If you want to hold a formal anniversary party there are plenty of resources available to help you plan and execute a successful party.
An Anniversary Party in a formal setting follows similar lines to a Wedding Reception.
A formal reception starts with the receiving line where the Hosts and Guests of Honour would greet the guests as they enter the reception. If the guests of honour are elderly or cannot stand for long periods then you could arrange a place of honour where they can be seated to greet the guests.
The reception would then proceed with other events depending upon your chosen program such as formal sit down meal or hors d'uvre etc.
Speeches and toasts would be expected at a formal event. They would be given by the couple's children (or friend), Host and a response from the Couple, generally given by the man.
A program is a printed list of the events and prominent players in the celebration activities.
For a formal Party it is not necessary to have a program printed however if you have a number of events within the celebration it can help the flow of the party.
The program could have a photo of the couple on their original wedding day printed upon it.
In addition to the listing of the events the program can also contain the history of the couple's marriage (makes for a unique present) You could also include the couple's children (and Grandchildren) and their birth dates as a useful keepsake.
As an alternative and if available you could include a list of the original attendees at the wedding.
Only the major anniversaries normal attract any publicity unless they are particularly long standing marriages, the longest marriage celebrated by a living couple I am aware of is 82 years celebrated by a couple in central England in 2002. This attracted national newspaper interest as it makes a great human interest story.
Invitations are the most common way of publicising an anniversary party, if you are having an intimate family celebration e.g. going to a restaurant with you close family, and you would like to let your friends know it is your anniversary then you could put a notice in you local press.
The following is provided as a suggestion on wording if the celebration is being organized by the children of the couple;
'To celebrate the forty-fifth Wedding Anniversary
the children of
Mr and Mrs William Smith
Accompanied by the immediate family will
Entertain them at the Anniversary Inn
Friends and neighbours
For making their lives together
A pleasant and fruitful union'
If you would just like to publicise the event then most local papers still carry an announcements section as do their on-line entities to allow such an advertisement to be displayed. If the event is major some local newspapers may cover it more in-depth with the publication of a photo and couple of paragraphs of details and thus it may be worth giving some thought as to the content that would be appropriate. If this does occur it is worth keeping the clippings of these and adding them to a scrapbook for the couple to keep.