The internet is full of sites with a bunch of wedding anniversary ideas and most of them pedal the same ones. Come on guys this is a SPECIAL DAY SO MAKE IT SPECIAL!
If you are like us you probably ask ” How can I make my anniversary special?”
We want to give you the full list of ideas and help you really forget that the rest of the world exists even if for only one day.
1. Standard wedding anniversary ideas
For posterity here’s a list of standard ideas that you could do and are perfectly fine, but we seriously encourage you to think outside of the box; here’s the “everyone does these” list:
- Go the cinema
- Have a meal
- Go to a hotel
- Stay in and watch films
- Cook a meal indoors
- Go the beach
- Relive your first date
- See a band
- Go for a walk
- Go camping
- Visit multiple bars or clubs
- Go to a spa
- Go for a picnic
- Go shopping together
- Go bowling
- Cuddle up with a bottle of wine for a chat
- Buy flowers
- Buy chocolates
- Exchange a card
Now we’ve got that stuff out of the way let’s look at a bunch of much cooler ideas…
2. Romantic ideas for your anniversary
Your anniversary is a romantic occasion and you should make the most of it, here’s a few of our ideas you could try:
- Take a picture together holding a picture of you both from your wedding – each year repeat this holding last years picture. If you repeat this each year you will end up with a really interesting and emotive collage.
- Renew your vows – if you want to do it BIG then do it in Vegas!
- Book a flash crowd – surprise the one you love by booking an “impromptu” flash crowd in a busy public location.
- Hold a surprise party for your other half – invite everybody, but keep it quiet, shhhhh.
- Name a star for him/her – learn where it is in the sky and point it out. There are places on the internet that allow you to “officially” name a star.
- Have a cast made of their face (or other body part) – you can do this yourself using kits like this one (we really like this one – click the image to see it).
- Put together a scrapbook of your life together – this is becoming a bit of a lost art but being able to look through a physical memory book is something really special, much better than browing on your phone or computer. Here’s a book that we really like (click the picture to see it).
3. Wedding anniversary ideas if you are at a distance
It’s such a shame not to be together on an anniversary (we know being ex-armed forces) but that doesn’t make the day any less special or that you still shouldn’t try and celebrate it from afar.
Here’s some tips:
- Record a collage of videos and pictures of you both and send your partner it on a DVD or by Email. If you send it on a DVD you can include it in a ‘goodies bag’ full of other cool stuff you know they’ll like.
- Plan a phone call with a difference. No doubt you will miss each other so you could make it a sensual phone call, a prank phone call for a laugh, a call to make plans for when you are together or you can plan to make him laugh with a selection of jokes.
- Write an old fashioned letter. When did you last write a letter? Not a text, WhatsApp or email an actual letter. Tell him or her how you feel and what you’ve enjoyed about the last year and how you’re looking forward to the coming year too.
- Make a mix tape. Ok, so this is a bit tongue in cheek given people don’t use tapes anymore but you could create him a playlist or songs that mean something to you both (such as your wedding tracks) and make sure it arrives for the anniversary. Send it on a disc or USB stick or something similar to that to make it special (it could be a playlist on Spotify but it’s more romantic to do something physical in our opinion).
- Order LOTS of flowers – have them delivered to your home.
- Order a special gift online – we’ve got our picks of ideal gifts for couples (follow that link to see our choices) but you could and should pick a special gift you know your partner would just love.
4. Creative gift ideas for your wedding anniversary
Fancy doing something different? Tap into your creative side, here’s a few ideas for you to consider:
- Take a pottery or crafts course – ideally do this together and make each other something by hand. Keep it forever in memory of your first anniversary.
- Write a song and record it – you could use existing backing tracks or write your own music but it’s the words that will count. You could record it at home or find a local studio that will let you do it.
- Book a surprise trip away – one of you will have to be surprised and the other book it otherwise it won’t work. Take a trip to a location you both would love such as a city break or beach otherwise book a romantic stay away somewhere.
- Book a recording studio for a day – there are now studios such as Coverstar Experiences (UK) who specialise in a karaoke style gift experience. You can pick a song, record as a couple and take away a CD of the day. You don’t even have to play an instrument!
- Give a gift to charity – pick your fave charity and make a donation, help someone less fortunate than yourself out.
- Take a massage course – once mastered, apply it well.
- Leave a trail of notes – leave clues around the house (or even around the town) that lead to a prize! The prize could be anything but how about a dream gift or a holiday vacation?
- Paint a portrait of each other – you may not be Leonardo Da Vinci but it doesn’t matter, it’s a bit of fun and something you can keep forever.
- Make a patchwork throw – got old clothes that remind you of your time together? Why not bring it together into one big collage of memories.
- Invent a cocktail together – master a cocktail and give it a meaningful name that means something to you both. This is now your very own branded drink!
- Do something he likes & something she likes – couples seem to have interests apart, what if you spent some time investigating what your partner loves and making the effort to please them?
5. Expensive ideas for your wedding anniversary
If you feel like splashing out and spending some money in style then here’s a few ideas you could try:
- Go to Las Vegas. This needs no further explanation.
- Buy your ‘dream’ gift for each other. My personal dream gift is a Harke full bass rig with 500 Watt top. I’m not sure my wife knows this but if she did and she bought it I could put it on this list!
- Throw a party – Invite everyone you know and pay for all the expense.
- Redecorate your home just for the occasion – when you’ve done put it all back again.
- Have children – One of the most expensive things you could ever do (but worth it).
6. Date night ideas for your wedding anniversary
There are plenty of things that you could do on the evening of your anniversary and here are a few suggestions:
- Watch your wedding video. Watch it at home or take a copy away with you on a break.
- A home cooked meal. Plan it in advance and don’t mess it up!
