Zoe Coetzee (Press)

Anniversary date ideas: special ways to celebrate your special day

Finding the person you love and building a successful and happy relationship is a wonderful achievement. And so when it comes to celebrating milestones in the relationship and thinking of anniversary date ideas, it is an ideal opportunity to focus on saying thank you to your partner and making them feel spoilt.

It doesn’t matter which number anniversary – be it your one year anniversary or your twenty-five year anniversary, recognizing and celebrating the milestone is important for a relationship. It gives you both time to stop and connect, reflect what the last year has meant for you and look towards what you would like the next year to be like together. With life being busy and full of other demands, it is the perfect reason to put other distractions aside and focus on each other.

There are different ways to celebrate – be it with a dinner, a gift, a getaway or a unique idea tailored to your loved one. To help you plan a celebration to electrify your love, we have put together the ultimate guide to anniversary date ideas to apply and inspire you to plan a date to remember. 

Anniversary date ideas: the classics

“If I know what love is, it is because of you”, Herman Hesse

Sometimes the best way to say I love you is to revel in all the romance of a classic date. We look at our top three favorite classic anniversary date ideas and how to put a sparkly spin on it, dust off the idea and make it your own.

  •  The restaurant dinner date: Excellent food paired with a fine wine in a beautiful ambiance will always be the ultimate classic date. This anniversary idea though should be used selectively and you should not fall back on it year after year. Plan for it when there is a special place he or she really wants to go, like a new Michelin star restaurant that has got rave reviews. Or is there a cuisine that brings back memories, like that amazing Vietnamese place that reminds you of your honeymoon?  Does your partner like to dress up or dress down? Choose a venue they will like for its atmosphere and not just the food. Lastly, book a venue that is different, not somewhere you go regularly. If you’re planning on the dinner date for your big anniversary idea don’t take your partner to the local burger joint you go to every Wednesday– make it special and different!
  • Picnic in the park: In the summer one of the best anniversary date ideas is a picnic in the park. It allows you to personalize the menu, choose the right setting and enjoy all the feel good factors of sunshine, fresh air and open spaces. Just because it is a casual picnic does not mean you don’t need to prepare. Plan ahead for the perfect picnic, and ensure that you have all the necessary goodies and gadgets on hand. A snack menu is easy and tasty – get a selection of cheese, crackers, fruit, cold meat, chips cold drinks and champagne for a little glamor. On your essentials list include a picnic blanket, colorful napkins and paper plates, cups, water and an umbrella in case you need some emergency shade or shelter. Include her favorite sweet treat or his best savory.
  • Hotel at home: Life is busy and can sometimes get a little hectic. At moments like these, the best treat can be to kick off your shoes and get to have an evening off to relax. A couple’s home is their haven; it is the space you created together. A real luxury can be to plan an anniversary date in and turn your home into a hotel for the night. Put your laptops away, turn your phone off and make it a love zone for just the two of you. If you have children, send them to a babysitter for the night. Get different size and shape candles and light up your bedroom, buy a set of sexy pajamas to change into when you both get home and take turns giving each other a massage. Cook a meal together, with some anniversary love songs in the background, or skip the mess and order in a delicious takeout. Look around and enjoy what you have created together in the comfort of your own home.                                                                

Your Spotify® Anniversary Playlist

Anniversary date ideas: the quirky

“Whatever our souls are made of, yours and mine are the same", Emily Brontë

Each relationship is as individual as the people involved. One glove doesn’t fit all, and sometimes fun and quirky anniversary ideas are just what you need for your own festival of love. These ideas can be shaped and molded to fit your love story or use them as inspiration for original anniversary ideas of your own.

  • Recreate your first date: An anniversary date idea guaranteed to sweep your sweetheart off their feet is to recreate your first date. Where did you first meet or do you remember the place you went on your first official date? It is a very special and sentimental way to commemorate your milestone. If you first met at a restaurant check that the venue is still open, and then book the same table if possible. Blindfold your partner on the way there so that it is a complete surprise – go back and remember the excitement of the early days, feel the initial infatuation and fall in love all over again.
  • Treasure hunt: Plan a treasure hunt of little gifts and thank you cards using clues from your years spent together and memories you share. Call the game ‘You are my treasure ‘and use clues like where did you kiss me for the first time? Leave a gift or a specific thank you, for example, thank you for cooking dinner when I get home late from work, with the next clue. Lead your love around your local area or city on an exciting adventure and show them how much you love them and the memories you cherish. Going on a treasure hunt is on top of our list of fun things to do on your anniversary.
  • Theme park: When was the last time you ate candy and hot dogs and screamed your lungs out with exhilaration? Time to head to a theme park together and act like you’re fifteen again, footloose and carefree. Getting the adrenaline pumping and doing an out of the ordinary activity is a fantastically frivolous way to celebrate, and it can be way more fun than a fancy dinner. Wear comfortable clothes, go on all the rides, hold hands, holler out loud and have a very happy day together, ending with a romantic night time Ferris wheel ride.

