Hannah Drake

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.