Hannah Drake

Marriage

How We Celebrate Our Anniversaries

MarriageHannah DrakeComment

I’ve genuinely been surprised how many people have asked us about our wedding anniversary over the last few weeks. “Your anniversary is coming up, right? How are you celebrating?” Granted, we’ve spent significant time with family recently, but it’s still nice that people remember our wedding was last May, whether they were there or not!

Our journey to marriage and wedded bliss was a bit different than most in that they were two separate things. Because of the visa I had when I moved to England, we had to get married by the end of November 2017. When it became apparent that we couldn’t plan and pay for a wedding in seven months, we decided to get married at the Register’s Office in Birmingham, with just two friends as witnesses, and then continue to plan a wedding for the spring of 2018 to celebrate with our friends and family. In that, we originally planned to continue to present ourselves as engaged until our wedding, but it turns out, when you get married, it’s freaking exciting and you want to tell people!

So we had a confusing eight months of being already married but still planning a wedding. I’m not entirely sure what our original plan was, but after our marriage, it became incredibly obvious that we wanted our marriage anniversary to be our actual anniversary. Our thinking was on September 16, 2018 when we had been married for a year, we wanted to celebrate being married for a year. Still, we talked about marking our wedding anniversary in some smaller way as well. And with that day upon us tomorrow, let’s talk about what we decided to do to celebrate our two anniversaries. Let me start by saying because so many of our big days are on the 16th of their respective months, I joke that Luke can just get me flowers every month on the 16th and cover them all. (You hear that future kids, you need to be born on the 16th so we remember your birthday!)

For our marriage anniversary on September 16th, we’ve decided to travel if we can. We got married in the morning and then went out for lunch with our friends Tom and Luke who served as our witnesses. That afternoon, we drove to Wales for a minimoon over a long weekend. In 2018 for our first anniversary, we took our belated “real” honeymoon to Italy. (Side note: I highly recommend a delayed honeymoon.) While we were in Italy, we spent lots of time daydreaming about what traveling for every anniversary could look like. We talked about doing smaller trips over a weekend within the UK or Europe each year, but doing bigger trips for the big anniversaries like the 5th or 10th. We’re tentatively planning on a weekend in Europe (possibly Belgium) this year for our 2nd anniversary, but we haven’t gotten very far in the planning process. Other dream trips include:

  • a New England roadtrip starting in Boston and driving through Vermont and New Hampshire, maybe Maine too or even Quebec City

  • a big trip to Asia to visit countries like Japan, China, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam, etc. which could possibly be two separate trips

  • a visit to Australia and New Zealand (“I can travel anywhere—except Cuba—and I will travel to New Zealand and walk the Lord of the Rings trail to Mordor and I will hike Mount Doom.” - Dwight Schrute)

  • also Cuba, which was originally our #1 choice for our honeymoon, but became too up in the air with the political climate (we weren’t sure if I would be able to travel there on my American passport if we planned it too far in advance)

Our wedding anniversary, May 16th, isn’t as big of a deal for us since we were already married eight months at our wedding. The day itself was so special and so fun and we want to do something to mark it. We decided we’d just do something lowkey like make a favourite dinner at home and listen to music from our wedding, especially our first dance song, “I Don’t Mind” by Defeater. We’re big fans of kitchen dance parties, so why not recreate some of the best dancing at our wedding?!

How do you celebrate your anniversary each year?

Header Photo & Wedding Photo by Brianne Haagenson Photography.

The Year of Alphabet Dates: F

MarriageHannah DrakeComment

We lucked out on our F date because it also crossed off something high on my Living in England Bucket List — going to a football game! Luke’s coworker invited us to Liverpool for the Everton v Arsenal game since he’s a big Everton fan and Luke is a big Arsenal fan. We were able to make a weekend out of it and spend some time exploring Liverpool on Saturday.

On Sunday, we had a bit of a lazy morning before the match, but we did go out to breakfast and both had a Full English, or as it was called at this particular restaurant (and quite a few others as well), a fry up. It’s a classic English breakfast and a great way to start the day. A Full English typically consists of 2 sausages, 2 bacon rashers, 2 eggs, fried tomatoes, mushrooms, beans, fried bread, black pudding, and hash browns. Not every place will include all of those elements, though The Brunch Club in Liverpool did (with only 1 sausage and toast instead of fried bread). Sometimes you can even get a mini, which will have 1 of each of the proteins and probably only have beans and tomatoes or mushrooms, and probably won’t include hash browns or black pudding. Needless to say, it’s a lot of food and we weren’t really all that hungry throughout the rest of the day.

About two hours before the game, we made our way to the stadium and to meet up with Luke’s coworker and his fiance. We met them at a pub outside the stadium for some literal pre-game drinks. The pub was absolutely decked out in Everton colours, memorabilia, quotes, artwork, everything.

The atmosphere at the game wasn’t really what I expected, I think. It was certainly different from American football games. But there was a clear difference between the first and second halves in terms of the energy in the crowd (and the excitement of the game). Our seats were about three rows from the top, but it was nice to be out of the sun.

Luke said we had to get a pie because that’s typical football food. We went to the concession stand at halftime but by the time we got up to the cashier, they were out of steak and potato pies, so we got cheese & onion instead. It was still delicious and I was glad to get the full football experience.

