It is a rare experience when a couple reaches their fiftieth wedding anniversary. According to the United States Census Bureau's "Number, Timing, and Duration of Marriages and Divorces" report, less than 6 per cent of couples stay married for 50 or more years. Family members and friends can help to make the milestone memorable by throwing the anniversary couple a celebration. Heartfelt poems that are written by party guests add a special touch to the event.
Banquet Style Celebration
Rent a private banquet hall. Ask each attendee to contribute an equal amount to cover the cost of the hall. Order the couples' favourite food items (i.e. prime rib, poached salmon, lobster) off the menu. Decorate the banquet hall in the colours that the couple wore on their wedding day. Invite parents, siblings and extended relatives from both the wife's and the husband's family to the celebration. Ensure that the couple's children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren are present. Place enlarged colour pictures of the couple throughout the banquet hall (you can purchase inexpensive frames from a dollar store and insert the pictures inside). Include a blend of pictures from the couple's early marital days all the way up to their current wedding year. Ask each of the couple's children to write a poem that focuses on how the couple's love has influenced their lives and helped them to become the people that they are today. Set aside time to have the poems read after dinner is served. After dinner is eaten, clear chairs away from the centre of the floor. Play the couple's favourite song, the song that they joined in love to, and let the couple dance hand-in-hand. Hold hands, and circle around the couple while they dance.
Take a Cruise
A year before the couple's fiftieth wedding anniversary, open a bank account. Each week, deposit enough money into the account (similar to how a Christmas savings account is maintained) to save up to pay for the couple to go on a cruise on the week of their fiftieth anniversary. Each of the couple's children or/and grandchildren (if they are old enough) can contribute to the account. Alert the cruise line to the anniversary. Ask that the main restaurant on the cruise ship be decorated to celebrate the couple's anniversary. Sing "Happy Anniversary" to the couple during their first elegant meal on the cruise. As the couple walks down the plank at the end of the cruise, hand them a gift box filled with a gold trinket with their names and wedding date on it. Also fill the box with a personal poem written by each member of the family. Create the poems so that they focus on how the family has grown over the years (i.e., newborn babies) in large part because of the couple's love.
Home Is Where the Heart Is
Create a menu item list that includes the couple's favourite foods. Work with relatives to assign members to cook certain dishes. Also create a decoration team for the anniversary celebration. Hang pictures of the couple (i.e., first year of marriage photos, first home photos, photos of them with their first child) on the house walls. Make the party a surprise. Ask a family member to escort the couple to the home where the anniversary celebration is held. Shout "Happy Anniversary" as soon as the couple enters the home. Toast the couple before dinner is served. After dinner, ask each member of the family to read a poem addressed to the couple. Remember to let younger family members write and read a poem as well. Have the poems focus on each decade that the couple has been together. For example, five relatives could write poems that focus on the first 10 years that the couple was married, while another five relatives could write poems on experiences that the couple had during the second 10 years that they were married.