A funny thing happens to many couples between the time they get engaged and the time they get married: For years, theyve been celebrating the anniversary of the day they met, the day they started dating, or the day they first kissed. And now, as their wedding day approaches, they turn to the calendar and realize their old anniversary is coming back around.
So what do they do, then? Ignore it? Celebrate it? After all, unless it falls on the same day as their wedding, that old anniversary wont be their true anniversary anymore. Once you get married, the counter starts over.
Saying goodbye to your old anniversary is truly like saying goodbye to an old friend. You dont have to be a hopeless romantic to feel this way. Chances are that anniversary represents a very important time in your life. And no doubt, just seeing it on the calendar each year will hold a special place in your heart.
So our advice? Live it up this one last time. Do something romantic. Make it a monument to how much this day has meant to you and your girlfriend.
The final celebration of your old anniversary is a great chance to show how much youve appreciated the boyfriend/girlfriend stage of your relationship. One way to do this is to build an evening out of some of the memories you share. For example, where did you go on your first date? A fine restaurant, maybe? Or even some local dive? Well, why not go back there? Jog your memory. Recreate your first date, down to the very last details. Reserve the same table. Order the same meals. Even if the food stunk the first time, the important thing is it stunk for both of you. Try to capture that.
Or how about this: Have you figured out where youre going to get married yet? If so, plan an evening around it. Many reception halls have restaurants in them. Take your girlfriend there for dinner and a bottle of champagne. (And for a little extra fun: If theres a wedding going on, take a sneak peak.) If the place youre getting married doesnt have a restaurant, dont sweat it. Another fine option is to take her to dinner at another restaurant in town. Just being in the vicinity of the place where you plan to get married is a great way to honor your relationship, while showing how much you look forward to taking the next big step.
Finally, for something a little less complicated, how about a candlelit dinner at home? Cook up some pasta. Serve some strawberries and whipped cream for dessert. Set the mood with Frank Sinatra on the stereo. Scatter some rose petals on the table. And pull out some photos youve taken together over the years.
Gifts that keep giving
What constitutes an appropriate gift? Well, if this is the final celebration of your old anniversary, youre going to want to go heavy on sentimentality.
One option is, of course, jewelry. Now, since you just recently spent a hefty chunk of change on buying your girlfriend a diamond ring and since youve got the purchase of two wedding bands to look forward to no ones expecting a bank-busting item here. Again, go heavy on sentimentality. Find a nice bracelet, for instance, and engrave it with your anniversary date. This is a great way to preserve the memory forever.
Running with that theme, another option is to engrave a frame with your old anniversary date, then put a picture of the two of you in it. (Perhaps the first picture you ever took?)
If youd like to chill out on the jewelry front for the time being, thats cool, too. There are still plenty of options. For instance, remember the days when true love meant making a mix tape of romantic songs? Well, you can still do that, but you can also take it to the next level. Modernize it. May we suggest the gift of an iPod, complete with some of your girlfriends favorite love songs? This, again, is a great way to capture the spirit and mood of the relationship youve forged in your premarital years.
Finally, for something a little less complicated (okay, okay a little less expensive), flowers and chocolates remain the reigning and defending heavyweight champions of Honey, I love you gifts. But since this is a special occasion, lets step it up a notch. Dont just give your girlfriend flowers. Ask yourself: What are her favorite flowers? Most girls love red roses, but many girls also have favorite flowers like orchids, carnations, etc. which theyre used to having to buy for themselves. Go the extra mile here. Think back on some of the flowers your girlfriend may have expressed interest in, or purchased for herself. If you the know the kinds of flowers she wants at the wedding, a bouquet of those would be fantastic, too.