The wedding day has come and gone, real life sets back in and the routine starts to fall into place. It is difficult to watch a day you planned feverishly for, come to an end and not feel a slight sadness. Most guys talk about relief. And for the bride, there is relief but also a recognition that there is a hole in your day to day conversations. The wedding took a lot of time and work. If wedding day is the best day of your life, then it stands to reason the day (or days) after are not the best days. But there is something exciting that can be planned after the wedding day, your anniversary! Don’t let your anniversary be just another day every year. Allow the excitement of the wedding to return through annual celebration.
Planning is the key to romance. Some think it is spontaneity, but really it is planning. There is a lot of planning that went into the wedding. Now the plans turn back to the house, the career, future children. But don’t give up on the romantic planning yet. Don’t spend it all on Wedding Day. Keep that folder or three ring binder, don't throw it away.
The perks of marriage are endless, but one important practice is the creation of traditions together. You have probably already begun this discussion with holidays, but a creative way to start generating new traditions is planning what you will do for your wedding anniversary. Begin the conversation during a date night together.
Here are ways to start planning anniversary traditions:
Make sure to incorporate your wedding day during every anniversary. Whether you are reciting your vows to each other, watching your wedding video, going through the wedding photo album, or sharing wine from your wine box; be sure to honor one part of your wedding day every year. Allow space for the two of you to reminisce and return to the feelings of that special day together. Make sure the anniversary is a big deal. It does not need to be big financially, but it should be well-planned.
To keep the anniversary less mundane, brainstorm one thing the two of you will do the same every year such as watch the wedding video, recite vows, etc. Then mix it up every year with adding something different such as going to a fancy dinner, taking a vacation, starting a journal of your past year, visit where you got married or honeymooned. Keep at least one consistent activity every year and then change it up after that.
Constructing habits for your marriage and anniversaries is a time for creativity. Build a space with loving communication that allows both of you to share what would be meaningful for you every year. Have fun while trying new things and remember to not stress during the planning process.
A full Vow Renewal service obviously cannot be every year but between planning for one and then celebrating it in the future is a refreshing way to mix up your anniversary. If you had a large wedding, you may opt to plan a destination vow renewal. Or vice versa. If you opted out of the big wedding, for your vow renewal you can throw a huge party. Plan a vow renewal during a major milestone year or maybe during a year where you two have been struggling. Use it as a tool to strengthen your marriage.
Hear me out! Putting your dress (or suit/tux) back on is a fun idea. This could come in multiple forms. You could put it on, dress up and have a fancy dinner at the house. Another idea is to set up a photo shoot in your wedding outfits where you could have more photos or photos you missed out on having with your husband. Putting the wedding dress back on could make you feel beautiful, stir up emotions from the day or be an exciting way to relive the wedding day. And if you both need a reason to restart the lapsed fitness program, this is it. You are getting back into these outfits____ days from now. A recent trend is the trash the dress photo shoot. If you did not have the heart to do it during the wedding, maybe you are ready to do it a few years later.
Once families are started, photos of just you as a couple are forgotten. A great way to celebrate your anniversary is to plan a photo shoot for just the two of you. These could be a lifestyle shoot in your home or relive the feel of an engagement shoot. The photo shoot doesn’t have to be long, but it creates new intimacy, you get updated photos and it’s a blast doing it together!
The wine box or letter box is something lots of couples chose on their wedding day in place of a unity candle or sand mixing. Wait, you never heard of a winebox? First, read my dad’s wine box post. You can still start to use one even if you didn’t use one at your wedding. Essentially the wine box is small wooden crate that is large enough to fit a bottle of wine and some letters. The letters could include notes from your parents, siblings or to each other about your wedding day/ marriage. Then every year on your anniversary you open the bottle of wine and read the letters your parents or siblings wrote to you on your wedding day (or ask them to write one now to start using in the future). You could also throw in your vows to be read while drinking the wine together every year.
Blog Post written by my daughter, Elizabeth Squirek. Check out her blog at https://somethingtoowineabout.wordpress.com/