Planning A 50th Wedding Anniversary Celebration (Looking for Pointers)

Next February 2, my parents will have been married 50 years (I was seriously conceived on the honeymoon at the Ramada Inn in Dothan fwiw - and NO, I'm not changing my name to DothanconceivedTidefan, either).

My sister currently resides in Japan so we are waiting their return after her senior year of HS daughter graduates. Thus, we not actually having the ceremony until July 6th next year. (Yes, I understand with Dad being 73 and Mom 72 then, there's always a risk of one of them not making it, but that's actually quite younger than either one's parents went).

We have some unique problems in that because Dad spent 23 years in the USAF, we moved all over the place. Two years ago, he got a wild hair and moved back home to Missouri, which presents the fact that almost nobody but family even knows them anymore. Hence, the celebration will be in their town, and the reception will be small.


I'm asking for basic ideas of things that could be cool.

So far, I'm compiling a music video with some pictures they're submitting (my brother the news producer has access to some really good equipment). Also, we're going to have them take a picture when we're up there for the planning session later this month so as to have a "then and now" picture. I'm also probably going to blow up a newspaper front page from that particular day. It's likely to be catered by the place (and cleaned) so that we don't have much to do with setup and teardown.

Anything anyone has done that turned out pretty good?


Thank you to everyone in advance.
 

AlexanderFan

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Different songs through their history? Stuff you remember them listening to? Events and happenings they've lived through together? Now that I'm sitting here thinking about it I see why you asked for suggestions lol.

On a side note, send them Congratulations for me. First on making it over 70, that's not a given on this crazy planet, and secondly for making it this long without killing each other.


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tattooguy21

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I'm not sure if it's an option, but I bet after that much time in service, both your dad and mom made good friends with a few couples, some similar in age to maybe a decade or two younger. I don't know if there's anyway that you could get some of that info from them and contact those guys. There's a solid chance they'd travel for something like that, and if nothing else, catch up on lost time.
 

alabama mike1

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Be sure to have a poster up of the price of things when they got married. I was at a celebration a week ago Sunday and this was up, nice touch.
 

Elefantman

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You said you moved a lot. If you have photos of the places they lived, see if you can find them on google maps and show what they look like today.
 

Its On A Slab

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If you can find the newspaper of the day they were married, it can be special. And contain some interesting tidbits.

For example, when my parents got married in September, 1956, the local paper's sports page had a blurb about Florida State's beating Ohio U., 47-7 in their home opener. Huge game by FSU QB, Lee Corso.
 

Bazza

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Having their children there to celebrate with them will mean more than anything to them, Bill.

Other than that I think you've already received some great ideas here.

Congrats in advance - that's a huge accomplishment and one you (and they) should be proud of!
 

BamaFlum

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My parents just celebrated their 50th. I asked them what they wanted and they just wanted everyone under one roof for a few days. My brother and I got a house in Fort Morgan for 5 nights and we had a blast. My mom got to take care of her boys and her grand babies while my dad got to take us fishing. Just having everyone together is a celebration in and of itself.


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Tidewater

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My maternal grandfather, at his 50th anniversary, simply said, "That's a heck of a long time to spend with one woman." My maternal grandmother was less than pleased with this comment.

I hope that helps.
 

TideMom2Boys

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I like the idea of the slideshow. I made one for my in laws on their 35th anniversary and they loved it. On the then and now pic...is there a funny picture from the past that they can pose for again now? That is always a fun thing to do.

I actually found a frame that actually said Then and Now for my in laws and put the two pictures in there. So you could search for a frame like that as well.
 

gtowntide

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I'll give you a my perspective from my wife and me. We are also coming up on our 50th next January. I'm 69 and she's 68. Yes we were babies when we got married but it worked out pretty well. We have one daughter that lives about two miles from us so we're together a lot.
If your parents are like us, they probably don't really need too much so buying them a gift might be hard.
Just being there with them is probably the best gift you can give them especially when everyone lives long distances from them. As far as them not making it until then, check with them daily to see how they feel!:eek:
 

GrayTide

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I'll give you a my perspective from my wife and me. We are also coming up on our 50th next January. I'm 69 and she's 68. Yes we were babies when we got married but it worked out pretty well. We have one daughter that lives about two miles from us so we're together a lot.
If your parents are like us, they probably don't really need too much so buying them a gift might be hard.
Just being there with them is probably the best gift you can give them especially when everyone lives long distances from them. As far as them not making it until then, check with them daily to see how they feel!:eek:[/QUOTE

My wife and I have been happily married 25 years, 25 out of 44 ain't bad.
 

Crimson1967

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Tell something that happened on each of their anniversaries.


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Well, we had it this past weekend.

Folks celebrated 50 years of "Wait, you're STILL here?" this weekend.

The entire family made it.

All of Dad's siblings were there (one of Mom's is dead, the other is too frail to travel).


Dad's post-stroke (2016) decline is too noticeable. He got up to address the room and then went on a meandering year-by-year retrospective until Mom cut him off at about ten years. We had a family video that my brother the news producer, er, produced. I got to see one guy that used to play softball with Dad that I had not seen in 37 years (his wife, who is Filipino, fed me my first fried rice).

All in all, it was a good time. Mom was happy - even though, unfortunately, much of it fell on her locally (since none of us lives closer than 9 hours to them - road trip anyway).

Fittingly, we got them a NY Times scrapbook that has the covers of the Times on every February 2 from their marriage date to anniversary date. That was better than a second plaque and might actually get looked at it. Mom remarked that the biggest thing she notices is how DRASTICALLY different the world is just a half century removed from when she got married.

In general, just the everyone getting together to celebrate was good enough - and we kept it short since most of them that came that were not cousins (etc) were in their 70s or older (certainly late 60s).

Thanks for the pointers, it was a great time.

Mom's proudest thing? That her four kids figured out how to do it and finance it and cooperate on it without one single disagreement.
 

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