Anniversaries are important milestone events in everyone’s lives. Whether it’s a wedding anniversary, a dating anniversary or another special event, it can be nice to spend an enchanting evening at home rather than jockeying for reservations, dealing with crowds and spending a lot of money going out. If you want to bypass the hassle and enjoy some special time with your significant other for your anniversary, try out some of these tips for planning the perfect night in.
Part One of Three:
Planning Your ActivitiesEdit
1Make dinner at home. This is the age-old alternative for a candlelit dinner on the town: change the venue to your own home. It can be an extravagant, romantic affair, or just the two of your having fun eating your favorite foods together. Surprise your significant other with a hot, home cooked meal for your anniversary celebration, or prepare the meal together for more of a feeling of togetherness.
- If you’re looking for a fresh, sophisticated take on the traditional home cooked dinner, plan a wine-and-cheese tasting for two.
- There’s nothing wrong with grabbing takeout. Chances are, the two of you spend a lot of time preparing food throughout the week. Take the pressure off by having something tasty delivered and spare yourselves the cook time and cleanup.
2Curl up and watch a movie. If fancy dinners aren’t your thing, order some food to-go and spend the evening relaxing and watching your favorite movies. Not long ago, you had to go to a theater and buy tickets in order to enjoy a movie night with your date. Entertainment models like Redbox and Netflix have made it easier than ever to choose from a near-endless catalog of movies from the comfort of your couch. This way it can just be the two of you and a leisurely night of viewing to give you a break from the hectic day-to-day bustle.
- If you’re having trouble deciding on what to watch, you can each pick a movie for a custom double-feature.
3Have a game night together. Maximize the fun you have with your partner on your anniversary by hosting your own game night. Playing games together is a great way to compete, cooperate and challenge each other to get creative, and can make for a lot of laughs. Break out the board games, or find something interactive, like two-person Pictionary or Charades, for the two of you to do and let the good times roll.
- Pick a game like chess or Scrabble if you feel like testing your brainpower, or something more physical like Twister if you’d rather get up and move.
- Don’t forget about video games! A little two-player madness might be just what you need to loosen up on your anniversary.
4Give each other a “spa day.” You’re both tired and stressed out from working all week, and you want to do something relaxing for one another on your anniversary. What better way to show someone you care than by pampering them? Turn the lights down low, put on some ambient music and treat one another to a sensuous spa day at home. You can take turns giving each other massages, facials and even pedicures, or even just take a long, hot bubble bath together. The most important thing is that you have some uninterrupted time to luxuriate.
- Pick out some decadent bath soaps, oils, fragrances and candles to transform your bathroom into a tandem spa experience.
Part Two of Three:
Commemorating the OccasionEdit
1Give a meaningful gift. Surprise your significant other with an anniversary gift that says something heartfelt about your relationship. This might be something that they’ve wanted or needed, or something you’ve heard them mention and remembered without them having to ask. Choosing the right anniversary gift will depend on you and your partner’s relationship and the kinds of things they like, so make sure that whatever you decide on has them in mind and is suited for the occasion.
- Listen for cues your partner mentions for things they’d like to have and try to make a mental note. Sometimes the best surprises are things you’ve wanted but have hesitated to ask for.
- Jewelry is a popular gift for anniversaries, especially to commemorate decades, but you don’t have to break the bank buying expensive, impersonal gold and jewels. Try selecting a tasteful piece with your partner’s birthstone or a particular symbol that’s meaningful to them.
2Write a letter or poem. Take the time to write out a personalized letter or poem by hand. Remind your spouse of what you love about them and of the fond experiences you’ve shared. It’s easy to fall into a routine and leave your deeper feelings unspoken: this will afford you the chance to say the things you don’t always get to say. A handwritten missive is something your loved one will be able to keep and cherish for the rest of their life.
- Being mushy isn’t your only option. This is a good opportunity to put your feelings on display, but also to make your partner laugh by coming up with silly rhymes or referencing inside jokes that only the two of you are in on.
3Create a handmade gift. Rather than going out and buying a gift, consider making something yourself. A scrapbook filled with pictures of the two of you would make a great anniversary project, and it’s something that anyone can do. Whatever you make should identify the sentiments and desires of your spouse and will ideally contain some characteristic of your own; your gift will be one-of-a-kind and will therefore mean a lot to your significant other.
- Think about gifts that are specifically suited to your loved one—for instance, if they’re an ardent reader, fashion a simple, eye-catching set of homemade bookshelves, or design a spice rack for someone who loves to cook.
- Make a mix tape, burned CD or playlist for your significant other. This is a timeless gesture that never goes out of style, and can be the perfect complement to an anniversary present. Draw on a selection of your favorite tracks to compile a personalized mix and give the gift of music.
4Record a video message. Write and record a short video message of yourself wishing your spouse a happy anniversary. Simply use your smartphone, tablet or webcam to video yourself marking the day and offering words of affection. We live in an age where technology has made it easier than ever to document our lives, so use this ability to capture a special moment on your anniversary that can be replayed any time and bring tears of joy for years to come.
