40th Wedding Anniversary Party Ideas

40th Wedding Anniversary Party Ideas: celebrate the ruby anniversary with red and pink cherry blossom decor, and a tea party reception.
40th Wedding Anniversary Party Ideas: celebrate the ruby anniversary with red and pink cherry bloosom decor, and a tea party reception.

Yesterday some friends celebrated their 40th wedding anniversary party, and I helped out with the decor and food for a tea party inspired get together to celebrate.  I thought you might like some 40th wedding anniversary ideas too.

The anniversary couple wanted to celebrate with an open house style party, where guests could drop in over several hours.  They wanted to offer some foods for their guests, and tables to sit at in their church hall.  We decided that a tea party menu would be perfect for the afternoon with an assortment of finger sandwiches and nibbles along with some bite sized sweets.  The married couple don’t drink, so tea and punch were perfect for an afternoon of visiting with family and friends.  They didn’t want any dancing or speeches, just a chance to see long time friends and celebrate this special day having a good time together.

The Ruby Anniversary

A 40th wedding anniversary is traditionally the ruby anniversary, so we tried to incorporate some red into the party and went with a red and pink colour scheme, one of my very favourite colour combinations.  You’ll also notice lots of little red gem accents here and there.  Since it was spring we went with a cherry blossom theme to the decor for this 40th anniversary party.

cherry blossom party centre piece

40th Wedding Anniversary Centerpieces

Cherry Blossoms

We used their church hall for the party area, and tried to give it some character with our decor for the anniversary celebration. Because a lot of their guests were elderly it was important to them to have tables that everyone could sit at to visit and enjoy the food.  The round tables had simple white cloths, and beautiful organza pink table runners.  We used silk cherry blossoms as the flowers, and put them in real water to weight the vases, and make them look more authentic.  The silk flowers worked out really well.  They were very good quality.  After the party the family was able to take them home afterwards and have them as a keepsake of the party. 

Roses and Candles

I wanted a grouping of three items on the table so we used a tea light in a simple glass tea light holder, and some roses.  I originally thought of roses in silver julep cups, but they were a little over budget, so I had the great idea of using silver creams and sugars which we were able to rent.  We were renting some other dishes and serving pieces so this worked out well.  Another options was that we also could have looked at thrift stores for silver cream and sugar sets to use. It was eclectic, and vintage feeling and went great with our tea party theme.  

We filled them with pink and red roses to go with our color scheme and they looked beautiful.  It was a great way to add some red flowers to go with our ruby theme.  We picked up all the fresh roses the day before the party from Costco for a great price.  Because the cherry blossoms were faux, it was nice to have some fresh flowers on the table too.  We also used lots of roses on the main food tables.  We arranged them very simply in large glass vases, but they linked in very well with the roses on the tables.

40th wedding anniversary party ideas


Another fun detail, to tie in the ruby anniversary was that we hung some black and white family pictures on the cherry blossoms.  This was a really lovely way to mark this major milestone.  And family and friends loved seeing all the old pictures of the couple through the years, including some old wedding pictures.  After so many years of marriage together there were lots of wedding photos and happy memories to choose from, including their kids growing up up and grandkids, and this was a really fun way to display them, and include each family member in the celebration.  

We photocopied the orginal photos all in black and white and printed them on cardstock, then we added some beautiful red gem stickers to tie in the ruby anniversary theme, and glued red ribbons on the back to hang them from.  This was such a fantastic way to add to our ruby theme.  We had three different photos at each centerpiece, and the guests tended to walk around and admire them all.  It was a great talking point as well, and sparked many “remember when” stories of the couple and family and friends.  Afterwards the family used these pictures, along with photos taken at the anniversary party to make a beautiful scrapbook to remember the day.  This will become a family treasure.

40th wedding anniversary party

40th Anniversary Banner

One little item we had to work around with the hall was the large bulletin boards in the hall.  We didn’t want them to distract from the big celebration.  So, we covered the room’s bulletin boards with some simple white table cloths held with push pins to create a neutral background. At the front of the room I wanted to create a focal point behind the food tables so we hung a beautiful banner to mark the occasion.  We made the 40th anniversary banner with red and pink scrapbook papers, and letters, and beautiful red and pink ribbons so it tied in with our color scheme.

40th wedding anniversary banner

Above the banner we hung a gorgeous bouquet of paper lanterns. This was my favourite detail of the entire day – I love how the Japanese cherry blossom lanterns tied into our theme.  I shopped for lanterns in a variety of sizes and colors, including pink and red and our cherry blossom ones which I found at an Asian mall.  I tied them all together and added in some long pieces of red and pink ribbons.  This was a really nice more elegant alternative to using balloons.  They were a perfect festive touch for a joyous occasion.  And after the party we were able to collapse them and re-use them later.

cherry blossom party decor

These were the background for the two food tables one was savoury and the other was full of sweets.

