Whether you’ve been together for two years or twenty years, an anniversary is a very special celebration for any couple. However you choose to celebrate, there’s one thing that’s for certain – you need to find the perfect gift for your significant other. If you’re having difficulty thinking of the ideal gift, then don’t worry, as this selection of special anniversary ideas will definitely help. For inspiration, we’ve looked to the traditional wedding anniversary gifts, which have stood the test of time as a measure of what couples should buy each year.
The First Five Years
The first five years of a relationship or marriage are new and fresh, and the traditional gifts linked with these years reflect that. These traditional vary slightly in the UK and the US, but are largely similar. For example, in the UK the first anniversary gift theme is cotton and the second is paper, while in the US this is switched around. Both countries have leather for the third year and wood for the fifth year, but the fourth year differs greatly. In the US it is silk, while in the UK it is fruit!
Turning these themes into gift ideas might seem tricky, but with a little imagination it’s actually very simple. Cotton could be represented by an item of clothing or bed linen, and paper could take many forms, including a book, a love letter, a piece of artwork or even origami. When it comes to leather gifts, you could choose an accessory such as a belt or bag, or go for something bigger, like a piece of furniture. Wood could also take many forms, from furniture and ornaments to hand carved jewellery. Silk is simple enough, but if you want to play on the UK’s fruit theme you could opt for a piece of embroidery, an ornament or even a tree to plant in the garden.
Up to Ten Years
Between five and ten years is where the UK and US traditions begin to diverge quite dramatically, with the US focusing mainly on metals, while the UK brings in a more eclectic mix of materials. In the UK, year six is traditionally sugar, while in the US it is iron. The seventh year is wool in both countries, but the eighth is salt in the UK and bronze in the US. The ninth year is copper in the UK and pottery in the US, and the tenth year is tin – or sometimes aluminium – for both.
Some of these years pose quite the challenge for gift ideas, in particular sugar and salt. Sweet treats and chocolates are an obvious choice for the former, but the latter may require some extra thought. Beauty treatments, such as salt scrubs, are an excellent choice, or you could go a little abstract and take your partner on a seaside holiday. Iron, bronze, copper and tin could easily be translated into a special piece of home decoration, or perhaps some specially made jewellery. Wool is an easy one if your anniversary happens to be in the winter, as you can opt for jumpers, blankets and other warming accessories. You could even learn to knit and make them yourself!
Up to Twenty Years
After the ten year mark, the traditional gift themes begin to peter out, only appearing every few years or so. This leaves more room for imagination, but isn’t very helpful if you’re struggling for gift ideas for your 17th anniversary. There is a traditional gift for the 12th year, which is linen or silk, and the 15th year is marked by crystal. Ideas for crystal gifts include wine glasses, an engraved vase or ornament, and jewellery. Swarovski’s highly popular range of jewellery features expertly cut crystal, set into a range of stunning designs.
The twentieth year is marked by china, a very traditional item that doesn’t leave much room for imagination. There are some china gifts, such as classic teapots and hand painted tableware, which may be exactly what your partner is looking for, but if not then don’t worry. China ornaments, or original pieces of china art, could be more of a personal and original gift to give, and they’ll allow you to find something a little unusual for your significant other.
The 25th Year
The 25th anniversary is the first really big one, and as such is celebrated traditionally with one of the most precious metals: silver. A versatile and beautiful metal, silver can be made into almost any shape, which also means it can be made into almost any gift. Silver jewellery and accessories are good choices, but if you’re looking for something a little different – and maybe more practical – then you might consider investing in silver bullion. Investment is just one of the many ways that silver is used in the global economy, and buying a silver coin or bar for your partner is giving the gift of investment, which they can then build on or sell for profit. Whatever you decide to give for your anniversary, make sure that your choice is unique, personal and extra special.