Every time we go to Vegas, we get married again. It started on our honeymoon, just because we had been upgraded to a convertible rental car and spotted a drive-through chapel. We have now done it 9 times with various themes. My favorite was "white trash." The vows were priceless.
I wish I had a better name for it. It's cheesy, predictable, and explanatory all at the same time.
We were on our honeymoon at a resort and struck up a conversation with an older couple in a hot tub. Typical old people passing their knowledge onto the youngsters type of conversation. IIRC, he was on his third marriage and she was on her fourth, but they had been together for 8+ years by then and were simply on vacation at a couples resort.
"They're not wrong when they say the secret to marriage is keeping it fresh and interesting. But most people take that too far and end up cheating and ruining it all... You really just gotta keep the mundane stuff fresh."
And that's when they explained their dating plans. Every month, on the same day as your wedding day (i.e. every 8th, no matter what day of the week) you go on a date to a restaurant neither of you have ever been to before. And that's not a, "Well we've never been to the Waffle House down on Grand," it means you need to try an original place neither of you have ever experienced, anywhere. Pretty simple, but man is it effective!
On a tight budget? You now have 12 scheduled dates a year no one can argue about.
Go out all the time? You now ensure you won't get in a "rut" of the same places.
New restaurant in town? Built in excuse to visit it.
The longer it goes on the more you want to make sure the streak continues. And if you live in the same place it also increases your comfort area as you're forced to go farther and farther to find a unique restaurant. A slight adjustment that we added recently is the 5-2-1 rule (thanks Reddit) to choose places, where I choose 5 spots, she chooses 2 of them she'd be happy with, and then I make the final choice of where we're actually going. It's not always necessary but it's useful if either of us goes on a picky streak.
But the true beauty is that, no matter what, we still get to have adventures together. That's what marriage is all about.
When my wife and I got married, we asked everyone to write notes to us and put them in envelopes numbered by table. Our tradition is to open one of those envelopes each year on our anniversary based on the table number. This year was our 7th anniversary, so we opened envelope 7.
It's something we look forward to each year. We don't remember who sat where, except for table 14 because those friends wrote all over the front. Sometimes people made a prediction of the future, sometimes it's about what's happening at the wedding, sometimes it is disappointing and bland. Either way, it's our fun thing that I recommend to everyone who is getting married.
We have a nightly, pre-bed snuggle time. We have different sleep schedules, so every night after I get ready for bed he gets in bed with me and we talk, sass each other, joke, and just have a check in. Then I roll over and go to sleep and he goes back out into the living room to do whatever he wants without keeping me awake. Usually lasts about 30 minutes. I hate when we are apart because it is honestly the best part of my day. It's how we keep connected when the rest of our lives can be crazy.
This started when our kids were young, like about 5 and under, and there was no peace or privacy inside the house.
For Valentine's Day we'd put on our winter gear, go out in the back yard and lay in the snow, and share a bottle of champagne. I think we even managed to do it one year when the temperature hit -40. Added bonus: occasional northern light shows.
Our first Christmas living together we went out and got a tree, lights, ornaments and all that good stuff. We get the tree all decorated and that's when we realized we didn't get a star or angel to put on top. I grab one of my hats and put it on top. We do this every year now. It's been a different hat every year for six years.
When my husband and I started dating we were both flat broke. I forget what it was but we had some small victory and decided to celebrate. We grabbed a bottle of Boone's Farm wine. Now whenever we have something to celebrate, new job, a pay raise, we grab a bottle and have a private party. It helps us remember how far we've come.
Our first year being married, Halloween of 1987, trick-or-treaters came to the door. We were completely unprepared. My wife opened the door to apologize for having no candy. I ran to the kitchen and grabbed the first thing I saw.
It's our tradition now that the first trick or treater every year gets a potato.
