A 50th anniversary is a very special event, so you will want to plan a memorable party. This is a guide about 50th wedding anniversary party ideas.
By Jody 1
My parents will be celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary. I'm an only child and my mom's large family is expecting a party. I'm looking for ideas that won't break the bank (since I have no one to share expenses with) and satisfy everyone. Please help!
By Jody from Midwest
June 21, 2010
For a family reunion we did this-one family provided the chicken, one the pasta, one a large meat tray, one buns, etc. Pass around a list and divided into categories, and ask everyone to choose what they want to bring. Or in the invitations put in it please bring a dessert of your choice in a few of them, salads in a few, etc. We had a great response to them all.
By Jen 1
We're having a fairly low-key 50th wedding anniversary Open House for my parents. About 40 people will be attending. I am looking for fun ideas as people mill around.
By Jen from Los Angeles
February 25, 2011
How about a party memory book? This could be done ahead of time or as the guest arrive. Have everyone send or bring photos of themselves with the guests of honor (or separate pictures of each couple). Along with the picture(s) have them write a heartwarming or amusing story about the couple and themselves.If you like, some of these could be read aloud by the donor(s).
My husband and I will celebrate 50 years of marriage next December 18, 2016, and we are considering renewing our vows. We are both retired and on a fixed income. Would it be possible in today's economy to do everything for $300? We'd like to keep it simple; we are both avid hunters and would like a camouflage theme.
I'd love to find a camouflage semi-formal maybe. And my husband could wear a camouflage vest and tie. Maybe with boots! I have 2 grown granddaughters. One is a culinary arts graduate and the other is a very creative and talented homemaker; both have agreed to help. They just need some ideas on food and decor on a "shoe string" budget! Any suggestions?
November 2, 2015
In 2002 I brought my sisters' revow in for 300.00. I was a one woman wedding planner. I made almost all the decorations, food and even sang. In looking back, here are some things you might like to try:
1. Get some camo scrap booking paper and draw some hearts on the back. Make them the shape that allows you to put them up and down for efficient use of the paper. Have someone cut them out for table scatter.
2. If you can find an arch to rent, you can cover it with camo colored leaves and put two rifles on the top, securing very well of course.
3. I did a guest book with lace and ribbon, but you could cover it with camo duct tape. They have it now, albeit in smaller rolls, at the dollar trees.
4. Here is a website where you can make all kinds of candy for the hunters in your family. When you load up the site, click on images. If you find something you like, just click on the image and the webpage will come up and you just click on "visit page".
5. For the best food choices, I would stick with things that hunters eat...venison, corned beef hash, some great potato dishes, etc. No self respecting hunter is going to serve finger sandwiches and tofu!!
I hope those get you started. PBP
I am planning a 50th anniversary party at a church, in the afternoon. We will be serving appetizers. Should we have punch, or tea, coffee, and lemonade.
By Bobbie from Belleville, IL
January 11, 2015
I would serve either punch or lemonade, tea and coffee. Also, I would have ice water on hand as well. If you have diabetics in attendance, they will want the tea, coffee or water. Kids and non diabetics will probably prefer the punch or lemonade.
We are celebrating our 50th wedding anniversary. We would like to give our 150 guests a gift. We need some ideas.
By Leo C.
July 21, 2014
For our 40th anniversary we purchased candle tapers and attached a card with ribbon, thanking them for how they had added light to our years. Since this was 15 years ago I can't remember exactly what we said but you can get an idea from this. If I mange to remember the phrases we used I will send it later. Since it was our ruby anniversary we chose that color. We later heard how many used them for their Christmas candles (our anniversary is the end of November). It was easy to have a basket full to hand out.
My cousin and I (the granddaughters) were chosen to help plan the party. It is going to be a surprise. We are 13 years old. What should we do?
By Laurel D.
July 18, 2013
Help plan or help with? You are both too young to decide much because you probably have not been to many of these parties. First you can find out the couple's favorite colors and food. Then you can see what they might need in the way of presents. All this must be done very secretively. Let the older people decide the part that requires budgeting.
We are having an anniversary party at a buffet. We will not be paying for the meals. We have the room so we can all be together. What is the best way to word this on the invitation?
By Yvonne Shaffer
My sister and I need to plan a 50th wedding anniversary party for our parents. Each of our 3 families live in different parts of the country, so much of the planning will have to be organized through the mail or phone. Does anyone have any innovative ideas for celebrating this milestone?
Several years ago, my cousins had a 50th Anniversary Party for my Aunt and Uncle. The kids sent a small square of material (quilting) to family and friends. They asked that you cross-stitch, draw, or paint within that area about the couple (such as a memorial date, memory of them, etc). They asked that they sent the squares back by a certain date. They then put the squares together for a quilt. My Aunt to this day has the quilt hanging on her wall in the family room. Its beautiful and very big. Hope this helps. (05/09/2004)
My husband's cousins just had one for their parents.
1. They held in the back yard.
2. They took old pictures enlarged put on clothes line around yard.
3. They took old movies put on video tape and played it all day.
4. Picked menu that the couple's generation would like and we all brought something. We, as a family, always do potlucks.(approx.. 75 members).
5. One cousin who makes cakes made wedding type cake.
6. One cousin who drives a limo brought them (they thought they were going out to dinner) This kept cost down for 2 sons. Hope this helps (05/09/2004)
Here's an idea I came across in a magazine: Buy a large scrapbook and insert photos, write memories, drawings, etc. of things you remember that include your parents, send it along to each family member with a note that they should pass it along (by mail or hand delivered) to the next family member. This way you have a personalized gift to give to your parents that they are sure to treasure, and if some folks can't make it to the celebration, they will be there in "spirit"
My two sisters and I had a reception for my parents 50th anniversary last summer. We all live in different locations and it was hard to pull together. It was NOT a surprise reception, so my parents knew about some aspects of the planning, etc. I was the major coordinator. It was held in my parents hometown, in their church fellowship hall. By checking with the church in advance, I found out what decorations were there that we could use, the kitchen facilities, how many tables and sizes, what was allowed with regard to decorations and what we were expected to do regarding clean-up, etc.
One of my sisters took on the job of creating announcement-type invitations and sending them out to the relatives and friends. Another sister worked on procuring some of the decorations, but I did the majority of the decorating and planning and the food preparation.
We did have a cake catered by a local relative and it was fantastic. We planned on 200, did not ask for RSVPs and we had nearly 150 people show up. This was on a Saturday afternoon. In their small town (approximately 7000 people) we even placed an open invitation in the local newspaper with the article about their anniversary and pictures from their wedding and a current picture.
We didn't have a meal, just turkey and roast beef finger sandwiches, baby carrots, celery, zucchini, green pepper, broccoli and cauliflower and dip, olives, cake, punch, mints, nuts and coffee. Having the local relative's help in advising how they do this kind of thing in that town was a real help. I live in a large city and wouldn't dream of publishing an open invitation in a newspaper. My cousin assured me that it was done often in that location and worked well. Indeed, SEVERAL people attended and celebrated with my parents that none of us children knew. Remember, your parents had friends before they had you, and they may not be able to remember them all for an invitation, if you are having an open-house type reception. Some of these were people who had gone to school with my parents that they had not seen in years. It was really a wonderful day.
The real hit of the reception were the two or three tables loaded with photo albums and accumulated mementoes of my parents' life (Daddy's archery trophy, Mother's apple-pie winning notice from the fair, etc.) People really enjoyed looking at the photo albums. One of my uncles had one of the first movie cameras over 50 years ago, and took pictures of my parents outdoor wedding reception. We had these movies put on videotape and were able to use the TV and VCR in the church to show this movie and some other early movies.
We also had sheets of paper on each table, asking people to "Write a Memory" of our parents. I admit that not very many people participated in this, but the ones that did, well... they're fantastic. We had hole-punched these papers in advance and had a binder for my parents to keep them in, along with the guest book that everyone signed in on, and the many, many cards they received.
My parents arranged for a local photographer to arrive an hour before the reception and we had a formal family photograph taken, then individual families were also taken.
My sisters and I kept track of the costs each of us incurred. At the end of the day, we totaled our expenses and divided the total cost. I know I'm too wordy, but perhaps this will give you some ideas. Good luck! (05/09/2004)
Here are several ideas we did for my parents' 50th:
The children can each compose a special letter to their parents, including pictures, thanking them for a specific item or general. My brother thanked them for the gift of reading, telling how that gift has been such an enjoyment in his life and he also included a picture of himself reading as a small child.
