Planning a 50th Anniversary Party

A husband and wife who make it to their 50th wedding anniversary deserve the celebration of a lifetime. Together they have experienced life, survived through the good times as well as the bad, and watched their family grow. In today's world, there are not very many couples who make it 10 years, let alone half a century.

Over the course of 50 years the happy couple has touched the lives of so many including their family, friends, neighbors, social groups, co-workers, and others through out the community. It will not be difficult to create a guest list for their 50th anniversary celebration, the choice you will have to make is what type of a party you would like have for them. You can choose to invite all who have shared in their lives or go with a smaller more intimate affair inviting only the family and the closest of friends. You can also choose to host the party at your house, a restaurant, or a banquet facility. The possibilities are endless, but we have put together a list of tips and ideas to help guide you through the process.

Prior To the Party

Choose the date, time of day, and location of the party. Consider the format you want to use, this could include a brunch, lunch, formal dinner, or open house styles. For larger get together's, you may want to consider making reservations at a local restaurant or party venue. If you are going to host the party at home consider renting tables, linens, china, and glassware than using your own.

Choose the invitations you are going to use and mail them out 4 to 6 weeks in advance. Be sure to include a method for the guests to RSVP. This can be a card to mail back, a phone number, or an email address.

Call the local newspaper and have an announcement put into the paper along with a picture of the couple. I can be fun to provide a picture from when they were first married along side a more recent picture. This will also help newer friends to recognize the couple.

Theme and Decorations

The traditional theme for a 50th wedding anniversary party is gold. This will give you the perfect opportunity to decorate with style. When it comes to the table settings you can create an elegant effect with white or ivory linens and accent with gold accessories.

Here are a few examples of gold accents you can use to create a very warm ambiance. Use gold wedding bells used as a centerpiece, create a romantic setting with Gold candles or candle holders, decorate with gold decorative soaps, use fine china and crystal with a gold trim, place cards engraved with gold writing, scatter gold confetti around the table, or place gold tassels on the table or tie on the back of the chairs

Another good decoration is to use their life itself by displaying pictures around the room. You can start near the entrance of the room with pictures from the early days and create a timeline that guests can enjoy as they make their way around. You can create message cards for each picture to explain to everyone the approximate date of the picture, where it was taken, and what was going on.

The Menu

Select a dish that is special to the happy couple. A few popular ideas are to serve the same meal that was served on their wedding day, choose an item they shared on their first date, or something that has become special to them in recent years.

As for the desert, if you can find a picture of their wedding cake it is always fun to recreate the same cake but this time with gold accents. Help them to re-create that moment from 50 years ago when the newlyweds faces were getting covered with icing!


To set the mood, play music they have listened to through out their lives. It can be a lot of fun to do this by decade and let the music throughout the night progress through their 50 years of marriage. Have the happy couple start of the night by dancing to the song that helped them to fall in love so many years ago, and end the night with a new song for the next 50 years.

Another fun thing to do is to have the guests share their favorite memory of the guests of honor. You can have each person stand up one at a time and share their story, or another idea you can use is to send a request with the 50th wedding anniversary invitations asking each person write down their memory ahead of time and put them all into an album of memories you can present to the couple during the anniversary party. If you choose to present them with an album you as the host could take the time to read a few and share those memories with all. A video camera at the party is another great way to capture all of the guests wishing the couple their best wishes!

Keep It Fun

Remember this is a celebration of 50 years of marriage so make sure that the event is focused on allowing the happy couple to spend time with their friends and family. Don't try to have too many activities going on or go so overboard that you lose sight on the main objective. Keep it simple and wish the not so newly-weds the best wishes for the next 50 years!

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