Real Couples Share Their Favorite Thanksgiving Traditions

To get you inspired for the season!

Updated 11/22/18

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The holidays are a super special time of year, filled with tradition, sentiment, food and lots of love. But the best part? They somehow get to be even more meaningful once you have a special someone to share them with. And what better way to celebrate your union than creating new Thanksgiving traditions, or incorporating some family traditions into your new household?

Some couples carry on the Thanksgiving tradition of a handed-down recipe, while others make new and quirky twists on old favorites. Football, games, and cocktails are also some fan favorites, while others can’t wait to turn on the TV for the annual Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade.

To find out more (and get inspired for our own holiday dinners!), BRIDES asked real couples to share their favorite Thanksgiving traditions.

“It’s pretty simple. We always go over to my aunt's to eat dinner. The boys watch football and the ladies drink wine and gossip.” —Diana, 30

“My husband and I actually decorate our apartment for Christmas the night before Thanksgiving. That way, when we wake up early on Thanksgiving morning, our home is decorated and feels super cozy, and we make fresh coffee and a hot breakfast, then cozy up while watching the parade.” —Nicole, 31

“Fighting over whose family to visit. I look forward to it every year! Not.”—Pamela, 30

“Waking up and watching the parade. We used to go into the city every year and stay in a hotel and go to the actual parade and it’s always been my favorite thing to do. I can’t wait to do it with my son now when he gets a little older.” —Stacy, 30

"Every year we make little table settings using our hands to trace and then turn them into turkeys. I love seeing how they change, and how we can hold on to them for years to come.” —Nancy, 38

“Cooking. My wife and I were so nervous to make our first turkey two years ago. It may have taken all night, but it was worth it. Now I look forward to it every year, and we’ve gotten better at it. Secret ingredients: orange juice champagne! “ —Chris, 31

“Pre-kids we used to go out on the town Thanksgiving eve and then sleep in on Thanksgiving and eat to cure our hangovers. Now that we have little kids, we go to my sister's on Thanksgiving eve and make milkshakes—we call it Milkshake Mania. We have them while watching the Wizard of Oz. Oh, how traditions have changed.” —Kristine, 35

“This is only our second Thanksgiving together, but last year we split the day in half with both of our families. He’s Polish, and I missed out on my favorite Polish dessert at his family’s house. So, his aunt saved it for me and I got to eat it the next day. I am super excited for this to be a tradition now, and I know every year the day after Thanksgiving I’ll have something sweet to look forward to.” —Tara, 27

"We keep it easy. Sleep in, spend a lazy morning together with the parade on in the background. Head over to visit family, and then talk that night about how next year we're going on vacation, but we never do!"—Sean, 30

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