Last month was our 12th wedding anniversary and I was totally lost.
I mean, what on earth do you buy your partner when you have been together so long?
It wants to be something meaningful and thoughtful, whilst being practical and not too expensive.
It’s really hard to find something to tick all the boxes. That has inspired me to create this great list of anniversary gift ideas for your next occasion.
Did you know each year that you have been married has been defined long ago with a certain traditional theme?
This is a great place to start for ideas. I am going to go through the list of the classic anniversary gifts and help you to connect with the right things.
1st Anniversary – Paper
Stationary, notebooks, books, paper flowers or origami gives a lovely personal touch. For this one I gave my husband a personalised photo book of our fun times together which culminated in our wedding day. It was beautiful!
2nd Anniversary – Cotton
This can be a lovely pair of pyjamas, or a new set of 1500TC sheets.
3rd Anniversary – Leather
Have some fun with this one! By year 3, you should still be in the honeymoon phase. Spice up your bedroom with a leather whip or leather underwear!
4th Anniversary – Fruit/Flowers
This should be an easy one…. Try a bunch of flowers, or a beautiful house plant. Combine the two themes and plant a fruit tree in your backyard together. We planted a passionfruit vine and a pawpaw tree which continue to give us delicious fruit. As sweet as our love.
5th Anniversary – Wood
Maybe you could make an occasional table, or buy a new piece of furniture together. For anniversary gifts, I really like the idea of identifying a thing your need in your house, and then shopping for it together.
6th Anniversary -Candy/Iron
Candy is pretty cool. I always loved that candy jewellery that kids have a birthday parties. It’s a cool little novelty, and should be nice and cheap and fits into the candy theme nicely. You could look at this a different way and take your partner to the circus for cotton candy! Ironman would be a fun twist on the iron component. Or perhaps some cast iron cookware. Lasts a lifetime!
7th Anniversary -Wool/Copper
This could mean a woolen scarf, or gloves. It would have even more meaning if you knitted it yourself!
8th Anniversary -Pottery/Bronze
Head down to your local flea market to find a nice set of pottery mugs. Or, get creative and make your own! Most towns and cities will have a local pottery club or school where you could get all Patrick Swayze with the pottery wheel. Sign up for some classes with your partner and enjoy it together.
9th Anniversary -Willow
I think this one is referring Willow China which is that beautiful blue filigree designs on a dinner set. After 9 years of being married, it really is time to get yourself a decent dinner set. Enough of all those mismatched plates and bowls that you have accumulated over the years. Throw all those ones out and go Willow!
10th Anniversary -Tin/Aluminum
Now this is a tricky one. Take your partner camping and eat some tinned food, and share some beer from an aluminium can. It could be fabulously romantic.
11th Anniversary -Steel
This would be a great opportunity to get an awesome stainless steel cutlery set, or a set of great kitchen knives.
12th Anniversary -Silk/Linen
This is the one that we just had. For our 12th anniversary we chose a slate grey Linen bedspread for our bed. We had recently made a wallpaper feature wall behind our bed, all dark red with huge white flowers on it. The only problem was it totally clashed with all of our existing bedding! A nice silk nightgown or dressing gown could be another great idea for your 12th.
13th Anniversary -Lace
Underwear, underwear underwear! Probably best for her, but really a nice lingerie set benefits both parties!
14th Anniversary -Animals*
A puppy? A fish is lower maintenance. A book about animals is lower maintenance still. We haven’t got any pets yet. 3 kids is enough so far…. Maybe for our 14th wedding anniversary!
15th Anniversary -Crystal
This is where it starts to get interesting and you can really begin to get some items of value! I looooove crystal decanter sets. Only 3 more years until I can have one!
20th Anniversary -China
Remember that dinner set you bought for your 9th anniversary? Depending how gentle you (or your kids) are with the washing up, it may be time for a new one!
25th Anniversary -Silver
Time for a new chain, not for your ball and chain, but some lovely sterling silver jewellery for both partners. How about a matching pair!
30th Anniversary -Pearl
Pearls are so beautiful. How about a trip to the pearl farms of remote Broome in Western Australia? After 30 years of marriage, I am certain you deserve an overseas holiday together. The kids will have left home by now. There are so many opportunities there to purchase natural cultured pearls direct from the farmers after first learning all about how they are made.
35th Anniversary -Coral
After the 15th anniversary, you only get gifts every 5 years, so you better make them count! This one could be a trip to Australia’s Great Barrier Reef!
40th Anniversary -Ruby
I remember my Dad giving Mum a beautiful pair of Ruby earrings when they reached 40 years. Just gorgeous!
45th Anniversary -Sapphire
Some matching sapphire earrings for the 45th? Or go and visit some gem fields an mine your own stones. Quite an experience!
50th Anniversary -Gold
There’s only one thing to buy for your partner if you make it to 50 years of wedded bliss and that is gold.
60th Anniversary -Diamond
By the time you make it to this amazing milestone, you will be in your 80s or 90s. Imagine being married for 60 years! As I look at my husband now, and try to picture what we will be like in another 48years or so, I feel so much love, but also a sadness as I think of our mortality.
Sadly, so many couples never make it to their 60th wedding anniversary together. But if you do, I hope you remember this list and give each other diamonds. Diamonds are a girl’s best friend after all. It’s a damn shame I will have to wait so long though!