In need of 50th wedding annivesary frugal tips!
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  1. #1

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    Default In need of 50th wedding annivesary frugal tips!

    Hi everyone,

    I am new to your forum after I did a search on frugal tips for everyday life. Both my dh and I work but somehow find ourselves still living paycheck to paycheck and I'm just so tired of that, you know?! Anyway, when I came across this website, I figured maybe people here might have some great ideas on planning a 50th wedding annivesary. My parents will have this party in February and 2 of my sisters are helping with this. There will be about 35 - 40 people invited so we would love to have ideas as to food saving tips, music ideas, and other ideas that might go into this party planning. Has anyone else helped plannied something like this? Were there other websites with other neat ideas? Thanks for any tips you may provide and I look forward to being a member of this forum!

  2. #2
    Registered User sdrjeolsen's Avatar
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    I just did a 50th for my parents 2 years ago. We invited about 400 people and about 325 attended. It cost about 2400.00!! I know-not cheap. But, the venue was 900 for the day (my not so frugal sis picked it out and reserved it, and it was an old historical site that my mom always loved and said should someday be made into a banquet facility to how could we pass it up??)...could rent out a church for much cheaper. We also ordered a nice 3 tier cake, not so frugal either. You could make that yourself. I did home made invites, postage was insane, not really a way around that except maybe to send the invite as a postcard instead?

    My dh put together a video montage from pics of the last 50 years together. It was a real tear jerker...and free except for ssome .99 song downloads. We hung a sheet on the wall and played it from his computer with a projector that we had.

    I ordered my table wear on-line and saved a ton, just goodle it and tons of party supply places will pop up, then compare prices for what you want. I got colored glass glasses (in their origional wedding colors) on clearance from the local garden store and made table center pieces from them, with tealight candles and some toule and ribbon. Also lots of balloons, they are cheap. We did personalized M&M's with sayings on them, not so frugal and not a big bang for the cost...wouldn't do that again.

    I ordered 2 additional cakes from Sam's club...that was very cheap and made sure there would be enough cake, so I could order a bit smaller on the one from the bakery. Also ordered flowers from Sam's for the head tables. We made our own punch and mints (cream cheese, powdered sugar and oil of pepermint, rolled in granulated sugar and pressed into a mold), had mixed nuts and got some glitter things to deco the tables along with some miniture candies and the center pieces.

    Whatever you do, they will love it. My parents cried for days over it, it touched their hearts so much....especially the video. I'll post more if I think of it. I will say, I went cheap on some things so I could spend more on others. We split it 8 ways, so all in all, it wasn't too bad. Don't forget to bring things like tape, scissors and pins to the venue, you will need them.

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    Registered User PrairieRose's Avatar
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    We just had a surprise birthday party for my dad in August. I had 47 people here in my house for it. I personally did all the food minus the cakes which I ordered. I made; 2 large briskets (marinated in Claude's brisket sauce over night), pinto beans (both of these cooked overnight in Nesco cookers), potato salad (12 pounds of potatoes....lol), fresh sliced tomatoes out of the garden, fresh sliced onions (ditto), cucumbers and onions in vinegar, sugar, spices and oil, canned drinks on paper plates and we also had ice cream with the cakes. It was a great day, cost us about $250 to do the whole thing. The cakes and meat were the most expensive things and I could have done the cakes myself in retrospect to save about $75 or so. Everyone went on and on about the food and we had such a great time visiting...... .

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    Registered User Laurie in Bradenton's Avatar
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    We did my folks 50th a few years ago. We went the church hall route as folks have been memebers there for over 40 years. We did a lunch with sandwiches. Each sister( there are 3 of us) was incharge of a filling. One made egg salad, one ham and one chicken. We did wheels of alternating bread one slice wheat, filling, white, the wheat, filling, white. This way pople coud walk up and take a whole sandwich out of the wheel. Used about 4 loves of bread. Had another relative do 2 large relish trays with olives, pickles, tomato slices, radishes and green onions. To drink was punch, coffee and water. Cake came from the local Publix bakery. Dishware was the churches standard stuff. We put out poster boards of the their life together. Put their framed wedding pictures on the head table. Had about 100 to 125 folks there.

