Every wedding anniversary is a special occasion that deserves a celebration, but when a couple reaches the fifty year mark they deserve something really special. A Golden Anniversary, commemorating fifty years of marriage, calls for the kind of party that gathers friends and family together to celebrate and share in the honored couple’s lifetime of memories.
Throwing a 50th anniversary party is an opportunity for friends and relatives to remind the happy couple of the roads they’ve traveled, and the lives they’ve touched, in their half century of wedded bliss. But planning, and executing, a memorable 50th anniversary celebration takes time and forethought.
First Steps – Budgets and Guest Lists
Setting a firm budget is vital to planning any large gathering, and will help you make the necessary decisions regarding guest lists, caterers, decorations and venue rental. Determine the budget for your party early in the planning process, and stick to it closely.
One of the easiest aspects of organizing a 50th anniversary celebration will be compiling the guest list. After fifty years of marriage, there will be plenty of family and friends who will want to attend. The length of your guest list will largely be determined by the budget you set for the party. If you are planning a surprise 50th, it may be more difficult to know who to include, but if the anniversary couple is involved be sure to get the names and contact information for the guests they want most to attend.
Invitations should be sent out early, and you will want to include an RSVP with each invitation so you can keep abreast of who will be attending, and so you have an accurate head count for the caterer.
Choose Your Venue
Large gatherings like a 50th wedding anniversary really need the right room to be successful. It’s always tempting to try to keep things personal, and hold the party at your home or at a favorite restaurant, but there will be a large number of people attending and it’s best to look for a professional venue that can fully accommodate your needs.
Start by looking for a rental hall or entertainment venue that is centrally located to the majority of the guests who will be attending your celebration. If you have guests coming in from out of town, and for a 50th anniversary there’s a good chance you will, try to find a wedding venue that is close to available hotels and restaurants in order to make accommodations and local travel easier for your out of town guests.
Visit any prospective venue in person before finalizing any booking. You want to make sure that it offers adequate parking facilities, that there is plenty of handicap access, and that the restrooms are clean and presentable. You also want to get a good look at the available rooms, so you can be sure they will be suitable and to give you a better idea of decorating possibilities. While visiting the venue, take the time to speak with the management and ask any questions you have concerning any services that may be included with the rental cost.
Once you have chosen a suitable venue, you will want to begin considering catering services. Many rental venues have on-site caterers that can be more convenient, and oftentimes more affordable, than independent catering companies. The caterer’s knowledge of the venue, and experience working with the on-site team, also tends to make for a more trouble free experience. Discuss the availability of an on-site caterer with the venue’s management when you contact them for booking information.
When you have settled on a catering service, work closely with them to determine a menu for your anniversary celebration. The caterer should be able to make suggestions that suit both your budget, and the theme of your party. They should also be able to take your own suggestions, and work them into a first class party menu that will satisfy all of your guests and, more importantly, the anniversary couple. When organizing the menu, consider adding dishes that have significance to the anniversary couple, perhaps a family favorite or a date night delight that your caterer can give an elegant twist. This helps to add a personal note to the celebration.
Organizing a 50th anniversary party is a wonderful way to show how much you care for the guests of honor. It is an opportunity to gather friends and family together to celebrate two people who have enjoyed the triumphs, and weathered the storms, of fifty years of marriage. With proper planning, and with the right venue and caterer, you can organize a night to remember for both the anniversary couple and their guests.