Looking for a way to celebrate your parent’s Fiftieth Wedding Anniversary? Convinced that this achievement needs to be marked with a fitting celebration? Not able to convince them?
These ideas may help. If your parents will only agree to a celebration if it is “different and fun”, it is time to put your creative hat on and think outside the box. If it is “different and fun” that they want, then give it to them. In most cases they just don’t want people to feel obliged to come or to bring a gift. So, if that is the case, specify in the invitation that the couple requests no gifts and stress that it will be a fun, casual party.
• Party invitations: the use of some of the online photo editing sites makes this a very simple job. Sites like http://www.picnik.com are great for a “do-it-yourself invitation” so that you can print it at home. Or you can edit your photo on Picnik (a really easy to use photo editing site) and then order the invitation from a site like http://www.shutterfly.com or Wal-Mart’s online photo center (http://www.walmart.com). Of course, if you have already have photo editing software on your computer, you can use that. Just use one of the couple’s wedding pictures on the front and on the inside specify that the couple requests no gifts. Stress that it will be a fun, casual party.
If you would like to create a memory book for your parents, include a form with the invitation asking the recipient to send back any memories of your parents or any thoughts they would like to see included in a book for your parents. Many people who will not be able to attend will still be able to share the day and it will be a great memory for your parents.
Generally, a Fiftieth Wedding Anniversary celebration includes people from all age groups from little kids up to the very elderly. The goal is to make it fun for all who attend. Unless the party is held in the winter, it is a good idea to have an outdoor area for some of the louder activities
• Divide your area into stations-some ideas for fun are included below. Use the ones you like and add more of your own; just go with the kinds of activities that your family likes.
o Outdoor Stations
A terrace area for karaoke or dancing
Lawn area for outdoor games-lawn darts, horseshoes…any other outdoor games that might be enjoyable
Old fashioned carnival booths (ideas and supplies can be found at http://www.orientaltrading.com).
o Indoor Stations
An area for a numbered display of family baby pictures. Provide sheets of lined, numbered paper so that the guests are able to guess who the baby is. Provide a prize if they get a certain number of them correct.
Tables set up for a progressive card tournament (whist, pinochle, etc)
A place for the people who just want to sit and visit
• Fiftieth Wedding Anniversary party decorations can follow the wedding theme colors or can follow a seasonal theme. This time of year could be decorated inexpensively with arrangements of pumpkins, gourds, sheaves of corn and wheat. Using some gold spray paint and gold ribbon will make very appropriate golden wedding anniversary decorations. Enlisting the help of a crafty friend is always a possibility to get all of the decorations to flow together.
o Floor Arrangements: Several large floor arrangements with the corn shocks, pumpkins, gourds, seed pods, cattails, branches and wheat are inexpensive and large enough to make an impressive, lovely display. Just make sure that some of the items are sprayed gold and some can just be “dusted” with a bit of the gold spray.
o Table Arrangements: Follow the same theme with smaller pumpkins, gourds and wheat-all of which can be tinted gold. Spraying some of the orange pumpkins gold and mixing with some of the new white pumpkins makes a nice look. Apples can also be sprayed gold and used to hold candle tapers. You can also put your kids to work making wire photo holders like these that you can wire from the stems of the pumpkins and gourds. Scan and print pictures of the couple to tuck into the photo holders. The wire photo holders will add a little more height to the arrangements. It is also a great way to make people mingle because they want to see all of the pictures.
• Prizes: Plan for low cost prizesto set out on a prize table. Some ideas include: jars of homemade jellies or jams, containers of fudge, homemade caramels, caramel corn or Christmas photo ornaments (like these ) commemorating the Fiftieth Wedding anniversary. Another memento idea is to make more of the wire photo holders with a base and include a photo of your parents. The key is to have lots of small prizes so most people will go away with a prize of some kind. Set them out on the prize table and people are able to choose for themselves the prizes they like best. Some are practical and will take the food items but some will want some kind of memento.
• The menu-it is always good to keep the menu for a Fiftieth Wedding Anniversary Celebration simple. The less that you have to think about and prepare, the more time you will have to focus on other aspects of the party. A barbeque can be appropriate, as would sandwiches and salads. Can you find out what was served at their wedding reception? If it is not too fancy for your casual affair, that may be a good option. Or, if the budget allows, have a caterer do the work for you. Order a cake or cheesecakes for dessert and you are set.
Take some of these ideas and combine them with your own and come up with a way to celebrate your parents and their accomplishment of fifty years of marriage.