A fiftieth wedding anniversary is a genuine cause for celebration. You mustn’t let the occasion go by without marking it with a party. Putting together such a golden celebration can also be quite daunting. It require lots of planning and a large amount of inspiration.
Whether it’s your party, your parents’ or a couple you’re close to, we’ve put together some ideas to help make it happen. We’ve got suggestions on everything including food, entertainment, party favours and table decorations.
You may be planning a large lavish bash, or you might prefer something intimate with just a few friends and family. Whatever your preference, with some careful planning and a little outside of the box thinking, you’ll be able to create a wonderfully memorable occasion that the golden couple will treasure forever.
Who is responsible for hosting a 50th anniversary party?
Usually, the hosting of a golden wedding celebration is the responsibility of the children or close family members. However, it should be whatever works best for you. If it’s your anniversary, it’s perfectly acceptable to host and organise it yourself or recruit your friends and family to work together.
What is the theme for a 50th wedding anniversary?
The theme for a 50th wedding anniversary is always gold. This doesn’t have to extend to the party, but it’s a great way of tying things together from food and decorations through to clothing and gifts.
Which flower represents 50 years?
The official flowers of the golden wedding are yellow roses and violets. But you can get creative and include whatever yellow or gold-tinted blooms you like. The purple of the violets makes a beautiful contrast to the yellow so you might want to mix them together in bouquets and table decorations.
Who should be invited?
There are no requirements of who to invite to an anniversary celebration. Still, it’ll likely depend on what type of party you choose and how large the venue is. You might like to start with close family and friends, particularly anyone who attended the wedding.
How do you plan a 50th anniversary party on a budget?
Despite the luxurious theme, golden wedding parties don’t have to be expensive. There are lots of ways to bring the price down. With that in mind you’ll see that we’ve highlighted some options that offer excellent value.
Remember, it doesn’t have to be a lavish, expensive party; it should just be thoughtful and filled with memories, close friends and family.
What is the dress code for an anniversary party?
The dress code is entirely up to you and can be specified in the invitation. Some people prefer wedding anniversaries to be formal, but you may want to keep it casual.
Will partygoers bring gifts?
Yes, guests will usually bring a card and a gift to a golden wedding party. It’s not appropriate for couples to open a gift registry or request specific items; however, it’s becoming common, in the invitation, to ask that guests don’t bring gifts. Some may even provide details of a preferred charity and ask for donations instead of presents.
Do I have to provide party favours?
Party favours are becoming more common at anniversary parties, but they’re not a requirement. It depends on the type of party and your own preference. If you choose to do favours they don’t have to be large gifts, they can be small mementoes or table decorations/place settings that double as favours.
Golden Wedding Party Ideas
50th wedding anniversary parties are a great way to celebrate with your friends and family. The great thing is that they can be perfectly tailored to your tastes. You may want to get everyone together in a vast ballroom, or you might prefer to keep it quiet and personal.
Here you’ll find ideas for every type of anniversary party you could imagine. We’ve also included a few ideas if parties aren’t your thing and you’re looking for an alternative.
The venue you choose will set the tone for the type of party you’re planning. It can also define how many people you can invite. You’ve got lots of options, but before you start looking, decide how much you’re willing to spend, suitable locations, necessary capacity, accessibility and if there are accommodation or convenient transport options nearby.
- Book a restaurant – Many restaurants will be happy to help you organise a party. There are lots of options from just a few tables to a whole room or restaurant. The beauty of this option is that they can take care of everything for you, including catering and table decorations.
- Revisit an important venue – If you want something that will really tug at the heartstrings, why not choose a location that means something to the couple. It could be a favourite hotel, restaurant or even the wedding reception location.
- In a hotel – Many hotels have event managers who will talk you through your requirements and help you plan the perfect party. They’ll also be able to provide catering and may take several other jobs off your hands. Another significant advantage is that your guests can book rooms.
- Outside/ In a marquee –In the Summer months you may want to make the most of the sunshine. If you’ve got a large garden or access to a field, this could be a great choice. There are lots of marquee hire companies in the UK who’ll be happy to shelter you from the rain.