40th wedding anniversary party decor

More Cherry Blossom Details

It’s always fun to add more party details to go with your party theme, we came up with a few more fun cherry blossom touches.  We added some red and pink roses to the washroom, along with Bath and Body Works cherry blossom foaming hand soap and hand cream. Love is in the details!

cherry blossom party ideas

We used lots of red and pink roses on the food, and drink tables, and various red and pink candles in silver and mercury glass candle holders.  The fresh flowers were gorgeous.

40th anniversary party ideas

A fun detail on the coffee and tea table, which the couple added and I will definitely use again in the future was to add a tiny amount of coloured sugar to the regular sugar. Isn’t it pretty?!

40th anniversary party ideas

40th Anniversary Tea Party Menu

The food for the party turned out really well. For the savoury table we served a variety of tea sandwiches.  We served:

  • veggies and dip
  • cheese and crackers
  • chicken salad toast cups
  • cream cheese pinwheels
  • ham and cheese sandwiches
  • egg salad on a mini croissant
  • salmon salad sandwiches
  • cucumber sandwiches

40th wedding anniversary

We served the veggies and dip in a small plastic cup, which the guests loved the ease of.  There was no double dipping, and these were so easy to serve and for guests to enjoy.

individual veggies and dip

There was also a large cheese tray. I lined up the cheese and crackers in rows, and thought it made for a really pretty presentation.

cheese tray

We made a variety of tea sandwiches.  I made them the fillings the night before and then assembled the sandwiches the morning of the party, wrapping them well in plastic wrap.  Just before the party I sliced them, and arranged them on the serving trays, replenishing as needed.  They held up really well.

tea party reception

There were toast cups with chicken salad and onion sprouts -find my recipe here, cream cheese pinwheels, ham and Swiss cheese with honey mustard, egg salad on mini croissants, salmon, and cucumber fingers.

tea party finger sandwiches

tea party 40th wedding anniversary

I made some cute picks and used them in some of the sandwiches.

40th wedding anniversary tea party

The Desert Table

There was also a sweet table.  We served

  • cupcakes
  • fruit tray
  • lemon tarts
  • shortbread cookies
  • chocolate spritz cookies
  • mini chocolate eclairs
  • pink meringue kisses

40th wedding anniversary dessert table

The highlight of the dessert table was the cupcakes, looking so beautiful on their pink and white stands. 


I made the cupcake labels, and the pics for the sandwiches with a cherry blossom graphic I found on-line to tie back into our theme.

strawberry cupcakes on a pink cake stand

Along with the cupcakes, I made a large fruit tray. I placed the fruit in rows, like the cheese and crackers, for a pretty presentation. I was lucky enough to find toothpicks for the fruit with tiny hearts on theme. How fitting for a wedding anniversary.

large fruit tray

wedding anniversary tea party

The rest of the delicious sweets were made by the family and friends, and included lemon tarts, shortbread and chocolate spritz cookies. We also included mini chocolate eclairs, and some pink meringue kisses.

wedding anniversary dessert table

tea party desserts

tea party dessert table

It was a beautiful day for a beautiful happy couple.  They had a wonderful time remembering their wedding day, and celebrating with old and new friends.  I loved all the cherry blossom and red and pink details for celebrating a 40 year anniversary. I think they’d be a beautiful themed party for a shower, birthday, wedding or any spring special occasion party.

40th wedding anniversary party ideas

Congratulations Ian and Lois, 40 years married and still very much in love, sometimes life is a party!

More Party Inspiration

You might also enjoy our 5 Inexpensive DIY Party Decor Ideas.

5 Inexpensive DIY Party Decor Ideas: Use wrapping paper, washi tape, scrapbook paper, and vintage bottles to create your own party decor.

Also check out 5 Tips To Create A Pinterest Worthy Party On A Budget.


  1. I read lobster… Kim, I would like some lobster! 🙂

    This party was amazing! the pictures are beautiful but they don’t even do it justice

  2. So beautiful – I’d like to book you for my next birthday party. I’d like the theme to be tired mommy – any ideas?

  3. Lovely party, I would love to feature it on my blog if you are interested! Please let me know. The fruit tray has my mouth watering! 🙂


  4. OH, OH, OH – each picture gets better and better. What an OUTSTANDING celebration. And attention to detail – AMAZING! The food photos – inspiring, the decorations, incredible – wow, wow, wow

    NEW FOLLOWER (*actually ADMIRER!!!!)

  5. I absolutely ADORE cherry blossoms and this is stunning the way you pulled it all together. Thank you for stopping by The Howell Blessings , this way I got to peek at your lovely party!

    Miss Mindy
    The Howell Blessings

  6. This is very pretty! I absolutely love the idea of the veggies and dip in a glass!! Thanks for sharing that, I definitely will use the idea. Yummy food ideas as well.

  7. Dannyelle – This is such a great party. I adore the theme and the decor is very pretty! Fantastic job! Thanks so much for linking to The Sunday Showcase Party – I greatly appreciate it. I have featured this Sunday. Have a wonderful week.
    ~ Stephanie Lynn

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