Describe your most memorable pre-wedding date.
  3. When you decided to get married, whose parents did you tell first? How did they react? What were your impressions of your spouse's parents?  
  4. Describe how you planned your wedding. How did you pick your wedding date, who would be in the wedding, venue, first song, food, etc. 
  5. Were there any lighthearted scandalous moments at your wedding? For example, did an elderly guest suggest the bridesmaids' dresses were too short, did someone had a wardrobe malfunction, or did a guest drink too much and made a scene? 
  6. During your first year as a married couple, what surprised you or was not what you were expecting? 
  7. What were your most memorable Valentine’s Days? 
  8. What did you do for your honeymoon? 
  9. How did your time in [your first town you lived in] shape your relationship? Did you form habits that stayed with you when you moved?
  10. What were your first impressions of [the town you moved to and lived most of your life in]?
  11. What are your favorite holiday traditions? Did you develop any new ones as a couple? 
  12. How did having children change your relationship as a married couple? 
  13. What do you remember from your [big overseas vacation]?  
  14. What games have you enjoyed playing together the most during your wedded years? 
  15. What advice do you have for your grandkids when they get old enough to contemplate marriage?
  16. What areas have you learned that you can't agree on and what issues have you learned to agree to disagree on to keep the peace?  
  17. How did you pick your parenting style? 
  18. Tell about some of the funniest, unexpected events that happened since you got married. 
  19. If you hadn’t settled in [town], where would be your ideal place to live?
  20. What is something on your bucket list?  
  21. How did retirement affect your relationship?  
  22. Are there any hobbies, trips, or activities that you wished you would have taken up during the formative years of building the family? Are there any that you are glad that you did take up?  
  23. What are you hoping or expecting for the next few years?  
  24. What is your favorite Bible verse and why?  
  25. What do you know now about marriage that you didn’t know when you got married?

      What additional questions do you suggest?

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