Thursday, September 1, 2011

A Year of Date Nights Wedding Gift

SPOLIER ALERT: Amanda and Tyler, I know you wanted to make each month a surprise so look no further ; )

Here's a projects I've made before for a bridal shower and am making again for a friend's wedding gift. A Year of Date Nights binder for the couple to be. The concept is that the binder includes twelve envelopes, one for each month of the year starting with the month after they are married. Inside each sealed envelope is an idea for a date night and some props or accessories to go along with it. The couple opens one envelope at the beginning of the month and then picks a day that month to go on their date. When the year is complete, the couple can refill the envelopes with things for next year.

This project is an accumulation of a lot of sources of inspiration and I hope I can give credit to all the right places. If I miss anything, please let me know in the comment line.

I chose a 2" binder from Target with clear pockets on the cover and spine so I could slip pictures and words inside but it's not necessary.

There are two ways to go on this one. You can go the spendy route and fill the envelopes with gift cards, concert tickets, etc. Or go the creative, and easier on your pocket route, and fill it with clever date ideas and fun props from the dollar store.

Here's what I did:

First glue the intro to the inside of the binder cover:

A Year’s Worth of Date Nights

After you begin to settle into married life you will find yourselves getting busy and filling each day with daily activities, but it’s important not to forget to make time for each other.

There are 12 envelopes here (one for each month of you first year of marriage) to give you ideas (and props) for one date night a month for just the two of you.

Simply open one envelope at the beginning of each month and schedule it in to that month.

I hope you enjoy your outings and if your first year goes well, you can reuse these envelopes next year! Fill it with gift cards, props, menus, gift certificates etc. to keep the romance alive and remind yourselves of how lucky you two are to have found each other!


First label each envelope with a month title and three hole punch them. Place them in the binder in order starting with the month after their wedding.

Gather supplies for 12 different date ideas. Write up a quick explanation with title and a list of the item's needed.

Here's my write-ups. Just add clipart.

Then fill each envelope with pros and the instructions. Make sure to sort the activities by weather each month. Most of the supplies, if not all, are from the dollar store. The rest were printed on paper or card stock. Here's a picture of each:

January: The Early Bird Gets The Bookworm

February: Mall Rats

March: A Very Merry Un-Birthday

April: Downtown Julie Brown

May: The Land Down Under

June: Grow Up

July: Vintage Romance

August: Garage Sale Smodge Smale

September: Night Games

October: Live Well, Love Much, LAUGH Often

November: Bowl Me Over

December: Secret Asian Man

And here are the printables and sources for additional props:


Addition: Here's the copy and pasted write-up pages as Google Docs still eludes me:

Mall Rats


Hipster Bingo Cards

Star Stickers

Mall Scavenger Hunt List

Pencil or Pen

A ride to the Mall and back

A Copy of “Mall Rats” (optional)

Not only teenagers can spend an entire day at the Mall doing nothing in particular.

Head on over to the closest or best mall in your area around happy hour for a food court and mall restaurant progressive meal. Each course of the meal must be eaten at a different venue. Try appetizers at the cheese store, a drink at a mall bar, salad in the food court, entre in a mall restaurant and dessert and coffee at a coffee shop.

In between courses, grab a bench for some people watching. Play Hipster Bingo. Decide on the rules in advance (4 corners, 4 in a row, cross, etc.) Use a different color star for each round.

You can also play Mall Scavenger Hunt. No cash required!

Still want something to do after dessert? Head home and watch a copy of “Mall Rats” on DVD while you check out your new pile of free mall goodies.

Night Games


Glow Bracelets

Star Gazing Cards

Picnic basket or bag

Picnic blanket

Assorted cheeses, fruit and chocolates

Blindfold (optional)

A secluded area with a view

How many times in your life have you ever taken a moment to watch a sunset? How about with the one you love?

After dinner, head to the grocery store for an assortment of desserts such as cheeses, chocolates and fruit for a sunset dessert picnic. Pop it all in a picnic basket with a knife and head to a high park with a view.