We contacted the newspaper of the town my parents were married in and got the clipping of their wedding notice.
An aunt of mine, who wrote poetry, composed a special poem about the bridal shower, wedding day, etc.
We also wrote to the White House and received a special notice of congratulations to the parents and we also contacted various relatives and members of the wedding party to get their perspective on the wedding day. You might even have these people place their thoughts on a cassette tape to be played at the party or privately. (05/09/2004)
By Valerie Morikone
For your parents 50th wedding anniversary, this is an idea we used for mine but it might take some time. We got ahold of most of the people that were at their wedding and mailed them a letter asking if they could share a special memory of their wedding and told them it was a surprise and keep quiet, once we had all the letters returned we went to a local print shop an had them bound in book form and gave them to them for a gift. (05/09/2004)
To the person wanting suggestion on make a very special Anniversary. Send a note to all the guests along with their invitation asking them to write down a special memory they have of the happy couple. Read these at the party. We did this at my friends parents 40th Anniversary and had a real good time remembering. (05/09/2004)
For the 50th Wedding Anniversary a friend of mine made an Album with a theme of the past 50 years. She used newspaper clippings, great headline events, big family events, and pictures. The biggest part centered on the year they were married. She covered the album in fabric and a crosstitch title. Hope this helps. (05/09/2004)
For the 50th Anniversary party, Have a card party. Write a pamphlet out to all friends and family to send a card by a certain date. Put it in the hometown church bulletin. We did this for my grandfather's 80th birthday and he received 82 cards! Even one from the President! Also gather all the family talent and put on a show. It will be something everyone will always remember because all the relatives get involved. Have fun. (05/09/2004)
My parents celebrated their anniversary several years ago and rather than have one big party they "partied" all year, in other words, they planned several "always wanted to do" events during the year. Their anniversary is in June so they started in January. They took a 10 day cruise, they went sight seeing with friends, they visited their children, went to the mountains for a little R and R, bought goodies for their yard, etc. The kids sent them family portraits, in gold frames for Christmas. On their actual anniversary some of us sent flowers or balloons. We kids kept it simple and let our parents plan their day (year) I hope these ideas help. (05/09/2004)
We never had a wedding reception, so are planning one for our 50th anniversary. The invitation will read something like: "50 years ago, we had the wedding. Now we would like to invite you to attend our reception." We plan to have dinner, wedding cake and all the trimmings! I also plan to make the guests our focal point, since many would have traveled long distances to attend.
One idea we have is to have a corner of the room prepared for pictures, much like "Prom Pictures." Their picture would be taken, then placed in a pretty folder to take home with them. My husband also plans to tell what each couple/individual has meant to us at different times in our lives. We want it to be an evening they will enjoy and always remember. That will be gift enough for us. (01/19/2005)
Loved all the suggestions for 50th anniversary. We are planning a scrapbook with letters and cards from family and friends. One thing different is we are putting 50 (dated) pennies at the front for every year of their marriage. Lines will be put by each dated penny so a particular memory can be placed on it. We are going to leave extra lines so guests can add their memory of that year. This idea comes from the book The Hundred Penny Box.
My sister and I are also doing our parents 50th. For centerpieces I used terra cotta pots. This isn't expensive. My husband cooked Bar-b-Que. My sister made memory cards and a video of the past. Thanks to all for the other neat ideas also. (06/08/2005)
My parents are getting ready to celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary in a few short months. While my siblings and I would like to have a party for them, we're all strapped for cash. My husband has been out of work for several months, and we live in another state from the rest of my family. Funds are tight for us all. My question is, what kinds of suggestions do you have for us to celebrate for our parent's 50th wedding anniversary, on a low scale? Many thanks in advance. May God bless you all greatly!
Terri from NV
At my parents 50th party, we laid a cheap white sheet on 2 tables and had all adult guests sign it and the kids 18 and under signed the other one. If you start the signatures add a small flower or smiley or something by your message and watch the others join in. After the party we had both sheets made into a quilt for their single beds. Mom and dad treasured them and took them out, often to look at. When they both passed on, it was handed down to the oldest granddaughter and grandson. We still love to look at them. The grand children that received the quilts both have them hung in their homes. So when we go to visit them, it brings back so many wonderful memories.
