They say that to make something a tradition you have to do it three times in a row, at least that’s what Matt, and his side of the family, has always said. Therefore, we thought it only fitting to share a few of our treasured traditions that we have been doing on our wedding anniversaries since it is our 3rd, or Leather as we like to call it, anniversary, making it official since it’s our 3rd time doing each of these special things together.
1. Anniversary Weekend Getaway – Each year we have been fortunate enough to be able to get away from the hecticness of life to relax the weekend before our anniversary, just the two of us. The past two years we retreated to the solitude of The Smoky Mountains in a little cabin, called Mountain Berry, right outside on Gatlinburg, TN. We love that special hide away spot of ours, and have a lot of great memories from the past two years we have visited, but this year we thought we’d shake things up a bit and do something a little different! We definitely plan of going back to Mountain Berry in years to come but we also want to use this time to go on new, exciting adventures together. This tradition isn’t so much about where we go, as it is about us being together, intentionally spending time, making memories and celebrating another year of marriage just the two of us.
2.Spend our entire wedding anniversary day together – One of the things we said that we would always do, no matter what, is spend our entire wedding anniversary day together, from start to finish. So far, we have been able to keep this promise. Even if the date falls in the middle of the week, for us it is important enough that we will take one of our personal days off from work to enjoy each others company all day long. There’s just something about spending that entire day together, that day your family was founded, just reminiscing, dreaming and planning for the future year together that is so sacred. In a lot of ways it’s almost become like a personal holiday in our family. A day to remember. A day to renew. A day to cherish all that God has given us and what He has brought us through.
3.Anniversary Journal – This tradition technically began on our honeymoon when Matt had the great idea of recording what we did each day on video, since we had got a video camera as a wedding present from two of our amazing friends and groomsmen, as well as in our journal! Since then it has been one of the things we look forward to doing on our wedding anniversary together each year. We sit down with a couple glasses of champagne, read through the past entries, talk about how much has changed and how we have grown. Then we discuss what God taught us this year through our marriage, how we matured and what were some of our most cherished memories throughout the past year. We also write about how we spent our anniversary, glue a picture from that specific time next to it and end each years entry by penning a new set of vows that we renew to our God and each other each year, on top of all the vows we have made in the past.
4.Gifts that go along with the traditional anniversary gift theme- Each year we give each other gifts for our anniversary, but I have decided to stick with past familiar tradition and give Matt a gift that includes the traditional wedding anniversary gift element in some way shape or form. Add to this criteria that I want to give him something sentimental and meaningful for each anniversary and this gift giving becomes quite the challenge! It is a fun, quirky way that we celebrate our anniversary.
5. Call anniversary year by the traditional gift that goes along with it – Like wise, we also have nicknamed each anniversary by the traditional gift that goes along with it. So the 1 year anniversary becomes The Paper Anniversary, 2 years is called The Cotton Anniversary and our 3 year marriage mark we have fondly been calling our Leather Anniversary. We find it a unique way to bring an new, fresh term of endearment to our special milestone together. It’s almost like talking in a special code language that only your partner in crime and best friend can understand. 🙂
6.Wearing white – Because I wore white on my wedding day, wearing white for our wedding anniversaries is just a little something that I have done through out the years passed. It serves as a reminder that each year, each month, each day is fresh and new. And that just as I have been forgiven, made pure, I should also continue to forgive, and be pure of heart toward my husband, our marriage and family. To temper our words so they will be as soft as the hue is towards each other , but also to let our love, in actions toward one another, be as bright and blinding as the color can be as well. Continually giving and receiving grace, day in and day out. Finding peace and solitude together in the midst of storms. Continually renewing our choice to choose each other, to love each other, to trust each other, to support, encourage, stand by each other, and to forgive each other, whole heartedly, seeing one another as the brand new, washed as white as snow, person that God is shaping each of us to be… and to love and appreciate that person with the purest of intentions.
7.Photo holding up the amount of fingers it is in years for our anniversary – This started as something fun to do when our friend Ashley took some photos of us for our one year, paper, anniversary back at the church where we were married. It was such a cute idea and we thought it would be really sweet if we did it every year and one day make a photo album out of the collective pictures to show how our family has grown as the years have passed. Plus, we think it will be really cool to look through the pictures, year by year, as they accumulate and we grow old together.
8. Photo of us holding a photo of the previous anniversary- We have to confess, this one was a Pinterest idea, but it was too cool to pass up! Each year, starting with our first anniversary, we hold a picture from the year before, but not just any picture. We specifically hold the picture that we took the year before. So in theory as the years pass by there is the years in pictures inside of each other all culminating in that specific years photo. Obviously, you can’t really make them all out, but it’s kind of cool to know it’s there.
9. Anniversary Blog post- Each year we have wrote a little post on our blog about our anniversary to keep all our family and friends who live near and far in the loop of our everyday lives. For obvious reasons this tradition never happens on our anniversary because as much as we love sharing our lives with our friends and family we enjoy experiencing and savoring those precious moments together even more. The blog will always be there for us to keep in touch with everyone another day, but our wedding anniversary only comes once a year, and that specific anniversary milestone only comes once ever! So we would rather soak it all in together and cherish every last second of it making memories with each other instead of taking away precious time to write about what we did, because in reality we are still in the midst of doing. 🙂
10. Renew our vows together – This tradition is without a doubt the most sacred. Each year, on top of the vows we made on our wedding day and the ones we have then said since, we write a new set of vows for the upcoming year. Then, we renew our promises to each other and our God, just the two of us. It serves as such a great reminder that the choices we make to love, support and serve each other must constantly be refreshed on a daily basis. That we must continue to always be pursuing growth in our relationship with each other and our God, constantly looking for new ways to nurture our marriage so it wont grow stale.
Our hope in sharing these treasured traditions of ours is to inspire others to create traditions of their own, to make milestones even more meaningful.We would love to hear how you celebrate special moments in your family! So please feel free to post some of your families treasured traditions in the comment section below!! Remember to always cherish each day that you are given with the one you love, especially the day God united you as a family, blending your lives into one.
Much Love & Prayer,
Matt & Blair