This past year was a year full of firsts and we knew that this was THE year to establish traditions for all of the holidays and occasions in the years to come.
This past weekend, Jared and I celebrated our 1st wedding anniversary. As we approached this milestone, we felt that it was important for us to reflect on the memories of our special day somehow and we wanted to establish a few simple traditions to help us relive and celebrate each year. It’s amazing how eating a bite of year old cake or putting on your wedding shoes can bring back so many emotions and memories that you don’t often think about throughout the year (which flew by btw).
I felt that writing and sharing this article would be helpful to newlyweds. Over the years, I have seen a lot of people take to social media for suggestions on this topic. Then I started to think about what Jared and I would do when it came time to celebrate our anniversary. Below you will find 5 things that we did on our 1st Wedding Anniversary that we plan to continue each year. We hope that this will help newlyweds as they approach this exciting milestone!
1. Indulge in something from your wedding day menu
Those who really know me know that I am OBSESSED with donuts. I love them so much that I HAD to have a donut bar at our wedding for our guests to enjoy as a late night snack or to take home for the next morning. On the morning of our anniversary, Jared and I went to a local donut shop and each enjoyed a donut just as we did on our wedding day. It was something so simple where we could enjoy each other’s company . We are excited to continue this as a tradition every year.. because who doesn’t love donuts?! Just don’t tell our personal trainer!
2. Stick to the traditional gift themes
I really like the idea of each wedding anniversary having a theme for gifts. It forces you and your spouse to be thoughtful and creative when picking out a present. Jared and I decided that each year we wanted to stick with the traditional gift themes versus the modern gift themes or no themes at all.
The first anniversary gift is paper. Usually I am the sentimental gift-giver, but this time Jared won the award for most thoughtful gift. He gave me the sheet music of our first dance song put together, printed and framed. Normally that would be as easy as printing and framing, but our first dance song was covered by another artist other than the original and so he had a musician prepare the exact arrangement of our song. I cried. Like a baby. It made my heart so happy!
I decided to take a different route. I got him (and by him, I mean us) tickets for the Buffalo Bills vs Atlanta Falcons game this Fall. With Jared being from Buffalo and an avid Buffalo sports fan, I couldn’t think of anything better. Especially when his team only comes to Atlanta every 8 seasons. And hey – it’s paper! Though tickets to an event may not be sentimental (or cheap), it is an opportunity for you to go out and experience something together where you can form new memories. I love the idea of paying for an experience as a gift!
3. Watch your wedding video together
We are so grateful that we used a videographer at our wedding. Since the day went by so quickly, it’s so nice to be able to look back at the video to remember our special day. As we watched our video 1 year later, the memories flooded back and even brought on a few tears. It was very emotional to hear us reading our vows to each other again. If you had a videographer at your wedding, definitely add this to your list of anniversary traditions!
4. Look at your wedding photos together
Like our wedding video, we are very thankful to have a ton of wedding photos to look through. This was such a fun activity to do on our anniversary together as it brought on a lot of laughs. There were many moments that the photographer caught that the videographer did not (and vice versa) so it was neat to be able to look back at all of the memories that each of them captured. Over the coming years, I look forward to seeing how trends have changed and looking back on all of the details of our special day!
5. Schedule an anniversary photo shoot every 5 years
I have not seen this idea as often as the others, but we had so much fun dressing up for a few minutes to take these photos as we commemorated this milestone. I even got to wear my wedding shoes again! For our 1-year photoshoot, we set up a picnic with champagne and our wedding cake top in our backyard. Nothing says Happy Anniversary like eating year old cake, right?! We are looking forward to seeing how we change over the years!
If you don’t want to dish out a lot of money for a professional photographer, you can easily have a friend or family member snap a few pictures for you. That is what we did! Here are some of our favorites:
What traditions do you and your spouse follow on your anniversary?