One year ago on Saturday, I married the love of my life. It actually feels like we’ve been married a lot longer! (We’ve been together for seven years). I feel so lucky to be married to my best friend.
When Ben and I were talking about what we should do for our first wedding anniversary, the issue of money came up immediately. As much as we would love a weekend getaway or a fancy dinner out, those things just aren’t priorities right now. (We are currently focused on digging ourselves out of massive student loan debt.)
Luckily, an anniversary date doesn’t have to be expensive in order to be romantic and fun. Your anniversary isn’t about spending money – it’s about enjoying your time together and showing the other person how much you care about them.
Try out one, or a few, of these cheap and fun ways to celebrate your anniversary!
Go out for breakfast, lunch, or dessert instead of dinner. You’ll still get the experience of dining out, but without the heavy price tag.
Check out an old movie at a cheap theater. Most movie tickets are $10+ on the weekend, and popcorn and soda are absurdly priced. However, some theaters offer cheap tickets to “old” movies (ones that have been out of the regular theaters for a few weeks or months). Skip the popcorn and Icees – protect your wallet and your waistline.
Go on a picnic. Bring a home cooked meal, cheap wine, and a blanket. And don’t forget the bug spray!
Have a board game night. Play scrabble, Jenga, and other fun two-person games.
Go for a bike ride together. Get your exercise, take in the pretty scenery, and have fun.
Watch your wedding videos and look at your photo albums. Snuggle up on the couch together and watch your wedding video, go through your wedding photo albums, and reminisce about that special day.
Check out local landmarks and take photos together. Be a tourist in your own city.
Go to a museum or art gallery. Many museums offer free admission.
Find a scenic spot and go hiking together. This is completely free and it’s great exercise!
Share your first dance again. Get dressed up and dance to your first song again.
Make your spouse a list of all the things you love about them. If you’re really creative, write them a song or a poem.
Return to the site of your wedding reception and have dinner there. Ben and I had our wedding reception at a dinner theatre. Part of our wedding package included free tickets to the dinner theatre show on our first anniversary. Dinner shows cost about $80, so getting a free show is a pretty sweet deal! Our wedding ceremony was at a sculpture garden, so we returned to the park, walked around, and took fun photos together.
Go roller skating and hold hands during the couple’s songs. If your anniversary is in the winter, go ice skating instead.
(Featured image courtesy of Megan Bailey.)
How have you and your significant other celebrated your anniversaries?
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I love your ideas! It is so important to learn how to celebrate milestones and even just date nights without spending money!! We like to get out of town, or at least out of the house, on special occasions.
For Valentines, I found a deal for $35 a night through Priceline at a 2 1/2 -3 star hotel…that helped to make it MUCH more affordable to get out of town (we went to a larger town 2 hours away). I also found a Groupon for a nice restaurant, to give us a “special dinner” without breaking the bank – I think it was $25 for a $40 gift card/meal voucher.
I guess my point is, YES, it is important to be happy with living simply, within your means, but when you want to do something really special, you CAN make it happen on a small budget if you’re flexible and willing to search for deals!
Greetings! Very helpful advice on this article! It is the little changes that make the biggest changes. Thanks a lot for sharing!
Thank you! I’m glad it was helpful!
It’s on the “work with me” page. Thank you!
Thanks for the comment! Anniversaries don’t have to be expensive!
Have a board game night – I had fun having a board game night with a few friends a couple months ago. While we didn’t necessarily eat much because it wans’t dinner time per ce, it was a great bonding experience.
Check out local landmarks and take photos together. – I would love to check out the landmarks and see some cool sites.
Share your first dance again. Get dressed up and dance to your first song again. – Awesome idea, very romantic!!
Make your spouse a list of all the things you love about them. – this is a good way to keep positive thoughts about each other.