This year I have booked more 50th anniversary parties than in the past. What an accomplishment! Fifty years together through the ups and downs of life, the good times and difficult. Couples who have reached that milestone deserve to be feted, but how is up to them. Two primary issues affect the planning. One is the health of the couple and the other is budget.
The party is usually hosted by the couple’s children and grandchildren, assuming they have children who are willing and able to help. If not, the couple might host their own celebration. If someone or ones other than the couple hosts, they will need to decide how to divide the expenses, whether equally, each person paying for a certain item, such as the venue or food, or in another manner.
The type of party depends on the couple’s desires. It may be a drop-in reception, a reception with a program, a dinner, picnic or something else. Couples will want to prepare a guest list, which will help with decision making. A smaller list may lend itself to dinner at a restaurant or a home-based party, where a large list will require a different venue and activities.
Guests will expect food, particularly a cake. If the party occurs in the middle of the day, cake and punch may be all that is needed, keeping in mind that not all guests may be able to consume sugary treats. If the party occurs near a mealtime, some type of food should be served. A caterer may be needed if the guest list is large.
Most couples will not expect gifts. After 50 years, what would they need? However, most guests will bring a card. Perhaps children, grandchildren and other family members would like to give the couple one large gift, such as a dream vacation.
For entertainment, guests usually enjoy seeing a slide presentation of photos down through the years. If the original wedding album is available, it might be displayed along with any other items from the couple’s wedding. Be sure to invite members of the original wedding party and ask them to share their memories of the big day.
Don’t let a 50th anniversary slip by without some form of celebration. At that time in life, there may not be another opportunity to fete the couple.