After so many dates, so many opportunities to meet new people to date, and so many relationships, the one who changes this never-ending search for a soulmate shows up. This person understands everything, from your hatred of yard work to your dislike of corporal punishment. From this understanding is born a beautiful, long-lasting relationship that culminates in a marriage that will bear the most wondrous, sweet fruit a couple can give to each other—children. For this reason, celebrating, and more significantly, planning a memorable wedding anniversary is important, because it celebrates this union.

Married folks celebrate their anniversaries for a variety of reasons. Anniversaries can be a reconnecting point for married people. As time passes, the everyday issues of life place romance and intimacy on the back burner, and celebrating their wedding day is one way for couples to reconnect. Another reason couples might celebrate their anniversary regards marking milestones. Every year spent in the union, an event takes place that commemorates the couple’s commitment to each other.

Whether that event involves having a baby or purchasing a new home, these events can be milestones in the marriage, and the anniversary celebration can be the point from which these milestones are celebrated. These milestones, in addition to positive events that have happened in the past, can all be the focus of celebration. Furthermore, celebrations establish a tradition of making this day almost as special as the wedding day. More significantly, the anniversary is when spouses show their appreciation for each other, a time to make each other feel desired and loved.

Couples can mark their anniversary in a variety of ways, but the importance of the day is more of an emotional one. Whether it is planning a blow-out bash to celebrate one’s fiftieth wedding anniversary, or whether spending this day on a quiet island relishing a well-earned marital intimacy, the emotional connection to the marriage is at the heart of the celebration itself. The importance of marking the marriage with a celebration relates to the original reason for the union, a genuine love, respect, and caring for the spouse. This day, and its commemoration, is a symbol of the life built together, a life that includes compromise, struggle, happiness, and mirth.

As stated previously, there is no one way to observe this day. In fact, modern married couples have a number of creative, ingenious ways to mark their anniversaries. Included in some of the ways couples can have a memorable wedding anniversary are:

Planning a weekend away together

This weekend getaway can be something that is planned to mark milestone years like fifth, tenth, twenty-fifth, and fiftieth anniversaries. This trip can be a solely romantic one that focuses on re-establishing marital intimacy. Conversely, it can be one where couples discuss important issues of the marriage in privacy, without worrying about intrusions from children, friends, and family.

Planning a gathering

Break out those prosecco glasses and invite friends, family, and coworkers, to celebrate this day at home. This celebration can be a small, intimate dinner party where guests break bread and fellowship with the couple while honoring the union, or couples can go all out and put together a bash for friends that includes live band music, in addition to an open bar that serves refreshments. Party favors can include a CD with music from the wedding played the night of the party, high-quality chocolate bars commemorating the anniversary, a small portrait of the couple, a decorated champagne flute, or any number of collectibles.

Giving a simple card or note

Depending on what is going on with their lives, some couples might not want gifts, but a simple card acknowledging the union. Depending on how far away in time they lost their spouses, widows and widowers might not necessarily want to celebrate this day. Consider giving them a “thank-you card”. For those on fixed income, consider giving them a card shower, or sending them a present to let them know that day is being honored.

In the many celebrations that come and go in a year, the anniversary is just as important as observing the holidays, Thanksgiving, and Independence Day, in addition to other federal holidays. This day marks the beginning of the couple’s vow to build a life together, all while cherishing every waking moment of this life they share with each other. Ultimately, this day serves as the foundation from which a married couple begins their existence together, and one that demands celebration.