How To Plan a Romantic Anniversary

If you are planning a romantic anniversary, there are many things that will come into play when deciding just what to do for your big date night!  Here's how to plan the perfect romantic anniversary:

Set a budget for the romantic date: Before you begin planning exactly what you want to do for this romantic occasion, it is important to set a budget for what you can or can't afford on this special date. You don't want to start planning some extravagant romantic getaway only to realize that there is no way you can pay for it. Setting a budget can also be helpful in determining just what type of romantic evening you will share with your loved one.

Brainstorm romantic things to do: To start planning your anniversary, start by writing down ideas... the most romantic ideas you can think of. Think about what foods, places, movies, clothing and music are especially romantic for you and your sweetheart. Begin by writing these categories down and listing underneath each category exactly what specific things (foods, places, movies, clothing) are romantic to you and your significant other.  List all the romantic ideas that come to mind, even if you think some of them are silly. Think about the things you or your spouse love to do together. Do the two of you have any favorite romantic movies? Do you or your spouse especially love it when one or the other wears certain types of sexy clothing? Have you or your spouse mentioned any specific places that you would like to visit together? Write down all of these ideas as you plan your romantic anniversary.

Discuss and choose what to do for your romantic date: After you have brainstormed and written down all of your romantic ideas, it is time to choose which things you can incorporate into your anniversary celebration. You can decide which things to do with or without your partner but unless you’re planning a surprise, making this decision together may be best. An easy way to do this is to look at the lists under each category and decide which date ideas both of you would appreciate, and which ones are feasible based on the time and resources you have available. Then circle the romantic things that might work and cross out the ones that will not. If you are making these decisions alone, a good suggestion would be to consider which ideas you and your spouse would love for this big celebration; be sure to keep your spouse in mind when you are making these types of final choices. Once you have the ideas narrowed down, you can begin to actually set the wheels in motion for the big romantic anniversary with your loved one. 

Put the plan for a romantic anniversary in motion: Once you have finalized your plan, it is time to begin making the actual arrangements. Let's say you will plan a catered meal at home with all of the foods that your spouse loves, watch a romantic movie that reminds the two of you of the time when you were dating or fell in love and then end the night dancing to your wedding song. It is important to make sure all of this can actually occur so think about what other arrangements need to be made to accommodate your romantic day. Some considerations might be:

  • Calling around to find a family member or a trusted friend and have the kids spend the night elsewhere,
  • Make sure the date is set in stone and confirmed with your spouse,
  • Call local caterers to get menu options and price quotes,
  • Make sure the romantic movie is available, and
  • Make sure you have the wedding song on CD, ready to play when you want it.

Have a romantic dinner: If you stay at home for your date night, set the dinner table using china, crystal, silverware and your finest tablecloth. If it is a warm summer night, set a table outside in the garden, on a terrace or deck or under the stars. Add some tall wine glasses. You may choose to dim the lights or eat by candlelight to create a romantic atmosphere. Add a bouquet or two of flowers in vases around the room and play some soft, romantic music during dinner. Rose petals are romantic when Middle aged couple dancing the waltz at nightscattered on top of the dinner table. You might include a fine wine or champagne as a treat and then some chocolate covered strawberries for dessert. You can even feed these to each other. Be sure to turn the cell phones off so there are no interruptions. Don’t have time or want to cook? Order some take-out to be delivered at a certain time or talk to a local caterer and have them drop dinner off. Either way, try to make it a special meal that you and your spouse will absolutely love.

If you go out for a romantic dinner on the night of your anniversary, make a reservation for two in advance at a local restaurant that has a cozy, quiet corner where you and your partner or spouse can snuggle and enjoy each other privately. Let the restaurant know it is your anniversary. Arrange to have them sing to the two of you when they bring the dessert. If you are low on cash, some restaurants have a BYOB (bring your own bottle) policy that would allow you to splurge a little to bring your own special wine or champagne to make your dinner more affordable.

