A milestone occasion like a 50th wedding anniversary definitely merits a golden celebration. But we suggest making it extra special with a unique motif: Japanese-inspired gold decor! Our set drew inspiration from the famous opera with a Japanese theme, Madame Butterfly by Giaccomo Puccini. This can be truly lovely and not as difficult to style as you might think. See how we pulled off a fusion approach to decorating an event, using some well-chosen accent pieces. You simply incorporate these into your table centerpieces, place settings, and anniversary favors. Then, treat guests to some simple but delicious Japanese recipes!
Decorating for a Golden Wedding Anniversary with Japanese Accents
For the overall look of the venue, lay the guest tables with table linens in an elegant matte gold fabric. Match these with chiavari chairs with gold-upholstered cushions. And for an instant touch of Japan, create a minimalist backdrop of cherry blossoms and hang pink paper lanterns like chandeliers over each table.
Another beloved icon of Japan would be origami cranes. Make several from gold paper and incorporate them in the table decor—perched on glasses of Japanese honey lemon green tea, used to hold place cards at each place setting, or tucked among sprigs of cherry blossoms in the centerpieces.
Your centerpieces can simply be groupings of tall glass vases wrapped with rice paper (or other handmade paper available in craft stores) and filled with sprigs of cherry blossoms. For our shoot, we wrapped our vases with sheet music from the opera. If you chance upon prints of Japanese watercolor paintings, these would make perfect centerpiece wrappings too! Alongside, have elegant white candles on pearl-ring coasters.
For a stylish, minimalist look for the place settings, lay out pure white plates and white table napkins. Wind gold cord around the napkins to match all the gold elements—the table cloth and the miniature carved frames holding the guests’ place cards.
You can continue the gilded look to more of the table elements. We did this through glittered table numbers mounted on sections of music sheets and miniature musical instruments in reference to the opera of Madame Butterfly. But you could certainly choose other accent pieces that the anniversary couple would like.
Finally for anniversary favors, create a little vignette display to show them off. Here, we placed a pair of traditional Japanese dolls on a bamboo serving tray, presenting dainty porcelain keepsake boxes filled with sweets called wagashi. Note the favor tags cut to resemble tiny Japanese hand fans.
A Japanese-inspired menu: Our suggestions
Of course, your anniversary dinner fare should be in keeping with your theme. Prepare a buffet spread of these popular dishes and desserts, and allow guests to help themselves and enjoy!
A special occasion like this calls for something impressive, but actually easy: a sushi and tempura bar! Survey your nearby Japanese restaurants and specialty stores for a ready-to-serve assortment of sushi, sashimi, tempura, dumplings, and the like. Lay these out on earthenware platters, along with dipping sauces, spicy wasabi and chopsticks.
And for dessert, place orders for the popular mochi ice cream (filled with green tea or red bean) and wagashi (Japanese sweets), Then, slice up fresh fruits in season.
With a unique theme like this, your 50th wedding anniversary will definitely be memorable—decked out in Japanese-inspired gold decorations and delighting everyone with a menu to match!