Thursday, September 3, 2009

10 Golden Anniversary Party Ideas

We just spent a wonderful weekend in LaGrange, Ga., celebrating Joe's parents' 50th wedding anniversary. The big event of the weekend was a plated dinner in honor of Betty and Louis at the country club. My sisters-in-law and I decorated for the event, and their wonderful ideas prove that you don't have to spend a fortune to make a celebration golden.

View 10 party ideas here. For more inspiration or information about planning an event in New York City, visit my sister-in-law Emily's company Event Management.

Let Them Eat Cake ...

Caramel cake is a Lester family favorite, so we found a local baker who made four of these decadent southern cakes. We positioned the cakes on a mirrored tray to mimic the lines of the original wedding cake. Then we embellished the cakes with fresh yellow roses and greenery picked up at the grocery store.

Light the Way ...

Guests who remember the Lesters' wedding 50 years ago joke about it being the hottest wedding of all time because they insisted on burning candles during the ceremony in an unair-conditioned church building on one of the hottest days of the summer. Although Saturday night's banquet hall was climate-controlled, no guest could miss the warm glow of all our candles. Candles topped tables and lined window sills. Candles were a more economical choice than flower arrangements, and we collected an interesting variety of candlesticks by borrowing them from family and friends.

Style Lift from a Layover ...

White tablecloths and chair covers were included in our rental of the event space, but my sister-in-law suggested we use organza overlays to add warmth to the room. Ordered online, these polyester overlays added big impact for little cost. And they will come in handy for other occasions, as well.

Picture Us in the Golden Days ...

Party guests enjoyed seeing Betty and Louis' wedding photos displayed prominently throughout the space. My sister-in-law had a few pictures scanned at Staples. Several filled inexpensive gold frames. Placed on food tables, these photos added a personal touch to the celebration. A poster-size printout mounted on foam board made a big impact displayed at the banquet hall entrance. And guests enjoyed flipping through the original wedding photos, which I transferred to a new album before the party.

Do Me a Favor ...

Gold foil-wrapped chocolates added sparkle to the table dropped into cellophane bags and sealed with a personalized gold sticker.


Swing from the Chandeliers ...

Hanging from the chandeliers, wreaths trimmed in gold and white drew the eye up.


Send a Letter ...

I loved this idea for weddings or anniversary parties. Shannon re-purposed Pottery Barn letters from her son's room, spray-painting them gold for the occasion. She then wrapped a wreath hanger in white tulle and attached the letter with a bow. The hanging tulle looked almost like a wedding veil.

Remember the Golden Ties That Bind ...

Ribbons tied to candlesticks and draped around the photos and cake added a festive touch to the decor. And tulle swagged across the ceiling and accenting the doors gave the space an ethereal quality.

Don't Forget the Little People ...


With seven grandchildren ages 3 to 10 attending the nearly three-hour party, we did our best to keep our youngest guests entertained. Several fun surprises made the kids table the place to be -- ramekins of Goldfish for snacking; notepads and crayons for doodling; and little Lego sets wrapped to remind the children that families are built with love.


Walk Down Memory Lane ...

Our celebration was bursting with nostalgia. Joe's sister, Emily, entertained us with songs that shared the Lesters' history. Joe and brother, Howard, offered prayers and funny stories. Other guests shared their memories, and the Lesters introduced all the guests at the dinner before cutting the anniversary cake. The culmination of the evening's events was watching a DVD presentation of favorite family moments.


A Golden Evening for All ...


After the party, I told Joe that guests were welcomed into his family for the evening. This anniversary celebration offered a wealth of creative ideas. But mostly it reminded us all that after 50 years, the true treasure is family; the best gifts are sweet memories; and the love that binds us is golden.


Photos by Nathan Prichard


19 comments:

The Quintessential Magpie said...

What a wonderful party, Melissa! I felt as if I were there. Lovely all the way around, and I know your inlaws appreciated all that you and your SIL did to make it perfect.

XO,

Sheila :-)

loriadkins said...

WOW! I would have loved to have been able to celebrate with them. Everything looks elegant and they look wonderful. You can definitely see how happy they are. Much love to all of you.

Lori

Quinn said...

It's just perfect! Every single little detail was thought out...

Rach said...

Looks like a very beautiful event. I loved the warm colors.

Deanna said...

LOVELY POST!
Blessings,
d

Ruby's Fairy Godmother said...

What a beautiful party. My parents are celebrating their 50th this year (in November). My Father's Mother just passed away in June(2 months before her 100th birthday), we (my sister and I, along with our parents) decided rather than hosting a large party, that my sister and I would send them on a 7 day cruise (with my Father's two widowed sisters).....they are so looking forward to a nice relaxing trip and the Aunts getting to go is a treat as well. I wish we would be with them, but I know they need to little vacation. I am so thankful for my Christian Parents and Grandparents!
Norah

Becky said...

Looks like it was a beautiful party Melissa! you are more than welcome to do one for my tenth if you want...it is Christmas eve. We aren't doing a thing. Unless its on a weekend we won't even be in the same state most likely. LOL! So glad that you were able to do that for them. Your touch was everywhere and it looked gorgeous.

Red Writing said...

Lovely indeeed! I know the sweethearts felt very special at this event. Thanks for sharing!

Mary said...

Melissa what a lovely party. The room looked beautiful and the bride and groom looked so pleased.
Congratulations to you ad your sister in laws on a job well done.

Nancy said...

Thank you for sharing this with us :) Countless heart memories were made!

Personalized Sketches and Sentiments said...

Happy 50th anniversary to your in-laws! What a beautiful celebration!

Blessings & Aloha!

Mary Beth said...

What a beautiful event! I love how you make all things special, and I love how you make really special things magnificent! Thanks for sharing all of the ideas.

Amy Arnaz said...

Dear Melissa,
I found you thru a link from The Royal Ballet blog and just looked at the 50th Anniversary photos. Lovely. What a blessing and achievement for a marriage to last 50 years. It's inspiring.... I love your blog and am so happy I found you today. xoxo Amy Arnaz

Heidi said...

Beautiful Melissa! That cake looked scrumptious. we LOVE caramel cake as well. I was only introduced to it a few years ago by my husband's stepmom. They get it from a place in Andalusia.

Anyway, I really enjoyed this post. Everything looked fabulous.
I did a 5oth Anniversary celebration for my aunt and uncle several years back and did a slide show too. It was such a surprise to them they cried. It was neat adding music to each segment that represented that time period... and each decade as the time passed.

You are the most talented woman I know. WOW!

Linda said...

My grandparents had a beautiful 50th anniversary. My mom got a photo of them from their wedding day, and blew it up life size. I think she ordered it from Hollywoodmegastore.com

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