Willy Wonka

Willy Wonka party theme - thumbnail image

The fiftieth wedding anniversary is also known as the golden anniversary. My family wanted to do something special for my grandparents who were about to celebrate theirs. Even though they are in their seventies they are still very active so we wanted to do something that emphasized their youthfulness.

Their children and grand children were brainstorming together when someone mentioned "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory" is one of grandma and grandpa's favorite movies. It was perfect!

We all divided the plannin party details up. One person was in charge of renting dance club that we could rent for four hours and someone else was in charge of decorating. My mom worked with the caterer. My sister Barbara and I went to the candy shop. We sung "The Candyman Can" while shopping and tried not to tear up the store like they did in the movie. Barbara and I also were in charge of hiring musicians and entertainers. Barbara is a professional photographer, and would take all the photos at the party for no cost at all.

A company specializing in chocolate bar invitations printed up gold foil tickets just like the ones in the movie. You had to bring your golden ticket to get in. I even had them send one to me because I really liked them. I ran around the house singing, "I've got a Golden Ticket" when it arrived. My husband just shook his head and rolled his eyes at me.

Barbara and I had hired a couple of little people dressed as Umpa Lumpas to greet the guests at the door. The inside of the club had been transformed into Willy Wonka's factory. There was a small chocolate fountain center piece in the middle of the buffet table. The caterer had made lots of food in strange shapes and odd-colors. A bubble machine blew a constant stream of bubbles that floated to the ceiling.

The band played lively swing music. Uncle Philip couldn't resist dancing and spent most of the night on the dance floor. He grabbed the hand of any female walking by and swung her around. He even swept up Nancy, my five year old cousin. Her dress flared out like a little bell and she squealed with delight the whole time.

Grandpa was dressed as Willy Wonka costume and grandma wore a lovely gold dress. They arrived at the club in a limousine. The Umpa Lumpas unrolled a red carpet for them to walk down and trumpets announced their arrival. Grandpa looked so distinguised in his top hat and cane. Grandma looked like a shining prize. They were the center of attention, of course and enjoying every minute.

They weren't the only ones. Everyone had a great time. We toasted to grandma and grandpa's fifty wonderful years together. Grandpa and grandma won the freestyle dancing contest and received a custom gift basket filled with chocolates from around the world. They passed out bags of candy for the guests to take home. It was phenomenal!

The whole thing was captured on video. Everyone was sent a copy, but grandma and grandpa's copy came in a special golden sleeve with the words, "Happy 50th Anniversary" embossed on the outside. They loved it!