- Budget option 1 – If you want to keep the price down, why not host the party in your own home? Unless you’re blessed with lots of space and numerous toilets, you may need to keep the guest list to the minimum, but a party at home could be just what’s required. Everything you need is at hand, and it won’t take you long to get to your bed a the end of the evening.
- Budget option 2 – Village or church halls are also an affordable party venue. Many charge by the hour and some even throw in a cleaning service for a small additional fee. They’re not the most glamorous option, but there’s plenty of space, and with some well-placed decorations and flowers, you could turn it into something extraordinary.
It’s essential to give your guest enough notice of the party, so invitations are an important consideration. Luckily, you’ve got lots to choose from:
- Gold finished invitations – The gold wedding theme makes for some spectacular invitations. You could go for some that are completely covered in gold or printed with gold foil.
- Old photographs – A memorable way to personalise a party invitation is to add pictures from the wedding. You could make these yourself or get them made on Etsy.
- Personalised printed invites – It’s never been so easy to have personalised invitations made up, printed and sent directly to your door. Companies like Vistaprint have a range of templates that can be customised to suit you.
- Budget options – Amazon offer several affordable packs of pre-printed golden wedding invitations that just need to be written on and then sent off to your guests. Or you may prefer to print your own, free online design tool Canva provides templates that can be adapted. Then all you need to pay for is the paper and ink.
Food and Drink
If done right, the food and drink can be the highlight of any party. Here are some things to consider for a memorable golden wedding:
- Gold food and drink – Where possible, choose yellow or gold foods. It doesn’t have to be everything, just a few here and there to link it to the theme. Some suggestions could be pastries, vol-au-vents, blinis, Ferrero Rocher, orange jelly, or even items dusted in edible gold glitter.
- Gold-accented crystal – Glassware with a hint of gold can add the right look to the table. If you’re planning on making a champagne toast, gold-stemmed champagne flutes, like these from Dunelm, will add the right finish.
- Hire caterers – If you’ve got lots of guests coming, why not get the caterers in. Some offer bargain packages for parties and even wash up for you. Although this is likely to be one of your largest expenditures, it’ll really cut down on the amount you’ll need to do yourself and can be well worth the additional cost.
- Gold trimmed china or chargers – You may not be able to find enough gold foods, but gold-trimmed china will really show everyone that this is a golden celebration. Some caterers may be able to provide this, and if not, there are several places online that hire items like this for parties. Alternatively, you could try these stunning chargers from Sophie Conran.
- Dietary requirements – When planning the catering, you must consider your guests’ possible dietary requirements. It’s a good idea to ask for any specific needs on the invitation. That way, you’ll know what you need to provide and still have enough time to prepare it.
- Wedding cake – A lovely touch that works as a call back to the original wedding 50 years ago is to order a cake that’s the same as or similar to the wedding cake.
- Budget option 1 – To add a touch of gold without shelling out for gold glassware or crockery is to serve a delicious golden wedding punch. Fill up some large punch bowls with this tasty golden liquid and place them on each table or at intervals on the buffet table. They’ll be a firm favourite and add a touch of colour to the spread.
- Budget option 2 – If you want to keep things cheap when it comes to the food, do it yourself and get down to Iceland to pick up a few party platters. A simple buffet is always a favourite and with some careful planning can help to keep the price down.
Decorating the venue really sets the mood and creates the right environment for a genuinely special party:
- Gold balloons – These are cheap and incredibly versatile. They can be used singly or as part of larger decorations.
- Photos of the couple in golden frames – Photos of the couple is one of the few essential ingredients of a golden wedding celebration. Placing them in an assortment of different sized golden frames will tie them in nicely to the theme.
- A timeline of 50 years – Create a display using pictures, items and written memories showing 50 years of the couples happy moments.
- 50 things you didn’t know – A display showing 50 things about the golden couple that their guests might not know.
- Plants/flowers – These are a great way to fill the room with colour and life. It’s even better if you can match them to the colour theme.
- Incorporate items and mementoes from the wedding – If you have any keepsakes or items from the wedding, you could use them in displays and decoration. This is a great way to stimulate memories and pay tribute to the wedding day.
