Celebrating an anniversary is something you do as a couple. However, it is often the woman who makes special plans to celebrate the day. Most women think of anniversaries as a time to reflect upon, and they want to spend the day appreciating the time you have been together. Men often need a gentle nudge to get them to remember the date, but can be quick to join in the planning when reminded.

You might celebrate your monthly anniversaries while you are dating, but once you get married, the yearly anniversaries tend to be counted. Regardless of what timeframes you choose to commemorate your time together, anniversaries mark milestones in your relationship, and some should definitely be celebrated in a more significant way than others. Here are the most common anniversary timeframes celebrated, and an explanation of what they signify:


While dating often leads to commitment, celebrating your first month together can seem a bit pushy. Instead of being a turn-on, it may make one or both people in the relationship uncomfortable. So perhaps wait until you are together for three months before planning anything special. Three months is typically long enough for you to know if you want to commit yourself to this person for at least a while longer, to find out where it is going. You should mark the occasion by doing something simple and fun. The purpose of this anniversary is to celebrate your time together as you reach for the future. You don't need to make firm commitments yet, just mark the memorable day.

Go out to dinner, go dancing, enjoy a concert or a ballgame together. Whatever you choose to do, be sure you celebrate the notion of the future, and not your brief time together.

One Year

Dating, or married, the one-year anniversary marks a very important milestone. You both recognize the value of the path that has led you to where you are, and the promise of the future. Celebrate your accomplishments.

Celebrate by doing something extra special on this anniversary. There are a lot of 'firsts' that have taken place in the past year. Plan a special day or night, and spend time reminiscing about that first date, the first kiss, the first night together as husband and wife.

Re-creating such favorite moments is a great way to bring you closer together. Go on a picnic to a place you love, drink the same wine, eat the same foods. What better way to create new memories than to re-live some of the older ones?

Two Years

This anniversary may be more important than the first one. Two years together means you are even more seriously committed for the long-haul.

You are past the stage of all the wonderful 'firsts'. Now, everything is more familiar and comfortable. This is the year to let your partner know just how much you love and appreciate the things they do for you and your relationship.

Last year you probably planned a spectacular celebration. This year you have to out-do those celebrations. If you planned a romantic night for your first anniversary, plan a romantic weekend for your second. Planned events can include something the two of you have longed to do, but have never found the time for. Whatever you plan, make it so special that you will not stop talking about it for years to come.

Also, it is always nice to purchase a special and meaningful gift for each other that will become mementos from the day (listen up guys, she will always remember to get you a gift - be sure you get her one!). You can buy candy, jewelry, electronics, or anything they have been wishing for.

Five Years

Reaching the five-year mark signifies that you have faith in this as a long-term relationship. You've been through at least four anniversary celebrations by this point, so you know what your partner expects from you. Gift-giving however can still be a challenge, and remembering the date can still be a problem for some (always mark it on your calendar so that no one forgets).

Mark your 5th anniversary by going completely overboard! Spend months planning; the perfect celebration is possible. Plan an extravagant dinner in a five-star restaurant, with dancing and a concert afterwards. Or, plan a cruise and get to know each other all over again. Whatever you decide to do, make it something big to remember forever.

Beyond 5 Years

Most anniversaries after the 5th can be low-key affairs that should be celebrated, but needn’t be in such a grand way. After the 5th anniversary, the main 'big' celebrations are the 25th and the 50th. You can read here for some fantastic silver (25th) wedding anniversary ideas, and here for more information on celebrating a golden (50th) anniversary. Those anniversaries that represent the turning of a decade (the 10th and 20th) are also significant. This does not mean that you can't celebrate every other anniversary in between. Simply enjoy your special day in ways that make both of you happy.

While there are a number of gifts to give on various anniversaries, some people still have trouble coming up with unique and romantic gift ideas. For more information, you can click here to our section on Anniversaries by Year.

Remember, anniversaries mark the milestones in relationships, whether two people are dating or married. Every anniversary should be celebrated in some way. As the years accumulate, you will come to know your partner as well as you know yourself. Use this knowledge to choose the best possible gift and planned celebration you can have together. Anniversaries are meant to be shared; after all, there are two in this relationship. Celebrate your time together, and celebrate this special person in your life. Anniversaries are a great time to let your partner know just how much you love them. Make each anniversary special and memorable. This way, neither of you will ever forget the magic of that special day you met.