Even though it’s not your wedding anniversary, your engagement anniversary is just as special in its own right. After all, it signifies the exact moment that you and your partner agreed to spend the rest of your lives together, which makes it more than worthy of an annual celebration, big or small. Whether you’re celebrating one year or 20 years since your engagement, we’ve got eight creative ideas to help you mark the occasion, get you out of your everyday routine, and spend some quality time with your partner. Keep reading for our date night recommendations.
Play tourist in your own city.
When’s the last time you took a day or a long weekend to explore everything in your hometown or current city? (And no, happy hours and boozy brunches don’t count.) Download an audio travel guide and spend some time doing all of the cheesy tourist things you’d normally avoid around town—for example, taking pictures at landmarks, going to museums, or anything else you never got around to doing. If you’re drawing a blank, check out PlacePass for ideas and pre-planned outings in your state.
Have a spa night.
It’s easy to skip self-care or make enough time for yourself when life gets busy, so use your engagement anniversary as a way to catch up on some R&R. Plan an at-home spa night for you and your partner but make it feel even more special with matching robes and slippers. Light a few aromatherapy candles, soak in a bubble bath, and then kick back and relax with face masks or cooling eye masks for the ultimate pampering treatment. If you’re feeling extra creative, put together a soothing spa-inspired playlist and serve fruit-infused water in fancy glasses.
Settle in for a movie marathon.
We know you’ve probably had plenty of movie marathons throughout your relationship (especially during quarantine), but there are still ways to make a night on the couch with your S.O. feel special and celebratory. Treat yourself to a new throw blanket for added coziness and splurge on gourmet popcorn or movie theater candy to fuel your watch-a-thon. Don’t forget the matching plaid pajamas! Check out our favorite wedding-themed movies for ideas to fill your queue.
Recreate your proposal.
What better way to celebrate your engagement anniversary than by taking a walk down memory lane? Recreate your proposal—no matter how cheesy or unexpected it was—to bring all of those happy emotions to the forefront of your mind. Feel free to take a little creative liberty by dramatizing the big moment or adding a surprise or two, like a box of preserved roses. If your partner is the one who proposed, catch them off guard by asking for their hand in marriage instead.
Plan a picnic in the park (or your backyard).
Skip the usual restaurant or carry-out dinner in favor of a romantic picnic outing for your engagement anniversary. Invest in stylish picnic supplies, like a red checkered waterproof blanket and a convenient wine caddy that doubles as a charcuterie tray and table. Grab your beverages of choice (we recommend a bottle of bubbly for the occasion) and head to a park, your backyard, or your living room in the event of cold or rainy weather. Bonus points for a tent or blanket fort!
Make a photo album or scrapbook.
It’s safe to say that you and your S.O. probably have years, if not decades, worth of photos together. But thanks to smartphones and social media, photos are rarely printed out on paper anymore, and your special memories deserve more than being forgotten in your camera roll. We love the idea of spending your engagement anniversary sorting through all of your favorite snapshots and then adding them to a custom photo album that you’ll have forever. Sites like Mixbook and Artifact Uprising make it easy to purchase individual prints or design your own photo books, which you could organize by vacations, life milestones, or even your favorite selfies. Moving forward, make it a tradition to print out the past year’s photos on every anniversary.
Get dressed up for a photo shoot.
If you’re already married, chances are you haven’t had professional portraits taken since the big day. And if you’re not married yet, a photo shoot will be fun practice for your wedding—and a cute way to celebrate your engagement anniversary. Work with your wedding photographer, find a pro near you on WeddingWire, or if you happen to have a getaway coming up, hire a local photographer through Flytographer to help you pull off a memorable portrait session.
Go on a (virtual) vacation.
We may not be able to go on our dream honeymoons or vacations right now, but we can do the next best thing: bring the experience to us. Virtual tours and armchair travel have become more popular than ever during quarantine, and there are seemingly endless options for you to enjoy—all from the comfort of your home. Get a glimpse of the view from someone else’s house with WindowSwap or cruise down the California coastline with Hulu’s Vacation In Place series. And if you're really feeling adventurous, take your virtual vacation to the next level by adding themed decor or an interactive element (for example, baking an iconic French dessert while binge-watching Emily in Paris).
Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links, some of which may be sponsored by paying vendors.