Anniversary celebrations should never be skipped; not only do they help you realize how far you've come with your partner, but they also allow you to stop and reflect on your love. All couples can get busy and bogged down with their day-to-day lives, so an anniversary is also the perfect excuse for a little fun and romance.
But coming up with ideas for how to celebrate your anniversary year after year can be tedious and a little overwhelming, and it can feel tough to figure out dynamic activities that are both refreshing and meaningful. For help, we turned to event planning expert Seri Kertzner, Chief Party Planner for Little Miss Party Planner.
Meet the Expert
Seri Kertzner is Chief Party Planner for Little Miss Party Planner, a company that helps clients plan every type of occasion from a small dinner for two to a thousand-person bash.
While Kertzner plans events of all kinds, she especially cherishes anniversaries. "They signify the dedication that a couple has made to each other," she says. "Being married is no easy feat. Every anniversary is a blessing." She also loves any excuse for a celebration that "brings people joy and makes people realize how blessed they are."
Read on to learn 20 ways you can celebrate this big moment as a couple.
Eat Your Cake
If this is your first wedding anniversary, take a queue from tradition and revisit your wedding cake. According to superstition, saving the top tier of your wedding cake to eat on the one-year anniversary of your wedding ensures good luck and a fortuitous marriage. If you didn't think to preserve (read: freeze) your cake ahead of time, you can contact the original baker to recreate the cake on a smaller scale for you to enjoy.
Hire a Private Chef
Sure, you can go out to a restaurant for your anniversary, but that is something you might do on a regular date night. To make the day extra special consider hiring a private chef to cook for you in your own home. They can make your favorite meal and cater everything exactly to your liking. It will be fun to let someone else do the cooking (and the cleaning up!) for once while both of you get pampered.
Kertzner recalls how meaningful it was when one of her clients did this. "We set up the most stunning dinner for two, brought in a chef, covered a cake in flowers. It was gorgeous," she says. "The husband who planned this was clearly a winner, and his wife was shook when she walked in. To make someone feel this way is absolutely precious, and we were so proud of the small details that went into setting this up."
Plant a Love Tree
...or a love fern, for any How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days fans amongst us. Frankly, it doesn't matter what type of plant it is. All that matters is that there's something incredibly romantic about planting seeds and watching them grow in tandem with your love. Imagine several anniversaries from now looking at a sturdy sapling or flowering vine that you nurtured together.
Take a Trip to an Exotic Location
It can be hard for many couples to make time for one another in the hustle and bustle of day-to-day life. So why not remove yourself from the grind and head on a trip? Maybe you want to go somewhere peaceful and beautiful. Or, are you craving adventure and want to explore a new city?
"My husband and I have a dinner date each year on our anniversary which is an easy, enjoyable way to celebrate. However, for the biggies, every five to 10 years, we do something more special, and that usually involves a trip that we take somewhere special," says Kertzner. "One year we went to Costa Rica to celebrate our anniversary and soon after, we discovered Jumby Bay in Antigua. Everything about that place made us feel special. It was romantic and truly beautiful."
Revisit Your Wedding Location
Another one for the married folks! Whether your wedding venue was located in a far-flung destination or you just book a weekend at the hotel you spent the wedding night, an anniversary is the perfect moment to rekindle all the warm fuzzies of the big day. You can even book the same room or suite to really lean into the memories. If you truly love the experience, consider making it a tradition for every anniversary or milestone year.
Recreate Your First Date
There is nothing more meaningful than remembering your roots and re-living the story of how you got where you are today. For an anniversary treat try recreating your first date. Go back to the spot where you met or enjoyed your very first date night together. Try to remember what you talked about and what made you start to fall in love with one another. It's a great way to reignite that first spark.
Lead With Tradition
Believe it or not, there's an entire guide to gift-giving by anniversary year. The longstanding tradition is believed to bring prosperity to your deepening relationship while also commemorating each year with a gift of increasing value (much like your love and commitment to one another). If gifts aren't your love language, consider using the guide as inspiration for your anniversary date. The first anniversary theme, for example, is paper. Perhaps you attend a paint-and-sip night together or nab sold-out tickets to watch your favorite team play.