Lay out the blanket and enjoy your desserts up until sunset. To make it more interesting, take turns being blindfolded and try to guess which items you’re being fed.

Watch the sun set together in silence.

Then put the glow bracelets on and get out the star gazing constellation cards. Lay on your backs and see how many you two can find.

Before leaving, find the brightest star and each of you make a wish: “Star light, star bright, brightest star I see tonight, I wish I may, I wish I might, have the wish I wish tonight. I wish…”

Live Well, Love Much



Sponge Capsule Prescriptions

Glass of Water

Printed Disguise Kit



Laughter is the best medicine.

Start at home with your comedy prescriptions. Watch the sponge capsules develop into little critters. You should each take three and think about places you can hide them for your spouse to find later. I guarantee it will bring a smile to your face.

Then off to the arcade or mall with your disguise kit! Cut out all the pieces and take your photos in the photo booth “Amelie” style. Make two sets. One for you and one to rip up and leave out for other to find.

Then off to the comedy club for jokes and drinks.

Grow Up


Childhood breakfast cerals



Hopscotch Kit with Sidewalk Chalk

Punch Balloons

Flavored Chapstick

Cash for a Slurpee

Hang out like you did as a kid again!

Wake up on Saturday and watch Sat morning cartoons while eating your favorite sugar laden childhood cereal.

Walk or bike to the gas station and buy a 44oz Slurpee or Freeze (2 straws) and head over to a nearby park.

While you’re there be completely childish. Have a bubble gum blowing contest. Learn the rules of hop scotch and play it. Use the chalk to write your initials on a tree or draw portraits of each other. Blow up the punch balloons and see who can do the most punches super fast without messing up.

Find a spot under a tree or behind the bushes and practice kissing with flavored chapstick.

Bowl Me Over


Money for clothes

Permanent Marker

Funny Socks

Bowling Drinking Game Rules & Variations

The couple that bowls together stays together.

First off to the local thrift store to pick out bowling outfits for each other. Look for bowling shirts or button down shirts in fun colors. Without washing it, put them on. Use the marker to write pet name for each other on the backs. Head to the bowling alley.

When you’re there, put on your fancy bowling socks and grab a couple of beers. Make sure to enter your pet names into the computer. Order some bar food and play the first round normally with the drinking game rules.

Then add a variation to make it harder and play again.

At the end of the night use the marker to write in the name area of the front of the shirt either “High Roller” or “Gutter Ball King/Queen”.

A Very Merry Un-Birthday


Large Cupcake or small Cake to share

Candles and lighter

Mini Birthday Gift Bags

$3 each

Tea and a tea service

Let’s get in our birthday suits!

First to the dollar store or dollar spot to shop for each other’s birthday gifts. Rules: can cost no more than $3 and must fit in one of the little gift bags. Be creative! Include items to use together or items that are symbolic of things you have or want to do.

Grab a big cupcake or a small cake to share from the bakery on the way home.

At home. Light the candle and sing happy birthday or Alice and Wonderland’s “A Very Merry Un-Birthday.” song.

Blow out the candle together then exchange gifts. Finish the night by watching Alice in Wonderland while you drink tea and eat cake.

“Change places!”

The Early Bird Gets the Bookworm


Money for coffee and sweets


Glue stick or tape

Pencil or Pen

A Digital Camera or Camera Phone

Bookstore Hunt Cards

Book it, Baby!

One morning, head to a good bookstore.

Using the hunt cards and a camera, take pictures of everything on the list. Take time to explain your finds and share jokes.

Reward yourselves with a coffee and sweet from the coffee shop area.

Then buy each other a book and dedicate it to them with one of the bookplates.

Downtown Julie Brown


Disposable or digital camera

Photo album

Around Town Scavenger Hunt list

Pen or Pencil

Around town or in the city, this scavenger hunt sure is witty!

Take your camera with you and head downtown, uptown or into town for this photo scavenger hunt.

When you’ve completed the list, got to a photo-printing kiosk and print them out.

