Alphabetical Anniversaries


Alphabetical Anniversaries

I believe in celebrating the big moments in life. Those days and events that no matter how much time passes, hold a special place in our hearts because they are the days that changed everything. For me, the day that I married my husband is one of those days. The challenging part is finding a way to annually honor the day without the celebration becoming routine or boring.

To combat the monotony and to prevent a wedding anniversary from looking like a typical date night, my husband and I have put an unusual spin on how we commemorate our wedding day. We tried the whole paper, wood, etc. tradition, but it wasn’t really our thing.

Instead we celebrate our wedding anniversary by following the ABCs.

Let me explain how it works. We started by using the letter “A” and each year we work our way through the alphabet celebrating with an activity or destination that corresponds with each letter. For instance, to celebrate that second year of marriage we went to Biltmore, for the third year we went to Chattanooga, and so on.

The idea came to us from a former co-worker of mine. At the time, our second wedding anniversary was approaching and we had no clue how to celebrate it. We had entered what I like to refer to as the “dinner and a movie rut” and we wanted to change things up. My co-worker told me that she and her husband used the ABCs to determine how they celebrate each year. I loved the idea, and by chance, we had spent our first anniversary in Atlanta. So, it really seemed like the perfect plan.

My husband and I love the creativity involved with brainstorming activities and destinations that work with the year’s letter. It usually results in us trying new things or traveling to new places. The flexibility is great too. Some years we go big and go on a trip, and on other years we keep it as simple as going to a restaurant that starts with the year’s letter.

The year our twins were born, our letter was “E.” They were barely a month old when our anniversary rolled around, so we needed a simple and easy way to celebrate. We found an Ethiopian restaurant and went there for dinner. Neither of us had ever tried Ethiopian food. Even in the blur that is the first few months with newborns, we were able to experience something new and unique together.

Our way of celebrating also gives us the opportunity to sometimes include our children in the activity. When our letter was “G,” we took our girls on their very first hike in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. While hiking with two toddlers was perhaps not the most relaxing way to spend an anniversary, we had a great time. It was so meaningful to share quality family time on a day as special as our wedding anniversary.

As an added bonus, making an activity or destination the focus of our anniversary has meant us ditching the tradition of us getting each other an anniversary gift. Whatever we decide to do together counts as our gift to each other. We can spend our time and money on making memories together instead of buying each other things.

I know what you might be thinking; yes, it will get a little tricky when we reach letters like “X.” But maybe we will find a treasure hunt to go on where “X” marks the spot or go somewhere where we can see x-ray fish or maybe a new X-men movie will be out by then. It will take some creativity with the tough letters, but that’s part of the fun. And, once we reach Z, we plan on starting over again at the letter “A” on year 27.

Celebrating our wedding anniversary in this non-traditional way has given my husband and me so many fun memories to look back on. The most important thing though is that we are remembering the day we started our life together. So whatever way you choose to celebrate your big day, make sure to make the celebration work for you. Don’t be afraid to step outside of the box and to get creative. And maybe the ABCs are right for your anniversary too.


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