Traditional (and Modern!) Anniversary Gifts

Written by: Sue Fritz | | Marriage

Wedding Anniversary Gift

Buying an anniversary gift can be stressful. What will she like? What does he need? An anniversary gift says something about your relationship, even if you don’t mean it to. You don’t want to be sleeping on the couch on your anniversary after you surprise her with that new vacuum so she can “clean up more quickly.” And it might be embarrassing to spend $10 on a book for your husband, while he drops a grand on some new earrings. Luckily, every anniversary has its own traditional anniversary gift, and we’ve got the inside scoop on what to get for the first five years, from wedding ring insurance to washing machines.

1st Anniversary – The Paper Anniversary

We think the traditional paper anniversary is much better than the ‘modern’ first anniversary gift (clocks? Seriously?) It seems like just yesterday that you were saying “I do,” and in all the hubbub over sending out thank you notes, unwrapping your gifts, and going on that fabulous honeymoon, you may have forgotten to buy wedding ring insurance. Wedding ring insurance can save you some major headaches if your ring gets lost, damaged, or stolen. For your paper anniversary, get that little slip of paper that gives you both peace of mind. Not interested? Well, she’d probably love a new clock, too.

2nd Anniversary – The Cotton Anniversary

Most people taking the traditional route will go with cotton clothes for the second anniversary, but for her gift, we prefer the modern version – china. You may have noticed that your significant other removes her rings to take a shower. Avoid any drainage mishaps by getting her this porcelain china ring holder from Kate Spade. Wrap it in a decorative cotton scarf, and you’ve got both traditional and modern covered.

3rd Anniversary – The Leather Anniversary

You’ve got a lot of options for the third anniversary, with traditional leather or the modern crystal/glass gift. Leather doesn’t just mean jackets and luggage. Leather-bound journals or sketchpads will be much appreciated by the dreamer in your life, and you can get all kinds of leather covers for iPads, Kindles, and other gadgets. If leather’s not your thing, go the modern route with some champagne glasses and of course, the obligatory bottle of bubbly. Cheers!

4th Anniversary – The Fruit or Flowers Anniversary

This is an easy one for the men, because who doesn’t love flowers? Ladies, if you’re sticking to traditional, chocolate-covered strawberries are a delicious choice that you can both enjoy. We like the modern gift, appliances, for this anniversary. Four years into the marriage, you may not have splurged on a new dishwasher, fridge, or washing machine in a while, and this anniversary is a great excuse to upgrade! He might feel a little outdone if he brings you flowers and you get him a new television, so get together on this one, and pick out something you’d both enjoy!

5th Anniversary – The Wood Anniversary

The gifts for the fifth anniversary are kind of a let-down (wood for traditional, silverware for modern), especially considering this is kind of a major milestone! We suggest taking a liberal approach when it comes to this gift – if it contains wood in some way, it counts. Wood doesn’t have to mean rustic, either. There are some gorgeous (and classy) wooden platters, cheese boards, and serving bowls out there (check out this personalized cutting board!) and a picture frame, jewelry box, or wine box is an easy way to go. When it comes to silverware, you don’t have to stick to forks and knives. Get an engraved bottle opener, a fancy cocktail shaker and bar tools, or a silver ice bucket with tongs.

Remember, there are no hard and fast rules when it comes to shopping for an anniversary gift. If you really want to stick with tradition, add a little extra something onto the main gift; for example, a card for the paper anniversary, or a wooden gift tag for your 5th anniversary. As long as you put time and thought into your gift, your significant other will love it.

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