Knowing where to begin with anniversary gifts can feel overwhelming as there seem to be many guidelines to abide by, yet once you know the rules, it's quite simple. We've got the answers to the most common questions regarding wedding anniversary gifts by year. Plus, you'll find all there is to know about traditional and modern themes, colors, and gemstones for each year.
For a quick scoop, reference our anniversary gift charts below. If you're looking for more details and gift guides for a specific year, check out our anniversaries gift guide page. We are continually working to create links for each year, so check back often for new posts and sign up for our newsletter to always be in the gifting know. .
Where do Traditional Wedding Anniversary Gifts Come From?
Although there isn't much to support this theory, the tradition of celebrating anniversaries with a specific gift in mind is thought to date back to the middle ages. Substantial proof of this historical convention is traced back to the 18th century in Germany, specifically on milestone anniversaries such as 25 and 50-years. It was and still is today a way to commemorate the couple and how far they've come.
Read more about the history of traditional wedding anniversary gifts here.
What Does Each Anniversary Symbolize?
Each anniversary is symbolized by a gift theme representing the endurance that year has brought to the marriage. The marriage progresses as its fortitude strengthens, and the ideas for each year advance upon reflection of that.
What are the Traditional Gifts for Wedding Anniversaries?
Traditional wedding anniversary gifts began as customary items found during that period and paralleled the fragility and modest beginnings of marriage. Starting as simplistic and economical, the gift themes for each year follow suit as the couple grows together, getting stronger and more established in life.
What is the Modern Anniversary Gift List?
Since evidence of anniversary gifts dated back to the 18th century and could possibly have been earlier, it was only natural for the list to be regularized in 1937 to include common life items reflecting modern-day advances, such as appliances. It shouldn't be a surprise if modern themes evolve a second time to include technology as it continues its growth as an influential part of everyday life in the 21st century.
When choosing between traditional and modern gifts, there's no right or wrong way to celebrate. It's about you and your loved one, so choose your preferences. You can do the paper for year one and then opt for appliances in year four or even gift your guy a watch while he gifts you origami cranes. This adds an element of surprise and helps it not feel like a chore.
What are the Anniversary Stones?
Anniversary gemstones or metals are a representation of each year that can be used for gifts. The stone and metals can most commonly be applied to presents in the realm of jewelry.
There are two ways to approach gifting anniversary stones. The first is to gift a new piece of jewelry for each stone. The second is a more romantic keepsake. Start a tradition on the first anniversary by gifting a gold charm bracelet or necklace and adding a charm every year with the appropriate stone. If the year brings a change in the metal, you may want to purchase a separate piece depending on your significant other's taste and if they like to mix metals or not.
For additional jewelry stone advice, click here.
What are the Colors of Anniversaries?
The colors representing each year can serve as the idea for the anniversary gift. They can substitute for traditional or modern themes or serve as an enhancement to them.
For example, take the 1st wedding anniversary gift where the color is gold or yellow. Options that tie in with the traditional and modern gift can include pastel yellow stationary, clocks with gold accents or a yellow gold pocket watch, or a wristwatch. Someone can decide to steer away from clocks and paper altogether and do a theme of yellow or gold with jewelry, yellow-colored flowers, their favorite banana flavored candy, or anything else gold or yellow.
You'll notice on our charts that some of the colors for each year are outside the primary colors. For a reference on the unique color names, search them on Encycolorpedia.
What Do You Do on an Anniversary?
The exchange of wedding anniversary gifts by year is a time-honored tradition that allows for flexibility to celebrate your milestone in a way that's personal to your relationship. It is commonly paired with a romantic evening, including but not limited to dinner at a nice restaurant.
As most people enjoy traveling, a popular way to celebrate is a romantic get-away. Enjoyable get-aways can be a quick weekend trip to a local bed and breakfast or by checking off a place on your travel bucket list.
A romantic and budget-friendly option is to have a DIY at-home spa day. Light a candle, put on relaxation music, trade massages, draw a stress-relief bubble bath, and even enjoy an exfoliating face mask. Depending on the climate you're living in, end the evening by cooking dinner together and sitting poolside with a frozen margarita or cuddling fireside with a glass of wine. Sometimes, there's nothing like a good date night at home to make a perfect celebration.
Any activity can celebrate the occasion, as long as you're together. Try picking something you haven't done in a while or that's been sitting on your bucket list.
Well, that's a wrap on the Ps and Qs for anniversary gifts in years. Whether it's an in-between or a milestone year, a marriage's growth is something to commemorate, and this list is a great way to get started. You can easily cater each year to be flexible to your personalities and relationship, so have fun with them and be creative.
In the comments below, we would love to hear your favorite anniversary theme you've celebrated with your loved one so far and the creativity used in your gifts for each other.
Until next time,
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