30th Wedding Anniversary Party Ideas

From a classic pearl celebration to a 1980s bash and honeymoon-inspired parties

senior couple

We may be parents, fretting about our college kids and young adults, but we're romantic souls too. And a 30th wedding anniversary is a big deal. So if you're looking for ideas for that 30th wedding anniversary celebration, look no further. Here are half a dozen great ideas for 30th wedding anniversary parties, from a classic pearl celebration to a 1980s bash and honeymoon-inspired parties.

Woman holding pearls, mid section, close-up
Tom Grill/Iconica/Getty Images

Traditionally, 30th anniversaries are celebrated with pearls, so why not use pearls to inspire an anniversary party at home? It's easy to go elegant with a pearl theme, with opalescent or sea blue linens, seafood and, of course, oysters. But you can opt for a chic, more casual tone too. Here's how.

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30th Wedding Anniversary Party: A Greek Feast

Santorini, Greece
Santorini, Greece. Photo courtesy of Chris, Stock.Xchng Photos

A second honeymoon is a lovely way to celebrate a wedding anniversary, especially when it's a big one, like the 30th. But if you want to celebrate with friends and family, whisking everyone off to Greece, Tuscany or Hawaii is going to be more than a tad pricey. So why not use that honeymoon destination as inspiration for an anniversary party at home? This Greek feast includes wonderful small plates fare, a little sirtaki music - and perhaps some Abba - and plenty of fun.

disco ball

Celebrate with an anniversary party that recalls your dating heyday, back in the 1980s. The light-hearted, retro fun of a 1980s theme party evokes those days when hair was big, fashions garish and the music incredible - and you were falling in love. So moonwalk with your sweetie, groove to Madonna and remember that girls - and boys - just want to have fun.  Here's how to throw that '80s party</a>.

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An Italian Anniversary Celebration

coast of italy

Ah, bella Italia... those days spent in Venice, Tuscany or Capri were divine on your honeymoon. Now they'll inspire this 30th anniversary celebration. If you are feeling creative, why not cook up a few dishes for your special event? Then get out the Chianti, gelato and romantic music and have a wonderful time.


Hawaiian shirts, grass skirts, coconut bras - and fabulous fruity cocktails. Is there anything more fun than a Hawaiian-style luau? Celebrate your anniversary in tropical style with tiki torches, teriyaki and ukulele tunes. Then bring on the hula lessons. 

Las Vegas Sign
The iconic Las Vegas sign. iStock Photo

What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas? Well, not if you met there, married there or honeymooned in that dazzling desert city. Then that glorious love affair came home too. So celebrate your big 30th anniversary with a Las Vegas-style anniversary party at home. You can hire blackjack dealers, create a rat-pack soundtrack, make some martinis and you're ready to go!

Cupcake Tower
Ribbon finishes the edges of a simple, infinitely customizable DIY cupcake tower. Photo by Jackie Burrell

Cupcakes and other sweet small bites are perfect fare for any anniversary party, especially if you serve them up in a spectacular way. A tiered cupcake tower does that job beautifully and you can tailor this inexpensive, DIY craft project to complement your party theme in a matter of minutes. A retro disco bash? Use LPs for the tiers. A Hawaiian party? Bamboo matting.

Photo booth
iStock Photo

Remember photo booths? You climbed in, the camera flashed a few times, and voila, an old-school photo strip emerged with four funny images. Well, those retro booths are making a big comeback. They're popping up at weddings, grad night parties, proms and other bashes, where they not only snap pictures, they provide hours of amusement. And they're perfect for 30th wedding anniversary parties too. You can rent one, but it's even more fun to make your own.


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Celebrate 30 Years Through Photos and Videos

photos on mantle

Both entertaining and nostalgic, creating a photo history of your marriage is a fun and memorable way to share your lives with friends and family. Hang images around the room of the two of you from your earliest days of dating through your most recent vacation or family event. Create a video of your lives, including family members and friends who will delight in seeing themselves included in your special memories. Make the party about the two of you - after 30 years, you deserve it!


Edited by Sharon Greenthal