The Big Day. There are two each year in my book: Wedding Anniversary and Birthdays. These can sometimes be as challenging as a playoff win for Peyton Manning. I speak tongue in cheek but also with a small grain of honesty. As a guy here’s how I approach the Big Day. It’s a simple grid with just two parts: an event or a gift…but sometimes both.
Our last date night was celebrating our fifth wedding anniversary. We’re going to keep most of that date to ourselves but I’ll throw out a general look. Big Event, some sweet friends flew us out to Phoenix, Arizona, for a marriage conference. Big Gift, I surprised Britt with a sweet gift…like tears and all gift. I won as a husband this Big Day, but have stumbled many times along the way.
Forward communication is key to a fruitful Big Day for Britt and I. Forward, meaning an intentional laying out of our plans and communicating small details in advance. I let Britt know whether she is getting a gift or an event in advance so she can prepare emotionally for what to expect. I also share small details along the way to build anticipation. This communicates that I’m thinking in advance for her and gives her something to look forward to. We love anticipating together, it’s a sweet dynamic in marriage. This is the only time in marriage that I would encourage a private stash of cash. In every other life circumstance, keep it all together and push for oneness.
Is there a place she would like to visit? Is there a hotel she has mentioned several times? What about a restaurant she has wanted to go to? Is there an event she has brought up in passing? Could you create a sweet event at your house or apartment? What about locally? How about a place 300 miles away that you could drive to? For our fourth wedding anniversary, I printed off 40 pictures of the last four years of marriage together. Laid them out all throughout our living room and strung Christmas lights throughout them. It was a simple but thoughtful event. We went to a really nice dinner and then she came home to living full of memories…and a few smaller gifts. By my definition, this was an event.
What’s her favorite clothing, jewelry, or shoe store? Note, I didn’t mention Bed, Bath, & Beyond. The Big Day is not a time for Crock-Pots. I would know. This also isn’t a time for sneakers as a gift but high heels instead! Is there any jewelry missing in key places? Fingers? Check! Ears? Check! Around neck? Check! What do her Pinterest boards look like? Is there something you could make for her. If she’s a reader does she have a reading nook? You could make her one. Does she need a thoughtful and encouraging note? For our fifth wedding anniversary, I took aim at one of her fingers.
Sometimes both are necessary. In the case of our five-year anniversary, I went with a big event and big gift. We had a wonderful time together and it for sure led to some memories!