Let’s be honest. A simple bunch of flowers, a love note, or a surprise dinner here and there for no other reason than love always makes someone feel special. You could argue that you should not need an anniversary to show someone you love them. The cynics amongst us will even go as far as telling us that celebrating wedding anniversaries is just a commercial ruse.
We beg to differ! Wedding anniversaries are the perfect occasion to pause our busy lives and make time to remember a momentous occasion, one of the most important commitments in our life. Make time on your anniversary to look back but also to look at the future with all its possibilities and adventures it holds for you as a couple. An anniversary gift is the perfect way to mark this moment in time and show just how much you care.
We’ve compiled a list of traditional anniversary presents and their modern takes, gift ideas for every budget and lifestyle. We hope you will find inspiration for a present you will enjoy giving, that shows your love, is thoughtful and brings your partner joy.
Presents for any budget
The greatest gift you can give is your love, hands down. With that in mind, a present doesn’t have to cost the earth to make someone’s heart sing. How about you:
- Take a trip down memory lane and cuddle up on the sofa, look at your wedding photos and watch your wedding video together. Bring those wedding day memories back to life: friends and family you celebrated it with, your vows, your feelings on the day.
- Recreate your wedding dinner menu. Organise a romantic meal for two at the original wedding venue.
- Put on your wedding dress.
- Go back to the place where you proposed/ got proposed to.
- Pack a picnic and watch the sunset.
- Create an anniversary tradition.
- Have a relaxing couple massage
- Start a hobby, a new activity together
- Say it with flowers! Check our list of anniversary flowers for a lovely bouquet idea or pick a bunch of wildflowers (season and place permitting of course).
- Handmade presents will always be treasured:
- Make your own personalised mugs. All you need is a couple of mugs, a sharpie pen and a working oven. An easy little DIY project with a personal touch. ()
- Present a ‘date jar’.
- Create a ‘bucket list’ book.
- Gift a photo print of where you’ve met, or a place you travelled to together.
- Write a love letter.
Traditional Wedding Anniversary gifts
Did you know that the origins of anniversary gifts can be traced back to the Roman Empire? In Roman times, husbands used to crown their wives with a silver wreath on their 25th wedding anniversary and a golden one on their 50th.
It was mainly in the 20th century though, that presents have been determined for a larger number of anniversaries. We’ve listed country specific traditions here but noted that a happy mix seems to be used across all, mostly Western, societies. There is certainly no right or wrong when it comes to anniversary gifts, as long as they’re given with love!
We were astounded to find a 90th wedding anniversary in this list and wondered how many couples would reach that amazing milestone. But did you notice the gaps past the 15th wedding anniversary? We believe that commitment to each other and enduring love deserves recognition every year!
So let’s have a look at some of the traditional and modern presents in this list and translate these to personal and thoughtful gifts. The best gifts will always be the ones given with the person’s interests in mind and come from the heart.
Paper might sound a bit boring, even naff, but how about:
- His/her favourite book. Perhaps a novel hot off the press from a favourite author, or an autobiography.
- Movie tickets
- A print of your wedding vows, or places you’ve been to
- A personalised push pin world map of all the places you’ve been to.
- A photo album of your adventures. Digital photos are just not the same!
- Custom print of the night sky that day your heart skipped a beat.
- A custom print of your wedding song
- Personalised stationery
If you’re going for luxury: A limited edition, rare book, a painting, travel tickets for a weekend away or a romantic holiday, tickets to a festival, theatre or concert. Or for the art loving couple, perhaps starting an art collection will become a treasured anniversary tradition.
Jewellery and gemstones
Jewellery is always well received, and you are spoilt for choice here. Just have a look at our anniversary gemstone list, it will stretch across any budget and taste. You might think ‘gifts for her’ when you think of jewellery. But imagine cufflinks, watches, tie clips and bars or signet rings and you’re bound to find something special for him. We also like personalised bracelets, that will turn your handwritten message into a unique and intimate piece of jewellery.
If you’re going for luxury, you could design a piece of custom jewellery with the anniversary gemstone or his/her birthstone. Adding a personal touch by engraving your names, dates, or even part of your wedding song lyrics into your chosen jewellery is a great touch.
For some inconceivable reason, the gift of wine has slipped to the 85th wedding anniversary. That is a very long time to wait for a glass or two of your favourite drop! We feel a favourite label, wine from your wedding year or fist date, your wedding bubbles, will always be appreciated. Why wait that long?
If you’re going for luxury: Wine can be a bit like jewellery in the sense that you can spend as little or as much as you want. Add a thoughtful touch by creating your personal wine labels or whisk away your spouse to a fabulous vineyard for the weekend. Throw in a mouth-watering gift hamper and a set of beautiful, ornate crystal wine glasses for that extra touch.
To understand more about buying the right wine for your anniversary, check out this wine buying guide that goes over some handy tips.
Well, we’ve taken a shine to the 3rd year anniversary gift! Think leather toiletry bag, key ring, wallet, diary, fold over clutch, bracelets, bookmarks or handbags. You are bound to find something that you know your partner will treasure.
If you’re going for luxury: Probably more than the notion of luxury, it’s the personal touch leather allows you to add. Think monogrammed toiletry bag, wallet, or diary. A key ring or bookmark with a special message or date, bracelets with your names. Or how about a beautiful leather reading chair or a cowhide rug by the fireplace?
Flowers should never be given to try and salvage a situation – movie scenes of beheaded flowers and bouquets landing in the rubbish bin come to mind – but always as a sign of affection and appreciation. As mentioned above each year of marriage features a different kind of flower, making for a very warm touch to the beautiful anniversary bouquet. Another incredible option is Dried Flowers. Lasting up to 2 years, you can ensure your incredible anniversary gift stands the test of time.
If you’re going for luxury flowers: There’s the obvious size of the delivered bouquet but perhaps think of artwork relating to the flower theme, a trip visiting famous or exotic gardens or national parks in bloom.
Check out our fresh from market blooms on our website.
Some odd ones
Cotton, wood, wool or holloware do not seem to be the most exciting of anniversary gifts. However, a personalised or monogrammed version will make all the difference. And we’re not talking about the personalised ‘wifey and hubby’ sweaters, but perhaps personalised printed pillowcases, a handwoven merino throw, silver artwork, a wooden carved breakfast tray or wooden artwork.
Musical instruments for the 24th wedding anniversary also seem less than mainstream. Perhaps concert tickets or even an anniversary playlist may appeal to a wider group of people.
There is so much more to being married than the wedding day and your wedding anniversaries. It’s appreciating moments and each other that make a marriage, discussing and working through things and celebrating milestones (such as a wedding anniversary!) small and big. A lasting, happy marriage is no mean feat!
As such, a long-lasting marriage is acknowledged in several countries by the state. In a country belonging to the Commonwealth, you can expect a message from the Queen on your 60th, 65th and 70th, and any subsequent wedding anniversary. In Australia you may get a letter from the Prime Minister on your 50th anniversary, in Canada from the Governor General, and in the USA, you will receive a letter of congratulations from the President on your 50th and all anniversaries thereafter.