Regardless of how long you’ve been married, celebrating your wedding day is always going to be a big deal. The challenge, because you love your spouse so much, is coming up with anniversary ideas that find a way to be special for both of you. Though you have every reason to believe a bad experience won’t harm your relationship, the opportunities to pull away from everything else and really focus on each other are fewer and farther between in this hectic modern world. Don’t put too much pressure on yourself, but do keep in mind that taking the time to plan a romantic evening together will demonstrate how much you care – whether it ends up being your best night out or not.
Wondering what to do? Here are ten suggestions to get your creative juices flowing:
Plan a romantic picnic Remember the days when you hardly had any money and were stuck finding inexpensive ways to spend time together?
Find a quiet spot under a big tree in your local park, spread out a blanket and pop open a bottle of champagne. Prepare as simple or complex a meal as you like, then recline in each other’s arms and whisper playfully like you did when your love was new.
Take over the kitchen and make a three-course meal The old cliché says the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach, but everyone loves a good home-cooked meal made by a loved one. Lock your spouse out of the kitchen while you prepare his or her favorite dinner, pretending you are one of those temperamental high-class chefs. Set up an appetizer, an entrée, and a sumptuous dessert – unless you are planning on being the sweet treat at the end, that is.
Recreate your first date A favorite for those that have been together for many years, walking the same path of that initial meeting is a great way to reminisce about how much has changed. You can laugh about the other’s nervousness and the battle over the check or stroll down the city street where you awkwardly held hands for the first time.
Steal away for a weekend With the pace of life ever-increasing, you both will love leaving the city in the rear view mirror and reconnecting.
Depending on your budget, you can drive to a cozy bed-and-breakfast outside of town or fly across country. Whatever it is, the two of you must have hours together without distraction. If you can’t leave town, at least turn off the phone and avoid the TV (unless you want to snuggle up for a movie) in the comfort of your own home.
Here’s looking at you two The longer you’ve been together, the more likely you are to have gathered quite a substantial collection of photos. Sit down together and go through each box as you put them into books or scan them into your computer. You’ll laugh at the old hairstyles and remember the time you spent, all while compiling your memories for future generations.
Tell each other an old story It might sound trivial, but sometimes we forget what it was like to not know each other as a relationship wears on. Go through your loved one’s old neighborhood – the home they grew up in, where they went to high school – and let them talk about their childhood, then do the same for yourself. You might find out there are a whole new set of wrinkles to your spouse, giving you an opportunity to grow closer together.
Do the classics You may think it’s a bit overdone, but the old gestures can be simple and effective. Let’s say, for example, you bring a box of chocolates and bouquet of flowers to your spouse at the office. Some could call it unimaginative and cheesy, but there’s something about letting everyone else know how much you love that other person. That said, be sure to pick an object he or she will like – it’s great for others to be jealous of your kindness, but not if your other half is embarrassed.
Redo the bedroom Who hasn’t had the Hollywood fantasy of rose petals strewn about a candlelit room?
There is a reason such a romantic display is frequently featured on celluloid: it emphasizes the two people in the room and excludes everyone else. Put some new sheets and covers on the bed – you could even make it look like a suite in a faraway hotel – and let sparks fly.
Schedule a photo shoot Chances are good that, with the exception of your wedding day and the announcement of your engagement, you haven’t been out on the town with a professional photographer in tow. Get all dolled up and take an afternoon to pretend you are models for the latest jewelry catalog. If you want, head to the spot you got married or where the proposal happened. You’ll get to add to your collection of great pictures and have fun doing it!
Act like newlyweds again Enlist the help of some friends to set up another romantic exit – decorated car and all! You might choose to have a party with a bunch of loved ones or simply have a limo pick you up after dinner, but make sure you leave in a car with “Just Married” on the rear windshield and some aluminum cans tied to the bumper. And, if you can, head to the same hotel you spent that first night as husband and wife.