Yesterday my husband and I celebrated our eighteenth wedding anniversary.
Eighteen years ago we lived in the high desert of Southern California where the poppies bloom like wildfire every spring. We visited the poppies many times, individually and as a couple. During the first spring of our marriage, the poppies were particularly brilliant so we set up a camera on a tripod and took a picture of ourselves sitting among the flowers. We used that photo for our Christmas card. We also had an enlargement made and we have that hanging on our bedroom wall.
That picture, even more than our wedding photo, brings back memories of our first year together. A wedding is just the first day (hours really) out of a marriage; what counts are the sum total of all the ordinary days. Perhaps that’s why the ordinariness (albeit prettiness) of the paper photograph of us in the poppies holds more meaning.
Coincidentally, paper is the traditional gift for the first anniversary.
Photographs are nice, but I think there’s an even better idea for your first anniversary. As your gift of paper to each other, I’d like to suggest you make a scrapbook to commemorate those ordinary, but special first days of your marriage. People do baby books, why not a couple’s book? Things to include:
- Brochures or tickets to places you went that you particularly enjoyed
- A few cards and photos of your first Christmas, Valentines Day and birthdays and other special holidays you spent as husband and wife
- Notations or the recipes from your first home cooked meal
- The date and subject of your first fight
- A pay stub from each of you (so you can remember years later how little you made that first year!)
- A photo of your first house or apartment.
- Notations of any changes that occurred during the year such as new jobs, a home, hobby, friends,
- Pop culture facts: what you watched on TV, your favorite movies and recording artists, any current events that were hot topics of discussion during that year
Years later when you reach your tenth, eighteenth, twenty-fifth anniversaries and beyond you can drag it out and take a walk down memory lane.