Looking for anniversary ideas that go beyond dinner and a movie? Check out these awesome suggestions for your best anniversary yet!
In today’s busy world, I think one of the most important things we can do is to make meaning of special days.
And what could be more meaningful than your anniversary? It’s the day that you pledged your love to one another. The day you started a new life together. The day you went from it being You and I to Us.
When you think of celebrating your anniversary, you probably think of a candlelight dinner maybe followed by a movie. While there’s nothing wrong with that, if you’re wanting to try something more original, then check out these ten anniversary ideas that go beyond dinner and a movie!
For each one, I’ve included a time commitment, resources required (when relevant) and rough cost, so you can select something that fits both your time and your budget!
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Create an “actual re-enactment”
Time commitment: 1 hour
Resources required: Written copy of wedding ceremony and wedding album
Approximate cost: Free
If you’re short on time and money then this is a great idea to get all the feels.
Firstly, get the written copy of your ceremony. Take turns doing any readings or other sections that were not done by you originally. However, when it comes time for the vows, it’s all about you speaking those promises you made – whether it was one year ago or ten years ago.
Once you have completed your vows, then go through your wedding album together, and reminisce about your special day.
Make it an Artiversary
Time commitment: A morning or afternoon
Resources required: Either addresses of local galleries, antique stores, thrift stores, or markets.
Approximate cost: $5 to $5000!
My husband and I celebrated one of our anniversaries by going to an Arts Festival in a small town about 90 minutes from our house.
We were in one of the artist’s homes,(where they were staging their art), and had our eye on a particular print.
Several elderly women were in the room when we were deliberating the purchase and they started talking about Artiversary – where they celebrated their anniversaries by purchasing a piece of art to commemorate the occasion. We thought it was a great idea, purchased the piece, and put it up on our bedroom wall. Every time we look at it, we think about that special day.
The beauty of the Artiversary is that you can get your art from a local market, second hand store, all the way up to a private gallery, depending on your budget.
I’m a firm believer in having the items of your home have significance and beauty and purchasing something for Artiversary ticks both these boxes!
Put a twist on traditional gifts
Time commitment: Varies depending on choice
Resources required: List of traditional gift ideas and your imagination.
Approximate cost: Varies depending on choice
Using the link above, check out the traditional gift for the year of your marriage.
Then think of an inventive way that you can celebrate your anniversary using that idea.
For example – the fourth wedding anniversary is fruit and flowers. You could celebrate this by going to a berry farm and picking strawberries together (something I did for my birthday this year that was heaps of fun!).
The fifth anniversary is wood, so you could go for a hike in the forest or make a bonfire on the beach.
For your ninth year, which is pottery, you could attend a pottery making class together.
You’re only as limited as your imagination!
Create a memory box
Time commitment: Two to three hours
Resources required: Photos, cards, tickets, any other memorabilia, and a memory box.
Time to grab all the memorabilia that signifies your relationship and store in in an easily accessible place that you can take out and enjoy time and time again.
If you have opted for a smaller box, then I would create a new one for each year of your relationship. Each year you can celebrate your anniversary by creating the previous year’s box.
If this is the first time you are doing this, take all the memorabilia you have stored in your relationship and gather it in to one place.
Work through the memorabilia, talking about the events they signify, and decide which ones make the cut into the box.
A top tip – select only ONE item to represent each event. For example, if you went to a show together, select from either the tickets, or the program.
Have a progressive dinner
Time commitment: Three to four hours PLUS some advance preparation.
Resources required: Restaurant reservations.
Approximate cost: $100
A progressive dinner was popular back in the day – the idea being you would attend one person’s house for the entrée, one for the main, one for the dessert and so on.
This progressive dinner is a little different.
Make a list of the different places you’ve eaten out that have significance to your relationship. You might include where you went to on your first date, the restaurant you were at when he proposed, the first time you went out for a meal and didn’t need to hire a babysitter!
Once you have them written down, assign one to each phase of your chosen course.
Just make sure you are super careful when you make your bookings that you have time to eat at and travel to each one!
Go back to the first meeting
Time commitment: Two hours to overnight, depending on how far you take it.
Resources required: Restaurant reservations, possibly hotel reservations.
Approximate cost: Varies depending on options selected
We’ve seen it a dozen times in the movies or on a tv show. Long time married couple dresses up, arrives separately at a bar, and then imagines they are meeting for the first time.
You can assume alternate identities for this event – like Claire and Phil from Modern Family and their alter egos Julianne and Clive – one of whom may have a hotel reservation and invite the other up to their room to get to know each other a little better!
Set up a couple’s photo shoot
Time commitment: Two to three hours for the shoot, and addition time preparing. Professional photographers will need to be booked well in advance.
Resources required: Photographer, props, venue
Approximate cost: Free if you take your chances with a friend or family member. Between $250 and $500 as a general rule for a professional shoot.
Sometimes we are so busy taking pictures of other people, we don’t do it for ourselves.
Reverse that this year with a couple’s photo shoot. You can either enlist an enthusiastic friend or family member to take the photographs for you, or hire a professional. If you chose the latter, make sure your decision on who to hire is based on their reputation and portfolio- not their price!
Make sure you take some time to think about where you want the photos taken and the kind of poses you want to hold.
Go on a mystery trip
Time commitment: A morning or afternoon.
Resources required: Plastic bag or container. Slips of paper. A sense of adventure!
Approximate cost: Varies, dependent on activities selected. You can set a budget- for example, $50.
It’s important to not just relive old memories, but to create new ones as well.
To do this activity well, you need to set a few guidelines. The activities you write down should be of roughly equal travel time, total duration and also applicable to the same time of day.
Take some small slips of paper.
On each slip, write down a place and activity you would like to go to.
When we did this recently, we wrote down “a freak shake in Rotorua,” “lunch at a café and a walk along the beach at Mount Maunganui,” and “fish and chips in Raglan.” These were all suitable for lunchtime / early afternoon and each location was between 45 and 90 minutes from our house.
Fold over the pieces of paper and put them in a bag.
Jump in the car with the bag.
At the end of the driveway, pull out of the pieces of paper. That’s where you’re going!
Do some dreaming
Time commitment: One hour.
Resources required: None
Approximate cost: Free
Sit down with your honey and start to brainstorm all the things you’d like to do in the next month, six months, year, five years and ten years.
Once you’ve done that, talk about how these dreams might become a reality.
Make a concrete plan of one action you can take within the next 24 hours to kick start one of those dreams.
So if you’ve been looking for anniversary ideas that go beyond dinner and a movie, I hope some of these ideas will inspire and motivate you to create your best anniversary yet!
Got some other great anniversary ideas? Let me know in the comments!