Anniversary gifts to delight!
No one knows precisely when wedding anniversaries were first celebrated, but it’s believed to go right back to the Middle Ages when a husband ceremoniously crowned his wife with a silver wreath to mark the 25th anniversary of their wedding day.
Popularised by the Victorians, the reasons why various materials were selected for each year remains a bit of a mystery, but it is believed that increasingly durable and expensive gifts were chosen to represent the strengthening and investment into the marriage in successive years.
Admittedly, some of the themes might seem a little odd. Few would leap for joy to receive a ream of paper or a cotton reel! But, with a bit of creative thinking, actually it’s easy to put a modern day twist on these Victorian ideas.
Read on and you’ll enjoy learning about the meaning behind the traditional themes, as well as providing some inspiration for some wonderfully thoughtful anniversary presents.
1st – Paper
Meaning “The first year of marriage is said to be like a clean sheet of paper – a whole new beginning. It is fragile and easily torn, not yet truly tested by what life might bring”
No – we’re not talking about poaching some A4 from the printer! Grab a pen and a quiet moment and write a romantic letter straight from the heart.
Alternatively, share your love with the world and take out an ad in the local newspaper. For the more practical, take out a subscription to a magazine you know they’ll love or get some stationery or labels personalised with their initials. Another great idea is tickets to, well, anything you know they’ll love; a sports game, show, concert or even weekend get-way…. Go on.. spoil em!
2nd – Cotton
Meaning “Like interwoven fibers of cotton, the second year of marriage brings couples closer together as their lives become increasingly intertwined”.
A personalised T-Shirt, bag, bath robe or hoodie to keep them warm and cosy will guarantee to delight. Alternatively search out a handmade quilt or pillow they can snuggle up to for years to come. For a bigger splurge, thread a charm on a cotton reel and leave a trail to your surprise.
3rd – Leather
Meaning Leather is durable and resilient, yet flexible and warm – qualities that help marriages continue to thrive.
A blank journal, photo album or diary with a leather cover is a great gift. A more extravagant gesture of course would be that leather jacket/bag/shoes or boots you know they have been coveting for ages! Alternatively, queue up a bit of Dolly on the stereo and plan a western themed evening listening to country love songs… what a great excuse!
4th – Fruit & Flowers
Meaning Fruit and flowers are the traditional 4th anniversary gift to show how much your relationship has blossomed.
For the girls, this is an easy one! As with any occasion, flowers are the perfect ‘in the moment’ gesture. Go the extra mile and re-create the bridal bouquet or use the bridal main colour theme or chosen flower as your inspiration.
Remember, it doesn’t have to be actual flowers; anything with a floral print on it (we’re talking scarves, cushions, if you’re feeling really brave – an outfit) will be much treasured too (and will last a bit longer!)
For the guys, well you can be very sure anything from Apple would be much appreciated! Less budget-busting would be to arrange for bubbly to be added to a fruit and flower basket delivered to the office – even better if you are standing by to whisk him off for a romantic lunchtime picnic.
5th – Wood
Meaning Wood represents strength and a solidified, long-lasting relationship
If you’ve got some outside space, there’s nothing more romantic then planting a tree together. Alternatively, fill a wooden trough with flowers or give a wooden bird house for years of pleasure. Another nice idea is to get a wooden photo frame or board engraved with something meaningful. A wooden coaster or jigsaw puzzle personalised with a special photo will also be much appreciated.
I hope you’ve been inspired to create a truly magical anniversary celebration.
Let us know if you have any other gift ideas or would like to comment on this article.