A 50th Anniversary Party Idea

A 50th anniversary party.... what should we do? As our parents "golden" wedding anniversary approached, the 5 siblings struggled with a celebration idea.. throw them a party?? send them on a trip?? a vacation?? a cruise?? We were at a loss.. until this celebration idea came to mind. We would gather the entire family.. all 5 kids, spouses, grandkids and even include my dad's sister and husband. No big party in a hall, no vacation or cruise for just the two of them.. no we would all celebrate together. With everyone's schedule, we decided a long weekend together would be perfect. But where? We started our search and came upon the most perfect idea that turned out to be a most memorable 50th wedding anniversary party.

Step 1 Pick a place. After much research and conversation, we decided on a wonderful bed and breakfast in Cape May, New Jersey. It was half way between the NY Metro and DC Metro crowd. The innkeepers were the most warm, friendly and gregarious hosts. They were "concierge central" with their recommendations and assistance in booking dinner reservations and planning our activities! Plus the inn was just the right size that we could rent it out in total between the 20 of us! It is most important to find a good place, that is reasonable and helpful if you are planning something like this long distance. We were cognisant of the seasonal nature of the beach and booked just before the start of the season. No lines, no crowds! Our choice was the Mission Inn in Cape May, NJ. Ray and Susan, the innkeepers are just fabulous! The inn is beautiful, within walking distance to the beach. They had bicycles, beach chairs and even suntan lotion for those that forgot! Plus the gourmet breakfast they made each morning was a stellar treat!

How fun.. a hot tub in our room!!!

Step 2 Create a card.. Yes, there is more poetry in here too. Here is the cover featuring Mom and Dad's original wedding photo. Inside we sprinkled photos of them and the 5 of us over the years. I used a greeting card kit from the local office supply store.

Click here to see it.. you may need to enlarge once you open

Step 3 Plan a few group activities, but also give everyone time to explore and enjoy. Our innkeepers recommended a horse and carriage ride around the city of Cape May. It was wonderful and enjoyed by all the different age groups. I planned a "mini golf" tournament, appropriately titled "The Mission Inn Masters" at one of the miniature golf courses nearby. Of course, we had an awards ceremony back at the inn as we tallied the score cards! I made all the players Mission Inn Masters buttons. You can buy the blank buttons at any craft store and insert your own logo. There is also a site badgeaminit.com that will make them off your design.

Off on a carriage ride to explore Cape May!

Here is the graphic for the Mission Inn Masters Button I made for the players!

Here are some our golfers competing in the Mission Inn Masters!

Step 4 Dinner & Favors
Since there was so many of us, Susan and Ray recommended a great restaurant that gave us a private room. It was BYOB, so the cost was very reasonable. The second night she recommended a "Tapas" restaurant. A Tapas restaurant is all appetizer sized portions. We ordered all different kinds and everyone shared. It was fun, relaxed and the food was delicious.

Of course there were favors! Grandpa had baseball hats monogrammed with Cape May for everyone to wear through the weekend. You will see us all in them in the last group picture below. Check out Cafepress.com for other personalized favor ideas.

In addition, I took our parent's wedding photo that we used in the invite, resized, added some copy and put it into a magnetic lucite picture frame. They sell these at all the craft stores for under $2.00. Everyone could bring one home and put on their refrigerator as a daily reminder of this fun 50th anniversary party!

Here's the magnet I made for everyone's fridge!

Grandpa at dinner receiving his "Golden Years" sweatshirt from the kids!

All the grandkids at the restaurant.. they were loving this "beach" weekend!

Step 5 Relax and enjoy. Everyone had time during the day to spend as they pleased. Some shopped, some sat in the sun, some played scrabble and some just read a good book! It was a most wonderful 50th anniversary party idea. My parents spent it with all the people they loved best!

Here's the whole crew at the 50th anniversary party.. Cape May hats on all!!

Here we are.. the five 50th anniversary party planners!

This 50th anniversary party was special to all of us. Depending on your budget, you could rent a house or fly to a resort! There are a lot of different avenues to pursue. While I am sure my parents would have enjoyed a big party with dinner and dancing, this was truly more memorable and fun for them. It is not often that they get all of us together in one place and they knew that even the kids joined in by clearing their calendars for the weekend!

Here's a way to incorporate all their friends into this 50th anniversary party.. check out what the kids did for our 25th

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