What to Do for Your First Valentine’s Day as a Married Couple

Newlywed bride and groom, bride in a red dress

Photo by Samm Blake

Once you get married, you may wonder how you should go about all the annual celebrations, like your anniversary and holidays. If you find your first Valentine’s Day as a married couple is a bit anticlimactic, don’t worry—that’s totally normal. You may feel obligated to do something extravagant because it’s your first Valentine’s Day as a "real" couple, but try to let go of that. Too many couples get pulled into the pressurized atmosphere of being newlyweds and assume everything must be bigger and more special somehow, but remember, you were a real couple before you got married, too.

If you two both happen to adore Valentine's Day and love having big, over-the-top celebrations year after year, then that's great! But if you’re not sure what to do with the first February 14 after you've tied the knot, let yourself off the hook a little bit. You may feel like you’re still in a post-wedding whirlwind, so use this Valentine's Day to take stock and get back to the romance between just the two of you.

Choose a way to celebrate that feels authentic or even gives you a little throwback to your pre-wedding life. Your first Valentine's Day can be a great opportunity to play it cool and focus more on the intimacy of your relationship than the showy part.

If you're not sure how to spend your first Valentine's Day post-wedding, we have ideas for how to celebrate your love without going all out.

01 of 07

Book a Spa Day

Couple getting massages together

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In terms of getting to relax and spend quality time together, spa days are often the biggest bang for your buck. You can go as luxurious or as budget as you want, depending on how you’re feeling. But, most importantly, you’ll be able to get in some real bonding time and come out feeling refreshed. A couple’s massage can go a long way, especially during a chilly February. Plus, many spas have special packages for Valentine's Day with add-ins like Champagne and chocolates, so you'll be sure to feel the romance while you're getting pampered.

02 of 07

Stay In and Watch Your Wedding Video

Couple drinking wine and watching a video outside on a projector

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You put so much time and energy into planning your wedding, but a lot of us will only look at the photos or videos a few times before putting them on the shelf. Use this Valentine’s Day as an opportunity to reminisce on the best parts of your wedding day. Cook a lovely meal (or order one in) and cue up your wedding video or flip through your photo album. You’ll feel closer in no time. Plus, it will give your wallet a break if you're still feeling financially stressed from the big day.

03 of 07

Make a Couple’s Bucket List

Young couple making a list of plans in a notebook

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Weddings so often end up being about other people. Everyone in your life wants a say, and you can end up going crazy trying to keep everyone happy. So, this Valentine's Day, focus on what you want out of your relationship—and your life. Buy a nice bottle of wine, curl up, and take some time to make a couple’s bucket list. Not sure where to start? Just let your imagination run wild. Where do you want to go? What do you want to accomplish? What does your dream home look like? Now that you’re established as a married couple, it can be romantic to look forward to your life together.

Gifting an experience for the two of you to try together is a creative and thoughtful way to make lasting memories together. Plus, it will give you both something to look forward to if you decide on a more low-key Valentine's Day celebration.

04 of 07

Relive Your First Date

Couple eating outside a fish and chips restaurant

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If you want to go right back to your beginning, revisiting your first date can be a fun and silly way to keep that spark alive. If you still live in the area where you met, book the same bar or restaurant where it all began. If not, try to recreate the meal or choose another significant event to relive, like the moment you first said “I love you” or when you got engaged. It can help bring back that flirty feeling from early in the relationship and remind you why you fell in love in the first place.

05 of 07

Book Some Time Away

Couple lying on a bed in a luxury hotel

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If you really want to focus on quality time, going away together is a great way to spend your first Valentine's Day as a married couple. You can book a night away or make a longer vacation out of it—as long as you embrace not having to deal with anyone else for a while. Think about heading somewhere warm for a long weekend, or maybe book a nearby luxury hotel with an outdoor firepit for the night. If an overnight trip doesn't fit your budget, don’t worry. Even exploring a new town or neighborhood for the afternoon is a great way to make memories together.

06 of 07

Go Off-Grid

Female couple walking in the woods during winter

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One of the best ways to reconnect with your partner is to remove technology from the equation. Why not go off-grid for a while this Valentine’s Day? Make an agreement that phones are for emergency use only and plan a lovely day together. You can visit a museum, go to dinner and a movie, or spend some time in nature with a hike or bike ride. Or, make it really intimate and don’t even leave the house (or the bed)—the choice is totally yours.

07 of 07

Host a Couple’s Potluck

Woman and man toasting at a dinner party

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if you want to keep it casual this year, spending time with friends and family is a great option. Invite over some other couples who may be a bit over the Champagne-and-roses experience, and focus on relaxing with the people you care about. You can cook up a feast, or take the pressure off and make it a potluck and BYOB affair to ensure there’s plenty to go around.

Remember, just because you're married doesn’t mean you have to go to town on February 14. In fact, you can do just the opposite. Focusing on quality time and intimacy is never a bad choice, so if you want to keep the celebration small, do it. There’s always your first wedding anniversary coming around the bend if you want to plan something big and bold.

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