10 Romantic But Affordable Ways To Celebrate Your First Anniversary, Because It's Special

by Christy Piña

Every anniversary is special, but there's something really special about the first one. When you and bae reach that first-year mark, whether it be a wedding anniversary or the day you two made your relationship ~official~, it's nice to have a little celebration! You made it through 365 days together! But, if you want to plan something special for your boo, and you're a little tight on cash, trying to figure out affordable ways to celebrate your first anniversary can be tricky. The good news is, it doesn't have to be. All you need is a little creativity.

You don't have to burn a hole in your pocket to celebrate your first anniversary, even if you want to make it super special. There are so many ways to celebrate from home or more affordably than a five-course meal at a fancy restaurant. You can do something as simple as recreate your first date, get a cup of coffee, or go for a drink. The possibilities are endless! So, if you can't do fancy at the moment, or that's just not your scene to begin with, here are nine ways you can celebrate your first anniversary that are incredibly sweet and definitely affordable.

Make a home-cooked meal together

Depending on how fancy you want to make this dinner, it may get a tad pricey, but definitely not to the extent of going out to a super expensive restaurant. Pick your favorite ingredients together, light some candles, bring out the nice plates, throw in some roses, and voila! You have a nice dinner at home that's even more special because you worked on it together, and you didn't have to pay a fortune for it.

Pro tip: If you and your partner are celebrating your first wedding anniversary, you may even want to recreate the meal you had on your wedding night.

Go camping

If you and bae are all about adventure and getting out there, going camping can be a great way to celebrate your first anniversary. All you really need is a tent, a sleeping bag, fire wood, and some food. If you don't live near a campground, fret not. You can camp out in your backyard, or even in your living room! Building a fort is, in fact, an adult activity.


If, on the other hand, you like nature but not enough to spend 24 hours in it, picnicking is the way to go. You can pick a spot near you that overlooks the city, or sits cozily in the middle of a local park, and dine on your favorite things. Again, this can also be done in a backyard or in a living room, if there's no accessible outdoor space near you.

Write each other love letters

Long gone are the days when writing love letters was the go-to way to proclaim your love for someone, but it's such a sweet way to do it, so I now declare I am bringing it back! If you can't figure out what to do for your partner on your one-year anniversary, consider writing them a love letter. And if you want to get really creative, you can even write multiple little letters, put them in balloons, blow up the balloons, and make your partner pop them to get the letters.

Go exploring

If you want to do something a little different to celebrate your one-year mark, be a tourist in your own city for the day. Visit all the cool local spots that people come to see that you may take for granted since you see them every day. Or, if you feel like you've seen your city enough, go one town over, and explore what they have to offer. It can be like your own little staycation.

Plan a scavenger hunt

This affordable way to celebrate your anniversary can kind of piggyback on the previous one. By hiding little clues throughout your city, you and your boo can see different parts that you don't really get to see very often. Not to mention, watching bae trying to figure out all your clues can be so fun!

Make your own paint-and-sip class

Paint-and-sip classes are fun, but they can get a little pricey. So, instead of paying for one of the classes, consider making your own. Find a tutorial for a painting online, or totally freehand something you and your partner like (maybe even each other), grab a bottle of wine or two, and there you have it: your own at-home paint-and-sip class.

Relive your first date

Maybe you and your partner went to dinner and a movie for your first date, or maybe you went a less traditional route, like a cooking class or an ice skating date. Either way, reliving your first date can be a sweet way to celebrate the love that's formed between you two, 52 weeks later. It's like an ode to the past, to the beginning, and a toast to where you are now. You made it!

Bake an anniversary cake together

Having a full-blown cake may not be exactly typical on a first anniversary, but hey, why not? You and bae can buy all the ingredients together, buy a heart-shaped mold (if you want to go all out), and bake it together. If you want to make it extra ~fun~, bake it naked.

So, if you want to do something special for your partner on your first anniversary, but you can't go all out financially, any of these nine things can be just as fun, if not even more fun. Remember: It's the thought that counts! Spending time with your partner is what matters most. Anything you do will be special, as long as you're together.