Read an Excerpt
Make it Memorable
is for Awesome Anniversaries
It has been said throughout time that love is symbolically the gift of oneself. Wrapped with affection, it's a gift expressed by your attention, appreciation, and total adoration for another person. As each anniversary approaches, from the moment you met, this special day that's marked in time is Cupid's wake-up call to remind you to express your love and concern and, of course, make it memorable.
A wedding anniversary is a wonderful time to reflect on special memories and that momentous day when someone you care about (perhaps even you) said, "I do." Besides the traditional anniversary of a marriage, there are also many other anniversaries, ranging from the anniversary of the day you met, to your very first date. An anniversary is not just a time to acknowledge memories past, rather it's also a time to create new memories, and celebrate someone you care about, and that special day.
Some anniversaries fly by unnoticed, while others are totally embedded in your heart as a spectacular moment in time. Your goal is to mark the occasion with a token of your affection that makes your partner, or a couple you wish to congratulate, feel totally adored. Since that's easier said than done, I interviewed hundreds of people to find a few of the most meaningful anniversaries ever.
Anniversary Gifts By Years
Stick To Tradition If you're a stickler for tradition, then the following list will help you choose gifts that suit the occasion. However,to be memorable, you have to get out of the (gift) box, and add an experience to your gift that transforms it. The first anniversary might be paper, but that also means a love letter (they always work), plane tickets back to your honeymoon resort, the deed to a new house, the lease to a new car, hundreds of Post-it notes covering the bathroom mirror that say "I Love You," and more. Don't just rely on the tried-and-true, get creative, and add the fun back in to gift-giving!
Create An Anniversary Time Line From the moment they met to their big anniversary celebration, create a time line of special events, moments in their shared lives, funny details as well, and include all themeaningful and momentous events you can uncover from friends and family. Give out the time line on pretty cards and frame an enlarged version for the anniversary couple. This will be a wonderful gift that captures forgotten memories past.
Capture The Moment Sylvia Weinstock, one of the most famous cake designers in New York City, shared one of her most meaningful gifts, one she gave a couple for their thirty-fifth wedding anniversary. The host had made a little speech at the party about his bride that was very touching. Inspired, Sylvia managed to get an exact copy, and had the speech scripted in calligraphy. She then had the speech framed and sent it to them as a gift. The couple had everything already, but this gift became a priceless treasure.
A Girl Named Maureen Here's a touching anniversary celebration Jennifer Enderlin and her siblings arranged on the occasion of her parents' fortieth wedding anniversary. She coordinated all the plans, with a detailed itinerary, for a trip to Arizona on their anniversary weekend. Her brothers and sisters all pitched in by sending bottles of champagne and other thoughtful gifts to their hotel. To make it really memorable, though, she and her siblings scoured through letters written by their father to his parents, over forty years ago, announcing that he had met a girl named Maureen. Each of the siblings included passages from these prized letters in their greeting cards, and marked the moment their parents met with memories from the past. The cards were all marked, "Do not open until October 23rd."
Indulgences Galore Anniversaries are a time to create new memories. On your anniversary day, whisk your partner off to a day of indulgences. Rent that car you have always had your heart set on, and take a drive into the country and back. Or, head to a nearby bed-and-breakfast, or inn, for a twenty-four-hour getaway. Request that the inn cover the bed in rose petals, and provide a bottle of champagne and strawberries for dessert. Inquire what other services they can offer to make your stay memorable, and plan ahead for a romantic interlude.
Is There Anything Else You Want? Here's a memorable tradition that Andrew Saltzman follows on his wedding anniversary every year: when he selects a gift for his wife, he gives it with an "anything you want" guarantee and the condition that she has to go and see if there'sanything else she'd rather have. Two points, Andrew! I thought that was a really memorable way to give a gift to insure happiness and, just in case, this allows his wife to make sure there's no other gift she'd rather have.
If Life's A Game Transform a game board into a lasting work of art by spelling out your love for her (or him) with letters from the game of Scrabble. Glue the tiles to the board permanently, and score points with phrases like, "I love you forever" or, "Will you marry me again?" Get creative, and give her the game with your sentiment inside. You're bound to cast a spell over her with this creative display of your affection. The game board can also be framed as a keepsake to preserve the moment.
Shower Them With Affection Do a little research and create an actual themed wedding shower. That's right. Throw an actual shower even though the couple has been married twenty-five years. Inquire what their favorite party or memory was from their wedding, and then recreate it. Guests can bring gifts or, in lieu of gifts, invite friends and family members to bring their favorite memory of the couple. All of the entrances can be put in a scrapbook for a treasured keepsake.
Light Up Her Life Every year, even if you have plans to go out to dinner, have a special anniversary celebration at home to show how you are the light of each other's lives. Securely place a candle in a special empty bottle, and designate it as your anniversary bottle. You might even use the bottle of champagne you shared when you got engaged. Light the candle, and let the candle wax drip down on the bottle as you eat. Each year, use a different colored candle in the bottle. This can become a tradition, and you can look back at the layers and remember every special year together.
