Marriage is about the everyday, not just the big day. But a wedding is still a significant occasion for any married couple. So your wedding anniversary a great opportunity to connect every single year.
It can be a point of tension or anxiety for some couples. But here are a few things you can keep in mind to ensure that your anniversary is a day to look forward to, not dread.
Don’t Forget It
The first step to making your wedding anniversary memorable is actually remembering it. Men forgetting their anniversary may be a common movie trope, but it’s not really that funny.
Thankfully, remembering isn’t that difficult. Put a reminder notification on your calendar—whether that’s a physical wall calendar or the app on your phone. There are even free web services that will send you anniversary reminders every year. Either way, no excuses!
If you’re like me, you’re a pre-crastinator—which is basically the opposite of a procrastinator. I hate putting stuff off, so I plan things out as early as possible. That includes plans for anniversaries.
If you’re not like me, you may have a tendency to wait until the last minute. But try as much as possible to make the “last minute” mean a week before instead of the day of. It’s much more difficult to plan a meaningful anniversary with your spouse with limited time and excess panic.
Agree on Expectations
For some couples, a wedding anniversary means going on a week-long vacation together to a romantic city like Paris. For other couples, a wedding anniversary means ordering pizza and renting a movie together at home.
Either one of those things are great—just as long as you both agree on what a good anniversary looks like. It would be disappointing for one spouse to have Paris-sized expectations, only to experience a pizza-filled anniversary.
Even if you aren’t having much sex as a married couple, this is probably the one time of year when you should. If the two of you can’t find time to get intimate with one another for this once-a-year occasion, you might be having bigger issues.
That shouldn’t mean it’s an obligation or there aren’t exceptions. But this is a great annual opportunity for the two of your to connect in the bedroom. It also highlights the importance of planning ahead and agreeing on expectations.
Reminisce About Your Wedding and Marriage
By definition, your anniversary is the date the two of you got married. It’s the day that started it all—whether that was last year or half a century ago. Take some time to think back on your wedding day and some other fond memories of the time in-between now and then.
Pull out your wedding album or rewatch your wedding video. Think back on how many of your bridesmaids and groomsmen you’ve kept in touch with. List the number of wedding gifts you guys still use. Discuss your favorite moment from the wedding.
Start a Tradition
Part of what makes most other holidays memorable are the traditions—indoor trees on Christmas, egg hunts on Easter, fireworks on Independence Day, and wearing green on St. Patrick’s’ Day.
Why not do the same thing for your wedding anniversary? Try doing something you both enjoy every year for your anniversary. Go to the same restaurant. Watch the same movie. Go for a walk along the same park path.
Some couples may prefer more variety and spontaneity in their anniversary. But traditions may make it easier to plan and easier to meet each other’s expectations. The best part of traditions are that they only get more special with time. Just like your marriage.
What do you do to make your anniversary special?
Robert Carnes is the editor on the MarriedPeople team. He’s worked in marketing and communications for a number of churches and nonprofits. Robert lives in Atlanta with his wife, Victoria.
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