Planning a 50th Wedding Anniversary Party
How to Celebrate the Occasion
A couple celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary certainly deserve to celebrate, as did my own parents recently. They have managed to survive 50 years of life's ups & downs together. Based on recent ONS statistics, these days not many people make it through 5 years of marriage, let alone 50 years.
During this time, the married couple build a legacy that cannot be measured in their material possessions, but moreso via what they have experienced together. And given all their family, friends, work colleagues and neighbours etc are added up, you won't have to look too long to build and create their party guest list. However, this will also give you a big party guest list so you can either invite as many of them to the celebration as you can afford. Or you can just keep the guest list to a small intimate number of guests that your parents would prefer attend. Whether you decide to host the party at home, in a restaurant, or decide to have a large catered event, some of the following tips can be used for this special occasion if you wish.
How to start
The traditional symbol for a 50th Wedding Anniversary is gold. Here are some ideas for how you can include gold within your party decorations and table settings.
The table settings could have ivory coloured linens. And then you can add any of the following golden features to make the room shine.
Golden paper doilies under the plates and cutlery.
Tie golden ropes with tassels around the backs of the chairs.
If you can use white china with gold trim.
Serve drinks in glassware that has gold colouring.
Tie napkins with golden ribbon.
Light the table with candles in gold coloured candlesticks. Or just colour them in gold.
Gather photos from throughout their marriage, and place them on display in golden frames or photo albums.
Write the table place cards in gold ink.
Other important details:
For the evening’s music, play songs from the decade in which they were married such as 1950s or 1960s. Or if their preference is a specific style of music, then choose songs according to their taste of music if it’s Swing then play Swing. After all, it’s their evening. Ensure you play a song during the party and let the happy couple have a spotlight dance together. Also, look for decorations and retro items from that era.
Before the party, ask guests to submit in writing their favourite memories of the couple. And with these create a scrapbook as a gift for them.
Do not forget to toast the guests of honour. Have some special words to say about them and encourage everyone to share their fondest memories about the couple.
Create and build a memorable menu for the event. This could be a menu they had on their first date. Or perhaps you can recreate the menu from their wedding day. Or perhaps their favourite meal they share together.
Create a cake topper from golden balls, gold leaves or anything suitable that is gold.
Consider any of the following as party favourites for the party guests:
A CD of the music that will be played during the party.
A chocolate bar wrapped in gold to commemorate the day.
A small bag of chocolates wrapped in gold foil tied with a gold ribbon.
Or a nicely decorated pouch filled again with chocolate wrapped in gold foil that has been tied with a gold tassel.
Or if affordable:
A small gold coloured picture frame with a photo of the anniversary couple.
A small bottle of champagne that has been personalized for the event.
Decorate each place setting with a small vase filled with fresh flowers – or nice artificial flowers. Preferably the vase will have gold accents. At the end of the party guests can take these home with them.
A current trend, as did my parents, is to give a gift to the couple's nominated charity (my parents chose their local air ambulance) instead of presents. As to be honest, my parents were more interested in who attended rather than the gifts they might receive. Give all the party guests a small card with a thank you note on it to say thank you for attending etc.
For those of you in a similar position, I have created a plan of action for you to learn from and use as you plan and host your own memorable 50th Wedding Anniversary Party.
The 3 things that stood out to me for a successful 50th Wedding Anniversary Party
Start planning the event as early as possible and revisit your plan ongoing to ensure you are ALWAYS on track. I suggest you start to discuss the event with the happy couple at least 9-12 months in advance and then get started on the main planning tasks no less than 6 months before the party to ensure you are able to reserve the party location and all the services you will need.
Talk to everyone, this includes the happy couple, the party helpers and the all-important guests. Everyone needs to know what they need to do and when they need to do it by. And of course where they need to be.
After you create your plan and let everyone know, you will start to get responses, feedback and suggestions to make some changes. Therefore, be receptive to new ideas and if some make real sense then include them in your party plan.
Other things to think about are: event size - big or small, guests - locals only and how many are out of town, location - at a home, restaurant, or club, the style - casual or sit down dinner or dancing.
Invitees & Invitations
Where and What Location ? Ensure you have a house or can rent a hall big enough to accommodate all the guests, make sure that there is plenty of parking available.
Guest Transportation? Car, Taxi or Minibus
What sort of Food & Drink? Have an anniversary cake made and have the couple cut the cake and share the cake.
Flowers & Balloons etc