How to decorate for a 50th Anniversary Celebration… Part 1

It’s hard to believe a month has passed since we celebrated Mom and Dad’s 50th Wedding Anniversary with 32 family members who flew in to join us from one side of the country to the other!

On the weekend of April 15th, my family gathered at White Point Beach Lodge for what would turn out to be an EPIC weekend of togetherness that included much laughter, fabulous stories and wonderful music.

I owe my older brother a debt of gratitude for organizing the event and planning the schedule down to the very last second…and to my younger brother for pitching in anywhere and everywhere without hesitation…always going above and beyond! It was our wish that from the moment our family arrived at the lodge to the moment they left…they would feel as if they were our guests (a tough thing to do when it’s not your home!)


While my older brother was working the schedule (an unbelievable task that in the end, had the weekend running without a hitch), I was planning a few details of my own that included everything creative I could think of. With my younger brother’s help, we did a great amount of shopping to execute a few ideas that had us pulling off two different looks for the big event…Friday evenings “Black and Gold” theme and a “Wedding Day” theme for the banquet.

A Golden Weekend

To start things off, we went shopping for GOLD candy (you’d be surprised how many candies you’d find in gold wrappers!)

Setting up an assembly line at my kitchen table, we filled small black gift bags with every gold wrapped candy imaginable, then finished it off with some black and gold tissue paper and curled ribbon.

16 candy packages were placed in family member’s cottages along with an itinerary for the weekend that greeted them on arrival…a taste of what would come!

DIY Anniversary Banner

Continuing with the “Black and Gold” theme…my younger brother and I hit the stores for all things shiny…then perused through photo albums for pics of my parents in the younger years…in order to create a Happy Anniversary Banner.

To create the banner you need:

  • Letter stickers (we found these gold sparkle letters at the Dollar Store for $2)
  • Mixed patterned black and white scrapbook paper
  • Black cardstock
  • Ribbon
  • Double sided tape
  • Hole punch
  • Paper cutter


Using my trusty paper-cutter, I cut the black cardstock into 4 1/2 inch squares and placed the letter sticker in the center. I then cut the patterned paper into 5″ squares and using double-sided tape, adhered the cardstock to the patterned paper.

banner2 copy

Once the papers were all cut and assembled, the next step was a simple hole punch in each corner, and a ribbon to run through the entire piece.

banner3 copy

In the end, it looked FANTASTIC laid out across the fireplace at the family cottage we’d rented.



Using Photos to Decorate

Using the same patterned black and white papers, we took the photos out of Mom and Dad’s albums from their “Early Years” together, and placed them on brass photo holders that we’d rented from Make Merry Events (a fabulous place to rent “vintage” decor in Halifax.) Originally, I’d thought to put the photos in the holders on their own, but using the patterned papers helped bring the theme together, as well as protect the photos from being torn.

decor_b   decor_e decor_f

Creating a Chalk Board Poster 

Annnnnddddd….then there was the chalk board poster!

I’m not sure what possessed me to do it. Probably because I’ve seen them all over Pinterest…mostly because it looks easy and would take up a bit of space in the room. I mean…really, how hard can drawing on a chalkboard be?


I’m creative…but not “illustrator” creative. Drawing is NOT my forte despite being a graphic designer so there was a WHOLE LOT more erasing than actual drawing and BELIEVE ME…chalk dust up the nose is NOT enjoyable in any way. I was DAYS with it spread out on my kitchen table drawing and erasing and drawing some more.

Then erasing and drawing…looking at other people’s work to try to emulate the look…then erasing and drawing and erasing some more.

BUT, it turned out lovely in the end despite FAR TOO MANY HOURS stressing over a chalkboard and then we arrived…and it was pouring…and we had to take it from the car to the cottage and for a moment I pictured all of my work just washing away!


But it survived!

So…with a banner, some photos and a chalkboard…I was happy with the bit of creative flare that I added to Friday Night’s decor. From there…balloons, sequence for the tables, napkins in gold and black polka dots, streamers, things that hung from the ceiling…and the room was absolutely perfect for a casual night of music and laughter.



For Saturday night’s banquet, we turned things up a notch.

My youngest brother and my sister in-law went through the albums again and created a HUGE cardboard cut out of a 5 and a 0…filling it with memories of our family through the years. There was a TON of laughter as we went through the photos reliving ridiculous fashion and hair style choices throughout the years!

For flowers, I’d contacted my friend Holly at Dean’s about making centerpieces for the table and she asked for a photo of Mom and Dad’s wedding. Next thing, Holly was calling me to discuss how mom had used carnations in her bouquet and I then commented on how much I hated carnations and Holly and I went back and forth until my friend spoke the dreaded two words…”Trust Me.”

Knowing how creative she is…I did. And OH MY GOODNESS she was RIGHT.

Holly created 16 Carnation Pompadours that sat on top of vases filled with crystals. We rented a variety of brass candle holders and tea lights from Make Merry Events and tossed in some gold and white glass marbles and beads…and when the candles were lit…




PLUS…carnations last forever so Mom enjoyed her flowers at home for a week or so afterwards…and I had a few at my place on my coffee table…and what a treat!

The weekend was a grand success…it took the organizational talents of my older brother, the creative flair from me and my sister in-law, and the “what can I help with and what can I do for you” attitude of my youngest brother to pull together a wonderful event for Mom and Dad.

One that will be remembered…for many years to come.


Photo Credit: Jen Partridge Photography. Our amazing photographer we hired for family photos and candid shots on Friday evening. 

6 Replies to “How to decorate for a 50th Anniversary Celebration… Part 1”

  1. I’m not one bit surprised that you would organize such a classy event. (You always had an eye for shiny things.) What great family photos! Wonderful family memories for sure. Your mom and dad are such a lovely couple. Congratulations to them on 50 years! XO

    • I am quite fond of shiny things…somewhat like a crow! A 50th is just the perfect time to haul out all the glitter! I’ll send along your wishes to Mom and Dad…they had a fabulous time and they truly are a beautiful love story.

  2. It was indeed a fantastic weekend!!! You all did a marvelous job of organizing and decorating! What an accomplishment. Love to all 🙂 xoxoxo

    • It truly was a fabulous weekend of family time! There’s nothing better. I love when you pull out the guitar…always such great memories of being at Nan and Pops when I was a little girl.