The first wedding anniversary is a couple’s first opportunity to celebrate the day of their wedding. It will also set the tone for future anniversaries. The first anniversary is a bridge between a couple’s future and past. It should be as memorable as the wedding day itself. Here are five ways to ensure your first anniversary is special.
1. Revisit the Wedding Day
Your wedding day was one of the happiest of your life. A year has passed since then, and now it’s time to celebrate the anniversary. You probably won’t top that day, so start by revisiting it.
If a picture is worth a thousand words, how many must video be worth? The easiest way to recall your wedding is to watch any video recorded on that day—during or after the ceremony and reception. Sit down together and remember who was there, who cried, who laughed, who toasted, and what the venue looked like. Look at the expressions on each other’s faces when you said your vows. You made memories on that day; now build on them together.
Another way to revisit that day would be to physically visit the places it all happened. Return to the wedding venue where the ceremony was held, walk up the aisle together, and dance the same steps on the same floor. Maybe take it back a little further—revisit the shop where the bride picked out her dress or the bakery where the cake was made.
The memories of your wedding day should never fade; keep them bright in your minds as you grow together. Return to the scenes of happiness again and again.
2. Start a New Tradition
When two people marry, they’re starting a new family. Remembering where each of you came from is important, but so is building something new that will influence your children’s memories of where they came from.
The first wedding anniversary is the perfect time to start a new tradition, whether solely for the two of you or for the entire family. A candlelit dinner, watching home movies, a visit to special place, or adding photos to a scrapbook—find something husband and wife can agree to do together again and again throughout their married years.
3. Take Time Off—And Maybe a Trip
Your wedding anniversary is about the two of you. Work is certainly important, but your marriage should be more so. Take the day off work and more: clear your schedules of anything that would separate the two of you. Spend your first wedding anniversary (and all your wedding anniversaries) together.
Consider taking a trip. Go somewhere that holds memories for the two of you, or go make new ones together. If you couldn’t afford to take a trip on your honeymoon, your first wedding anniversary may be the perfect time to travel together. Treat yourselves, pamper each other, and let the rest of the world go its own way for this one day. The world won’t fall apart in one day without the two of you—and with your total attention, your marriage will benefit. Ensure your first wedding anniversary is all about you and your spouse.
4. The Traditional Gift of Paper
Traditionally, the first wedding anniversary gift is paper. This is meant to symbolize the strength of interwoven threads, just as your married life should be stronger than either of your lives would have been separately. The gift of paper can come in a vast array of forms. Anything made from paper is an idea, from cards and photos to tickets and maps. Purchase tickets to an event you both enjoy, or write love letters or notes to each other. Frame a page from a book that has special significance. Create or buy paper flowers.
Communication is a key throughout the entirety of a marriage. Setting the tone for continuous, healthy communication (or keeping it going, if you’ve started already) on the first wedding anniversary can be important to you. You can use some of the other ideas written in this post to facilitate communication. Gift each other with journals and share them on each anniversary. If you take a trip and are alone together, talk about everything and anything. Discuss your old traditions, what they meant, and what you liked, and create new ideas for you and your spouse.
Having a marriage rich in unconditional, self-sacrificing, and active love is every married couple’s dream. Set the tone from your first anniversary with these tips, and make married life joyous for years to come.