Head to Subway or another favorite eatery and relive the fun while putting the photos and items in your photo album.

The Land Down Under


Zoo Bingo Card

Pen or Pencil

Trail Mix ingredients

Plastic Ziplocks or Tupperware

“G’Day Mate!”

Start at home making a batch of your favorite trail mix. Chocolate, pretzels, cereal, nuts, etc. Bag it up and head to the Zoo.

Using the bingo card. Try to find as many Australian animals as you can.

When you’re done, head to The Outback Steak House for dinner. Make sure you both order a Fosters (It’s Australian for beer!)

Finish off the night at home watching “Crocodile Dundee”.

Vintage Romance


A roll of pennies

Cash for a horse drawn carriage ride

Victorian Manners Cards.

Follow the old rules of courtship.

First head to the mall for an Old Fashioned Photo. Choose a Victorian style and make a romantic pose.

Then to downtown for a horse drawn carriage ride.

Feeling gentlemanly? Offer the lady a bouquet of roses from the market first.

On your ride, read each other the Victorian manners cards.

Have the carriage drop you off at a fountain and using the roll of pennies, make wishes while taking turns throwing them in.

Afterwards go to a fun store and buy each other a “token of love” trinkets, items of clothing and accessories are popular choices. Explain why you chose that item.

Secret Asian Man


Wok Tok Game

Take Out Box


Chinese or Japanese Take Out Menus

Kung Fu Movie

Everybody Wang Chung Tonight!

Start by picking out a fun Kung Fu Movie like “Crazy Kung Fu” (campy), a Jackie Chan film (funny), “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon” (Dramatic), or “Kill Bill” (violent).

Then order your favorite Asian delivery food.

While you’re waiting for it, cut up the strips of Wok Tok and put them in the take out box. Take turns pulling them out and guessing the answers. Put the ones you can’t get aside and at the end, you can check the answer sheet.

Then curl up with your food and movie.

Garage Sale

Smodge Smale


Garage Sale hunt list

Pen or Pencil

Permanent Marker

List of nearby garage sales

Using Craigslist or the newspaper, make a list of garage sales to visit (times and addresses) on the blank garage sale card.

Hop in the car and start cruising the neighborhood.

Use the hunt list to see how many items you can find.

Who knows, you may find a super find for your little love nest. If you do, make sure to use the permanent marker to mark it “Date Night” and the date.


  1. This is an amazing idea! And great timing for me son is getting married. I am unable to access your write ups for some reason. Could you help? I am not that creative so need your ideas. Thanks for sharing!

  2. Oh my Word!! You are so creative!! I'm going to make one for mt hubby for his birthday in November. I've been racking my brain and couldn't think of anything! I can adapt this for him! Thank you!!!!!

  3. @ Elizabeth Ann. It was my first time using google docs. Try it now. If you're still having trouble, just e-mail me at and I'll send them to you!

  4. Ugh! Still can't figure our Google docs. It says it's public. Anyone have any pointers?

  5. The Document keeps saying it encountered an error for me so I dunno.

  6. Ok, I just copy and pasted it in the blog. Have fun with it!

  7. I am totally and completely in LOVE with this idea! Thank you so much for sharing!

  8. Ok I am new to this, where's the blog that was mentioned? Thanks! I LOVE this idea!!!

  9. Right in the post above. Under the part that reads:


    Addition: Here's the copy and pasted write-up pages as Google Docs still eludes me:"

  10. Very interesting wedding gifts ideas here. I also tried on making a list of my own suggestions. :D Keep up the good writing dear author!

  11. This is what we call sentimental gifts and I really love this idea... Thanks for sharing.

    ~ Lyn

  12. I know about wedding gift ideas by this blog, Thanks for sharing,

  13. I knew this blog post was existed someplace. Thanks to post such articles. Will unquestionably be using it very soon. dating tips for women

  14. Hello, any ideas on doing something like this for a retirement party?

  15. This is great wonderful wedding Gifts ideas.. Great Thanks for sharing..