Another suggestion is to make a guest book and have it on the table when guest come in to sign. It has been 12 years since they left us, but they both gave us many wonderful memories. God bless you all as you plan for their special day. I also bought cheap white fat candles for the tables, scuffed them with sandpaper and sprayed them with gold spray paint. It certainly added a beautiful glow to the room! (07/22/2006)
Good luck planning your parent's 50th anniversary. How formal do you want this catered? Are you all doing the food yourself? Either way you can make it very nice and use all white and gold candles as centerpieces on the tables on top of mirrored glass. And maybe scatter white silk roses randomly all around the table or either clear flat stones or marbles. Hope this helps keep your color scheme the same and just be creative. If I can help you with any other ideas just let me know. I hope this helped!
Good luck and God bless.
There are some great suggestions here, but one thing I would like to add is that you can request the White House to send a special greeting for a 50th anniversary. I did this for my mom and dad's 50th and they were very impressed. (02/13/2008)
If you have their wedding photo, scan it and use it as the front of the invitation with the date, time, place, etc. on the back. You can run off 4 on a 8 x 11 sheet of paper and cut them with scalloped scissors to give them a fancier look. Then for the food, we all have family members who make the "best" of something. I would contact them to provide their specialty dish and for the non-cooks, they can bring the paper products, soda, plastic ware, etc. This way the event can be a group effort and a joyous celebration for all. Good luck! (02/13/2008)
Traditionally, the parents are supposed to pay for their 50th party. Usually, they take all their kids and spouses on a trip somewhere. (03/05/2008)
First I am in the middle of planning my 25th and helping my sister-in-law plan her 50th. She's spending lots of money and having 300 guests. I'm having 75 of my close friends and family and trying to make it elegant and simple and you should do the same.
Do your on invitations or if you can't may be a friend will as a favor. Have it at home, keep the meal simple depending on the time of day. Chicken, veggies, a salad, and rolls and maybe some fruit. Use balloons they are cheaper or you can do hors d' oeuvres, only thing they are hard work and could get to be expensive Good luck. (06/07/2008)
I am currently organizing a 50th wedding anniversary reception for my parents. I reserved the community center (aka "clubhouse") in our neighborhood for $100. It's large enough and has a kitchen with a refrigerator, 10 8-ft. long folding tables and 60+ folding chairs for us to use (or not - there is a storage closet for the excess) as needed. We're having it at 2pm so I won't have to serve a meal and can get by with hors d' oeuvres and cake.
I got 50 formal invitations for under $35 from Office Max and printed them on my home computer. They even have the reply cards and envelopes included. I saved mega bucks printing my own, let me tell ya, and they look like I had them custom made.
I started making a scrapbook using a program on my computer that inserts the photos (from computer jpeg files), adds the background color and/or print and text, and prints the 8-1/2 x 11 pages ready for embellishing and placing in the binder. Normally I do 12x12 pages the old-fashioned way, but for this project, I chose speed over quality and size. I had to take some time scanning photos into my computer, but now its easy to create the pages. I am including comments, well-wishes, and funny stories from friends and family, too.
I bought 2 antique-gold-toned frames (8x10) at my local Walgreens on sale for $2 each. I will print out 2 photos of my parents at their wedding and display them on a table with the finished scrapbook.
I plan to put a few disposable cameras around for folks to take some photos at the reception. I can then have Walgreens develop them and also make a CD rom to load the photos right into my computer. I can then easily add a few pages to the album as a memory of the actual reception, too.
I plan to use nice, but disposable plates and cups, etc. I found some large antique-gold-painted chargers (plates) at Hobby Lobby for less than $2 each. I will use those in some way to decorate or as accents under plates of food. I may use some large gold Christmas balls to decorate, too.
Hope this helps. (07/05/2008)
My sister and I are doing a 50th this weekend for our parents. A few of us have decided to do a few skits with singers from their wedding year, like Sonny and Cher "I Got You Babe". Then two of us are going to do a skit about one of the stories we heard about them. My sister got my mother's wedding dress altered and my niece will be wearing it. The rest of us are wearing poodle skirts. Then as guests arrive I'm going to have them fill out a piece of paper with a good memory of them and put it in the jar of memories. They then have to read the memories in front of everyone. Hope this helps. (07/07/2008)
Many families are cutting back this year on expenses in general, and some of the ideas people have shared here are perfect. Lots of love to show people care while dividing up the costs.
