3 Days to the perfect anniversary - Day 1!

So, you postponed making arrangements because you could not think of the perfect plan and this morning you realised with a bang – there are only three days left before your anniversary. Is it still at all possible to make it special? And where do you start?

Marsha is one of those last minute girls. She can’t perform if her adrenaline isn’t pumping. She is always last to show up at school events, by eight o’clock on a Sunday evening she reminds the kids to do their homework and the fuel light has to burn bright red before she fills up her car.

There is a Marsha in every one of us that sometimes comes to the forefront. Maybe you are a super organized person that likes to be in control but chances are at some point you will postpone something because the creative juices just aren’t flowing. Many of us have ended up in the run-to-the-supermarket-and-buy-a-box-of-chocolates situation as a last effort to show that we didn’t forget. But in reality you know: You could just as well have left it.

So what do you do when your anniversary is in 72 hours?

THE MORNING OF DAY ONE: Planning, planning, planning

Decide on a budget
Firstly, consider your budget. It may be a stretch to take you husband to Paris if you are already creating budget meals by the fifteenth of every month. Do you want to relax at a spa for two days just to walk around stressed because you’ve overspent? If you have established an affordable budget you can set your mind on the type of anniversary you can plan.

Brainstorm ideas
If you and hubby plan together it can make things easier but if you want to surprise him you will have to call in the help of your sister, his sister or best friends. Get a note book and pen and sit in a coffee shop while you write down who and what you are and why your relationship is special. Your list can consist of words like: “spontaneous, turquoise, four-wheel holidays, blue skies, Saturday brunches, etc.” Also pen down romantic ideas even if the idea is preposterous. You can possibly find a cheaper and do-able alternative with the same results. Think of the following:
• What food, places, movies and music is romantic for you?
• What do you and hubby still want to do together? Your bucket list?
• Do you have specific romantic movies that are your favourite?
• Does your husband like it when you wear specific sexy clothes?
• Have you heard of specific places your husband wants to go to?

Make a decision
When you have all the necessary facts and ideas you can have another look at your budget and see what idea will work best within the given (limited) time and budget you have. Circle the romantic ideas that can work and cross out those that aren’t achievable. Keep your husband in mind as well. It doesn’t help if you plan the most romantic anniversary possible (for you) but your spouse does not like it.

THE AFTERNOON OF DAY ONE: Get the wheels rolling!
Now that you have the plan finalized it is time to make arrangements. You can plan your own special, romantic anniversary, but we are going to give you an example in case you truly have no idea what to do. You can tweak it to fit the two of you.

PLAN OF ACTION (and idea):
Hire a local chef/student chef to prepare a romantic meal for you at home with everything your partner likes. After diner it is time for a romantic movie that will remind you of the time you were head over heels in love. Lastly you can dance to the song that you had your first dance to at your wedding.

You can tweak the plan to fit your budget as follows:

You can call the chef at your favourite restaurant and find out if he will serve a five star meal at your house. Be prepared that he might not be available and ask if he can make a recommendation.

Decide on a menu with your chef. If money is not a problem you can plan a five course meal with dishes that include expensive ingredients and just the best wine. If the menu has a specific theme you can get the prettiest cutlery you can afford (including crystal glasses).

Transform your living room into a movie theatre. Find out if you can hire a projector somewhere and you can project the movie onto your wall or a sheet in your living room á la big screen. Get a popcorn machine and hire a waiter to bring you drinks and regularly fill up your popcorn bowl.

Go buy underwear and an outfit that will take hubby’s breath away. A pretty high heeled shoe and all. Make an appointment with your hairdresser as well and ask for a hair-do fit for a black tie event. Ensure that your partner also has something appropriate to wear.

Hire a sound system and singer to give a live performance of the song that is particularly special to you and enjoy a special dance.

Call a local culinary school and find out if they have a final year student that can cook at your house as part of their practical. This should cost you a fraction of what a chef with his own restaurant will.

Decide on a menu. You can keep it cost effective with a light starter, main course and simple dessert. Discuss possible options and get affordable wine to accompany the meal.

If you want to adhere to a specific theme, you can hire cutlery from your local décor hire store. If not, you can make do with what you have at home and transform your dining room into a beautiful romantic setting with a bit of good lighting, creativity and finesse.

For the movie, your own living room with a snuggle blanket, homemade popcorn and drinks will be just as enjoyable an experience. To give it extra flair, buy polystyrene cups, straws and boxes for the popcorn and drinks.

Look in your cupboard for the outfit that makes hubby’s heart beat faster. Does he prefer you in your small red number? Does he prefer your lace underwear?

If you do not have your special song on a CD, buy it on iTunes and borrow a speaker from a friend.

Make sure everything is achievable by considering the following:

1. Call your friends/family and arrange for your kids to sleep over and make sure they have the right date. Tell you partner to not arrange anything – it is your anniversary after all (it’s better to remind him and avoid the possibility that he disappoints you by forgetting).
2. Make arrangements (in this case) with the chef/student and ask him to come to your house and get to know the kitchen. Talk with him beforehand about exactly where you want to eat. The garden might be a good idea but consider the dogs that might cause the chef to lose his footing the moment the food is served. Also keep in mind that it might rain.
3. Ensure that you and the chef are on the same wave length when it comes to the food. Does he know that you are expecting hearty food, or does he think you have more of a French style cuisine in mind? Does he know that your deep fryer takes a while to get started? Do you know that you need to buy all the ingredients and where to buy his favourite brands? Or is he going to do the shopping?
4. Also discuss the program for the evening. You have to begin on time so the chef’s timing works out. If you are hiring a waiter or musician you should also give them a specific time.
5. If you are using a CD, make sure it is not scratched. And ensure the movie you want to watch is available.
6. Make sure the outfit you want to wear fits well – hubby’s as well. There is no use in making him wear a tux he has not worn in years and can hardly move in.