Traditional Wedding Anniversary Gift Ideas: Part One

Groomsmen Gifts

Photo by Nora Devai Photography

Now I am not really one for tradition, but I am one for themes, and since my husband and I tend to buy whatever we need when we need it, we find ourselves stuck sometimes when it comes to Christmas and birthdays. We always want to outdo each other, but we have everything we want. So, we decided that for each of our wedding anniversaries, we would give each other one of the traditional wedding anniversary gifts (not the super commercial expensive versions) that actually dates back to ancient Roman times.

If this sounds like something you want to do for your honey, or you are just super stuck on gift ideas, why not go with one of these ideas? This is my next three part series (you can see my 3 part A-Z wedding guide here as well) so stay tuned for the neat 15 years of your life!


Photo from Bunches and Bits

First year: Paper

The first year is all about paper, so do what we decided to do and buy each other a nice book. It could be their favourite book, one they might like to read, a cooking book, anything! You could also get them a book of coupons (such as one free kiss, one free home cooked meal, etc) or get them actual purchased voucher, like an experience to go bungee-jumping, or to take a class. If you are feeling really dedicated, you could go old school and make them some paper crane origami and present it to them by hanging them from the ceiling of their house, or putting them in a glass terrarium.

Second year: Cotton

Get your loved one a handmade t-shirt that you have screen printed yourself, or an article of cotton clothing that has their favourite movie/band/hobby on it. You could get them some wonderfully soft pyjamas or a terry cloth bathrobe, or get his and hers matching beach towels and head to the beach!

Third year: Leather

Look, you could get naughty here and go for a more Fifty Shades of Grey kind of vibe to spice things up in the bedroom (it has been three years after all!) but for something a little more wholesome you can splurge for a leather bound book, a braided leather bracelet, a handbag, a leather jacket, leather luggage tags or even a gift card to a shoe store.

Grape Basket

Photo by nmmacedo

Fourth year: Fruit or Flowers

This one won’t break the bank, but has the potential to be super cute and romantic. The obvious idea is to get her flowers and roses, but for a little bit more, why don’t you re-create the bridal bouquet?  You could enjoy chocolate dipped strawberries together, or fill a basket full of your favourite fruits, as well as cheese and wine and go on a picnic. Cute!

Fifth year: Wood

A great thing to do is to go hiking on their anniversary, to take in the lavish woods and forests around your home. You could plant a tree to watch it grow over the years just like your love, get a birdhouse that you can build together, or even go old school and get some wooden Jenga blocks to have a fun stackable game to play together, all cozied up next to a roaring fireplace.

Love Candy

Photo by Brent Moore

Sixth year: Candy

This is going to be my favourite year! Buy each other your favourite candy or use gummy candies to spell out romantic messages to each other. Give your sweetheart a candy themed gift like cupcake accessories, or if you want to be really pricey, take them on a trip to New Zealand to visit the Cadbury factory 🙂

Seventh year: Wool

I would probably not suggest buying your loved one a sheep for this anniversary (unless they really want one!) but you could instead buy them a beautiful woollen sweater, a throw rug or blanket, or even some wonderful Ugg Boots! For those with the talent, you could also knit them a scarf or a trinket – something from the heart to keep you warm for winter! Adorable!

Eighth year: Pottery

Present your loved one with a plant like a lily in a beautiful terracotta pot for this years anniversary so that you can watch it grow together! If you’re a little wacky (like we are) buy a gnome couple to sit out the front of your house (or you can paint your own!) or a garden sculpture. You could even take pottery lessens and make your own gifts for each other! If you have the money to spend and your looking to go a bit crazy, go to the Harry Potter theme park (It counts!).


Photo from the Hellbound Witch

Ninth year: Wicker

This year is all about the natural elements such as wicker or willow. Buy you’re loved one a wicker basket hamper full of their favourite things, or treat them to a romantic picnic all wrapped up in a wicker picnic basket. If you’re loved one is a little bit more on the witchy side, you can get them some Wicca inspired magic like tarot cards and scented candles. Think outside of the box…um, basket!

Tenth year: Tin

Pop on a DVD, snuggle up with your significant other and watch Dorothy and the Tin Man skip down the yellow brick road to the land of Oz!  Another cute idea is to get matching old-school aluminium lunch boxes, and bake them a tin box full of their favourite cookies and treats.

Eleventh year: Steel

Pop an expensive bottle of bubbly and treat your partner to a gourmet lobster dinner, donning your champagne or sparkling wine in a steel ice bucket next to the lobsters. This might also be the right time to buy yourselves that Kitchenaid appliances you have been eyeing or recreate a sexy version of the Flashdance (she worked at a steel mill, remember?)

Twelfth year: Silk

Another year where the option can be totally sexy. Buy yourself some silky things for the bedroom like silk sex toys, 100% silk sheets and sexy silk underwear for the both of you. However, if you’re not in the mood to get a little bit slippery, you can also opt for the safe version of getting your loved one a silk scarf or a silk tie.


Photo by Niinac

Thirteenth year: Lace

Something about the number 13 just sounds like it is at odds with you, so spoil your loved one on your thirteenth year with some lace or other textiles in the form of things wrapped in doilies, clothing with a sheer lace layer over the top, and buy them a cheeky pair of Converses in their favourite colours and get contrasting laces, just to keep it interesting.

Fourteenth year: Animals

What a fun year this could be! Besides the obvious of purchasing a pet of your own (just make sure you are both agreement before getting a pet – we don’t want any leftover Christmas puppies here!) you can tie a love note to your dog’s collar, or give them a stuffed animal with some jewellery attached. You can donate to a wildlife organisation or give the gift of an adoption network (you can “adopt” orang-utans, dolphins, tigers, anything!) in your significant other’s name, or you can simply take a visit to your local zoo or wildlife park for a date.

Fifteenth year: Crystal

15 years in and you are looking mighty fine! For the ladies you can present a single rose in a crystal vase, or perhaps gift some nice crystal vessels or flatware for the home. To get a bit fancy, you could replace a boring light fixture in your home with a crystal chandelier, or you can toast to each other with some bubbly from crystal glasses.

So there you have it – gift ideas for those loved up couples reaching their fifteenth year of marriedom. Remember, it’s all about communication and honesty to keep the spark alive – and some of these little presents will definitely help! Stay tuned for the second part of this three part gift series as we count the traditional anniversary gifts for those celebrating from their fifteenth year right up to their thirtieth!

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