In the end, Everton won 0-1, which was disappointing for us. Since we were sitting in the Everton section (and the Arsenal section was on the opposite corner of the stadium), we had to be careful how we reacted to what was happening. I told Luke if Arsenal scored he had to hold it in as best as he could because he’s quite vocal when he’s just watching at home.

We both would have loved to go to a game at the Emirates and get the full Arsenal atmosphere, but Luke said it’s really difficult (and really expensive) to get tickets. Maybe someday, though!

ACTIVITIES FOR THE F DATE NIGHT

  • go to a football game - It can be American football or the rest of the world’s football.

  • build a fort - Relive your childhood and turn your living room into an epic fort!

  • go to a festival - Food festival. Music festival. They have festivals for everything and every one these days!

  • go fishing

  • visit a farmer’s market - What a lovely way to spend a weekend morning in the summer time. Shop the stalls and grab some lunch. It’s the date that keeps on giving because you’ll have lots of delicious local produce and cool local products.

  • climb a fourteener - If you live in Colorado, they’re everywhere!

  • go four wheeling

  • watch your favourite films - Make it a double feature for your at-home movie night and watch both of your all-time favourite films back to back.

  • visit a fair

  • enjoy a five course meal

  • eat at food trucks

  • get your fitness on - Work out together!

  • eat your favourite foods - Maybe that’s cooking a big meal that incorporates your favourite foods or maybe it’s going out to dinner and ordering your favourite dish for the other person.

  • play frisbee golf

FOODS FOR THE F DATE NIGHT

  • Full English - It’s a classic breakfast in England and a great way to start a day date.

  • fondue - You could try making your own!

  • French food

  • fish ‘n chips

  • F restaurants/bars - Does your favourite restaurant or bar start with a F? Or what about a spot you’ve been dying to try, but just haven’t found the time yet?

DESTINATIONS FOR THE F DATE NIGHT

  • Fort Collins, Colorado

Header Photo by Brianne Haagenson Photography.

The Year of Alphabet Dates: E

MarriageHannah DrakeComment

Once again, for our alphabet date night, we’ve decided to do something different. Instead of doing an activity or a type of food, we decided to do a destination: Edinburgh!

We decided to take advantage of our long holiday weekend for Easter and go somewhere we haven’t been together (though Luke has been to Edinburgh before).

I won’t go into a ton of details because I’m working on a full Edinburgh post, but I will share some things. We loved our Airbnb. We had the most amazing weather. We ate so many delicious meals. We fell in love with the city.

It was such a wonderful weekend. I wish we could move into the neighbourhood where we stayed. I couldn’t recommend our hosts or the location more highly! We got so many restaurant recommendations that we literally didn’t have enough time to try them all! We loved hanging out in the sun and thoroughly enjoyed not even having the threat of rain in Scotland.

Edinburgh has shot up to my #2 favourite city in Europe and my #1 favourite city in the UK! I can’t wait to share more about our trip with you!

ACTIVITIES FOR THE E DATE NIGHT

  • exercise together - Whether it’s doing a tried and true favourite exercising or getting creative and trying something new, they say the couple that works out together stays together!

  • try an extreme sport - That can be a lot of different things: skiing or snowboarding, surfing, wake boarding, base jumping, bungee jumping…all kinds of crazy stuff!

  • have an Elf themed date - You know in the movie when Buddy the Elf describes the day he wants to spend with his dad? Do it together! But probably around Christmastime.

  • visit a new exhibit - Is a travelling exhibit coming to a museum nearby? Go check it out!

  • visit an expo - Whatever you’re into, find out if there’s an expo for it coming up. If you’re engaged, you could go to a wedding expo together.

  • do an escape room - This is one of our favourite group activities, but a lot of rooms accommodate for as little as two people.

  • visit an elephant sanctuary - Elephant rides have been popular in other countries for a while, but more information is starting to come out about how those animals are treated and trained. Instead, visit a reputable elephant sanctuary and spend the day with the elephants doing their thing, not yours.

  • explore somewhere - It could be your own city or area. It could be somewhere brand new that neither of you have ever visited.

  • educate yourselves - Take a class together to learn about something you’re both interested in. Maybe it’s online, maybe it’s in person. Your local museum, rec centre, or community centre probably offers classes on a wide range of subjects that are both ongoing or a one off class.

  • shop an estate sale - It’s like garage sales, but bigger!

  • have an early bird special - Live like you’re already grandparents and hit up a restaurant for an early bird special.

  • celebrate the ‘80s - Maybe that’s dressing up and painting the town red. Maybe that’s jamming out to ‘80s music or popping in a classic ‘80s movie. Maybe it’s doing something that was popular or trendy back in the day.

  • try some experiments - Get a kid’s science experiment kit or DIY something cool. Bonus points if you dress the part of a scientist as well. (But either way, make sure you have the property safety equipment.)

  • Easter egg hunt - You could help set one up for kids, you could do one yourself, or you could volunteer at a bigger event. Of course it’ll probably help if it’s actually Easter.

FOODS FOR THE E DATE NIGHT

  • E restaurants/bars - Does your favourite restaurant or bar start with a E? Or what about a spot you’ve been dying to try, but just haven’t found the time yet?

DESTINATIONS FOR THE E DATE NIGHT

  • Edinburgh, Scotland

  • Estes Park, Colorado

PIN FOR LATER!

Header Photo by Brianne Haagenson Photography.