Anniversary ideas: the gift guide

Once you have your anniversary date ideas all planned out, it is time to think of the appropriate anniversary gift. The gift should be guided by several factors. First and foremost consider what your partner would like and secondly, which anniversary it is. Some people are more conventional and would love a traditional gift, while others would prefer a surprise getaway or a more personal present. We unpack both a traditional gift guide and some different ideas to make sure all your bases are covered.

Gift ideas: traditional gift ideas by year

We lay out a traditional gift guide for the year anniversary you are celebrating with an idea of what to get as a gift for that specific anniversary. As with the classic anniversary date ideas, it can be romantic to stick to the convention of anniversary celebrations and get the traditional gift.

How many years have you been together?

1 year - PAPER:
 
a classic gift for your first anniversary is a passionately written, old-fashioned love letter. Find some beautiful paper, use your best calligraphy and wax lyrical.  

2 years - COTTON:
a fun idea is to get a matching pair of his and hers crisp cotton pajamas. 

3 years - LEATHER:
for a classy leather anniversary gift idea get personalized, embossed leather luggage name tags. If you’re not into travel, try a leather-bound notebook or wallet pressed with the year you’re celebrating.

4 years - FRUIT/FLOWERS:
for her recreate her bridal bouquet and get it delivered, or order a lavish fruit basket with wine and cheese for him.

5 years – WOOD:  
plant a tree together and over the years you can watch it grow. Or, if your space is more limited, give your partner a bonsai!

10 years - ALUMINIUM:
a snazzy pair of aluminum framed designer sunglasses or a multipurpose cooking set are both good ways to say happy ten year anniversary.

15 years – CRYSTAL:
Swarovski, Waterford or Baccarat are the crystal standards to spoil your loved one with on your anniversary. Give her a centerpiece vase or a crystal paperweight for him.

20 years – CHINA:
buy her dream bone china dinner service set or, better yet, do something adventurous and go on a trip to China together!

25 years – SILVER:
silver is versatile and depending on your budget anniversary gift ideas included engraved silver cufflinks, rings, silver candelabras or an antique silver teapot.

30 years – PEARL:
for her, you can’t go wrong with a classic pearl set, and for him, a mother of pearl embellished pen or knife set makes for a pretty in pearl anniversary gift.

40 years – RUBY:
as the years accumulate, you can splash out a little more to celebrate. Why not give her a family heirloom ruby piece, and for him a 40-year-old whiskey with a ruby decanter.

50 years – GOLD:
 
such a special anniversary deserves a unique and spectacular golden extravaganza – try a Patek Philippe or Rolex watch or a gold chain and locket with a picture of you together 50 years ago.

 

Anniversary gift ideas

Gift ideas:  the getaway

If you and your partner prefer non-traditional presents, a getaway gift is always a romantic front runner. If you’re wondering where to go for your anniversary, have a look at our top three anniversary holiday destinations to celebrate your love in style.

The BEACH: for some relaxed romance it is hard to beat a seaside holiday in the sand and sunshine. You can book closer to home, be that Florida or Hawaii, or why not splurge and go on that trip to the Turks and Caicos Islands, one of the best weekend getaways for couples. 

The MOUNTAINS: if you’re looking for a bit of adventure, an escape to the mountains is a romantic getaway gift. You can go exploring together – hiking, biking, birding, horse riding or fishing. Our favorite destinations include Aspen and the Great Smoky Mountains, and further afield, the Alps in Europe.

The ROADTRIP: sometimes you just want to fit in as much fun as possible and not settle for one place – then just the right getaway plan is a road trip. Do Route 66 across the country, plan a trip through the state she grew up in or try the coast to coast drive. The open highway is an open invitation for the spirit of adventure. Put the top down, pedal to the medal and go on your own romantic road trip.

If you are still struggling to come up with anniversary ideas, here are some outside of the box anniversary gifts. Why not write your story into a fairy tale and get it printed and bound with photos of you two? Or write out a list of ‘50 Things I Love About You’ and get it framed. Perhaps a series of love tokens that entitles your partner to a foot massage, cooking a meal, breakfast in bed and a chores pass, will be just the gift to make them smile. At the end of the day, if your anniversary ideas come from the heart it will be a success. 

Ultimately: the anniversary inspiration

The most important thing to remember is that your anniversary is the opportunity to say I love you and thank you to your partner. Our top tips are to plan ahead, keep it a surprise and don’t forget to just enjoy the moment together.  Find the best way for you meaningfully to celebrate your anniversary together in the context of your relationship, using your own love story as the greatest inspiration for your anniversary date ideas. 

Read More: Looking for cute names to call your girlfriend or fun date ideas? We have the best of the bunch

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