- Find a drive in movie – they seem to be springing up everywhere (here in the UK they do anyway), find one and spend a date night there.
- Go for a late night swim – if it’s warm enough is there a lake or a beach you can take a late night swim in? (Be careful and sensible please)
- Sunset beach – a classic. Take a picnic, chairs/blanket make sure you wrap up well if needed and enjoy a fire at the beach as the sun goes down. Don’t forget the wine or bubbly!
- Play games – you could invent your own games, play off the shelf ones or put a twist on traditional ‘truth or dare’. Go beyond the obvious and put your own adult twist into it.
- Hire a canal house boat – a barge / house boat trip along a canal is very relaxing and worth it for a date night.
7. Crazy, stupid but fun wedding anniversary ideas
Do something different for your anniversary, break out of your comfort zone and even feel a bit silly for a change – go on you know you want to!
- Play games like you did when you were a child – here’s a few ideas: hide and seek, doctors and nurses, treasure hunt, barrel races in the garden, pin the tail on the donkey – you get the idea BUT put your own adult twist onto them (we won’t go into details LOL).
- Buy body paint and paint your partners whole body – what will you use for a brush?
- Decide to run a marathon – train together and then run together, but do it because you are celebrating being together. Marathons can be fun so why not do it in fancy dress?
- Get matching tattoos – would you? Or if you prefer get a tattoo that remind you of your partner.
- The bucket list – start ticking them off, if you don’t have a bucket list then create one and get ticking them off. The anniversary is a good time to start!
- Hot air balloon ride – if your partner doesn’t mind the height then this is a great experience.
- Helicopter ride – same as the hot air balloon ride, pick one you would would prefer together.
- Buy a pet – how about a horse? Animals shouldn’t be bought at the drop of a hat but they do make a wonderful gift if they will be loved.
8. What are you supposed to buy for a wedding anniversary?
It’s traditional to buy something related to the symbol / representation for the year and year is different.
There are also traditional and modern gifts as well as a variety of colors, gemstones and flowers that represent each year.
We’ve put together articles about each year which you can find at this link here but if you want to buy something specific then click one of the links below:
9. Wedding anniversary ideas on a budget
We really went to town on this and covered it in another post which you can find here: wedding anniversary ideas on a budget
10. Wedding anniversary ideas with friends
If you have some close friends or would like to celebrate your anniversary with other people then here’s a few ideas:
- Go on holiday / vacation together
- Throw a party
- Go on a day trip
- Write and perform a song
- Combine video footage to make a story
- Renew your vows and invite them along
- Give them a budget and ask them to buy a present they think represents you as a couple
- Get a big group photo done
11. Wedding anniversary ideas with the kids
You may not be able to get a child minder for your anniversary or you may actually want them to get involved the choice is yours. Either way, here are some ideas of what to do with the kids for your big day.
- Ask them to draw a picture of you both – make it a tradition and do it each year until they get sick of it haha. Keep those precious pictures though for sure.
- Create a collection of family video footage – ask them to help
- Go away for the day – let them choose where
- Pack them off to relatives – so you can be alone!
- Hide treasure in outdoor locations – have a big treasure hunt using clues as to the next prize and let them help you solve it.
- Video game night – play their games with them, turn it into tournament. The Wii is great for family games – we bet you’ll lose though, kids seem to be getting better and better at gaming all the time!
- Movie night big screen style – set up your room like a movie theatre complete with popcorn and snacks.
- Family portrait – book a portrait to mark the occasion, we’re big fans of doing things like this each year so you can see how the years have been kind (or not).
12. Wedding anniversary break ideas
Whether you call it a vacation or as we say in the UK a holiday, a short break to one of the worlds most fantastic destinations could be just the ticket for a highly successful anniversary with a difference, here’s out choices:
- Skiing – we visited Chamonix in France a few years ago for a short skiing break and it was brilliant! A skiing trip is highly recommended.
- Paris – known famously as one of the most romantic cities in the world, why not book a break here.
- London – whether you are in the UK, Europe, the USA or somewhere else, London is an amazing experience for a city break and we can personally recommend it as a great place to visit.
- A festival – there’s plenty to choose from these days, it doesn’t matter your musical taste or age, let go for a few days and let your hair down. We love festivals!
- Beach break – spend a few days in the sun with sand between your toes.
- Road trip – pick a few destinations and plan stuff to do in between. Hire a camper van to make it extra cool.
- Trip to a vineyard – a great experience, there are vacation breaks where a hotels have their own vineyard (here is a fantastic example).
- Visit the location of a film – got a film you really love? Take a trip to visit where it was filmed – we did and it was awesome!
Are you planning to throw a party? Here’s our recommended list of MUST HAVE accessories.
To see more of our recommendations see our:
By the way did you know that this is the most sold gift on Amazon for ANY anniversary event? We were surprised! What do you think? Leave a comment below.
Other questions people ask:
How can I celebrate my anniversary with no money?
We’ve written an article on how to celebrate an anniversary on a budget but hopefully there have been several ideas above that can inspire you. It’s not necessary to spend money to have a great time, especially if you are with the one you love – just make that time together count.
How can I make my anniversary special?
Hopefully the ideas above will give you enough to go off but at the end of the day you know your partner and you know what makes them tick. Why not be inspired by some of the ideas we’ve talked about in this article and put your own twist onto one of them (or more than one) and apply it to your partners personality and wishes.
What are the symbols for each wedding anniversary?
We’ve written an article for most years which you can find on this blog. There is a traditional symbol and also a modern one which was invented for commercial reasons (we prefer the traditional symbols). It is traditional to celebrate your anniversary with some form of acknowledgement to the color, symbol or gift for the year you are celebrating.