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50th Wedding Anniversary Sample Reception

Updated on March 16, 2011
CeeJHicks profile image

The author has degrees in mathematics and education. She loves to travel, sightsee, sample local cuisine, and plan special events.

Coordinating a 50th Wedding Anniversary Reception

A 50th wedding anniversary reception often called a golden wedding anniversary reception can be easily done on a limited budget. The keys to a successful 50th wedding anniversary reception is planning ahead and organization. Some children or planners of the happy 50th anniversary couple prefer to send their parents on a cruise or other trip. However, after 50 years, a reception involving family and close friends would be appropriate. It will also allow time for the happy couple to renew their vows or to receive a plaque acknowledging their lifetime commitment to each other.

If a 50th wedding anniversary reception is desired, begin at least ten months in advance of the wedding anniversary reception. Some widely used anniversary or wedding venues require a year in advance to reserve the banquet room or building. So, begin as early as possible. Wedding anniversary Invitations should be mailed at least three months in advance to allow relatives and friends time to make job related arrangements and travel plans for attending the reception. If relatives and friends are nearby, then two months might be appropriate, depending on the time of the year and day of the week the reception will be held. Icy weather conditions, holiday travel, school attendance, and summer vacation time are a few of the things that must be considered in setting a date for a reception centered around the original date the wedding took place.

The first thing to do is to choose a 50thwedding anniversary reception date, time, and location. Since this is such a special occasion, the location of the wedding anniversary reception is very important. The number of guests must also be considered. Begin by making up a guest list with contact information to include mailing addresses, e-mail addresses, phone numbers, and number of guests per household. This will help in determining the size of the room or building for the event. All of these details must take place before thinking about mailing out invitations.

Some suggested locations for holding a 50th wedding anniversary reception are a church reception room or education building, a conference room at a local hotel, a city reception hall, or local banquet room/hall at a local college. A reception during the summer months in areas where the weather is nice could be held outside on a nice lawn. A large enclosed tent might be a consideration or an alternative to renting a building or large banquet hall. Look for wedding venues and the pricing options and decide on the best approach for the reception. Most wedding venues require less decoration for the 50th wedding anniversary.

Reserve the location for the anniversary reception after ensuring it will accommodate the required number of proposed guests plus 20 (program participants, Deejay, camera/video personnel, cake server, caterer and food and beverage servers). Use a spreadsheet or similar method to keep track of expenses at this point using the cost of renting the location as the first entry. Next come up with a tentative menu for the reception. Some planners prefer a less formal buffet style and serve an assortment of meats, cheeses, appetizers, dips, vegetables, and fruit in season. Others prefer a buffet meal that can be easily served to older or disabled guests who cannot stand in a buffet line. A sample 50th wedding anniversary reception buffet menu in the form of a meal might consist of something similar to the following:

Buffet Menu

Appetizers

     Assorted Fruit, Assorted Cheeses and Crackers

Entrée

     Beef, Chicken (or Pork)

Vegetable and Side

     String Beans, Potato Salad 

Salad

     Tossed Green Salad

Bread

     Rolls

Dessert

     Ambrosia, Anniversary Cake

Liquids

     Spring Water, Iced Tea
     Non-Alcoholic Champagne (Toast)


Some planners might not wish to have a dinner. However, check with caterers about choices of food and drinks, the 50th anniversary wedding cake, a centerpiece for the head table (lavender flowers), table service, and decoration options. Mention the location of the reception. Most caters are familiar with wedding and reception venues in their community. Compare costs and choose the caterer with the best service options and cost that fits within your budget and your vision for the reception.

Devise a tentative 50th wedding anniversary program format. The format below will give some ideas about some items you might incorporate. A tentative 50th wedding anniversary program will be useful in choosing a deejay and program participants. Identify family members who might be able to attend and contribute to making a successful program. Once a tentative program is in place, choose an appropriate deejay. The music played during the reception is an important item. Check within the family to see if anyone does this type work. Family and friends will be willing to give a tremendous discount to play an active part in the reception.

Sample 50th Anniversary Program

Prelude

Seating of:

Family, Friends, and Special Guests (from their wedding)

Honorary Couple…………….…Mr. & Mrs. Walter Gaines

(Married 50 years)

Anniversary Couple….. Mr. & Mrs. Jerry M. Coleman, Jr.

Opening…………………………….....Wilma Jean Holmes

Invocation……………………….………..Larry L. Coleman

Song………………………………..………Lenny H. Gaines

Occasion………………………….......Florence K. Holmes

Poem………………………….….……….Sally Faye Wilson

Song……………………………….........Sharon S. Williams

Blessing of the Food………………...Cindy Boles Young

Buffet Hostess….………………………..Carry Ann Young

Picture Memories & instrumental Music..During Dinner

Champagne Toast………….…..Mr. & Mrs. Walter Gaines

Honorees’ Response….Mr. & Mrs. Jerry M. Coleman, Jr.

Anniversary Certificate………..........Wilma Jean Holmes

Congratulatory Remarks……….Video, Cards, Audience

Anniversary Dance…………………...Anniversary Couple

Anniversary Cake Cutting………......Anniversary Couple

Closing Remarks……………….……..Wilma Jean Holmes

Once you have decided that you will definitely have the affair, proceed with working on the invitations for the affair. Beautiful invitation packets can be obtained from at discount costs from paper supply stores, paper outlet stores, and over the internet. Computer savvy planners find it easy to print their own invitations and save money doing so. This is especially cost effective if less than 100 invitations are going out. Use bulk mail at the post office to mail the invitations. A sample card format is as follows:

Sample Invitation (center on card)

You are cordially invited to a Reception

To Celebrate the Fiftieth Wedding Anniversary

of Mr. and Mrs. Jerry M. Coleman, Jr.

on Saturday, the Fifteenth of January

Two Thousand Eleven

Five O’clock in the Evening

at The Walnut Grove on Vine Street

Any Town, State

Hosted by

(List Names Here)

Sample Reply Card

(Include return stamped envelope that contains the return address and

forwarding address already written)

RSVP (center on card)

I will not be able to attend: ___

I plan to attend: ___

Please reserve ___ seats

Names of Guests: _____________

_____________

_____________

Generate a guest list from all returned RSVP cards. This will provide a final count of guests for the reception and give the caterer a chance to update seating and to ensure that enough food is available for the occasion.

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    • profile image

      nesaj0 6 years ago

      This page gave very good tips on planning a 50th anniversary party or any other party. Great! Thanks!

    • PegCole17 profile image

      Peg Cole 6 years ago from Dallas, Texas

      Very useful information here for anyone planning to throw a party for the wedding couple. My sister had a wonderful Renewal of Vows ceremony at their 30th anniversary. She's a baker so she made the cakes and they were stunning. I was amazed at all the work involved in the planning and preparation for the event.

    • profile image

      lalaine m.danao 5 years ago

      thank you! very informative and educational.i got some great ideas,im also preparing for my parents 50th wedding anniversary this nov.

    • profile image

      laila arban 5 years ago

      thanx!it ends my worries,very useful!

    • profile image

      Joy 4 years ago

      Thanks a lot to this!

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