In these financially difficult times, it can be extremely tough to figure out how to make romantic gestures on your wedding anniversary. You may panic and fear that you can’t possibly show just how much you care when you have a limited budget. However, if you are willing to invest a little time and creativity then you will be able to make your anniversary both memorable and meaningful.
1. Buy a scrapbook and then search your home, drawers, cupboards and jacket pockets for little things that are strongly connected to your marriage. You can then use the scrapbook to creativity display a wide variety of mementos collected throughout your marriage (or simply throughout this most recent year of your marriage). Use your imagination when deciding what to include. You can pick out photographs, plane tickets from vacations, love letters you have exchanged, concert tickets and restaurant bills. Even if you have a limited amount of time, this scrapbook can still be romantic gift for your anniversary, as you can explain to your spouse that you can’t wait to continue filling the book together as your marriage continues.
2. Make up a set of vouchers or coupons that your spouse will be able to swap for particular favors at some point in the future. All you need in order to create these is a pen and some paper or cardboard. Ideally, the vouchers should be a mix of the funny and the serious. Think of some things that you do not particularly enjoy doing but know would help your spouse (such as doing the ironing or the dishes for a full week) and let your partner choose when to redeem these vouchers. Add some seductive coupons that relate to fun sexual encounters, and include some ideas for romantic dates that you would be willing to pay for.
3. Look up a store or find a reputable site on the internet that will create custom-made items for reasonable prices. Most places that provide this service do not ask for a lot of money in return, and they will print any image onto items such as pens, mugs, stationary, magnets and mouse mats. Pick out a photograph from your wedding and have it printed on a glossy fridge magnet, or have some lyrics printed on to a coffee mug. An ideal suggestion for the latter gift is to pick your favorite line from the song that was playing during the first dance at your wedding.
4. Make a list of some of the best qualities that you see in your spouse, and then work out how to present them in a romantic way for your anniversary. You might want to write them into a notebook, list them inside an anniversary card, or make them part of a heartfelt letter. When you are making this list, remember all of the things that made you want to get married in the first place. Remark on the best parts of your partner’s beauty, the most unique parts of their character and the most meaningful things that being together has brought to your life. If you are creatively inclined, you can sketch little pictures next to items on the list, or if you have the ability to easily print out small versions of photographs then you might want to add snapshots that represent each item on the list.
5. If work or children usually make sure that you and your spouse are very busy, one particularly meaningful way to celebrate your anniversary will involve just clearing your whole schedule for several hours. Take care of any arrangements that need to be made to provide this free time, and plan a relaxing evening filled with chances for genuine romance. Spend your quiet time together completely avoiding practical issues such as sorting out finances and housework, and instead devote conversation to your fondest memories and your most cherished dreams about the future of your marriage.
6. An alternative suggestion to the idea involving a list of your spouse’s best qualities involves making a list of some of your favorite memories from the marriage. Thinking all the way back to when you first met and started dating, then identify ten or twenty landmark moments in the evolution of your relationship. For each of these moments, write a brief description of why this time meant so much to you. Ideally, you might want to pair this list with photographs that represent each moment or time period. With or without accompanying photos, such a creation will provide your spouse with a special but affordable anniversary gift that shows just how much you value the marriage.
7. Build up a collection of songs that mean something to your relationship and your marriage, and then present your spouse with a set of CDs or an online playlist. Ideal additions to this CD or playlist include music that was playing when you decided to become engaged, songs played at your wedding, music you heard on your honeymoon, and so on. Your spouse will be impressed that you can remember songs from key moments in your life together, and the music should also prompt an enjoyable session of reminiscing as you discuss some of the best and most vivid memories from earlier in your relationship.
8. Make a list of some of the pricey gifts that you wish you had been able to buy for your anniversary, and then brainstorm ways to replace them with more affordable versions. For example, you might choose to treat your spouse to a delicious dinner at a local restaurant rather than going out to the swankiest place in town, or you could present your partner with one stunningly beautiful flower instead of a lavish bouquet.
9. Instead of buying an anniversary card that is likely to be expensive (and equally likely to misrepresent some important element of your feelings), why not attempt to make your own card at home? You do not need to be particularly talented to do this; if you lack the craft skills required to make the card look very impressive, stick a beautiful photograph on the front and spend time writing a heartfelt message inside.
10. Write a love letter or a poem for your spouse. This is of course much easier if you happen to enjoy writing more generally, but it is important to note that you do not have to use flowery or dramatic language in order to show just how much you love your partner. Experiment with writing about the first moment you met, or try to describe just how it felt when you decided that you definitely wanted to get married. Even if the letter or poem is short, your spouse should be extremely moved by your efforts.
11. Figure out how you can cook an inexpensive and delicious three course meal for your spouse. Think about their favorite foods and then search recipe books (as well as online cooking sites) for some ideal things to cook. When you surprise your spouse with this romantic meal, make sure that the setting is romantic as well. Set out some elegant candles and put on some meaningful music in the background.
Anniversary gifts and activities like those listed above do not cost very much money at all, but they are all extremely meaningful and quite romantic. Each one will show your spouse that you are willing to put in the time and creativity required to prove your love and create an enjoyable anniversary celebration. Your wedding anniversary should not be about ostentatious and materialistic gifts; instead, it should focus on how much you love each other and all the reasons why you are looking forward to spending the rest of your lives together.