Anyone who has been married for a long time probably has a story about a less-than-memorable anniversary. Perhaps one of you forgot, or both of you were busy with work or family. Sometimes there's just no way to clear your schedules on the actual day, so it comes and goes without much happening in the way of celebration. Or maybe you're good at remembering to celebrate, but just tired of the same old activities and looking for some new romantic ideas to mark your special day. Whether it's your very first anniversary together or you're celebrating many years of love and laughter, there’s every reason to make important days feel special. Anniversaries are a great opportunity to refresh and strengthen your bond while celebrating your marriage. Here are a few ideas to help you mark the occasion.
Visit the place you first met or repeat your first date
Do you remember the first time you saw your spouse? How you felt and what you said to each other? Heading back to the spot where it all began could be a fun way to walk down memory lane together. Or perhaps you would enjoy repeating your first date. Go out to eat at the same restaurant, play the same board game or watch the same movie. Even if you can’t make it to the same exact places, find something similar and enjoy doing the same things you did together that very first time you started to connect. A similar idea is to visit the spot where you proposed and perhaps recreate some of the same magic of that special day.
Throw yourselves a wedding reception or recreate your wedding dinner
For a bigger celebration, you could throw yourselves a big party and even have the theme be from the year you got married. Play popular music from that year, including the same song you had your first dance to as a married couple all those years ago. Use decorations and food from that time period, and invite all your friends and family to celebrate with you. If you prefer a quieter evening, you could try to recreate the meal served at your wedding or the first meal you ate together afterwards. Shopping and cooking together might be your idea of fun, or you may prefer to order something. Then eat it together just the two of you and reminisce about your wedding day. Watching your wedding video or looking through your wedding album is a great way to top off the evening.
Spend time with only each other
Take the day off work. Either stay home together or get a room at a local hotel. Turn off your cell phones and don't check your email for the entire day. Just focus on each other and take the day to talk and enjoy each other's company. Spend the entire day in bed or go out for your meals and a walk in the park, but most importantly just soak in some quality time with your spouse.
Try out something new
A special occasion like an anniversary can be an excuse to save up and spend a little extra money to try out something you've never done before or that you rarely get to do. Perhaps you've always wanted to go skydiving or snorkeling, get a couples massage at a spa, see a favorite band in concert, or go on a hot air balloon ride. Or maybe you want to take a cooking class, learn to ballroom dance, or go skiing or snowboarding. Find something you both think you'll enjoy and experience it for the first time together.
Give a thoughtful gift
On the other hand, anniversary celebrations don't have to be expensive. Sometimes a thoughtful gift is best. Find out the traditional gift for the number of years you've been married and give your spouse something homemade from that item. For example, the fifth anniversary is traditionally marked with wood, so you could make your spouse a wooden sign with a favorite saying you both like or purchase a small wooden sculpture or keychain that's meaningful to the two of you in some way. You could also try making your gift correspond to your anniversary number, such as giving seven red roses for seven years, or twelve love letters throughout the day for twelve years together. This could be a fun way to mark your time together while being creative and not breaking the bank.
A picture is worth a thousand words
Book a couples session with a professional photographer. Go to the same place you took your engagement photos and do it all over again. Or visit someplace special, such as the spot where you had your first kiss or the location of your wedding, and take photos together there. If you don't want to drag a photographer along, just ask nearby people to take a photo or two of you in each spot. Or you could dress up nice and take a photo together each year on your anniversary, then hang those photos on your wall or compile the photos in an album for the special milestones, such as every ten years.
Go on a trip
Head out on a road trip and just drive somewhere you've never been before. Keep it spontaneous and see where the open road takes you. Find a place to stay once you get there. Or you can head to a preplanned destination such as the beach, a theme park, or a city you've always wanted to explore. Visit all the tourist sites and enjoy some history or culture. Museums, theaters, parks, historical sights, clubs, restaurants and shopping could all be included. Or head out into nature together. Go camping or visit a state or national park or monument. Go on a hike or go stargazing. Going on a cruise together is another fun couples trip you could use to celebrate the occasion.
Spend a little more time in the bedroom
Take your anniversary to make your intimate time last a little longer than usual. Play one of our marriedfun.org bedroom games (or two or three). Buy some new lingerie or wear the same thing you wore on your wedding night. Try out a new position, or go for it with a favorite that you've rated five stars. Make sure you take time to really connect emotionally and express your love and affection for your spouse on your special day.
To help promote happy and healthy marriages, please share or like us!
With our Couples Advent Calendar we'll give you a great marriage tip for each of the 25 days leading up to Christmas. This fun activity will help you focus on your relationship. Make it your next holiday tradition!