The Perfect Anniversary Gift

The Perfect Anniversary Gift

When I imagined getting married, many eons ago, I alway thought I’d marry in the fall, more specifically, October. Both sets of grandparents (the 10th and 12th), one set of great-grandparents (the 6th), and even my parents (the 19th) married in October. I would continue the family tradition. However, when it came down to it, I married my husband, Chris, in the summer. It seemed best considering I was moving from Florida to Illinois to marry Chris.

Selecting a date to marry was made easy by the priest. He let us know that only two dates were still available on the church calendar. We needed to decide, would it be July 4 or August 15? After much contemplation (and a bit of impatience to marry), we opted for an Independence Day wedding.

I worried that the holiday would take away from our day, but in the end, I’m glad we married each other on a national holiday. While the holiday does not guarantee my husband will have the day off work (until he gets an administrative position with the National Weather Service, that is), it does mean Chris will never forget our anniversary. It also means we get the perfect anniversary gift every year, fireworks. In fact, our girls are convinced that people shoot off fireworks to celebrate our wedding anniversary. 


This year we observed our seventh anniversary by spending the day with our girls. Then, we drove to a local empty firehouse (a story for another time) at the top of the hill and watched fireworks being shot off from at least four different communities at once. It was amazing! (Well, until we took our three over-tired girls home, one kicking and screaming the whole way.) 

Of course, Chris and I gave each other presents. While I try hard to stay with the traditional anniversary gift, my husband sees no issue going free-form. (I’m especially appreciative this year because he gave me a gift certificate for a massage.) It’s a perfect mix for us. Besides, some years it’s just hard to go with a traditional gift, much less the new “modern” anniversary gifts. I’ve managed, for the most part, from giving an engraved wrist watch on our first anniversary to copper-finished wind chimes this year.

After realizing all the hoops I’ve gone through to come up with creative gifts for a wedding anniversary, I thought I would share a few ideas for others looking for the perfect anniversary gift for the first ten years of marriage. You can thank me later.

1st Anniversary (Traditional: Paper, Modern: Clocks)

Engraved clock or wrist watch, Anniversary clock, grandfather clock, love letter, framed picture, stationary, gift certificate, picture album of your first year of marriage, scrapbook on your relationship, poster, journal, books (or gift card to a bookstore)

2nd Anniversary (Traditional: Cotton, Modern: China)

Favorite collectible, clothes (any or for favorite sports teams), gift card to a favorite clothing store, new bedding, personalized pillow cases, canvas photo, cross-stitched gift, personalized afghan, quilt, monogrammed towels, china set, new dish set, personalized collectible plate

3rd Anniversary (Traditional: Leather, Modern: Crystal/Glass)

Favorite crystal/glass collectible, crystal glasses, crystal bell, steak dinner*, wallet, purse, briefcase, leather-bound journal, autographed ball (baseball, football, basketball), gloves, new furniture, new car with leather seats, cow-hide rug

4th Anniversary (Traditional: Fruit/Flowers, Modern: Appliances)

Fruit tree, flower seeds, fruit or flower of the month club, ice cream maker*, KitchenAid stand mixer, food processor, painting/picture of flowers or fruit, potpourri, wine, wine tasting, trip to a winery, fresh-baked pie, trip to pick fruit, pasta maker, juicer, espresso machine

5th Anniversary (Traditional: Wood, Modern: Silverware)

Valet*, jewelry box, wood-framed photo, new cutlery or real silver, whiskey barrel, wine cask, coasters, personalized cutting board, plaque, rocking chairs, other furniture, ring box, cedar chest, barbecue tools, tree, game set

6th Anniversary (Traditional: Candy/Iron, Modern: Wood)

Trip to Hershey, Pennsylvania, visit the M&M store, candy gift pack*, personalized M&Ms, chocolate body paint, weather vane, wrought iron bed, cast iron cookware, decorations for your garden, house numbers, fireplace tool set, barbecue grill, bells, house plaque, personalized branding iron, lucky horseshoe (Look above for wood ideas)

7th Anniversary (Traditional: Wool/Copper, Modern: Desk Sets)

Desk set, wool sweater, wool socks, trip to Ireland to buy an original Irish wool sweater, wool blanket, sheep (only if you are a farmer, probably), hat, scarf, sheepskin coat, gloves, copper jewelry, wind chimes*, seven pennies from each year of marriage, copper pots and pans, mug, decorative bowl, weather vane, personalized key chains, statue, cufflinks, vase

8th Anniversary (Traditional: Pottery/Bronze, Modern: Linens/Lace)

New sheet set, bedding, canvas photo print, table linens, table cloth, sexy lingerie, vase, pottery class, paint your own pottery night together, money clip, bronze statue, bookends, new dishes made from pottery, matching mugs, cookware, shopping spree at Pottery Barn, jewelry

9th Anniversary (Traditional: Willow/Pottery, Modern: Leather)

Patio furniture, baskets, serve breakfast in bed on a willow/rattan tray, plant a willow tree together (Look above for Pottery and Leather ideas)

10th Anniversary (Traditional: Tin/Aluminum, Modern: Diamond)

Your partner’s favorite six-pack, brewery tour, tin of popcorn, bicycles, custom-made sign, grill, grilling tools, aluminum kitchen gadgets, vase, champagne in a champagne bucket, engraved pens, jewelry, autographed baseball, tour of your favorite baseball stadium, baseball game, diamond jewelry

*These are gifts I gave my husband or we gave each other on these anniversaries.

What creative gifts have you given over the years for an anniversary gift? Do you have a favorite gift that you were given?



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