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70s Theme Party 40th Wedding Anniversary

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Last year I planned a 70s theme party for my parents 40th wedding anniversary.  It wasn’t however your typical 70s theme party of a pure disco nature, but rather we held a mock wedding reception in the era of the 70s.

We wanted to do something a bit different to the norm, and a second wedding reception seemed to suit the occasion perfectly.  Guests were asked to come in 70s dress, music from the 70s was playing and the room was decorated with an array of 70s nick nacks!!

40th Wedding Anniversary Sherry

As guests entered the party they were greeted with a glass of sherry, replicating what used to happen at wedding receptions.  Next to the drinks we had a photo frame of the bride and groom which all the guests were asked to sign.

40th Wedding Anniversary Party Ideas

Party Invitation:

Whilst it was a 70’s theme party, it was also a 40th ruby wedding anniversary party.  We therefore decided to go with a “then and now” invitation,  showing the bridal couple at the wedding and also a recent photo.

We wanted the invitation to set the scene of a formal wedding reception affair rather than the traditional disco scene of most 70s parties.  We did however ask all the guests to dress in 70s attire to help set the scene of the party.

Everyone did this wonderfully and it was rather funny seeing what everyone had found at the op shops….or the back of the wardrobe!!

40th Wedding Anniversary Party Invitation

Party Decoration:

It was a lot of fun organising the decoration for this 70s theme party, searching through mum and dad’s cupboards and taking several trips to the local op shops.  Mum found a lot of glassware and serving items at the back of her cupboards that suited the occasion perfectly.  Some of the items we used were even given to them as wedding presents!

I had surprised my parents with turning some of their wedding photos into posters and I scattered these around the room.  As we have moved country, there wasn’t actually anyone at the anniversary party that had been at the wedding, so it was lovely to be able to share these memories with new friends. We also set up a screen which had all the wedding photos on a rotating cycle.

White, yellow and green table cloths were scattered over the bench tops which were all from the 70s.  We ordered flowers in colours matching the flowers at the wedding which were red, yellow and white.

Other items included candle holders with red candles.  We specifically didn’t light the candles because they were only used for decoration at their actual wedding reception, so we thought we would mimic this.  We also laid out mum’s tiara on display.  As my mum likes a bit of ‘bling’, I scattered simple crystal scatters over all the benchtops just to add some shine.

We used a wishing well that my dad had made for my own wedding, which was also a nice link between the past and the present.

To go with the 70s theme party disco vibe, we hired a disco light projector which threw out crazy patterns all over the ceiling and wall.  We drew all the blinds, and from the moment guests entered the room, they were at a disco wedding reception!

70's Theme Party 40th Wedding Anniversary Ideas

40th Wedding Anniversary Ideas

70's Theme Party Disco Lights


Wedding Wishing Well

Party Food Ideas:

Mum organised all the food for this 70s theme party, and it was kept simple by having a finger food buffet.  The food was typical of buffet food back in the 70s consisting of prawn cocktail, sausages, volauvents, mini pies and cheese and pineapple sticks!  For desserts there were cupcakes and jelly flans and of course a cream tea!

My sister in law made a cake to resemble a wedding cake and we placed a “Love is” bell on the top, which my dad had given to mum mum as a gift.  Next to the cake we laid a bouquet of flowers which I made to resemble mum’s original bouquet.  I am certainly not a florist, but I was pretty pleased with my efforts!

We set out a bar area with red and white wine and a selection of soft drinks. The wine had a great 70s theme grunge label on it which fitted into the theme perfectly.

Party Food Ideas

40th Anniversary Party Ideas

40th wedding anniversary cake

40th Anniversary Party Ideas

Party Favours:

All the guests were given a party bag consisting of five sugared almonds. Sugared almonds have been a long tradition for wedding bonbonniere in a bag of three or five.  Three to signify the bride, groom, and future child, and five to signify fertility, longevity, happiness, health and wealth.

40th Anniversary Party Favours

Party Activities:

The aim of the party was to mock a wedding reception as much as possible. My husband acted as the master of ceremonies and my older brother made a speech typical of a best man’s speech.  We had the cake cutting and even a first dance.

My parents had never had a first dance at their real wedding reception, so this was a lovely way for them to have that special moment.  They danced to “Let it be” by the Beatles…the song they had danced to when they first met!  All the guests were given bottles of bubbles and asked to blow them over the couple whilst they danced.  It was a pretty special moment.

70's Theme Party 40th Wedding Anniversary

70's Theme Party 40th Wedding Anniversary

And finally this is us……mum and dad with my brother, hubby and my baby girl. Don’t we all look very fetching in our 70s attire!

70's Theme Party 40th Wedding Anniversary

What do you think of this take of a 40th wedding anniversary party?

The 70s theme party certainly made it a lot of fun and it was hilarious to see everyone dressed up, especially with the wigs…we all looked so different!

Planning a party is however about more than just choosing a great theme.  This is why I have put together the ultimate party planning guide.

With all the answers at your finger tips ‘Planning the perfect party” saves you the stress and headache of trying to remember every facet of planning and hosting that anniversary party to be remembered, so you have more time to focus on the people and things that matter.

Check out my e-book and let me take the stress and headache out of organizing your next party or event.

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Thanks for reading


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2 Responses to 70s Theme Party 40th Wedding Anniversary

  1. Suz Brill June 6, 2013 at 4:57 am #

    Awww, looks fantastic Catherine. Looks like your mum and dad loved it too. I love the 70 food buffet too – just can’t beat prawn cocktail and pineapple and cheese sticks!! x

    • Catherine Holt June 6, 2013 at 9:02 am #

      Thanks Suz…yes mum and dad had a blast. Dad especially loved his wig…lol. The buffet food took me back to my childhood, all the things you would normally have seen at a party….yum!!!!

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