My sister and I (and 3 brothers) are throwing a surprise party for our parents, as they are already taking us on a cruise to celebrate. We are catering the event, but went with a caterer that allows us to "keep" the food, helping all of the families with the next week's lunches.
We're doing 1957 top 40s CDs for the favors (unoriginal, but economical and people seem to love these!). We've decided to not imitate the wedding event (we couldn't find their pictures in time), but to have the decorations just be gold-toned and tasteful in today's styles. We are setting up in the room a large section of wedding and life pictures so that people can look at them while they mingle.
Overall, it's about $700/kid (5 kids) for this party of 65, just to give you a ballpark. This includes location, caterer, servers, and flowers only. All else was free to us through friends. Many ways to do this more economically. We just couldn't due to location and surprise issues. (07/27/2008)
With a digital camera travel back in time for your parents. Snap photos of different highlights of their lives. For example, the church they got married in, their first home, and any thereafter. The hospital your mother had you in, the church they attend, maybe a particular project they worked on together in the community, find a car that represents the first one they bought together, recent photo of their wedding attendants, etc. Then put the memory card into a digital photo frame for them to enjoy always.
You can buy, for about $90.00, a clock radio with a digital photo frame. What is neat about that is the day you give it to them (if it is on their anniversary) it will show their wedding date (2008 of course) in nice large letters and the radio also plays relaxation sounds. I promise I am not the owner of the radio trying to make a sale. It is just really cool. (08/12/2008)
My siblings and I are also planning a surprise 50th anniversary for our parents. I organized a "This is Your Life" game and asked people from their past to write a memory and talk about it behind a curtain and have our parents try and guess who they are. This is not only going to be awesome for our parents, but it was awesome for me to talk to the people and hear the awesome stories they shared with me! (09/30/2008)
My family is in the midst of planning my parents' 50th anniversary party. There are seven of us kids, so each one of us had a "duty". My oldest brother was in charge of the mass. My oldest sister was in charge of invitations and our overall agenda. My next brother was in charge of pictures (he had a digital camera and frame that will run all the pictures he put in, I think there is going to be about 300 or so). My next sister was in charge of family pictures. The cake to the next and flowers to the next. Lastly, I am in charge of the decorations.
I am planning to have the centerpiece be a bouquet of my mom's wedding bouquet and my dad's boutonniere. Along with that I am planning to have the head table set as it was at the wedding. For those who are deceased I am planning to have a candle and picture set up.
If I would have been thinking, I would have had a recreation of their wedding. I am trying now to put as much of it together as I can. We have 3 weeks left. I'm working on the bouquets and cake. The band is the same band that played at their wedding. I just wish we could have had the reception at the same place (wasn't thinking); it could have been done.
Hope this helps anyone. (11/07/2008)
My mother had an exquisite dress when she and dad were married 50 years ago. My sisters and I all wore the same dress at our weddings. At their party, we are planning to put mom's bridal portrait in the center of a table and we will put our (smaller) bridal portraits around it. We have also arranged to borrow a female mannequin from a local dress shop. We are donning her with the wedding dress. We even found a wig that resembles mom's hair on her wedding day. We will place the "bride" next to the table with all the bridal portraits. We thought it was a great way to show the love that began on the wedding day and the way it has been passed down through our family. Best of luck to you in your planning! (01/22/2009)
I recently attended the 50th anniversary party of a couple that was so wonderful. Their kids got a bunch of old/new pictures from the family album and used Smiling Snaps to compile them into a choreographed DVD show depicting their life together. It was perfectly synchronized to music and because it was professionally made, the results were awesome! It was so touching, the couple as well as many guests got emotional while watching those moments come alive on the screen. (09/04/2009)
My parents 50th anniversary is in 2 weeks. A friend suggested that their church have a covered dish luncheon after church. Free food plus we just have to provide decorations and napkins, plates, and cups. Will also invite relatives. This will be a surprise party for parents who do not want anything fancy. I thought this was a great idea. (09/23/2009)