Golden Anniversary Party Ideas: 50 Year Marriages

Celebrating a fifty year anniversary is a delightful way to honor long-married couples and recognize their example to others.

When two people approach their fiftieth anniversary, friends and family often collaborate to host a party that celebrates this special occasion. It should be a special event, since not all couples make it that far in life together.

If you are planning a golden anniversary celebration, here are a few ideas to help make it special:

1. Decorate with gold accessories. Gold foil or tinsel table decorations, golden bells, and gold-tipped dinnerware will reinforce the anniversary motif. You can also edge the invitations in gold and encourage the guests to wear some emblem of gold, from clothing to jewelry or pins. Napkins, displays, and even the cake can contain gold decorations to underscore this special achievement.

2. Line up an era entertainer. Guests may want to donate a few dollars each to invite a keynote entertainer, speaker, or another figure from the couple's lifetime. A jazz player, a local writer, or a minor official that the couple greatly enjoyed or respected may be in semi-retirement and willing to do a private gig at an affordable fee. Or hire a church ensemble or local performers to provide one or two musical numbers.

3. Create a memory collage. Collect photographs from long-time friends and distant family members to recollect memorable events, family reunions, and little-known branches of relatives. Display it on a side or center table for all to see and admire. The couple can take it home with them for a guest room addition or family room enhancement. Or you can store the photos in a commemorative album for the couple's enjoyment later.

4. Videotape the party. Pay a professional or ask a couple of guests to bring video cameras and take footage of the party. Have the photographer videotape guests offering good wishes or recalling past memories. After the party, edit the footage and add meaningful background music with subtitles as transitions:

Text heading:

"Harold and Sadie Walker, 1955-2005"

"How They Met"

(as told by guests)

5. Invite guests to make brief testimonials at the dinner table, or afterward, on what the couple's friendship and example means to them. Child-rearing advice, marital joys, and being good neighbors are some of the themes that guests might want to address. In one or two minutes many good words can spread a feeling of appreciation and gratitude for the couple's influence on the larger community of acquaintances.

6. Find out ahead of time what type of gift the couple may enjoy or need. It could be something as simple as new bath accessories for their redecorated bathroom. Or you may want to have everyone pitch in for a long weekend getaway where the couple originally had their honeymoon, or perhaps a place where they always want to vacation but could never afford it, like a Cape Cod bed and breakfast or a cottage by the sea.

You may want to organize a party-planning committee to handle details for all of the celebration's activities. Hold luncheon meetings in advance and take notes so nothing gets lost in the shuffle. When party time rolls around, relax and enjoy the fruits of your labor along with the guests of honor.

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