Anniversary Celebrations: Honor Your Love Beyond the Wedding

Anniversary Celebrations - AdobeStock_10255124Anniversary celebrations —we LOVE them! That’s especially true this time of year because we just celebrated our 47th wedding anniversary. We can hardly believe that 47 years ago we were two (VERY) naïve young people walking down the aisle to say, “I do.” And now, as we look back we realize how we didn’t have a clue as to all we were promising each other and God. But thanks to God (literally) we’re still keeping true to the vows we made. It has been a wild ride—sometimes good, sometimes bad. But we’re so glad we never gave up on each other.

We totally agree with the following thought written by Shelley Emling:

“I believe celebrating one’s anniversary must never be overlooked, as it reinforces the fact that your marriage is a priority. An anniversary celebration also allows you to pull back from your daily grind and relive a moment that changed your life forever. My mother always used to say that anyone can pull out all the stops on their wedding day. But when a couple makes it to 10 or 20 or 60 years of marriage, now that’s something that really needs celebrating.” (From the Huffington Post article, The Importance Of Wedding Anniversary Celebrations”)

That’s how we feel. We have a lot to celebrate. We can honestly say that we have never loved each other more. It wasn’t always that way. We have fallen in and out of love (or “like”) so many times over the years. But even the “bad” times, as we weathered through them, have taught us how to truly love each other all the more.

Anniversary Celebrations

So, on the heels of our anniversary, we’re passing on some celebration tips we have learned. We love the idea given by Lois Daniel Skipworth (from the Huffington article):

“On Dec. 19 it will be 45 wonderful years. We usually go eat at a good Chinese restaurant. My husband is retired with chemical depression and we just enjoy thanking God for what he has done for him. He doesn’t like to get out. So we will probably eat and get back to our side-by-side recliners. Sometimes we talk to each other without ever saying a word. God gave me the best.”

We all celebrate our anniversaries in different ways. Thanking God is always a good idea. Even when we’ve experienced extreme difficulties there is always something we can be thankful for as we look to God. Even in times of tribulations we can see God at work if we look deep enough.

Here’s a tip, that is given by Sheri Stritof, for celebrating anniversaries. She suggests you:

“Plant a tree together. You can plant one in your yard or at a park, school, or church.

  • An oak tree represents solidity.
  • A pine tree represents the evergreen character of your love for one another.
  • A flaming red maple represents the flaming passion you have for each other.
  • And a flowering crab tree represents love eternal.”

How fun it would be to look back at the trees you’ve planted over the years. We would be looking at 47 trees! That’s like planting a mini forest.

More Tips for Anniversary Celebrations

And then here’s another tip given by Sheri Stritof (given in another article) that you may want to consider using:

“Try making a ‘time capsule’ with facts, clippings, pictures, songs and memories from the day or year you were married and the day or year of your anniversary.”

You can even take that idea a step further. Cheryl McKay Price (in a Pinterest posting) recommends taking “one photo every anniversary.” You can then put them into a special photo box designated for anniversaries. That would be great for your children to view some day.

And then D Greetings give the following anniversary celebration idea:

“Go for some adventurous trip. If you and your [marriage] partner is adventurous enough then You can spend your day together at places organizing adventurous sports. These can include hot air balloons or Para gliding. Both of you can ride together and feel the pleasure of soaring high in the sky holding your partner closer.”

The Daily Gazette adds a few more ideas: You “can go hiking, zip lining, whitewater rafting, and scuba diving. Visit volcanoes, canyons, forests, or mountains for a great outdoors experience!”

Some couples would thoroughly enjoy doing one or more of these adventures. They might even plan something that’s on their “bucket list” of things to do within their lifetime. Just make sure it’s something you both enjoy doing TOGETHER. That’s the idea behind anniversary celebrations! You’re both celebrating together.

Creative Anniversary Celebrations

WikiHow recommends taking a “creative approach” as you celebrate your anniversary. Here is one of their tips (from their article, “How to Celebrate Wedding Anniversaries” —featuring this Daily Gazette idea):

“Learn something new together. Married life can sometimes fall into a routine. And even if you love your daily routine, you might notice you don’t learn new things or try new experiences. Take a class with your spouse to break that bubble. Bring new life and fresh air into your life! Classes you could take include:

  • A beginner language class in a language you’ve always wanted to learn
  • A sailing or surfing class together
  • A pottery-making class
  • A dance class, like swing or salsa
  • A cooking or baking class.”