When I was pregnant with our first child, my husband was organizing baby clothes and it was after midnight. It was quiet and we were excitedly anticipating the birth of our first child. He kissed me and I said "I love this time with you!"...meaning the quiet "us" time that would soon be a rarity. He smirked and cocked his head and said "what? 12:53?! So do I!! Ever since that night when either of us notice that the clock has turned to 12:53, we say "Happy 12:53!" And then we make out for a few minutes. If we are not together, we text it to each other. After 24 years together it has now become a thrill to try and be the first one to say it.
My wife and I started taking a picture every year on our anniversary. We started this tradition when we were dating/engaged. Each year we take a picture holding last years picture. This one is the latest of us celebrating 1 year of marriage.
Link to pic: https://i.imgur.com/RIqhRzb.jpg
Edit: since this is getting a lot more attention than I anticipated I was wondering if anyone has the Photoshop skills to assist with a small color change to some of the images in this picture. PM if you think you can help :)
Birthday o'clocks. When the time on the clock reads the date of your birthday, that's your birthday o'clock (so my birthday is 25 December and my birthday oclock is 12:25). My husband and I always used to try to catch each other's birthday o'clock and send a text or photo.
He died in November and I happen to look at the clock at his birthday o'clock almost every day. Always makes me lose my shit, but it was such a weird and funny tradition that it makes me smile a little bit too.
November 1 is Cupcake Day. A few months after we started dating, we had broken up. The day after Halloween, I convinced him to let me come over and talk. I brought leftover Halloween cupcakes and we ended up talking for hours and getting back together. Every November 1 since then, we've eaten cupcakes together. This year will be our 9th Cupcake Day.
My husband and I have very different decor preferences about Christmas and after a couple of years of unhappy compromising, we decided to take turns being in charge of decorating every other year. Last year I had a very tasteful tree that I thought could go in a kitschy boutique store display that my husband said was boring as shit.
I'm pretty sure we're gonna have a Batman tree this year.
Edit: Gold!? Real gold! PTLort!
20 years married here. We have lots of silly traditions but the one we both cherish is every Sat pm before bed I sing to her and we dance in the kitchen with the lights off. Ive learned in my years those moments mean the most. Corny, i know but we dont have tons but we will always have that.
First date was on a whim to a local restaurant where she wore sweats and I wore a t-shirt (edit: and jeans). We ordered an unhealthy meal of appetizers (like buffalo wings, loaded cheese fries, nachos, quesadillas) and milk shakes. Every New Years Eve we celebrate by making similar appetizers, but now the kids are into it and each person gets to pick one appetizer they'd like made and we all make them together and pig out before watching some other earlier time zone's new years celebration and get to bed by 10pm.
Every Christmas we gift each other the most god awful ugly Christmas ornament we can find. We've been doing it for about 3 years and our tree just gets crazier every year.
His mother said we are "desecrating the spirit of the Christmas tree." So that's also a plus.
Many years ago, we did our standard Thanksgiving with extended family on Thursday.
The next day, we were talking about how we wanted the food again, since most of the leftovers were at the hosts house.
So we went to the grocery store, saw that all the Thanksgiving foods were now on sale to get rid of them, bought everything we needed, and prepared a fresh Thanksgiving dinner that Friday.
That was about 10 years ago. We still celebrate Second Thanksgiving every year, only now it's also with our kids.
My wife and I (married for 17 years) never stopped keeping track of the anniversary of our first date. It has become a competition to see who will remember it first each year and has sometimes resulted in one of us waking up the other at midnight to say "Happy dating anniversary" to win for the year.
We often work opposing shifts. Without fail, whenever we miss each other coming from or going to work, we'll have left one another a little note on the kitchen island. Doesn't always say much, just a reminder we're thinking of each other.
Every Valentines Day we buy a new Lego set, stay in, and build our Legos while eating really good homemade pasta.
At one point my husband and I purchased some frozen salmon filet that we never got around to using and they sat languishing in the back of freezer for...a long time.
When we eventually found them they were long past expired but we found we didn't really have the heart to throw them away; they'd been with us for so long they sort of felt like family. We put them back in the freezer and declared them the Salmon of Good Fortune, and decided that as long as they remained under our roof our household would prosper.
Thus began the tradition of our household Salmon Gods.
