Step by Step Process for Creating a Romantic and Memorable Wedding Anniversary

As today marks the eighth wedding anniversary of my wife and me, I thought it would be appropriate to write a post about what I planned for our fifth anniversary a few years ago. Of course, like birthdays and mother days, anniversaries are a crucial time for a husband to do something “special” and often there’s a lot of pressure to do so.

We didn’t really do anything special for our eighth anniversary except that I bought her a dozen roses and we went out for lunch and watched a movie together in the evening. As I said that wasn’t too special. It was nice. However, if a husband planned that for his and his wife’s first, fifth, or ten anniversary then I could say that she might not find that all to romantic. A dinner and a movie is something more appropriate for a birthday or even an ordinary anniversary.

For our fifth wedding anniversary, I organized a candlelight dinner with background instrumental music in a hotel suite.

So here is a step by step breakdown of what I did:

  1. I booked a room at a fairly inexpensive but elegant all suites hotel.
  2. The price for one of these rooms was around the same price as an average Sheraton or Hilton hotel room in the same vicinity. If I recall, I paid about $212 for the room. Keep in mind, that the room is not the most important part of the experience so even if your budget won’t allow for a room at that rate then by all means find a cheaper rate. However, make sure not to settle for something tacky. If your anniversary falls out on a weekend then make sure to book the room well in advance.

  3. Arranged for my in-laws to baby sit for the night of the anniversary. This is a step that I often overlook when planning an outing with my wife. You really need to make sure that their schedule works for you otherwise; you might have to make your anniversary plans on a different evening.

  4. I ordered a take out of an assorted platter of sushi. We both really like sushi and it’s not as expensive but still as elegant as fancier meals. This way I could present a nice dinner without having to make it.

  5. I went to the local grocery store and bought a nice packaged container of sliced fruit for dessert and bottled water (my wife loves water).

  6. I went to the local pharmacy and purchased three floating candles. Then when I got home, I looked for a nice sized bowl that would hold the candles. Make sure the candles fit in the bowl after its filled with water.
  7. While at the pharmacy, I bought my wife a nice “chick lit” (chick literature – romantic comedy novels i.e. shopoholic series, “Something Blue”). If your wife isn’t in to novels then buy her favorite magazine.

  8. When I got home, I collected the following and placed it neatly and carefully in a bag:
    • 2 cloth placemats
      2 cloth napkins and napkin rings
      2 sets of cutlery
      2 sets of dishes
      2 glasses
      1 glass bowl for the candles if you haven’t packed it yet

    My wife hates alcohol so I left out the champagne and/or wine as well as the glasses. Also, if you are reserving a suite then chances are you wont need all of these items, as they should be included with the room.

  9. I went through our CD collection and found an instrumental (without words) music CD that had a great collection of slow and beautiful songs. You could find instrumental CDs at your local music store. We even have an instrumental CD of Disney songs. I know that doesn’t sound too romantic but believe me it is. The music on the Disney instrumental CD is great for slow dancing. See for yourself. Scroll down on this Amazon page to sample the 14 instrumental songs on the CD. I actually used a different CD but you get the idea.

  10. Grab a portable stereo from the house just in case the hotel doesn’t have one when you arrive. I called and confirmed with the hotel that there would be a CD player in the room. If I recall correctly, as it turned out, the CD player in the room did not work and I had to call the front desk to bring one up.


I kept everything quiet from my wife and told her to pack for the night. All the items that I had purchased the days before were neatly packed in the trunk of the car. We drove to the hotel, parked the car, and proceeded to the hotel check-in desk. After getting our key card for the room, I told my wife to take a seat in the lobby and handed her the “chick lit” novel for her to read while I prepared the room.

I ran to the car, loaded up the dolly, and headed for the room. The room was perfect. It had everything I needed, except for a working CD player (this is when I called the front desk), to make this evening work. As I waited for the CD player to arrive, I laid out the placemats, dishes, napkins, glasses, and cutlery. I filled up the glass bowl halfway with water, placed the floating candles in the water, and lit them. I placed the food on the counter so as not to interrupt the elegant look of the table all dressed up. When the CD player finally arrived, I inserted the instrumental CD and turned it on. Just before leaving to get my wife, I looked over the room to make sure everything was right. The table was set, the candles were lit, and the music was playing softly. The perfect atmosphere was created.

From the moment my wife entered the suite she was in a state of romantic bliss. All I can say is the evening was a great success.

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7 thoughts on “Step by Step Process for Creating a Romantic and Memorable Wedding Anniversary

  • June 13, 2007 at 4:17 pm

    keep us posted!

  • June 14, 2007 at 4:46 am

    Yeah me too. Except I dont think I will be able to pay out as much as you did. but it definitely generated some great ideas. Even if I only use half of you steps I think I’ll be doing more than expected.

  • June 14, 2007 at 12:32 pm

    So what was the total cost for the evening? Seems a lot for most people. Still good points though.

  • June 14, 2007 at 2:52 pm

    Hi Bill, BJ.

    Yes the evening was a bit expensive. I thought about updating the post with alternatives and so on. Maybe I still will. Well I had more money then and I was able to pull it off but if we had our fifth this year then it would have been much cheaper.

    Remember, you dont need to do too much to impress your wife. Instead of going to an all suite hotel, go to a local HoJo or something and bring a small table and chairs. One could create such an evening for under $200. Its the whole planning and setup that impresses them. Not the actual room and location.

  • October 10, 2007 at 5:40 am

    Hi Eric,

    I am so enjoying reading your website. I’ve emailed your links to a couple of friends.

    If I may add another tip- if your partner’s B’day happen to fall on a holiday. Surprise her to a romantic picnic in a park. Hide the picnic hamper at the car boot+a mat to sit on, take her to a park/ lake/ you get the jizt…It worked for me and it was so memorable…

  • October 10, 2007 at 3:27 pm

    Hi Dian,

    thanks for the compliment. I appreciate it.

    You know I’ve always wanted to do a picnic. It something that I’ve been pushing off for years now. We even got a picnic basket as a wedding gift but we never used it.


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