You’re married now, should you celebrate your old anniversary?
My wife and I like to joke that we got married so we could finally trade in our winter anniversary for a late summer one. For years, we’ve celebrated our dating anniversary in mid-January: Dreary dates, snow canceling our plans, lots of staying in. But this year after we finally got married, we found ourselves wondering—do we ditch that anniversary completely?
What did you celebrate before, anyway?
Before you and your partner(s) got married, what date did you celebrate? Some couples celebrate the day they may, others celebrate their first date and some celebrate the day they officially became a couple. It’s so individual that you’re bound to get a bunch of different answers if you ask multiple couples what they celebrate.
“An anniversary is totally up to you, and that’s the fun of it,” Elle Huerta, CEO and founder of Mend, the breakup recovery app, told Elite Daily. “You get to decide with your partner what you want to celebrate, and how you want to celebrate it.”
Depending on how close your older anniversary was to your new (wedding) anniversary, you can decide if it makes sense to celebrate both or not.
Just because you’ve decided to do a little something for both doesn’t mean it has to be big! After a lot of conversation, my wife and I decided we didn’t want to entirely ignore our dating anniversary since we’ve celebrated it for 10 years now. We also didn’t want to spend a bunch of money on the event.
We went for an in-between—we planned a nice dinner date and we’re getting a couples’ massage, then going home to spend a night in together. We’re not sure yet how we’ll celebrate our September wedding anniversary when it comes up, but it will probably be at least a little more elaborate than that (and a lot more oudoor-oriented, finally!).
You and your partner(s) have the option to make your wedding anniversary or your original anniversary small (it doesn’t have to be the wedding one that’s a big deal by default) and the other one a main event. One or both anniversaries can include travel, a fancy dinner, exchanging gifts or letters and planned activities together. Some married couples continue to put the focus on their old anniversary even after getting married; it’s totally up to you. You might have more than one anniversary you’re used to celebrating, especially if you’re polyamorous or really good at remembering dates.
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Choosing one to celebrate
If you think celebrating both is too much pressure, too expensive or not the right fit, you can pick one. You and your partner(s) might celebrate the same anniversary every year (say, sticking to just your wedding anniversary from now on) or you can go completely rogue and switch it up every year to keep things interesting. If your anniversaries are at wildly different times of the year, that might keep you both on your toes in terms of date planning and remembering any gifts or surprises.
It’s best to stay on the same page when it comes to celebrating, though. If you’ve chosen not to do anything for your dating anniversary, it’s really unfair to your partner(s) if you spontaneously decide to surprise them with a gift. They might feel awkward or upset that they didn’t prepare to do the same. Have an open conversation about what you want to do to celebrate and commit to that. After the first year’s celebration is over, you can talk about whether you liked how it went and if you want to change anything.
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Making it a lowkey celebration
Some couples choose not to focus as much on anniversaries and instead make it a lowkey celebration or do nothing at all. That’s fine, as long as you and your partner(s) have communicated with it and everyone’s happy about what you’ve decided. If you’d rather stay in and cook dinner together on your anniversary instead of spending money on gifts and expensive dinners, you can use the money to plan a vacation together or save up for something you’ve always wanted.
There are no wrong answers when it comes to anniversaries. Celebrate love and the relationship you’ve built that you’ll continue to honor now that you’re married.
Alaina Leary Lavoie
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