50th wedding anniversary party ideas
Ideas for 50th wedding anniversary party. Includes ideas for sentimental party locations and decorations, memorable gifts, and a touching vow renewal ceremony.
Just as a wedding is a celebration of a couple’s intent to build a life together, anniversaries also bring a reminder of the magic of the wedding day. Few anniversaries are as special as the 50th anniversary, a time for family to celebrate a love that has withstood the test of time. Whether you are planning your own 50th anniversary party or putting together a surprise party for relatives who have reached this milestone, a few small touches can make the day just as special as the couple’s wedding day.
Location, location, location
When choosing a party location, there are several options that either mirror the couple’s wedding day, or give them the wedding they would have had if finances or other circumstances had permitted. The first place to start is the couple’s wedding day. Did they elope in Las Vegas, or have a traditional wedding in a church or synagogue? Was the wedding on a beach, or in their family’s back yard? If the original location is still standing, is in good condition and is nearby, then it can provide a sentimental backdrop for the party.
If you cannot recreate the wedding location, another option is to have the party in a different location, but incorporate the original location into the party theme. My grandparents were married in the mountains of Colorado. For their 50th wedding anniversary, the invitations had an outline of mountains in the background, and the tables were decorated with pine boughs and candles to recreate the spirit of the mountains. If the couple married in Las Vegas, consider a Vegas-themed party. Many catering companies will provide a themed party including gaming tables and staff to run them. For a beach wedding, consider having an informal barbeque or clam bake on the beach. If the invitation list is quite large, consider having a potluck at the local park, and concentrate on the decorations to evoke the theme of the original wedding. If the celebration is small, a dinner in a private room at the couple’s favorite restaurant is a sure winner.
If the couple has pictures from their original wedding, they can become the basis of both memorable gifts and decorations. Consider using pictures from the wedding as a backdrop for the invitations; card shops that perform this service can be found online. For the tables, duplicated pictures in silver frames provide classy decorations that can be taken home by family members and friends as keepsakes. Also consider using pictures from the early years of the marriage, such as family photos as new members were born. Old pictures that are not in good condition can be taken to a specialty film shop and repaired by duplicating the picture onto new film.
Another consideration is the colors and accessories used in the original wedding. If the bridesmaids all wore blue, use blue tables cloths with white napkins. If the bride carried white roses, decorate the table with silver mint julep cups containing white roses.
Renewing the vows
If the couple is involved in the planning of the party, consider a vow renewal ceremony. Find out if the original wedding location is available, and whether the current officiant is willing to perform this ceremony. A beautiful alternative is to have a small vow renewal ceremony in the couple’s garden, under a wedding arch. If the original members of the wedding party are available, consider having a small processional with the original best man and maid of honor. For a family-oriented affair, ask the children or grandchildren to escort the couple down the aisle.
When thinking of a gift for this celebration, ask the couple about their favorite parts of the wedding, and what they might have wanted but were unable to do because of time or financial constraints. For couples married in the 1950s, the honeymoon was most likely at a location within driving distance. If you are holding the party for another couple, consider a group gift of a trip to the same location as the original honeymoon. While they may not be able to stay in the same hotel or cottage, there should be other hotel or bed and breakfast options in the same area. Another option is to send the couple on the honeymoon they had wanted but could not afford, such as Hawaii or the Bahamas. A memorable trip to celebrate 50 years of marriage is sure to be a delight.
A less expensive gift that will be treasured is creating a new wedding album. If there are pictures available, put together a set of pictures that represents the family every 10 years, starting with the wedding and ending with the 50th anniversary party. Albums can be bought at a local craft store, and embellished with lace and pearls. Alternatively, albums with a silver cover can be bought and engraved at local specialty shops. In either case, the gift is sure to be treasured for years to come.