How to Conduct a 50th Anniversary Wedding Service

wedding celebration image by Warren Millar from

Fifty years of marriage is a major accomplishment nowadays, especially in this era when everything is fast and ever-changing. A couple who reaches this milestone in their lives deserve a celebration that commemorates the life they have shared together. It is a challenge to fit in a 50-year legacy of family, friends and memories in one day. Using these guidelines can help any golden couple put together their dream anniversary celebration.

Decide on what kind of wedding anniversary celebration you will have. Decide whether it will be religious—before a priest or minister, or civil—before a judge. Choose how formal the event should be—formal, semi-formal or dressy-casual.

Determine how small or big the wedding anniversary celebration will be. Will it be an intimate gathering of only the closest and dearest of friends, or will it be a huge celebration including all relatives and acquaintances over the past 50 years? A small anniversary celebration with only immediate family and close friends would be somewhere between 50 and 100 guests, depending on the number of immediate family members—children, grandchildren and in-laws.

Set a budget. Like all personal milestone events, it is wise to consider finances and expenditures. Jot down priority items and suppliers that will be needed for wedding apparel, food, venue, videography, photography, flowers and a lot more. Allot a specific budget for each.

Incorporate a color motif. The traditional motif for a 50th wedding anniversary is gold because it symbolizes strength and endurance. Incorporating the motif into certain aspects of the occasion is one way for guests to be reminded of the enduring relationship of the couple. Everything from the wedding attire to the decorations and souvenirs can have gold as a unifying theme.

Include personal touches. For the ceremony, one way to make it more special is to ask members of the original entourage to participate. Flower girls and bearers from the wedding 50 years ago can reprise their roles in the wedding march, this time parading down the aisle as adults. Another option is to keep it in the family if the couple has a large brood. Members of the entourage can be made up of children, children-in-law, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, if any. Aside from writing personal vows to each other, another special touch for the couple is to let their children offer vows to them during the ceremony as a way of recognizing the importance of a golden wedding anniversary as a celebration not just of two people, but of a family.

Add special decor at the reception area. For the reception, personal touches can be done to make the occasion special. Event styling can concentrate on recreating personal memories. Pictures of the couple from 50 years ago to the present can be printed on huge tarpaulins and exhibited all over the venue. Table centerpieces can include pictures of the couple with friends and family. Even the cake can be printed on with photo memories. Another idea is to have memory trees scattered all over the venue. These trees can be fashioned from young bamboo poles or any large twigs available and painted in gold. Mementos of the couple’s life photos, letters, souvenirs from trips and even personal articles like old handbags and hats can be used to decorate these trees.The reception program should honor the golden couple. If a band is hired, a repertoire of the couple’s special songs is a nice way to complement the program. Audiovisual presentations of the couple’s history, and anecdotes from family and friends are a fun way to relive past times. Special numbers from children and grandchildren will add a personal touch to event entertainment.