Planning a 50Th Anniversary for My Parents

Updated on May 06, 2008
T.D. asks from Fort Worth, TX
5 answers

My brother and I are planning a simple, non extravegant surprise 50th anniversary party for my parents. We are inviting all their friends and family, which is around 50-60 people. We are going to have it at ElFenix in Dallas. They have a room that will seat 50 people. Knowing that usually half of the people you invite show up, I figured that will be good. My brother and I are going to have a nice cake made. This is a surprise party bc my parents would have a fit it they knew we were doing this for them. I don't understand the older generation! It drives me nuts! Anwyay, we are not going to be able to afford to pay for everyone's meals. Is that wrong? How do I put in the invitations in a nice way that they will have to pay for their own food? Also, how do I put in the invitation, please no gifts? I will have a decorated basket for cards, but I know they would not want a bunch of gifts. I talked to my aunt about it and she said don't you think you will embrass you parents. Im like no! This is a simple celebration for a couple that has made it 50 years together!! Which doesn't happen hardly anymore! don't rain on my parade! Anyway, does anyone have any comments/suggestions about this? Thanks in advance!

What can I do next?

  • Add your own comment
  • Ask your own question
  • Join the Mamapedia community
  • as inappropriate
  • this with your friends

So What Happened?

Thank you all for your reply. My brother and I have decided to not do a party for my parents. My aunt contacted me about it and told me everything negative about doing that for them when my parents didn't even want anything done for them. My parents have blessed me and my brother over the years and I wanted to do something special for them. Call me non-tradional but I honestly don't think people would mind paying for their meals if they knew in advance, then they could decide to come or not come bc of that. Anyway, my brother and I are going to do something for them on our own. Its really sad that when you want to bless someone, they don't want it or find every excuse on why you shouldn't bless them! What a sad world we live in.

More Answers



answers from Dallas on

As far as the food you can put that you will be serving cake. And make the party time not during meal time. Also at the bottom of the invitation you can put "Please not gifts" or "Gifts are not necessary we are getting together to celebrate" You might also say that their presence at the party is their gift. I hope this helps.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

I think it's wonderful that you want to do something special to mark such a (frankly) remarkable accomplishment. I think a 50th anniversary should definately be celebrated! As for the dinner controversy, I agree that I would try to find a different site if possible. Our neighborhood has a clubhouse that you can rent for special occassions. Or yeah, a church hall is an option. My old standby that I do for nearly everything is renting a park---it's affordable, it's big enough for everyone, and it's more on YOUR terms. A lot of the parks these days provide free extra tables/folding chairs, the place is clean (trash empty etc) and there's restrooms available. Then you could put down some tablecloths from Walmart (vinyl, the right size, for like $3) so that it looks and feels clean and festive. You could make a CD or use an iPod to play music from their era as background while everyone visits. A nice cake, and don't forget to make a toast for them (nonalcoholic or alcoholic, doesn't matter). That way people can get up and say something if they'd like, your parents could share some thoughts or funny story, whatever. If you want to have food (I'm from Louisiana so I can't see a party without food), have you thought of something like a jambalaya? A good jambalaya, some white beans, french bread, and making your own veggie tray: you should be able to feed about 40 people for about $60-75. Another option is a cookout-right now, until May 13 Tom Thumb is selling packs of Oscar Mayer weiners for fifty cents!!! Throw some hotdogs and burgers on the grill and then just let everyone visit. But have fun, whatever you decide. And if it does have to be at El Fenix, then maybe make the guest list a bit smaller and keep it to close family/friends. "Rules" are a little different when people are closer---they should be able to understand. What kind of jerk would get pissy about having to pay for their dinner, if it's a party for their grandma, ya know?



answers from Dallas on

When we had my In Laws 50th birthday party we had it at a restaurant but did not pay for dinner. We paid for a round of drinks and appetizers. The invitation said, "Join us for Cocktails and Appetizers." Then if they would like to stay that is fine. I would not have it over the dinner hour if you won't be providing any food. If you have a budget talk to the manager and they might be able to work something out. You could do a buffet and limit it to 1 drink per person. If not then i agree having it somewhere else. The last thing that you want is stress during the celebration. For the gifts I would put, "Your presence is (your Parent's names) gift, no gifts please. But some people will still bring gifts and you can't do anything about it. Good luck!



answers from Dallas on

Hello T.,

In all honesty, I think this is a bit bizarre. Having an anniversary at a Mexican restaurant but no food? I think if youo are going to invite your guests to a party at a restaurant you cannot expect them to pay for their own food. This to me is just rude. But again, we all come from different backgrounds and maybe its ok for some folks? I guess I just dont see how I could invite 50-60 people as my guests and expect them to pay for their own food, I guess I would rather not do anything if I didnt have the budget for it or I would just have an intimate gathering at a family home. Good luck.



answers from Dallas on

I'm sorry to say that I'm in agreement with Cindy B on this. Have you considered having it a church hall or community center, someone's house or a covered picnic area at a park? Also have it in the afternoon (not at mealtime) since you're only serving cake...sort of like a reception. State in the invitations, No Gifts, Please in bold letters at the bottom. That's a normal standard that everyone accepts these days.

Next question: Questions About My Son's First Birthday Party - in the Planning Stages