Plan a surprise anniversary night: Surprises are great for romance! One of the most romantic things to do for anniversaries is to plan the event as a surprise. Tell your significant other to be home on that specific date at an exact time. Never let on as to exactly what you have planned for the night. During this time, think about some romantic things your spouse did for you when you were first dating and use those techniques to add to your element of surprise. Did your spouse email you often with declarations of love? If so, why not email them at work, and share how much you love them?

You might decide to take your partner or spouse on a surprise weekend getaway. You can pretend you are going somewhere that you normally would and instead end up at the airport with tickets in your hand, heading to some surprise romantic destination! Pre-plan and pre-pack all of the luggage and secretly arrange for them to have time off from work.

Did one of you often send the other one flowers "just because?" If so, why not send a surprise bouquet of flowers on the big day with a note that vaguely hints at the night ahead. Do what you can to raise the excitement about your anniversary plans without giving it all away.

Below are some additional ideas for romantic activities and gifts for your anniversary.

Ideas for romantic activities

  • Buy some plane tickets and book a surprise getaway.
  • Find a lovely viewing area, such as by the beach, a natural lake, the top of a hill or cityscape and go on a romantic picnic during the day (or on an evening when there is a full moon).
  • Go hiking or camping nearby and sleep under the stars.
  • Re-create your very first date night to bring back fond memories.
  • Give or get massages together.
  • Attend a live music concert of a band you both love.
  • Take a hot air balloon ride.
  • Hire a local quartet to serenade your spouse with a special song at your home or at their work.
  • Plan a dinner cruise.
  • Take a horse and carriage ride or have a limousine pick you up so you can gallivant around town.
  • Have breakfast in bed together: Sleep in and have breakfast in bed including champagne, orange juice and sweet rolls, muffins or croissant.

Ideas for romantic gifts

  • Buy and plant a special tree or flowering shrub in your yard to commemorate the anniversary and the years you have been together.
  • Buy your beloved a special gift…something they have been wanting for a long time.
  • Send a romantic “gram.” These days, you can send a Pajamagram, Pantygram, Beargram and more. Look online for other suggestions.
  • Give a personalized gift with an inscription or name of your spouse written on it. You might do this on a ring, locket, or a watch.
  • Have your partner’s or spouse’s initials embroidered into some satin pillowcases, sheets or plush bath towels.
  • Give a basket of scented bath, body or massage oils.
  • Send a dozen red roses or bouquet of your spouse’s favorite flowers to work so everyone at work will see when they arrive.
  • Give some milk chocolate body paint or chocolate body fondue.
  • Give some sexy lingerie: Need I say more?
  • A plush and thick new bathrobe with your spouse’s initials embroidered on it.

Ideas for inexpensive romantic pleasures: You don't have to spend a lot of money to plan a romantic anniversary. Here are some less expensive options.

  • Write a love letter or poem and put it in your spouse’s pocket before s/he heads to work.
  • Write and place a love message or poem in a bottle.
  • Place a photo of the two of you and give it in a personalized frame.
  • Look for romantic gifts for a “soulmate” online.
  • Hide love notes around the house in unexpected places.
  • Scatter rose petals around your bedroom, bath or entryway.
  • Make and give a customized gift basket with favorite foods, massage oils, chocolates and more.
  • Find an old-fashioned photo booth and take photos together inside.
  • Make a romantic love coupon book including free kisses, hugs and more and give it to your partner.

These are only a few of the ideas you can plan to do for your special day together that won't break the bank.

And finally... Celebrate! Once you have taken steps to plan the perfect romantic anniversary, the only thing left to do is wait until the special day arrives, celebrate and make it memorable! Anniversaries are a wonderful time to rekindle a romance, or to just remember the things that brought you together with your loved one in the first place. Planning a romantic anniversary is easy--you just have to know what steps to follow!


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