Your 50th wedding anniversary is just as important to you as the day you got married. When my parents celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary, they wanted to do some unique. I was left in charge of the planning for the big day. My parents are from two different cultures and my father is French and my mother is American. They are now living in the United States so I decided to bring a little bit of the French and American culture together on this special day.
My mom and dad had decided to renew their wedding vows to show the world they were still in love. I live in French Polynesia, Tahiti and decided what better way to do this than with a Tahitian Wedding. The planning took me close to 6 months, but I worked out all the details from abroad and made the day special for them.
- Wedding Invitations: I printed my own invitations using Microsoft Publisher. I needed a card that reflected the years together, the wedding ceremony that the guest would witness, the RSVP cards, and the thank you cards. The total I spent printing out the invitations, RSVP cards, and thank you cards was $200.
- Table Decorations: I made the centerpieces that went on the table. I used some shells from the islands, a basket made from coconut leaves, and a vase with roses for the table. The total cost was $150.
- Costumes: I made the costumes that my boyfriend and I wore for the ceremony cost me around $150 to make. This took time to design and make the right costumes that we were wearing during the ceremony.
- Guest Book: My daughter loves scrapbooking and she was in charge of making the guest book. We had decided to take a photo of each guest as they arrived and signed the book. The digital photos were printed out and attached to each page. This saved a lot of money and worked out well as a guest book and a photo album. The total cost of the book and printing out the images was $60.
- Cake: My mother had decided that she wanted to have a non traditional wedding cake and had chosen a carrot cake for her wedding party. I just needed to buy the cake top for the cake. She ordered the cake from a baker and the cost of the cake and cake top was $100.
- Tahitian Dance Group: I needed to have a Tahitian Dance group there to help me with the wedding ceremony. Lucky for me there was one available in California and they were so happy to come to help out. The total cost was $100.
- I was able to bring the leaves and coconuts from Tahiti that we needed for the ceremony.
- My boyfriend made the spears that were needed for the ceremony. All I needed to do was buy the wood at Home Depot when I arrived in the US.
- Food: I had decided to hold the wedding at a local Chinese restaurant that was near my parent's home. The manager of the restaurant worked with me and had a great patio area out side that we could hold the party at. Considering the rent was included with the food it was very reasonable to feed 75 people. Most of the guests were seniors so I received a nice senior discount. The total cost for the $650.
- Extras: Champagne glasses, small bottles of sparkling cider, labels, shell leis, traditional Tahitian blanket, shell crowns for the married couple, 2 children costumes. The total cost was $200.
The total cost of the anniversary party was around $2000. I did most of the work myself and used material that are found in Tahiti to make the decorations for the wedding. Each of the family members wore the same colorful dresses. A friend of mine made the dresses for my mom, sister, daughter, and granddaughter.
The two small great grandchildren lead the bride and groom down the middle of the table to where the Tahitian perfect and I were standing. The Priest performed the wedding ceremony all in Tahitian and I translated the words so the guests knew what took place. After the wedding was completed, the couple was wrapped in the traditional blanket and sat in chairs to enjoy the dance. The dance group performed the wedding dance for my parents and in the end asked the guest to come up and dance. It was a perfect way to celebrate 50 years of marriage and renew their vows in a traditional island fashion.