Cruising Along Recreate their anniversary cruise with a Love Boat party theme focused on the same ship they cruised on their anniversary. For example, if they cruised on the Emerald Seas, and went to the Bahamas, do a little research, and re-create that big buffet, unlimited desserts, and throw a dinner party with suitcase centerpieces, and an evening of fun, and festivities. Hang signs that say, "Welcome to The-Love Boat. All aboard for a good time down memorylane." Request that guests bring a memory to share, and fill a wedding scrapbook with these memories as a wonderful keepsake.
The Book Of Love Designate a special book as your "love book." Whenever the mood strikes, write a love letter to your mate, and express your heartfelt feelings or gratitude for a little thing he or she did. The key to this book is that when it's in the closet, or a special drawer, that means there's nothing new added, but when you add a letter, be sure to place it on your mate's nightstand. This is a beautiful way to make your partner's day (or night) by pouring your heart out and expressing your appreciation for each other. On each of your anniversaries, pull out your "love book," and reread all the entries for a special tradition that will mean a great deal throughout the years.
A Year To Remember If the couple enjoys fine wines, have a "restock the bar" party, and invite guests to bring something to update the couple's bar. A memorable twist on this would be to request that every guest search for a wine from a special year in their life: from when they were married, the years they had children, the year they purchased their first house, the year you met them, or any other year to remember.
Surprise, Surprise Joan Weiss, of Memphis, Tennessee, shared a particularly lovely anniversary surprise, one she arranged for two couples' twenty-fifth wedding anniversaries. She secretly invited their rabbi to renew the couples' vows, and went to great lengths to throw a second wedding for both pairs. She gave each of the couples a scrapbook with the invitation, cards, and photos of the evening. The wedding was a poolside party. They had a champagne fountain, and a cake made out of live flowers that made a beautiful centerpiece.
Write A "Why I Love You" Letter Every single year, make a promise to each other to write a "Why I Love You" letter, and on your anniversary eve, share the letters by reading them out loud. Store the letters in a special box, and read them throughout the year on Valentine's Day, and other times you want to share your feelings. This box of love letters will become a treasured memory for you, and for generations to come. As you write your letter, remember the little things, and be specific.
Etched In Time While a set of glasses might not sound particularly memorable, there's a fabulous way to add your personal touch, and transform them into an anniversary gift that will be appreciated for a long time. Locate a source that can etch drinking glasses, and have each glass etched with their names, and wedding date, and year. Or, if you want to give an entire set, include pairs of words to be etched on each glass that reflect your wishes and their love, such as "Phyllis and Jack, Love and Joy, Forever and Ever."
To Our VIP (Very Important Pair) Give the couple a pair of something, ranging from a pair of candlesticks with a colorful selection of candles, or matching bookends for two of a kind. Add a note that says, "Glad you two paired up!"
The Anniversary Cake Another anniversary memory that is still going strong centers around a cake that Sylvia Weinstock created for one couple. Since Sylvia created their wedding cake years ago, the couple decided that every five years they would have her re-create the top, and the first layer. To date, Sylvia has continued baking their cakes and, most recently their twenty-fifth anniversary cake. Their wedding cake has remained a time-honored tradition, and become a special memory to look forward to, as their five-year anniversary celebrations continue.
Rare Vintages For an important anniversary, collect a case of fine wines bottled in years that have meaning to the person, or couple, being honored: the year they met, got married, had their first child, bought their first house, etc. Make a wine list to go with your gift, and write down each important event the bottle commemorates: "1930 was an exceptional year because that was the year you were married."
How "Suite" It Is If you've never booked a gorgeous suite in a fabulous hotel, go ahead and splurge. Indulge your mate in total comfort, and have a romantic dinner for two. Then arrange for friends and family to appear for a special dessert and an anniversary surprise party you throw for your lovely bride of however many years. Toast her in front of all your loved ones, and pledge your love to her forever. When the clock strikes twelve, you both turn into pumpkins, and bid everyone farewell!
Faraway Wishes If a very special couple is having a big anniversary, and the family is spread throughout the country or in different cities, arrange to have a conference call. Check into services that provide these types of calls, and get family members from all over the country on the line, and let everyone say hello, read a special poem or offer best wishes, and make a huge fuss. These faraway wishes will hit home and be very memorable to everyone on the line.
The Anniversary Club A wonderful idea a group of our friends created is called "The Anniversary Club." Since they were all married during the same year, they have a yearly anniversary celebration, and go out to dinner together on their big day. One year they had a caterer prepare a special dinner. This yearly tradition has become a lovely way to celebrate their marriages, and get together with special friends as well.
Love adds a precious seeing to the eye.
MAKE IT MEMORABLE. Copyright © 2004 by Robyn Freedman Spizman Literary Works, LLC. All rights reserved. No part of this book may be used or reproduced in any manner whatsoever without written permission except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical articles or reviews. For information, address St. Martin's Press, 175 Fifth Avenue, New York, N.Y. 10010.