My sister-in-law and I recently planned a 50th wedding anniversary party for my in-laws. The best part about this party was that it was totally affordable!
My in-laws are probably the most amazing people in the world. I am fortunate to have such great role models for not only love but how to be great human beings. Even though they are world travelers, they took all of us on a family vacation to celebrate 50 years.
After some going back and forth, and a surprise 3rd grandchild, we landed on Norris Lake in Tennessee. We’ve all been there before and it is a gorgeous place. My brother-in-law has a fantastic boat for us to enjoy, so that made the trip even better. It is also driving distance from Ohio, which is where everyone lives except for Aaron and me. Plus with 3 little kids, my sister-in-law through driving distance would be better for the kiddos.
We decided one of the nights we would throw a surprise 50th wedding anniversary party for them. My sister-in-law, Molly, and I spent weeks planning and sending ideas to each other. She covertly got information from them and sent me photos of their wedding so we could include elements from their wedding.
This is a ton of information, so I’m breaking it down into a few different segments. I wanted to share to not only show how you can throw and decorate an affordable party!
Now that I think of it, these decorations work perfectly for a 50th Birthday Party as well.
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50th Wedding Anniversary Decorations
We ultimately decided on using gold since it’s the 50th-anniversary color and then their original wedding flowers were white daisies and pink roses.
I couldn’t believe how tacky all the decorations were for the 50th wedding anniversaries, so we decided to go about it on our own.
Because we were all traveling to get there and wanted to make it beautiful but simple, we really had to plan everything out in advance. I made some printed copies of the kitchen layout from the rental property listing and used those to plan out the decorations.
To ensure we could get daisies and pink roses, The first thing I did was call a local florist. I didn’t want to chance it and drive all over town looking for them when we arrived. La Follette, TN is a small little town so there aren’t many florists. I landed on Petals of Grace Florist and they were so kind and helpful.
As a hobby, I enjoy decorating cakes so but I thought it would be very hard to make AND decorate a cake to take it on a 14-hour car drive safely. I ended up ordering a 1/4 sheet cake from a local grocery store and asking them to just keep it white and plain. Then I made all the gum paste flowers before leaving and traveled with them to the house. Talk about nerve-wracking!
Molly is a balloon art magician so she was in charge of the cascading balloons and the electric balloon pump. She found a gorgeous set on Amazon to go with our pink, navy, and gold theme. And then because there were large windows by the table, we made it simple by using sheer white panels (purchased at Dollar General but you can get 2 for $10 on amazon), waterfall lights, and floral garland.
The Table Decorations
The last thing I wanted anyone to do was a ton of dishes that night so we could all just enjoy the party. Because of that, I went on the hunt for affordable, yet elegant-looking throw-away plates, cups, and silverware. For reference, we had 8 adults and 3 children at the party so I didn’t need a lot of them. A 10 or 12-pack met our needs perfectly.
All of the items below are extremely affordable and can be used for any type of party!
I ended up ordering the following items:
- Round Gold Charger mats
- White Bowls with Gold Rim
- Wine Glasses with a hammered gold bottom
- Smaller wine glasses with gold trim
- Gold and white plates with a decorative trim
- Pearl and rhinestone napkin rings – my MIL is going to use these at Xmas and Thanksgiving!
- Polyester Napkins – multiple colors available
- Tea Lights – battery operated
- Short and tall vases for the fresh flowers – purchased at Dollar Tree – $4 for 4 of them!
- Gold sequin runners – pack of 2
- Navy blue table cloth
- Hammered gold silverware
- Rose and eucalyptus garland – this was absolutely stunning and I’ll use this again in my house as decor
- Rose garland for the windows – they have other colors besides pink
- Cheers to 50 Years tiara and sash for my mother-in-law
- Happy Anniversary napkins for the cake
- 50 straws for decor
- 12 champagne flutes for the toast – these were amazing and the kids loved toasting with orange juice!
- Large gold 5 – 0 numbered balloons
- Fun 50 costume glasses
Our Dinner Menu
We wanted to make it very easy to do because we could only get them out of the house for a couple of hours. Their bedroom was right near the kitchen, so we also couldn’t really do much in secret. The other catch was that Molly was doing the family grocery shopping with my MIL so the items she was buying had to look like normal things we might eat for dinner.
Molly made the adorable menu’s just on her regular printer too! They turned out so cute.
From Costco, she purchased a big bag of Cesar salad, a big bag of fresh green beans, and a bag of russet potatoes. I got the frozen rolls and filet mignon’s from Costco.
We simply made a Cesar salad, fresh roasted green beans with olive oil and garlic, baked potatoes, and then had all the toppings in separate bowls and filet mignon. Plus, I ordered the cake for dessert and Molly had some chocolates we put out as well.
Decorating the Cake
After ordering the plain cake from the grocery store, I went to work creating the gum paste flowers a few days prior. If you have no desire to make the flowers yourself, you can always purchase them from a cake decorating store, online, or even Etsy has gorgeous gum paste flowers to purchase and pop on the cake yourself.
Although I used to decorate cakes years ago, I was a little rusty! It took me several attempts and even more amazon purchases to get everything I needed to create the gum paste flowers.
My husband was ready to kill me after a few days of our kitchen island looking like this…
But, things progressed and I finally got some gorgeous flowers finished.
They weren’t perfect but they turned out beautiful! And truly it is the thought that counts for any kind of handmade creation.
The big question was – how am I going to get these safely to Tennessee?
In order to travel with these gum paste flowers, I needed to create a box that would protect them as well as hold them in the same spot. I found some leftover styrofoam from a mirror I ordered and used that as a base in the box. Then I carefully poked the stem through the styrofoam and ensured they were secure before putting the lid on the box. Those boxes were then placed in another larger box to protect them from anything that might happen during the 14-hour drive to Tennesee.
I also made extra flowers since I really wouldn’t be able to create any more during our trip.
After 2 days, 15 hours of driving, we finally got there. My stomach was in knots opening the box in our bedroom to see if they made it!
But… the flowers made it safe and sound to the vacation house! I was able to secretly decorate the cake in our bedroom which was on a different floor than my in-laws. I grabbed the 5-0 candles at Dollar General and the glitter 50th Anniversary sign can be made on the Cricut machine or hand-cut and glued to a stick but I did order it on Amazon.
The 50th Wedding Anniversary Gift
It seemed like an endless search for the perfect gift. Just as I was about to give up, I spent some time thinking about something really nice, that they would use but would never buy for themselves.
My in-laws have traveled all over the world and love to fly places they’ve never been. Also, to see us in Connecticut!
Then I thought, what about a really nice luggage set???
Molly agreed that it would be the perfect gift for them.
After doing more and more research, I kept coming back to the Monos brand of luggage. It is sleek, comes in nice colors, and has a lifetime warranty. All of us ended up doing a joint gift for them so it worked out to be affordable for all of us. I ordered the carry-on and the large in green because that is her favorite color.
One of my best talents is picking gifts for people! I just knew the gifts of their face on a blanket with their wedding date weren’t going to be something they loved. When it comes to gift-giving, you don’t have to spend a lot of money or be extravagant. It’s all about the little details that make something super special.
Also, don’t be afraid to think outside of the box!
The 50th Wedding Anniversary Party & Gift Result
What nontraditional things have you done for a wedding anniversary party or birthday party? Comment below! I love to see how creative people can get.
Until Next Time,
The Bexa Boss Lady