50th Anniversary Party Ideas

By Madeline Post , last updated March 9, 2011

Whether you’re a family member looking to celebrate a loved one’s 50th anniversary, or the couple themselves, there are so many great party ideas for this milestone. It is an exciting and special occasion that should be honored and commemorated properly. The first thing to consider when planning an anniversary party is who you’re planning for. What does the couple like to do? How would they like to celebrate? Are they adventurous or more comfortable spending time at home? All of these components should be taken into consideration and applied to the party planning. Most importantly, the event itself should have the right tone, and allow the guests and the celebrated couple to reminisce about their great love and enjoy the day with those closest to them. This is a time for family and friends to come together and to create wonderful memories in the process.


Fifty years together is a wonderful opportunity to gather the couple’s friends, family and the people that have touched their lives along the way, all in one room. An ideal location for such a party may be a brunch at a local restaurant or banquet hall. Brunch can be perfect for such an occasion, considering that many of the couple’s friends may be older and would prefer to celebrate during the day. A brunch is also an easy solution for a larger group where a buffet may come into play as opposed to a sit down meal. Catering is of course at your discretion, and the venue you choose should reflect the couple’s taste and also whatever budget you may be working with. Although the party may be during the day, if you choose a brunch, mimosas or bellinis may be incorporated in order for a lively toast to the happy couple.

Destination Party

Another way to go to celebrate an important anniversary is to bring the party elsewhere. Traveling to the location where the couple first met, went on their honeymoon, or were married is a lovely way to bring back fond memories while including the rest of their friends and family on the journey. Destination parties can be a bit more expensive than a typical dinner party, but for a 50th anniversary celebration, it may be the perfect occasion to splurge. Research is key here, and calling around to hotels in the area of the destination is a must. If the party is on the larger side, you will have to arrange for the group’s accommodation in addition to travel. Great deals for flights and hotels can be found online. Check out deals online and discuss ideas among the group of travelers using mass emails to coordinate. Once the initial legwork of booking travel and rooms is complete, there’s nothing left to do but to get to the destination and enjoy!

Intimate Family Dinner

While some couples would love being whisked away to a new locale, other couples are perfectly happy to spend their special day with an intimate group of family and friends. Should your couple prefer to spend time with immediate family, a small dinner may be the way to go. For such a dinner, cooking at someone’s home may be more personal than going out to eat at a restaurant. Should you choose to create a delicious dinner at home for the occasion, it’s essential to plan the menu ahead. An ideal meal may be an old family recipe that could bring back fond memories for the entire group and instigate a trip down memory lane. If you’d prefer to try something new, you can find a wealth of recipes online that you can draw upon to create a truly exquisite gourmet meal for the family and the happy couple.

Vow Renewal

For the couple that would enjoy a truly sentimental way to celebrate their 50th anniversary, planning a vow renewal may be just the thing. Expressing their love for each other on the anniversary of their 50th year of marriage is not only romantic, but also allows family members that may not have been born when the original marriage took place, to be involved in a very special day. A vow renewal involves a bit of planning, and would be best suited to include the whole family in the execution of the event. One has to consider the location of the vow renewal, catering the event, hiring a preacher or justice of the peace to perform the ceremony, outfitting the bridal party with bridesmaid dresses and tuxedos, inviting guests to attend, and decorating. If you’re on tighter budget, having the vow renewal in a relative’s home or a public location such as a park or beach may be the preferred way to go. Just remember, the most important thing for an anniversary party is to have those people that love the couple all in one room to celebrate them.

Ways to Celebrate

Once you’ve decided on the location in which to celebrate the couple’s 50th wedding anniversary, then you’ll want to get into the planning of what will happen at the actual event. Some classic ideas that are sure to please include: Creating a slideshow of photos of the couple over the years that can be projected on the walls of the party or displayed via flatscreen TV. The partygoers and couple themselves will be thrilled with the trip down memory lane via photographs from when they first met, all the way to their lives together currently. Another idea for during the party is allowing guests to read poetry or perform a song relating to the couple in honor of the occasion. Having some form of a performance can really tie the dinner in together and make it feel like a well planned event. Last but not least, what may be most sentimental and important to the couple are toasts made by family members. Not only is the couple celebrating their marriage, but also the many wonderful people that have filled their lives with joy over the years.

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