An open house party is an ideal choice for a 40th anniversary party because it gives the couple a chance to connect with many guests over the course of the party as they mingle. Plan the open house to create a casual and festive atmosphere in which guests, including the 40th anniversary couple, can celebrate some of the good times during the couple's marriage so far.
Because rubies are the traditional stone for the 40th anniversary, consider a theme incorporating rubies or the colour red. If the couple travelled somewhere special for their honeymoon, that location could also be chosen as a theme for the party and worked into the decorations and the food.
If the guest list is larger than the house can accommodate, consider controlling traffic by writing different times on the invitations. For example, invite family and close friends for the whole party, work friends for the first half and church friends for the second half. Include red foil heart confetti in each invitation as a way to incorporate the theme colour and reflect the romantic nature of the celebration.
Use red roses in floral centrepieces to both add red to the decorations and make use of a classic flower representing love. To help guests reflect on the couple's 40 years of marriage, frame a series of photos of the couple from when they first met through the present day. Arrange them chronologically on a wall or table, or for a game, label the photos and have guests try to guess how long the couple had been married in each photo.
An open house is an ideal venue for having guests write something special to the couple being honoured because the party is not structured and there can always be somebody at the writing table. One idea is to ask guests to help create a gift for the couple to encourage them as they look forward to their milestone 50th anniversary. Have each guest write down both a memory of the couple during their marriage so far and a hope or wish for their next 10 years of marriage leading up to the golden 50th anniversary.
Food and Drinks
Because people drop in and out at an open house, serve a variety of hors d'ouevres rather than a full sit-down meal. One idea is to incorporate the colour red into the food and drinks to fit with the colour scheme of the party. Food ideas include roasted beet and goat cheese crostinis, heirloom tomato tartlets, and red potato skins filled with mushrooms and cheese. For drinks, serve an alcoholic or nonalcoholic punch made with berry or grape juice to give it a deep red colour.