50th Wedding Anniversary Dinner Ideas

Happy couple cutting their golden anniversary cake.

Half a century spent in marital bliss is an occasion worth noting with a huge celebration. Deciding on a dinner party to commemorate 50 years of marriage, called the golden anniversary, is the perfect way for friends and family to celebrate with the couple. Whether the party is held in a hall, at a restaurant, the couple's own backyard or at a friend's home, dinner, drinks and dancing are sure to be a hit.


Host the dinner party at the couple's favourite restaurant. If possible, choose the restaurant where they went on their first date, or an upscale place they've never been. Reserve a room or table large enough for everyone. Decorate the table if the restaurant allows. While full-fledged decorations may not be possible, a centrepiece of fifty red roses or the couple's wedding photo in a gold frame may be fitting. You can also tie "Happy 50th Anniversary" balloons to the couple's chairs.

Benefits of hosting the dinner party at a restaurant include the no-hassle approach. You won't be in charge of cooking or clean-up. Allow everyone to choose any meal off of the restaurant's menu. Or, offer guests a specific choice of dishes that you've planned with the restaurant ahead of time. Try offering at least three dinner choices, such as chicken, beef and a vegetarian plate.

You may be able to bring in your own anniversary cake, although the restaurant may require it to come from a bakery. Ask ahead of time so your plans aren't foiled.

Rent a Hall

Renting out an entire banquet hall may be the best choice for a large anniversary party. The venue will be exclusive to your party. You also may be able to set up a gift table and decorate according to the couple's taste. You can even create a dance floor.

As for food, some banquet halls may require you to use their in-house caterer or choose from a list of specified vendors. You may be able to bring in your own caterer. If you plan on having the meal catered, you should offer a buffet style set up. This way, guests can choose what they want to eat. Or, you can offer a specific menu. Try to offer at least two or three main dishes, as well as a vegetarian plate. If possible, recreate the couple's original wedding menu.

Another option is to make the food yourself, if the hall allows. Prepare enough for everyone. If possible, enlist the help of friends or relatives. Serve one or two kinds of meat, bread, fruits, vegetables and a salad. Consider a pasta dish, which would also make a good vegetarian option.

Backyard Celebrations

Another option is to host a dinner party at home, or in the backyard. You can have the food catered, or make it a more casual event if the couple wouldn't like the "fuss" of a restaurant or banquet hall. Barbecue hamburgers and hot dogs, or opt for chicken and ribs. Offer an array of side dishes such as cold salads along with baked beans, potatoes and vegetables.

Tint any food you can with a gold food colouring, or offer gold-colour punch. Decorate with gold streamers and "50th Anniversary" banners. Serve the food on gold-colour paper plates. Put a golden twist on the anniversary party, even if it's a simple barbecue. The golden theme will signify the importance of the celebration.

Another option is hosting a potluck dinner so you aren't left with the full responsibility of cooking for all of the guests.

Use the original cake topper if you can locate it. Your local bakery may even be able to bake a cake resembling the original wedding cake. Imagine how surprised the couple will be to see their wedding cake again!

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