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A Milestone in Marriage: The Golden Anniversary

Lifestyle & Opinion

By Ignahi Gonzalez

Is there a way to congratulate that woman who has put up with a stubborn spouse for so long? She has stayed with him past the dirty socks on the floor, despite the hamper being three mere steps away, the nasty eating habits, and the bad tempers. Her spouse should also be celebrated for having a heart of gold for always willing to lose arguments, having patience, love and being faithful even when they got into big fights. Luckily that special couple has hit that 50 year mark, and the celebration that accompanies this milestone also has to do with the color gold.

When people get married, they unite with their significant other with the idea of having a life-long partner to share the beautiful moments in life and marriage with. For those that stick together through thick and thin for as long as 50 years, they are able to celebrate that milestone known as, the golden anniversary. The golden anniversary entails a commitment celebration, usually similar to a wedding, where the couple restates their wedding vows, and is recognized once again by the church.

The reason why I think the golden anniversary is such an important moment in a person’s marriage is because getting to be together with the person you loved so deeply for more than 50 years is hard and complicated. Therefore, when someone does get to this milestone, it is a feat that should be celebrated under the image of everlasting love and trust. In a marriage, problems and struggles always arise, for some, the obstacles become so great that the only way to overcome them is through the permanent separation of their union. Divorce is very real, and unfortunately, most marriages end up doing it. This only enforces why the 50th anniversary is such an important time in life.

How is the Milestone Celebrated?

Many things can be done to celebrate such a beautiful occasion. For some, like my grandparents, they have always dream to have a second wedding of sorts as a form of remembrance of their special day with an exaggerated long list of guests. However, some Americans have mentioned that they preferred to celebrate the golden anniversary in a more intimate way by holding a party in which the guest list only extends to all their close loved ones. The food is usually outstandingly delicious in great quantities, and the decorations are all combined with gold: golden tablecloths, gold balloons and silverware, gold lights and flowers, and golden furniture. Events such as love games, a trivia game for the couple being celebrated about them, and other games that commemorate love and commitment usually take place in the celebration.

Most Used Symbols and Colors.

Why is gold color used to symbolize this time and what other symbols are there? This particular color has to do with the golden era; gold was perceived as a symbol for wealth and beauty. Also, when it comes to the actual element, gold is a strong and resistant to collision. As a result, gold is used because it best symbolizes the life the couple has endured together. Although they don’t have to necessarily be wealthy, or look physically appealing, a marriage that last this long is considered a rare and beautiful thing. According to thespruce.com, other objects used are flowers that hold special meaning or feeling for the event, some of these are: violets which symbolize modesty, virtue, faithfulness, and beauty, golden roses, gold symphonies, white lilies, orchids, and many others.

Present Ideas and Events.

If you are amongst the guest list of a gold anniversary celebration, you may be wondering what gift (s) are good enough to give to the married couple of 50 years. I understand that frustration, not just anything will do. Some good gifts could be: a romantic getaway for two (could be a recreation of their honeymoon), home appliances for everyday use such as a coffee maker, or washer/drier, his and her sets for robes and towels, etc. However, in order to give a meaningful gift, you don’t have to necessarily spend tons of money; the best gift givers are the ones that put the most intention and effort out into the gift. Beautiful and meaningful gift ideas to give to the couple being celebrated for this special occasion could be: a mix tape featuring the couple’s favorite tracks to sing along to, a photo album with all their best moments on it, writing a song or poem in their honor, any personal handmade blankets or garments, or you could always just offer to plan the celebration as a gift for them.

Some of the events that traditionally go down during a 50th wedding anniversary celebration are very fun and sentimental, not only for the couple being celebrated, but also for the family members attending. It is common for the celebration to include the married couple’s renewal of wedding vows, whether it takes place at a church or at the party venue, and the traditional first dance (which in this case is the first dance after 50 years.) For some celebrations, the family of the couple prepares a toast and humorous speech about the life together that the celebrant spouses have endured and their journey to everlasting love. In some occasions, even a slideshow with pictures of those “good ol’ times” is prepared. The golden anniversary should be a beautiful event for all attendants that aim to commemorate love, beauty, and resilience. Because it is a very nostalgic and almost magical occasion, a few tears of happiness are as expected as they are permitted; however, I think the main purpose of the celebration is for all the attendants to have fun, and for those in the early stages of marriage to aim to reach the joy that is celebrating the gold anniversary for themselves.

Etiquette.

If you are ever invited to one of these celebrations for someone in your circle of loved ones, make sure you dress to impress and bring a plus one that is known and, hopefully, liked by everyone in your family. Since the party’s main focus is to celebrate someone that is not you, make sure you don’t entice drama or start any awkward moments by going with someone the celebrants might feel uncomfortable with. Also, to make things more appealing to the eye, I personally recommend wearing matching garments with your guest as well as a little gold jewelry or accessories so that the whole event is reflected even in the people that are going. Imagine a small ballroom filled with dancing gold; women with gold lined dresses on the dance floor, hand-in-hand with their husbands that wear a golden tie or bowtie. It would be the picture perfect scenario.

Personal Experience and Thoughts.

My own grandparents will be celebrating the gold anniversary in this upcoming April 25th, and it even has a theme my nana wants everyone to match with, “A night under the stars.” The reason my grandma chose this theme was because, as mentioned by her, “We first kissed when we were both outside cooking porridge under the eyes of the stars above.” For this occasion, my grandmother told me that they wanted to “celebrate as if we’re getting married for the first time,” by doing everything they weren’t able to do back then. Nana wants to tell the whole family stories of their beginnings and how they overcame the obstacles in their marriage. Their story, as I was told, was a harsh one; because they are 30’s kids, they were arranged to get married by their parents. They had met a couple times before they started courting, but they married young and had to get to know each other deeply after marriage. Because of these events, their marriage was threatened continuously and often times they would consider separation, but they stayed and decided to work things out. A few years after dealing with each other personally, they eventually fell in love and their sweet love story began. My grandmother told me that “because we were poor and lived in the country side, there wasn’t much to do, but we did everything together,” they built a business together, they started an animal farm together, and they had 10 children together. Because they never got to have a time to just relax and enjoy each other’s company in luxury after marriage, our family has worked together to set up the most wonderful golden anniversary celebration ever (that complied with the theme my Nana chose), and get them a week vacation in Acapulco, Mexico to enjoy the honeymoon they never got when they initially married in the 1950’s. My family and I all want to collectively make this one of the best moment in their lives because they, as great parents, grandparents, and exemplary lovers, deserve all the best in the world.

Just like I will, if you are ever invited to this magnificent event in the life of someone you love deeply, celebrate with them this milestone and ensure their happiness by having fun, and laughing alongside them. Use this time of celebration as a setting stone in your own life to admire, inspire, and be inspired for your future self’s sake.


References

50th Anniversary – Fiftieth Wedding Anniversary – Golden 50th. (2019). Retrieved from http://www.anniversary.us.com/50thanniversary.html

50th Wedding Anniversary Ideas for a Party. (2019). Retrieved from https://www.distinctivs.com/blogs/news/50th-wedding-anniversary-ideas

Stritof, s. (2019). How to Celebrate a 50th Wedding Anniversary. Retrieved from https://www.thespruce.com/50th-wedding-anniversary-celebration-of-love-2301897

 

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