My dear Mom and Dad are celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary in July. The kids worked out the best date for a party (considering all vacations, camps, schools, etc) and on Friday night June 8th, we celebrated with a big party in their honor. Max finished his school year on June 1, so the first week of summer was exciting getting ready for the historic event.
If you have a 50th wedding anniversary party to plan, I would suggest you "divide and conquer" ... having family members handle different tasks of the preparation. That seemed to work for us.
My sister lives in Connecticut, and my brother in Boston, so we planned everything in one month over phone and email. The day or two before we rehashed our to-do lists, and to do "day of" lists, and then delegated some errands to the husbands.
It was decided we'd have it at an historic Inn in Lititz. But after telling them about our plans, they requested their house be the location for the party...giving the five grand kids more room to play. That was thoughtful of them. :)
So we began our scheme for the food and decorating. I scoured the internet for any tips and ideas, and am writing this post because there wasn't too much info out there.
My sister took care of the catering with food selection help from my Mom. The Olde Greenfield Inn did a great job with a very healthy meal, and we had lots of tasty leftovers. We fit my 6ft show table in the window nook of the kitchen, covered it with it's fitted black show table cloth and topped it with a gold party cloth from the party store. On the table went the rented steamer trays and all that wonderful food. It looked great!
I made five banners in all- which you can make very easily too, for a pretty, vintage effect.
here's my favorite one right after I made it:
and here it is at their house. We pulled old photos from their library to decorate the mantel and I framed a wedding day note my parents gave my Grandparents, "Thank you Daddy, Mom, and Joe for a Wonderful Wedding." dated July 21, 1962.
To make nearly everything, I used:
the backs of cereal boxes (Matt, my husband kept asking what was happening to our cereal boxes)
old photos (I swiped their best albums for a couple of days) and made copies of the best pics on my printer, printing them all in black and white on either regular copy paper or a heavier card stock.
Cardstock/printer paper: I used one pack for $3.99 at JoAnne's, minus the 40% off coupon...I also used this to print the invitations on. I bought coordinating envelopes at a similar price.)
Elmer's glue,a glue stick, a hot glue gun
thin and thicker ribbon- white and golden
gold tulle $2.99
This banner template for the banner letters from Martha Stewart.
WordArt in my word program to make some little signs
I borrowed some of my neighbors decorations from her recent wedding reception (see post). It was fun to use her things for a night, and helped to create a continuous look. I was grateful! She shared her bird candle holders, topiary trees, her aluminum drink containers, candles, cake stands, and a large bird plate holder (among other things!)
I used an old painting canvas, covered it with fabric and literally glue gunned more vintage pictures to it to create a collage for the entry.
My sister made photo collages too, and brought balloons, and photo stands that matched the bird theme. She had great photos that I didn't have access too.
She picked up the gold plates, silverware and napkins which were more affordable then the specific "50th" ones. Amazingly, we set everything up in about 2 hours, while my Mom went to the salon and the men had the balloons blown up, and shopped for ice.
I made a 1962 event list:
and a Congrats Mom and Dad sign. I used frames from my house.
I created wreathes for the outside of the house and for the inside stairs using ivy from my outdoor oven that I pulled off that day. I just misted it to keep it fresh and kept it in a kitchen trash bag until we were ready to use it.
I put more vintage pictures in the ivy on the stairs, and my sister and I tied all of it on with the gold tulle.
In the dining room, my sister created a drink area with her pretty lemonade holder and ice bucket (nooking another table into those windows):
We made the dining table a dessert station. Misty's cake stands looked pretty here, and I used some of my gold chargers from previous craft shows. My Mom bought the cake from Family Cupboard in Lititz- and it was gorgeous and delicious!
I topped two little chocolate cakes with pictures of my Mom and Dad as children:
I made the favors using candy bags I had, filled them with gold Hershey kisses, attached a little picture of them with dates that I made in Word, and tied them with embroidery floss which I had. I filled a three tiered server with them (from my setup at My Aunt Debbie).
Outside, my sister placed white luminaries along the walkway. She bought decorative bags and added ribbon and a gold sticker to them. They looked so good! Even though the party started at 6pm when it was still light out, they were lit to welcome the guests. It looked gorgeous.
It was a wonderful night with 40 friends and family, and I had a great time slipping back in time while listening to our 1962-now playlist (take a listen, it's fun!), revisiting my childhood with all the old family photos, seeing our close friends and family, and appreciating the exciting and loving life they've had together.