You eloped on a mountain top or in a sleepy European village. Then, you honeymooned exploring South America or relaxing on the beaches of Thailand. Now it’s the first anniversary… frick! How am I supposed to plan something that follows the amazing adventure our wedding was?! I started to develop some anxiety over the fact that we were going to have to spend every year trying to top the previous experience. How can anyone keep up with that?! The truth is I can’t. Honestly, we are still a little broke from international travels and, well, life in general. Then I realized the same thing that happens to people planning weddings was happening to me now for the first anniversary. Really, who am I trying to compete with? Will my new husband be disappointed if I don’t plan some mind blowing surprise? I doubt it. Is it realistic to plan major travel every year on this particular day? Probably not. So I started thinking of some ways to celebrate the day that encompasses the right amount of cutesy cheesiness and still reminds us why we decided on becoming partners for life.
- A teamwork activity. Going for an early morning kayak or exhilarating hike gives you a chance to work together, support and encourage each other. All the things that a marriage should be.
- Incorporate meaningful mementos from the day. Wear the perfume you had on that day, decorate the table with the same flowers from your bouquet, or have a bottle of bubbly you toasted with the big night.Reminisce with photos. This free activity seems pretty standard and obvious but actually sitting down and looking together is a different experience than flipping through your friend’s Facebook. You each can go back to particular moments laugh, cry and experience things from each others perspective.
- Read your vows. Honestly, I don’t remember them! Not what he said, not what I said. Hearing these meaningful words is a moving experience and since you may have been nervous, a couple glasses of pinot in, or both, it will be like it is the first time!
- A quick trip. If you have some time and some funds plan a short adventure. A drive to the next town, a couple days camping, or even just a stay-cation in a hotel for the night. It is always possible to plan something within your budget.
If all else fails there is always paper. Traditionally the first anniversary is paper so a little love note from the heart is really all that is required. Don’t pressure yourself with such high expectations. There are lots of years together to have great adventures.