A first wedding anniversary can be completely exciting, or tentative and mild. Some people become so enthralled with the idea of having an anniversary to celebrate that they go all out for the first one, inviting everyone who was at the wedding to come and celebrate. Others regard it as the end of the honeymoon period, and expect things to become more difficult from that point on, as if there’s a magic marker in your life that will suddenly mar the marriage the day after your anniversary.
Celebrating this unique and special milestone together can be enjoyable and basically stress free provided that you follow a few simple guidelines and remain flexible. Whether you opt to travel (for some couples their first anniversary serves as the honeymoon they couldn’t spare when they got married) or celebrate intimately or have a huge celebration, the anniversary bash will only be successful when you both want the same type of celebration. When one half of the relationship is busy planning an all out invite everyone under the sun party and the other is making arrangements for a quiet dinner for two in one of the city’s best restaurants, there’s bound to be a little clashing.
The first wedding anniversary sets the tone for the rest of the wedding anniversaries. While you might travel some years and stay home others, you might make a big deal about milestones and quietly exchange a few gifts other years, the first one is when you get to start traditions with each other that may very well last the rest of your life. One couple started what the referred to as their ‘anniversary walk’ together their first year. It was nothing more than a walk, one mile for every year they’d been together. They challenged themselves to see how long they could keep adding miles to their walk. Along the way they used the time to reflect about changes they’d gone through, things they’d learn, things they would have done differently, and the blessings they had. At last count they were up to five miles and were planning on adding the sixth. And yes, someone did point out by the time they reached their 20th anniversary they may have to set aside a three day hiking, camping trip in order to take the same walk that once only took them ten minutes.
As the day of your anniversary approaches, discussing expectations on both sides is usually a fairly easy conversation. However, just because one half of the relationship is more interested in making a bigger fuss over the day doesn’t mean that the marriage means any less to him or her. The more excited party may be deciding about food and where to throw the bash and even who should state the toast, sort of reliving the reception of the wedding. Many people will admit that their wedding day was such a blur of emotions and events that they didn’t feel so much like participants as they did like they were experiencing a surreal event of someone else’s. Many people, women in particular, are interested in re-experiencing the reception when emotional highs are not quite so detrimental to the process of remembering. Their desire is a normal one. There is such magic at a reception that couples actually often feel as though everyone else had a better time than they did. They may want to experience that magic, and then are disappointed either by a lack of interest in their partner or a lack of magical feelings that their guests no longer can conjure up. After all, it is no longer the wedding day. People can not give an in-genuine response.
Encountering these issues doesn’t mean that a first wedding anniversary won’t be completely magical in its own right. Not everyone has a let down for their first anniversary. Many couples find that by hosting a small but genuine and intimate party their closest friends are able to celebrate the occasion with them in a way that they couldn’t have expected previously. Celebrating life, love, marriage, each other, and the hope of eternity can really be a simple process if you let it. These are the natural things we all celebrate and love to celebrate.
Choosing to have an intimate and personal anniversary is just as common, if not more so. Celebrating with just the two of you for the first year can make for a memorable and beautiful occasion. After all, your marriage and your’ commitment’ is about one another. Returning to each other, without the regular chaos of life, for just an evening can be very healthy.
Life happens, even on the first wedding anniversary. Sometimes life just throws something at you that you didn’t expect. People argue. Kids get sick. Remaining flexible and remembering exactly what it is that you are celebrating will ease the strain of life happening at an inconvenient moment. You are together, or at the very least you are in love and happy and in the moment, that is what matters. Because you got lucky. Out of all the people out there who have hurt you, used you, let you down, left you, crushed your feelings, and generally treated you poorly, you were able to find the one person in the world that you were meant to be with.