What’s great about this idea is that it extends the celebration beyond the one date into many!

As far as anniversary celebrations, Carlie Kercheval, who notes that she “is a happily married,” gives a lot of ideas you can use. These are not expensive, but they sure are good ones! Who says you have to put a lot of money into celebrating? We’ll take you right to the Happy Wives Club web site so you can read:

• 25 FREE & FRUGAL WAYS TO CELEBRATE YOUR ANNIVERSARY

Plus, The Dating Divas give you even more, and more and more (and all with a theme):

• 75 ANNIVERSARY DATES

Additional Tips for Your Anniversary Celebrations:

Beyond those tips, here’s another idea to commemorate your anniversary:

“Treat yourself. If you two have been having an extra busy year, make this date a special time where you both can choose an activity that will give you some much needed relaxation time, while spending the day together. Book a couples’ massage. Take each other shopping, or order delivery food while you pop in your favorite movie. Whatever your definition of treating yourself is, plan this time to unwind together.” (From the Bridebox.com article, “7 Creative Ways to Celebrate Your Anniversary”)

This leads us to another idea for anniversary celebrations that Lauren Thomas recommends:

“Recreate an Old Photo of When You First Started Dating. A lot of siblings have been recreating childhood photos on the Internet. Some of the results are pretty hilarious. This take on that idea is meant to be less humorous and more romantic. Photographs can be extremely intimate. And some early relationship photographs are sure to have some spark that may have dimmed a little. Snuggle, get close and try to recreate that moment from when you were newly dating. If you don’t have many photographs from that time, make a new one. If you hate photographs, consider writing each other love letters instead. (From the article, “10 Ideas for a Memorable Anniversary Celebration”)

Also:

Lauren gives the advice that one way to celebrate anniversaries (at least some of them) is to “Do Absolutely Nothing Together.” And that’s what we did. We’ve celebrated anniversaries in so many ways. But our recent favorite is just to BE together. This includes no work—to just relax, laugh, and play together.

We started the morning in each other’s arms, praying to God—thanking Him and asking for His continued blessing for the rest of our lives together. And then we kept it light from there. It was a great day! 47 years spent loving, and living with each other as husband and wife is a great anniversary to celebrate, even in a quiet way.

Lauren gives this tip:

“Sometimes couples need a chance to unplug from the outside world and spend time together. Turn off your phones and computers. Just spend an entire morning and afternoon playing games, watching movies, cooking, etc. Keep it light; the more laughter, the better.”

And that’s what we did! We hope you get to this wonderful place in your marriage too. It’s wonderful!

Finally, here’s one last slant on anniversary celebrations. We actually wrote it last year. But it’s still relevant… and something you might consider:

• ANNIVERSARY STAYCATION: Another Way to Celebrate Love

In closing, we hope all of this is inspiring to you as you look to your anniversary. Also, if you have any anniversary celebration tips, please post them below. We absolutely love it when others give tips beyond the ones we, and others give.

Whatever you do… make sure you celebrate your love for one another. As we are told in John 13:35, Jesus said, “By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.

Cindy and Steve Wright

— ADDITIONALLY —

We give a lot of personal stories, and practical tips and advice to help you grow your marriage in our book, 7 ESSENTIALS to Grow Your Marriage. We hope you will pick up a copy for yourself. (It’s available both electronically and in print form.) Plus, it can make a great gift for someone else so you can invest in their marriage. And who doesn’t need that? Just click on the linked title or the “Now Available” picture below to do so:

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Comments

4 responses to “Anniversary Celebrations: Honor Your Love Beyond the Wedding

  1. We have received so many beautiful emails with congratulations for our 47th wedding anniversary. Here are a couple of the more unique ones: “Happy Belated Anniversary Cindy and Steve. I wish you all the love and joy for the rest if your future together. May you grow toothless together.” This sure made us laugh… not yet toothless, but that day is ahead, if the Lord tarries. :)

    Here’s another email that we received: “A blessed and happy anniversary to you. I’m a single mom and grandma. What you share and teach is a wonderful thing that so many of us (especially me) long to have and enjoy. When you got married, I wasn’t even born!!!!! It is a blessing to be a part of your ministry. Thank you very much. May God richly bless and reward you and yours.” We indeed feel blessed that we can reach out to so many—some young, others are old, and others are older. But God ministers to them all. Praise His Name!

