50th Wedding Anniversary Party Ideas

Last Updated: Jan 30, 2018

50th wedding anniversaries are one of the most important milestones in a married couple’s life. Many people host a party for their parents or the happy couple host a party for themselves when it comes down to this special occasion. No matter who hosts, it’s a must to celebrate and ring in 50 years of marriage with a party as special as the amount of time spent together. After all, it’s not often many couples celebrate a half century of marriage. Find a variety of 50th wedding anniversary party ideas below that will help you plan a memorable and unforgettable celebration for this once in a lifetime moment.

50th wedding anniversary party invitations

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What Do You Call a 50th Wedding Anniversary?

A 50th wedding anniversary is called the “Golden” anniversary. Since most of the symbols for a 50th wedding anniversary are gold, this has been the fitting name to honor couples who have been married for 50 years. You can mention “Golden” in your wedding anniversary invitations and incorporate the word throughout your anniversary decorations and signage.

What Are the 50th Wedding Anniversary Symbols?

All milestone anniversaries have associated symbols, colors, and traditions that keep them special and classic. Here are all of the main symbols to take into account when planning out decor, gifts, and more for your celebration:

  • Gemstone: Gold is the official gemstone and metal for 50th wedding anniversary.
  • Flower: Violets are the official flowers for 50th wedding anniversaries.
  • 50th Anniversary Color: Gold is the official 50th wedding anniversary color.
  • Traditional Gift: A gold gift or gift that incorporates gold is the traditional gift for a 50th wedding anniversary.

Who Hosts a 50th Wedding Anniversary Party?

Typically the children host the married couple’s 50th wedding anniversary party. Although, it is perfectly okay for the couple to initiate planning themselves and handle some of the details if relatives are unable to host. Whether you’re a sibling, close friend, or the children of the parents, you can put together a team of loved ones to help you make this day run smooth. If grandchildren are old enough, they can also help host and plan the celebration.

then and now 50th anniversary invitation

Setting a Date

When it comes to throwing a successful anniversary party, you should set the date three to four months in advance after consulting with the married couple and their closest family members. 50 years of marriage is a major milestone and some of your loved ones may be traveling from afar to attend the event (especially if it’s a formal affair). In order to give family and friends a head start on securing travel and lodging, setting a date early on is very important. Although you won’t be sending 50th wedding anniversary party invitations until 4-6 weeks out from the anniversary celebration, do your best to give loved ones who live far away plenty of notice in advance.

Choosing a Venue

There are a variety of venue options for your 50th wedding anniversary celebration. However, you should choose a venue based on the amount of guests you’re expecting to attend. If 50 or more guests will be celebrating your 50th anniversary, you should rent out a venue to accommodate all of your attendees. If you’re hosting a small gathering, you should consider hosting your party at a private room in a restaurant, at your own house, or at a relative’s house. If you or a relative has a large home though, you can host a large crowd there. Here are a few venue ideas:

  • Your house
  • A relative’s house
  • Restaurant (rent out a private room)
  • Church hall
  • Hotel ballroom
  • Club/Lounge (rent out the space in the daytime or early evening before club hours)
  • Local park (summer-friendly and casual)
  • Local recreational building
  • Country club banquet room
  • Rustic barn
  • Local art gallery

Choosing Wedding Anniversary Invitations

Before ordering 50th wedding anniversary invitations, you’ll want to compile a guest list and run it by the honorees. The married couple have probably met plenty of people over the years, including co-workers, neighbors, and more, so you’ll want to consult them when planning out the guest list so you don’t miss any important invites. When it comes down to actually choosing invitations, the most popular type of wedding anniversary invitation is a “then and now” photo invitation in which there are two photos, one of the couple in their younger years and another photo of the couple taken closer to their 50 year mark of marriage. However, if you opt out of this idea, you should still choose a photo invitation to showcase the married couple. You can also choose an invitation style that includes a round-up of the number of children and grandchildren the couple have to add a bit of sentiment and pay homage to the couple’s lineage.

50 year wedding anniversary invitation with facts

Don’t forget to include a romantic or inspirational wedding anniversary quote about love and marriage on the front or back of your invitations to add an extra touch.

Setting a Menu

Although the anniversary cake is the star of the show, you’ll want to set a menu that includes appetizers, a full course, and dessert. Whether the crowd is small or large, 50th wedding anniversary parties typically call for lots of food. If you’re hosting the party at a house, you can do a buffet style set-up, or if you’re hosting the party at a hotel ballroom, you can have the celebration catered and guests can be served at their seats. If you’re hosting a large and quite formal crowd, try to avoid cooking in general so you can focus on set-up, decor, and running the event. When it comes to the cake, don’t forget to order a special 50th wedding anniversary cake in advance that honors the couple. You can go with a cake that incorporates gold or even have the baker recreate the top layer of the couple’s original wedding cake.

Toasts and Tributes

Toasts and tributes at your 50th wedding anniversary are important and help to personalize your party. Close family members and dear friends are able to share their sentiments about the married couple and how they’ve come to admire the couple’s union over the years. The married couple also gets to share their own sentiments to one another in front of the crowd. While you don’t want to take up too much time or overdo it with toasts and tributes, they are still necessary and add a special touch. Here are a few toasts and tribute ideas to consider:

  • Have the children of the married couple give a toast (usually required).
  • Have the married couple give a toast (usually required).
  • Have the grandchildren of the married couple give a toast.
  • Have the grandchildren of the married couple recite a poem.
  • Have 2-3 close friends give a toast.
  • Have the original maid of honor or best man give a toast.
  • Play a slideshow with photos of the married couple from over the years.
  • Make a video of close friends and family sharing memories of the couple and play at the celebration.

You can also play a few wedding anniversary songs at the end of the tribute segment to honor the married couple and all couples at the anniversary celebration. Make sure that your wedding anniversary photographer captures some of these precious moments so the couple can create a 50th wedding anniversary photo book to commemorate the day.

50th Wedding Anniversary Color Schemes

Most 50th wedding anniversaries themes evolve around a color scheme, which guides the decor, wedding anniversary cake, and invitations. Since gold is the official 50th wedding anniversary color, you should choose gold as your primary color and pair it with another color to complement your decorations. Your gold color scheme can be used to make decisions on tablecloths, custom table runners, centerpieces, flower arrangements, balloons, signage, and more. Here are some popular 50th wedding anniversary color schemes:

  • Gold, Black, and White
  • Gold and Black
  • Gold and Dark Purple/Violet
  • Gold and Blush
  • Gold and Rose Pink
  • Gold and Red
  • Gold and Teal
  • Gold and Peach
  • Gold and Emerald Green
  • Gold and Cream

When it comes to anniversary party planning, getting a head start and finding help is key, especially if you’re expecting a huge turnout. Your 50th wedding anniversary party ideas should be all about creating sentimental moments and chances for the honorees to reminisce on their love and how much they’ve accomplished during the course of their marriage. 50 years of marriage is a huge milestone that most married couples aspire to make it to and you’ll want the couple to cherish this moment forever.