Anniversary Gifts by the Numbers
What to buy for Anniversary Gifts
You’ve said your “I Do’s” and celebrated your love, now making it together through at least one year of wedded bliss. Hitting those milestones can be incredibly exciting, but how to do you select gifts year after year that represent how you feel about each other? If you’re much of a history buff, you might realize that there is actually a long-standing formulaic equation to picking out anniversary gifts based on how long you have been together. Dating back to the Middle Ages, following this pattern is supposed to give couples good luck, while also representing their deepening commitment to each other and investment in their relationship as the value of the gifts increases each year.
Year One: Paper
Traditionally, the gift for your first wedding anniversary should somehow involve paper. Great ideas include personalized stationary or a fancy journal for the writer in your life. I, of course, am also partial to the idea of gifting each other photographs for this anniversary. You could either set up a new photo shoot, or revisit some of your favorite images from your wedding day and finally order that album you may have put off ordering. Modern lists actually proclaim clocks are the new gift for the first year, but I still feel as though paper is far more symbolic.
Year Five: Wood
Once you hit your first year, traditional lists suggest you present each other with gifts made of wood. Think custom made jewelry boxes or a hand carved wooden sign you could display outside your house. I also love the idea of a nice wine rack, and if you have kids – they might get excited about you all planting a tree together in the backyard. The modern lists will tell you that this anniversary year has changed to silverware, but again; I think you could come up with some far more creative ideas sticking to the traditional wood theme.
Year Ten: Tin/Aluminum
For the tenth year, the traditional wedding gift suggestion is something made of tin or aluminum. I love the idea of old antique signs for this year, or intricate pieces of artwork sculpted out of these materials. Modern lists will tell you the shift has been made towards diamond jewelry for this year though, and as much of a traditionalist as I am – my guess is that most brides wouldn’t mind going modern in this case.
Year Fifteen: Crystal
Crystal is the traditional suggestion for the fifteenth year, with watches being the modern recommendation. Crystal ideas might include new stemware for your wine enjoyment, or replacing the overhead lighting in your dining room with a crystal chandelier. I also personally kind of like the idea of going modern for this year, with his and her watches that you each can wear with pride and love.
Year Twenty-Five: Silver
By year twenty-five, the traditional and modern lists catch up to each other – each suggesting silver is the gift of choice. Silver jewelry is always an option, but there are other possibilities as well. Why not get together for a family photo shoot, and then present the resulting photos to the world in gorgeous silver frames? Or jet off together to Silverstrand Beach in Ireland if you really want to try something new!
Year Fifty: Gold
By the time you reach your fiftieth wedding anniversary, you have finally earned yourselves some gold. Gold jewelry is an obvious go-to for this year, but don’t feel limited to just that. Consider renewing your vows on this, your golden anniversary, inviting friends and family to celebrate your love. Present each other with love notes written in gold ink, and present your guests with chocolates wrapped in golden ribbon.