Inexpensive Dating Anniversary Ideas

With my and Aaron's four-year dating anniversary coming up on December 15th (!!!!), I've had love on my mind. I've been trying to brainstorm new ideas to show him how much I love him (in addition to his present!). I thought it would be fun to share some of the things we've done for each other in the past because I know I've scoured the internet many times before for inspiration!

For our one year anniversary:

I was madly in love (I still am! but I was definitely in that honeymoon phase) so I went a little crazy. I decided to write out 365 things I love about Aaron on tiny slips of paper. To add that "fun" factor (and because I'm apparently really cruel), I hid each slip of paper throughout his dorm room for him to find. He came back to his room completely surprised. We're still not sure if he found every single one, but he keeps them in a special box to look at from time to time. Three years after that and I'm still amazed that I already had 365 wonderful things to say about him then and I know him so much better now.

Here's the letter I wrote him:

One Year Anniversary: 365 Things I Love About You-Directions
One Year Anniversary: 365 Things I Love About You-Directions

Aaron surprised me with flowers and Michael Buble tickets. It. Was. Awesome.

For our second year anniversary:

Aaron's gift takes the cake for this year! While I got him Pens tickets and wrapped it in several boxes with cute pictures and quotes, he sent me on a scavenger hunt all around campus! He gave me clues to all of our favorite places where we had different memories, such as where we first met, what class we had together, what dorm I lived in my freshman year. My roommate and sister joined me and documented my journey:

Two Year Anniversary Scavenger Hunt
Two Year Anniversary Scavenger Hunt

It was such an exciting walk down memory lane and it was so thoughtful. It was hands-down probably the most romantic thing he has ever done for me and I will never forget it.

For our third year anniversary:

I really wanted to make this anniversary thoughtful and romantic so I broke it up into two things. The first thing I did was similar to his scavenger hunt, but we were already on Christmas break, so I decided to blindfold Aaron and drive him to all of the places at home that hold special memories for us(I made sure to drive in random directions to make him confused first! :P).

When we arrived at each destination, I told him how that place reminded me of him and how it represented each stage of our relationship. For example, I first took him to my high school because that was where we had one of our first dates (I took him to see a jazz band there) and I mentioned how it reminded me of the strong friendship we had before we started dating. The last stop was back at my house to tell him that he reminds me of home and hope for our future; I am home wherever he is and hopefully we'll get to create a home together one day.

The gift portion was inspired by this post via Shannon at Find Joy in the Journey. This brilliant blogger put together a basket of pre-planned, pre-paid dates for her husband, one for each month of the year. Being a college student on the cusp of graduation, I decided to put together six pre-planned/pre-paid dates for Aaron. It was the perfect way to stay connected during student teaching. Every month, we really looked forward to the dates planned and we had a blast. I will post about each of those dates in the future!

Six Months of Preplanned Prepaid Dates
Six Months of Preplanned Prepaid Dates

It has been a whirlwind of memories the past four years, but I really love that we take the time to appreciate one another each anniversary. Some people think we're silly for celebrating dating anniversaries, but I think they are important milestones, too!

What do you do on your anniversary? I would love to hear more ideas. I won't reveal what I'm doing for our four-year anniversary just yet, but I could still take some suggestions ;)

Check out some of these dating ideas websites: