When it comes to your celebrating your wedding anniversary, a dinner-and-a-movie date just won't do. Why? Because it's fine, says relationship expert April Masini, but it's not special. And your anniversary, just like the love you're celebrating, should be out of the ordinary.
"It's easy to take anniversaries for granted," she says. "But when you decide to do something that makes a memory, you've not only created a magical day or night, you've written part of your story together. You'll never be able to get too excited to tell your grandchildren about the amazing dinner and movie you had for your first or 10th anniversary, but you will remember something more special."
Looking for some out-of-the-box anniversary-date ideas? We've got five to get you started.
1. Re-enact your first date.
Whether your first date was a chat over chai lattes or an epic ride on your county fair's roller coaster, "it launched your relationship toward this anniversary," says Masini, who suggests returning to that first-date spot to relive it once again. "Wear the same clothes, order the same drinks, get the same seats — rent the same car you once had," she says. "You'll conjure up feelings from your past and really enjoy the anniversary, as well as make a wonderful memory."
2. Capture your love on camera.
According to Masini, "Your anniversary can be one that's memorialized beyond the engraving in any piece of jewelry given and received." But selfies and snapshots by willing waiters don't count, she warns. Hire your wedding photographer or another talented shutterbug for a photo session to celebrate this milestone, and choose a location with special significance to your relationship. "You'll have a wonderful memento of your anniversary," Masini says, "and a great experience."
3. Adopt a pet.
If you've been itching to add a furry member to your family, your anniversary is the perfect time to visit your local animal shelter. "Adopting an animal is a great way to celebrate your love by giving some to a pet that's been abandoned," says Masini. And next year, she adds, you'll be able to celebrate your anniversary and the adoption of your pet.
4. Take a bucket-list trip.
Landmark anniversaries deserve more than the fanciest champagne and filet mignons money can buy. After all, as Masini points out, "how many filet steaks can you eat? And how much bling do you really need?" Instead, take a bucket-list trip, whether that's to Niagara Falls, Portugal or Australia. "Travel is something most people don't do because it's expensive, time consuming and frivolous," says Masini. "But if you re-prioritize your life together, you'll see experiences like these important trips are more important than dinner and a movie or even diamonds."
5. Do something you've both never done before.
This anniversary, you should spend time away from the movie theater you've visited a half-dozen times and at somewhere — or doing something — brand-new to you both, Masini suggests. Think outside the box. For example, "if you've never taken the train overnight, buy a sleeper compartment," she says. "If you've never gone surfing, rent some boards and book a private lesson for the day. Or, if you've never been camping, borrow some tents and gear from friends or rent an RV and hit the road together."