    Laurie in Bradenton

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    Wow everyone..........thanks so much for the responses! My sister wants to have it at a Polish Community Center in the city where our parents met. Sounds wonderful, but that's $25/per person. I know our parents don't want a big deal made out of it, but we do want to get some of the people that havent' seen in a long time, to come out and celebrate. There are 3 of us that would be splitting the costs (5 if the other sisters got along!!). The church hall sounds like a wonderful idea, but unfortunetly my parents only attend mass on Christmas! Maybe they'll let us do it anyway, hmmmmm, I will have to look into that one. If I lived in the same state as the rest of the family, it wouldn't be a problem. I had suggested that in lieu of presents that people bring a sidedish..........what do you think??? One of them thinks that's tacky. If so, I'll definitely have to fly out a day early to get a head start in preparing those side dishes! Well, I guess tomorrow I'll make a call out to the church tomorrow and see what they have to say and take it from there.

    Thanks again for your helpful advice!


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    Registered User sdrjeolsen's Avatar
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    It may be difficult or inconvenient for everyone to bring a side dish. And then you have hte issue of returning dishes to everyone as many will bring in a glass casserole pan or tupperware thing. You could do some cheap items like green bean casserole; easy to make ahead and make in large quantities. Also, potato salad or Maccaroni salad. A green (lettuce) salad would be easy and inexpensive too as would a jello salad. You don't always have to be a reg. attender to get a room/basement rental at a church. As long as your name is "on the roll", many will accomodate, especially if you are paying for it. Also many towns have a legion hall that is usually cheap to rent. Check the local fire barn if you are in a small town area. Where I grew up everyone rented the fire barn for parties. I think it was $50. But as my kids would say, that was "back in the day." Make some phone calls, can't hurt, all they can say is no.

  8. #7

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    Well, you all had so many great moneysaving ideas that we are now going to use for my parent's 50th wedding anniversary. My dad belongs to the American Legion so we are to reserve that in their town (my sis is calilng them right now, but I don't think there's any charge at all), we are going to either make sandwiches are get some club sandwiches at a very reasonable price, make salads, have a cake made, and probably go ahead and see about getting a DJ since I'm not sure if there's any other way around getting some music for everyone to enjoy. So thank you, thank you, thank you, for all your great ideas and knowing that we can pull this off w/o spending too much money and knowing that a great time can still be had by all!

  9. #8
    Registered User sdrjeolsen's Avatar
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    You don't need to hire a DJ, you can stream music from a computer. There are plenty of free stations that are specific, Jazz, 50's, Christian, etc. Just rent or borrow some speakers and run it from the computer. Just a thought. We did and it worked out well.

    Forgot to add, when she calls to reserve it, have your sis check with them on their sound system set up, they probably already have some type of system in place that you can hook into.

  10. #9

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    I planned an 80th BD party for my mom last year -- also long distance. It was hard because my mom is known in her town as like the best hostess ever. She taught me a lot over the years I felt like I was taking my final exams.

    We went had a small gathering (about 15) in a private dining room at a restaurant. Everyone went through the buffet and the manager gave me a very generous discount. No birthday cake because my mom has celiac disease.

    I was going to suggest appetizers instead of a full meal but it sounds like you have the food under control.

    I do have some other non-food ideas for you. I did invitations and party favors that cost very little because I typeset them all myself on my computer. The invitation had my mom's baby picture on it -- maybe you could use your folk's wedding picture. I did mine as postcards so I was able to print four to a sheet.

    I also did placemats with a "this day in history" theme with my mom's birthday and other significant events that happened on that date. But there are many other options, including a photo collage.

    For party favors we touched up a photo of my mom and dad and made magnets for everyone to take home.

    Oh yeah, we made up a nice silk flower arrangement with supplies from the Dollar Tree -- came to about $5 but looked very nice.

    Finally, I almost forgot. I bought a hinged box (half price at Hobby Lobby) with a photo album on the top. I put photo in the album and did some journaling. Then I put a copy of the invitation, the magnet and placemat inside the box. I sent her the photos taken at the party so she could add those. I also had the guests write down a favorite memory or story about my mother and put those in the box. My mother really isn't a very sentimental person, but she really liked that memory box.

    There are a lot of things you can do that won't break the bank. Good luck and hope everyone enjoys the party.
    Last edited by LizaZ; 11-28-2007 at 05:40 PM.

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