- Rehearse your message first and run through it a few times before you record yourself to ensure that you’re able to say exactly what you want to say.
- Inject some personality into your video message. Sing, dance or use signs and props to make the recording memorable.
Part Three of Three:
Celebrating One AnotherEdit
1Have a conversation. Put aside practical talk of work, money and household responsibilities for the evening and just talk to your loved one. Use this chance to reconnect with them and strengthen the bonds you formed when you were first getting to know each other. Talk about anything and everything: your dreams, beliefs, goals, politics, things that make you laugh. Get to know the person you love again by sharing your innermost thoughts.
- If you’re married and/or have children together, challenge yourselves to talk about topics other than your jobs, kids and finances. Make your dialogue about the two of you.
2Share your favorite memories. Whether it’s your first anniversary or your fifty-first, the two of you have been through a lot together. Reminisce over these times while you enjoy your dinner, spa night or game session. Trace your history back to the day you met or share funny stories or recollections of fond times. Your unique, ongoing connection should be the centerpiece of your anniversary.
3Dance. Cut loose for the evening and dance! Imagine that you’re with your sweetheart back in high school at prom, or make the living room your own personal nightclub and cut a rug until your feet are sore. Not only is dancing fun, it’s great stress relief and can make you and your partner feel more physically in tune with one another.
- Have a good time! Go wild to the upbeat chart-topping hits on the radio and follow it with an intimate slow dance that brings you close.
- Put on songs that have mutual significance for the two of you, like the song that was playing the first time you met or one that describes the way you feel about each other.
4Say “I love you” and mean it. The little things we tell each other can become commonplace when we hear them day in and day out. For your special day together, express to your spouse how much they truly mean to you. Sit them down and tell them face-to-face, just the two of you, with no distractions. Saying the words “I love you” is like a form of backing currency: it’s important not just to hear but to know the strength of the feeling behind it.
- Telling a significant other that you love them is one the simplest but most powerful gestures you can make in a relationship. No matter how many times you hear it, it’s always touching to be reminded that you’re with someone that cares about you and wants you to know it.
5Enjoy one another. Anniversaries can be big events, but what’s even bigger is the kinship that you and your loved one share. You wouldn’t have stayed together for a year, or an additional year, if you didn’t feel strongly for them, and even though you might spend everyday together, now is the time to reflect on the things you appreciate about the other and savor being with them. So just relax, treat yourselves and take pleasure in spending the evening with the person who means the most to you.
- Anniversaries don’t have to be fancy, immaculately-planned occasions. Putting too much emphasis on making the day “perfect” can take away from simply enjoying being in one another’s company. Find activities that you both like to do that let you be together without interruption or distraction.
My boyfriend and I have been together for six years, so next month is our seventh anniversary. It will be my first time planning it. What should I do?Answered by wikiHow Contributor
- Make your own dinner. It's most romantic when your significant other makes something delicious yet homemade. Watch a movie with your own snack buffet (bowls of popcorn, candy, juice etc.).
It's our first wedding anniversary and we don't have a babysitter. What can I do for my wife?Answered by wikiHow Contributor
- You can give her lots of hugs and kisses, to start. If you can't take the kids out to dinner, then consider ordering take-out from one of your favorite restaurants. Massages and cuddles are always nice too, and it wouldn't hurt to rent a movie for the two of you to watch after the kids go to bed.
My daughter's wedding anniversary is coming up soon, how can we celebrate at home?Answered by wikiHow Contributor
- Get her and her spouse a cake, and get her something you know she's wanted for a long time. Decorate the house for her, and make sure she's happy. Make (or buy) a custom picture or illustration of the couple, and make sure it is large. You could make it a game night if you want to do some fun activities during the party.
My boyfriend and I are both busy on our 1-year anniversary; do I celebrate another day, or ignore it?Answered by Tom De Backer, Top Answerer
- Don't ignore it! It's such a romantic thing to do. Who cares if it's not on the exact day? On the day itself, at least send a text or give a hug or kiss or - why not - a quickie. But set time aside for each other no matter how busy you both are. Have a nice evening together, mark the anniversary in your collective consciousness.
- Keep plans simple and don't worry too much about trying to get things just right. This is supposed to be a joyous occasion, not a stressful one.
- Turn off your phones so that you won't be interrupted by calls while you are spending quality time together.
- Since you'll be saving money by staying in, use the leftover funds to buy your partner a gift or splurge on a sumptuous dinner.
- It's usually best to discuss your plans together so that you are both happy and doing what you want to be doing.
- It's possible that while you're thinking of ways to have a relaxing night in, your partner could be planning a surprise evening out. If this happens, go with it and enjoy! The important thing is that you're together.
- If your special day at home is a surprise, check your partner's schedule first. Having a prior commitment or being forced to work late could put a damper on the evening.