It happens everyday: two people fall in love and decide to spend their lives together. We celebrate with them, reveling in the joys of love and partnership, sending them off into this great adventure with dancing and champagne toasts. And why not? Weddings are fun, and love should be celebrated. But a wedding, as many of us know, is only the beginning.
And what lies in store for a couple once the honeymoon is over and the bags are unpacked? Marriage: a relationship that will run your love through the gauntlet, testing your patience, your compassion, and – if you’re lucky – leave you and your spouse happier than you ever dreamed you could be. But for all its wonderful moments (and trust me, there are many) marriage is a real challenge.
Many couples celebrate their marriage with vow renewals after their wedding. And I say go for it! After all, that love you celebrated on day one of your marriage is just as special by year 10, 30, 50, and beyond! But many couples also wonder: after all these years of wedded bliss, what can I give my spouse to show my love for them? Here are just a few suggestions:
A little slice of the past can be a beautiful memento of the years you’ve shared. Remember where you went for your first date? Where you spent your honeymoon? The little bed and breakfast you visited after dropping the youngest off at college? Little souvenirs that spark fond memories are a wonderful way to show you’ve appreciated the years you’ve shared.
For many, a vow renewal is the start of a new chapter. Maybe you’ve reunited after a period of separation; maybe you’re beginning a new stage of life as empty-nesters. Whatever the reason, you deserve to start this new adventure the same way you began your old one – with a vacation! Maybe revisit the place where you were honeymooners, or visit somewhere entirely new and exciting. Travelling together is a wonderful way for couples to reconnect while they see the world.
There is common wisdom that tells you what sorts of gifts you should get for your spouse depending on how long you’ve been together. Ten-year anniversary? Try a special photo of the two of you in a lovely aluminium frame. Thirty years? A new set of pearl earrings or cufflinks. Made it all the way to 50? Glitzy gold is the way to go. Following these guidelines is a nod to tradition and the institution of marriage, but still gives you room to get creative.
Something For All of You
When you first said your vows, you were two people. Now, you may be three, or for, or even seven! One way to celebrate your marriage is to get the family involved, and that includes the gifts. Find something the whole family will enjoy, like a vacation (maybe show the kids where you honeymooned), season tickets to the family’s favorite sports team, or matching photos to hang in every home. With gifts like these, the vow renewal becomes a celebration of ALL your love – the love for your spouse and the family you’ve created.
Something That’s Worth 1,000 Words
For a memory that you can see again and again, a professional photoshoot can be a great gift! Whether you photograph the two of you together, the whole family, or something for his eyes only, photography can be a great way to preserve the memory of your milestone anniversary. Snap some shots around the town you call home. Recreate old pictures from the start of your love story. Commemorate how your family has grown over the years. And best of all, you can admire the photos – and the memories they inspire – for years after.