50th Anniversary Party Ideas – Celebrate the Golden Years

50th Anniversary Party Ideas – Celebrate the Golden Years


A 50th wedding anniversary is a rare and special milestone.  A couple who has spent half a century together deserves to celebrate with the family and friends who have supported them over the years. Whether you’re hosting your own golden anniversary celebration or planning a memorable affair for your parents or grandparents, planning a 50th anniversary party can be a daunting task. From custom 50th anniversary invitations to potential themes, you’ll find all you need to plan your ultimate anniversary party here.

Theme Ideas

The first step to planning a 50th anniversary party is to decide if you’d like to host a casual get-together, an elegant event or something in between. Choosing a theme for the party is a great way to get creative and have fun with the decorations and attire.  Here are a few theme ideas:


Because of its value and rarity, the 50th wedding anniversary is considered the golden anniversary. Hosting a gold-themed party not only honors the couple, but will look fancy and fabulous. Start by sending out golden anniversary invitations.

If you’re willing to spend a little more, consider creating custom 50th anniversary magnet invitations. With custom magnet invitations, guests will be left with a keepsake of this milestone occasion and hold onto the magnets well after the anniversary party — for their practicality and unique custom look.

Then decorate your home or the rented venue in gold, focusing on beautiful shining centerpieces for the tables. Add strings of lights entwined with tulle, or just hung from the ceiling, to cast the room in a golden glow.


golden anniversary party invitation
Shimmering Golden 50th Anniversary invitation by PurpleTrail.


golden anniversary decorations
photos courtesy of squidoo.com and iheartbudgets.com

Old Hollywood

Give the happy couple the ultimate blast from their past with an Old Hollywood themed 50th anniversary party. From special invitations to a playlist Frank Sinatra would be proud of, you’ll have fun planning a party with star quality.

Whether you host a small get-together at your home or rent a large venue, rolling out a red carpet will add a touch of class. Decorating with red and black is classically Hollywood and will look chic and sophisticated.


red carpet
photo courtesy of thesucculentwife.com
Old Hollywood glam party decorations
photos courtesy of hwtm.com and createcoutureparties.com

Whether you serve a full sit-down feast, hor d’oeuvres and champagne or just desserts, you can get creative with the food at an Old Hollywood party. Cookie blogger Sweet Sugar Belle details her recipe for these adorable Oscar-themed mini cookies, sure to delight the happy couple and guest alike, here.

oscar cookies
photo courtesy of www.sweetsugarbelle.com


For a fun celebration everyone will love, host a luau-themed 50th anniversary party. You can make your luau as casual or formal as you’d like, ranging from an afternoon backyard barbecue to an elegant evening with tiki torches and tea lights. Create a party playlist, stock up on mai tai mix and make sure to buy plenty of little umbrellas. Have some fun with your decorations to really make the couple feel like they’ve brought you all to Maui.


luau invitation
Let’s Mai Tai Tropical Drink luau invitation by PurpleTrail.


Once you’ve picked a theme for your party- or decided against one- it’s time to select your 50th anniversary party invitations. Your invitation is your guests’ first impression of the event they’re about to attend, so make sure the invitations match the tone of the party. Of course, classic gold invitations are perfect for a golden anniversary.

If your party has a theme, tie your invitations into the theme. Consider adding a personal touch in the form of a love quote or lyrics from the couple’s song. To get some ideas and inspiration for your 50th anniversary invitations, check out this article.

Remember to order the  invitations early so you can send them out three to six weeks before the big day. Also, make sure the invitations have all relevant information:

  •  Date
  • Time
  • Location, with directions as needed
  • Theme, if any
  • Food being served, if any (so guests can plan to eat if necessary)
  • RSVP information
  • Proper attire, if necessary


Next on the list is the most fun part of the party: the decorations! If you’re not hosting a theme party, pick a color scheme and buy decorations in those colors. This will produce a party that’s pleasing to the eye. For example, if you pick black and white, you can color coordinate everything from the decorations to the desserts.

black and white party decorations
photos courtesy of frenchweddingstyle.com, bashcorner.com and marthastewartweddings.com


black and white invitation
Black and White Circle 50th Anniversary invitation by PurpleTrail.


Set up a photo display of the couple for guests to see how they’ve spent their 50 years together. You can work the photos into the table centerpieces, spell out “50” in photos, use clothespins to clip them onto strings and hang them, or get creative like this blogger did:

50th anniversary party photos
photo courtesy of http://karenscraps.blogspot.ca


50th anniversary photo collage
photo courtesy of pinterest.com

Party Favors

Party favors are a fun way for your guests to remember the joyous occasion. Sending them home with a little gift is a thoughtful way to thank them for sharing in your special day. Small bags of candy or cookies with a tag bearing the couple’s name make great classic favors. Or, consider one of these original ideas:

  • Create candle votives featuring a photo of the couple from the year they got married. This blog post provides step-by-step instructions. 
  • Make or buy love-themed wine charms for the guests to take home.
  • Create a CD with songs that are special to the couple, as well as classic love songs, to send home with the guests.


50th anniversary party favors
photos courtesy of inspiredideasmag.blogspot.com and opentip.com

Surprise 50th Anniversary Party

There is no better gift to a couple celebrating a milestone anniversary than a surprise party thrown in their honor. Imagine the sweet duo walking into a venue full of their family and friends who have gathered to celebrate them. This article provides tips and inspiration for surprise anniversary party invitations and wording.

In order for the party to be a success, every guest must know that it’s meant to be a surprise. Make sure your invitations clearly state that the couple isn’t aware of the party. Tell them to RSVP with you only, and have them arrive an hour before the couple is told to show up.

Think of a legitimate reason to invite the couple to the party venue. Invite them over for a quiet dinner, or have their children offer to take them out for an evening so they’ll already be dressed for the occasion.

Party Planning Checklist

An organized checklist will help you stay on track for planning your 25th anniversary party. Every party is different, so custom-tailor this checklist to suit your needs:

Two months before:

___ Decide on the date and time of the party

___Choose a theme, if any

___Select a location – book venue if party won’t be in your home

___Create guest list

___Order invitations

___Make a list of anything you’ll need to borrow

One month before:

___Decide on a budget, allocate the budget (food, decorations, etc)

___Mail invitations

___book any vendors necessary: DJ, caterer, cake baker

___For dinner parties at home, plan the menu

One or two weeks before:

___Buy, borrow or make decorations

___Do preliminary deep cleaning of your home if necessary

___Compose a complete grocery list

___Stock the bar

___Pick out party favors

___Get a final head count, if possible

Two days before:

___Grocery shop for everything but the most perishable items

___Plan your time table for cooking the food, getting ready, etc.

___Confirm arrival times for any vendors, if necessary

The day before:

___Give your home a final cleaning

___Decorate your home and arrange the table centerpieces

___Prep any food possible

___Defrost freezer items

Party day:

___Make a morning grocery run for perishable items and ice

___Double check any cleaning tasks

___Set the table

___Set up the bar

___Cook the food

___Enjoy the party!

The HGTV website also features a printable party planning checklist that may come in handy. However you decide to honor the milestone, enjoy the 50th anniversary party to the fullest. Vow to help make the next 50 just as memorable.