    Here’s another email we received: Thanks Cindy and Steve, it’s amazing how I would be experiencing something challenging or going through the ‘worse’ in my marriage after many yrs and there you will post the most encouraging word that is so appropriate to what I’m feeling and then it ALTERS my negative thoughts about marriage…” This dear subscriber says many other things that were personal, so we won’t post it, but we want to say that it amazes us too how God uses us to minister to so many marital challenges. We recognize that we are the glove; God is the hand. He is the one who looks into the lives of so many and ministers to them in individual ways. We stand amazed!

    And then the following is another wonderful email we received: “Thank you for the unique ideas for celebrating wedding anniversaries, as well as emphasizing the significance of doing so every year! We always have celebrated each year, and I’m deeply grateful for my husband who remembers our anniversary; he has never forgotten the date! (When I was growing up, my father rarely remembered my mother’s birthday nor their anniversary, and I could see the deep hurt that it caused my mother.) This coming fall, we will celebrate (Lord willing) our 40th wedding anniversary! We share in the incredulity of this occasion, for it is by God’s grace that we have been able to work through many areas of difficulties in our marriage”: …She goes on to share personal stuff… but then she writes: “We have gone from ‘strength to strength’ for the extent of our marriage years together, and God has literally carried through situations of great discouragement as well as tremendous joys! We’ve been moved five times amidst great challenges, but the Lord has remained true and faithful to us through it all.”

    That’s what we’ve found, as well. We hope you are finding this to be true in your marriage as you walk together with Christ leading the way through the tough and the easier times. “May the Lord direct your heart into God’s love and Christ’s perseverance.” (2 Thessalonians 3:5)

  2. Happy 47 wedding anniversary. It is through this site that today I am still standing. I am 12 years in marriage on the 31st of March and I used to pop in when there are challenges beyond everything. I even opted for divorce many times. My marriage is still not the wow, but I am still standing holding on to Christ, the Author and Finisher of my faith.

    God has always used you relevantly in so many areas of my life. It is my prayer that you continue to live and continue to be that God has purposed for His Kingdom. I love your passion for Christ. Thank you so much.

    1. Thank you Khanyisa for your anniversary wish and the additional things that you wrote. You have blessed with your kind words. Above all, we pray that Jesus is always glorified and that God’s plan is put forth, even above our own in all of our humanness. We aren’t all-knowing, but God is. He looks into the lives of those we come in contact with and directs us, as we listen to Him, so that He can best minister to these precious people. Thank you for affirming that God is directing and ministering. We praise Him and thank you for sharing your thoughts. We stand with you, believing that God will continue to help you to stand in your marriage, and believe with you that He will continue to work within your life and your spouse’s life so that you will grow more and more in love with Him, and with each other. May God bless you abundantly!

  3. From one of our subscribers, here is a great comment that you may find encouraging, as well: Thank you for the unique ideas for celebrating wedding anniversaries, as well as emphasizing the significance of doing so every year! We always have celebrated each year, and I’m deeply grateful for my husband who remembers our anniversary; he has never forgotten the date! (When I was growing up, my father rarely remembered my mother’s birthday nor their anniversary, and I could see the deep hurt that it caused my mother.

    This year we will celebrate (Lord willing) our 40th wedding anniversary! We share in the incredulity of this occasion, for it is by God’s grace that we have been able to work through many areas of difficulties in our marriage: 1) My husband’s mother and aunt took turns driving my husband, his sister, and four cousins to and from church every Sunday. Their parents stayed home, enjoying the day in their own ways and preferences. 2) My mother’s father had a position at a church, and our family went to every service at our church. However, my father wasn’t a spiritual leader in our home, so my mother often took the role of having a time of family devotions.

    Those are just two examples of areas where we differed greatly. Amazingly, the Lord led my husband into the field of Christian radio in which he has worked for one year less than our marriage! We both had hearts to serve the Lord and, with my college degrees in music, I have sung solos countless times on occasions where he spoke publicly for the cause of informing people about our non-commercial radio network.

    We have gone from “strength to strength” for the extent of our marriage years together, and God has literally carried through situations of great discouragement as well as tremendous joys! We’ve moved several times amidst great challenges, but the Lord has remained true and faithful to us through it all. Thank you for all that you are both doing to preserve and strengthen marriages, especially in the name of Christ Jesus!