Run a Bubble Bath
To make an anniversary special, do something luxurious you wouldn't normally have the time or energy for. Kertzner recommends setting up a bubble bath for your partner as the ideal way to mark this big day. "Walking into a bathtub full of bubbles, candles, and a glass of wine: What a treat after a long day of work and on your anniversary," she says.
Relax at the Spa
If you want to up the ante, book a couple's package at a spa. It might be an investment, but it will ensure you can both completely check out and indulge in some much needed, deep relaxation. With a host of professional wellness treatments and private access to the facilities, you'll emerge just as rejuvenated as your love for each other.
Send a Balloon Arrangement
While flowers are always appreciated, try something new with this anniversary. Kertzner suggests sending a balloon arrangement with "Happy Anniversary" scripted into one of the balloons. You can also get balloons shaped like the number of your anniversary or get one another's names made into balloons. If anything, they will make a fun backdrop for pictures to remember the occasion.
Take a Class
Spice things up by spending your anniversary learning a new skill as a couple. Most cities have a plethora of options from cooking classes (try making sushi or ice cream) or art classes (try making ceramics or going to a painting class). Decide what sounds fun to you as a duo and enroll in a class on your anniversary day. Not only will you make memories, you might learn a new skill that you can carry with you and use in the future.
Enjoy a Starry Picnic
Intimate picnics are inherently romantic. Turn things up a notch by scheduling your alfresco anniversary date for after the sun sets. Enjoy an aperitivo bathed in golden-hour magic before moving to a perfect picnic setting under the stars. Choose an especially clear night for a cosmic evening of stargazing—if you're lucky, you'll even get to make a wish on a shooting star.
Attend a Concert of Your Song
Whether it's the first-dance song from your wedding or the first song you ever danced to together period, chances are there's a tune that's extra special to your love story. Whatever the melody is, imagine sharing the heightened experience of hearing the song live. Find out if the band or artist is performing a concert near you and treat yourselves to tickets. Regardless of the setting or crowd, you'll feel as if the song is being played for just the two of you.
Take a Staycation
Just because you can't jet off to a jet-set destination doesn't mean a night away from home is out of the question. Consider staying at a local hotel or inn—you can even act like a tourist for the night. Try dining in a restaurant you've never been to or going to a museum you don't usually have time for. Or, spend all day enjoying hotel amenities like a beautiful pool or relaxing spa. You might leave looking at your partner, and your hometown, with fresh eyes.
Learn to Dance
If you're a couple, chances are there will be many opportunities—from weddings to swaying in the kitchen together—for you to show off your dance moves. So why not make them exquisite? Choose a music or dance style you love and enlist in some dance classes to perfect your groove.
Have a Photoshoot
Whether you have an abundance of selfies or you're the couple that's just not into photos, having at least one portrait together is something you'll grow to cherish. You can enlist a photo-savvy friend's help, set up a tripod in the backyard, or go all out and book a professional photographer to capture your love. Make it special to you by putting on your favorite outfits and scouting a location that holds a special place in your hearts. You won't regret the investment as you fondly look back on it for years to come.
Chill at Home
If you're a couple that's always on the go, a night of relaxing at home can be the most luxurious of ways to spend an anniversary. Get comfortable and lean into the comfort of being liberated from expectations. What feels most indulgent in the moment? Perhaps it's an all-out Netflix binge or competitive day of video games. Whatever it is, snacks are an absolute must.
Sometimes the best way to connect with those you love is by giving back to others. Pick a charitable cause you both care about and spend your anniversary volunteering together. Whether it's working in a food bank or picking up litter on a beach, you will bond over giving back to the greater world and feeling like you made a difference.
Check Off a Bucket List Item
Have you made a relationship bucket list together? If not, this can be a date night idea in itself. Once you've created your ultimate bucket list of experiences to share together, get to work on bringing them to life. Choose one item, or combine several if you're feeling motivated, and plan an anniversary celebration that encompasses that experience.
Take a Hike
Enjoying the great outdoors together can be an incredibly refreshing and rewarding experience. We especially love the idea of tackling a scenic hike for its poetic symbolism. Just as in your relationship, you'll persevere as a team through any roadblocks and difficulties along the way to make it to the final summit and be presented with the vast and majestic expanse that makes it all worthwhile.