- Display the wedding dress – This could be a wonderful centrepiece and talking point too.
If you choose to treat your guests to a sit-down meal, decorating the tables is a great way to add some golden glamour to the occasion:
- Floral centrepieces
- Gold napkins – or white napkins tied with gold ribbon
- Candles – in gold candlestick holders
- Place cards – written in gold ink
- Budget option – You can make great centrepieces by spraying recycled items or old bottles and vases in gold paint. Spraying paper doilies with gold and placing them under white plates is a quick way to add a touch sparkle for just a few pounds.
The aim of party entertainment is to have fun. But, it also works to encourage the couple and guests to reminisce, remember and pay tribute to their wedding day.
- Slideshow/movie – If you have any footage of the wedding or old home videos now would be a great time to edit them into a compilation of memories. Set up a projector and screen and play it on a loop during the party.
- Dancing – If you’ve got the space in your venue, this is the traditional way to celebrate.
- A movie of messages and wishes from friends and family – If you’ve got the time and patience to put this together it can be very effective and the couple will likely treasure it for many years to come.
- Mixtape – Either compile songs from the time of the wedding, the couples favourites or take song suggestions from the guests.
- Trivia questions – Have the couple and their guests been paying attention for the last 50 years? Why not set up a fun quiz or trivia game to see how much they know about the previous five decades.
- Toast/speech – Depending on how formal you want the party to be toasts and speeches are a great way to bring everyone together to celebrate the happy couple, share some memories and drink some champagne.
Although they’re not essential, party favours are an excellent way to thank your guests for their company and give them something to remind them of the party:
- Chocolate with a personalised wrapper – These make excellent affordable favours, and they’re easy to find on Etsy.
- A small bag of chocolates – Small chocolates and treats can be put into gold organza bags like these.
- A small, gold picture frame – with a portrait of the couple provides a lovely memento for your guests.
- Mini champagne bottle – Give your guests a bottle of champagne to take home and toast you from a comfy chair. You can even personalise them with labels and straws like these.
- Mini vases of fresh flowers as place-settings – These beautiful single stem or posy vases from Sarah Raven will add a splash of colour to your tables, and then your guests can take them as favours. You can either mix up the colours or go for the amber option which has a rich orange-gold hue.
- Give to charity – It’s becoming more common to give a gift to the couple’s favourite charity instead of party favours. You could give all the guests a small card that gives the details of the donation and thanks them for attending.
Some of the best party ideas just don’t fit into any category:
- Vow renewal – 50 years is an excellent time to renew vows in front of your friends and family. Vow renewals are a great way to share them with friends and family, particularly those that weren’t there the first time around.
- Guest/memory book – There are lots of ways you could use guest books or memory books at a golden wedding. Was there a guest book at the wedding? Dig it out and put it on display so people can read it and reminisce. Make sure there’s a new one for your party guests to fill out. You could ask them to record their favourite memory of the couple from their fifty years of marriage.
- Photographer – Hiring a photographer to record the party will give the couple lots of great pictures to look at in the future. They could even be used at future anniversaries alongside the original wedding pictures.
Alternative Celebration Ideas
Parties can be fantastic, but they’re not for everyone. Some couples may prefer to celebrate differently. If that’s the case for you, here are some things you could do instead:
- Plan a surprise getaway/family holiday – A family trip could be an exciting opportunity to spend some time together as a couple or family and create some new memories while reminiscing about old ones.
- Tick items off their/your bucket list – Is there anything that the couple have talked about doing for years but never got round to doing? Now maybe the time to get it booked.
- Plan a golden picnic – If you want something delightful yet low key, a picnic is a guaranteed winner. The best thing is you can invite friends and get them to bring their own food.
- Visit a theatre, cinema, gig or festival with friends – A great night out to a show to enjoy some live music is a perfect alternative for couples who prefer sharing their milestones with just their closest family and friends.
No two golden anniversary parties are the same, but the ones that work are those that best suit the interests of the couple. Don’t aim for a massive gathering because that’s what you think is expected; go for something that matches the couple’s wishes. And if it’s your anniversary party, take some time to think about what’s important to you and design your party to be personal and memorable for all the right reasons.