50th wedding anniversary speeches

Make the 50th wedding anniversary toast you give part of their golden love story

By: Susan Dugdale | Last modified: 08-23-2020 | First published: 08-01-2011

Image: silhouette of couple holding hands superimposed over a pair of interlocking golden hearts.

50th wedding anniversary speeches! 

Here's the recipe to help you tell a perfect golden wedding anniversary love story, to make a 50th wedding anniversary toast.

Whether you're the husband, wife, a dear friend, or child of the couple celebrating, you'll want the speech you give to touch the hearts and minds of all who hear it.

Your goal is to distill the essence of 50 years of marriage into 4 to 5 minutes; to make your audience laugh, cry a little and reflect. If that seems a little daunting, I understand. ☺

Here's a logical step-by-step process that will take you through everything you need to do to achieve the impact you want. So take the time you need and follow it.

What to put into a 50th anniversary speech?

What to put in 50th wedding anniversary speeches:

  • You'll need a smattering of anecdotes
    These are those funny little stories that have become legend through the years. The ones telling about how this couple met and their courtship. Who proposed to who, when and how?
  • Add a dash of or two of wisdom
    What is the glue binding these two?
    Family law attorneys Wilkinson and Finkbeiner have put together a sobering page about divorce in USA: 113 facts supported by statistics. Number 17 of the 113 tells us that over a 40 year period, 67 percent of first marriages terminate.

    There's obviously something very special holding this marriage together. 50 years of partnership has values worthy of celebration! Acknowledging and sharing them is truly inspirational for everyone. What positive qualities underpin this marriage?

  • Stir in the stories
    Tell of family incidents, about hobbies or passions, times of trials and how they were overcome, enduring and endearing habits, jobs, community and mutual friends.
  • Lots of love
    Give thanks, gratitude, respect, admiration and acknowledgement of time and support given, services rendered, sacrifices made, and experiences shared.
  • And a sprinkle of quotations
    Recall a habitual saying, a line from a song or poem that has personal significance, a verse, or a meaningful quotation.
    (The link will take you to a large eclectic, cross-cultural collection of wedding poems, quotations and readings many of which are suitable for 50th wedding anniversary toasts.)

Preparing your 50th toast

First gather your ingredients.

The easiest way to do this is to 'brainstorm' as shown in the image below.

Image: Example of brainstorm notes for a 50th anniversary speech

Allow yourself at least 15 minutes of uninterrupted, quiet time. 

In your mind, as vividly as you can, see the couple you want to write about.

Then on a blank piece of paper and without any thought of order, (beginning, middle or end of your speech), start jotting down ideas as they come to you. 

(You could open a new document  and do this on your computer too. I just happen to find it easier to access ideas with a pen in my hand.)

Make movies in your mind

Think in pictures and make them big, multi-colored ones. Now add sound, smell, feelings or taste to bring those memories back to life. It's like making movies in your mind!

As each image/thought occurs note down a single word or a phrase - just enough to serve as a peg to hold onto the idea securely. You'll return to it later to flesh it out in detail, if you decide it's wanted.  

Do not dwell too long on any one idea. Work quickly and keep going until you run out of ideas, time or paper!

Image: simple drawing of wedding couple. Text quote: Our wedding was many years. The celebration continues to this day.-Gene Perret

Review and revise

Now go back through your notes and review them.

Get rid of the weak and only keep the best or strongest ideas; making sure everything you've kept fits with the tone you want to achieve, and is relevant to your audience.

Ask yourself:

  • Have you covered all the areas you wanted?
  • Is there too much of any one topic?
  • Or not enough of another?

Tweak until you've got the balance how you want it.

Your brainstorm notes may end up covered with circles,  arrows, and scribbled out bits. You may even want to do another before you consider yourself ready to move on.

Organizing your golden wedding anniversary speech

With your notes ready to go you're set for the next step; organizing the speech. This is where you will order the flow of your material.

You'll decide what comes first. What comes next? And what's the link between these ideas?

Can you see a theme uniting all your material?

Get a blank speech outline template to complete

If you're relatively new to preparing speeches you may find it helpful to read through my page on how to outline a speech. This will give you a better understanding of how to structure what you want to say.

You'll also find a blank speech outline template to download. That will guide you through structuring the opening, body and conclusion of your speech - ensuring you get your notes in the best and most effective order possible.

You may not need, or use, all the steps I've put into the outline. However what is absolutely certain is that you'll need the basic three-part format: an introduction, a body and a conclusion.

How do these guidelines work?

Image: white road side daisies

Find out by reading 'Love for all seasons',  a sample 50th wedding anniversary speech from a husband to his wife.


Rehearsing your speech

Image: cross-legged girl, with wings, levitating. Text: How to rehearse a speech properly and do more than 'wing it'.

Writing the outline of the speech is only part of the process. Rehearsing it is essential if you want it to be memorable, for the right reasons.

Once you practice it out loud you'll find out whether it's too long, too short, the content doesn't flow as well as it could or there may even be parts needing a complete overhaul.

If possible give your speech to a couple of close family members or friends and ask them for feedback to help you fine tune.

Practice too if you can in the venue. This will give you an idea of the volume you need in order to be heard and where to stand to be seen by everybody.

The more practice you do, the better it will be! Please don't be tempted to 'wing it'.

>>>Find out more about rehearsing your speech

Related links to help you prepare:


And if you're really stuck you may like to take up this offer ...

Speech writer graphic with text: Are you finding writing your speech hard? I could do it for you. Click and find out more.