Not married anymore, but my ex wife and I started something when our boy was around 1 or 2. . Every night, no matter what, at 7 pm technology goes off and we played games with our son. He's 7 now, but I still do it every night, and so does she and his step father. He loves it.
We've been together almost 15 years, and anytime we do something together new or out of the ordinary, we make a point to say "I love you" and tie it to what we're doing. So when we went to see our first Broadway show together, it was "I love you at The Lion King!", when we went to Walt Disney World, it was "I love you at Disney!", when we got married, it was "I love you on our wedding day!" Sometimes, if we feel really sappy, it might even be "I love you at the grocery store!" or "I love you at Wendy's!" or whatever. When we wrote our marriage vows, we added a section that said we promised to love each other at all times and in all places. "I love you at _____!" is our way of calling attention to the fact that we're adventuring through life together, and to stop whatever we're doing once in a while, take it all in, and honor our marriage vows.
You can call hugs and the other person has to hug you, no matter what. Even if you're angry with them, you have to hug, and you get over it real quick,
The hug caller has to make the most effort though. She cant be in the kitchen, call hugs, and expect me to come downstairs for it.
And no, it's not a sex thing. I make waffles every Sunday morning for the last 10-ish years.
"I vermin you too."
At some point while we were dating, my wife drew a heart on something for me. Normally she's capable of drawing basic shapes, but for some reason this was *awful*—to the point that it looked like some sort of insect. We both laughed at it, and I off-handedly replied "I vermin you too, dear."
You know those little jokes that make both people laugh uncontrollably, but baffle anyone who hears them later? This became one of them. I get her a cookie cake with "I Vermin You Too" on it each year for our anniversary, and it delights us both to no end (while baffling the bakery staff.) It's great.
I'm not married any more, but when I was every year I would give my husband a personalized Christmas ornament with our names, the year, and themed after something significant to us. Some times they were just a hobby we shared, or some times a milestone from the year (first year married, first home together, etc.). I would give them to him in his stocking on Christmas eve and then we'd put it on the tree for Christmas morning. The plan was that when we were old we could decorate the whole tree with them and remember all the years together.
On our wedding night, we flipped a coin to see who would plan our secret anniversary get away first, usually 4 nights away. It is a total secret and only gets told the night before or the morning of, depending on if flights are needed. We have a set budget and alternate each year. It is such a great thing knowing your anniversary is coming up, whether you plan it or are getting the surprise. I personally love planning it the most, sure it is nice to be surprised but I love seeing her face when she finds out where we are going and then each day while away is just more surprises of the activities planned.
Every second Friday my spouse has off of work (he works 9 out of every 10 weekdays). We get up, take the kid to school, go out to a wonderful breakfast at our favorite breakfast place, go over the upcoming business and projects of the house for the next 2 weeks at the restaurant (a mini scrum meeting if you're familiar), and then we go home and have lots of kinky and sometimes experimental sex. Finally a really good nap, and then we pick up the kid and take her for a bubble tea (her favorite).
Everything about those Fridays has kept our marriage really close and free of any resentment or ennui.
The shower game. Originally it was one of us would sneak in on the other when they were in the shower and douse them with cold water.
Several years ago we put in the Moen Iodigital shower with yets int he front and back, a hand shower, and a regular forward facing shower head. Each can be individually operated. The new game is to aim the handheld massager so that when one of us turns on the shower, the rest of the jets are off and the handheld shoots me or her in the face with water going every where. There are strict rules. Once one of us does it, it is the other persons turn. You can wait days, months or years until the other person is lulled into forgetting. Usually the perpetrator is in bed laughing their ass off.
I guess that qualifies as a tradition
My wife is a doctor so she works late. Often, especially during the winter, she will come home after dark. She street parks her car, and our street isn't very well lit (quiet dead end). If I hear the beep of her car lock, I'll run to the window, where I keep a D Cell MagLite, and shine a "spotlight" on the sidewalk to light her way as she walks in. She will sometimes run around trying to "escape" the light. It's fun :-)