After your wedding, the one date you should never forget going forward is your wedding anniversary. If you have been smart, you will have married on her birthday, or yours, so you have less chance of forgetting.
Every anniversary deserves a gift, though these can change from year to year, with some dates having more significance because of their cultural significance, such as the 25th and 50th anniversaries, but may also have personal significance, such as your first anniversary after becoming parents together or overcoming a particularly challenging year. Here is our guide to anniversary celebrations that you can both enjoy.
The early years
On your first anniversary, you are still very much newlyweds, so a simple gift on your first year could be a simple bouquet. If you are not sure what gifts to give, use the traditional and modern anniversary gifts lists that you can find here. These will give you the symbolic materials for each year from which you can find a perfect gift from jewellery to home décor and much more.
Personalized items are a good option for anniversaries in your early years of marriage. It can be something symbolic like a customized handkerchief embroidered with your combined initials or a travel tumbler with a special engraving.
When it comes to your second anniversary, you are now both under the stress of obligations at work as well as in your marriage. You also have commitments to friends, to following your favourite sports team, to staying in shape, to keeping in contact with parents, raising children and more. These are busy times for you both. Over these early years, anniversary gifts can be something that will make her feel cherished. Gifts that show your love but also your appreciation for who she is and all she does for you and your family.
Your anniversary could be marked by a day away from home whilst friends and family mind your children. You can go for a half-day pampering at a hotel spa with a couple’s massage, a sauna and time relaxing by the pool with some fizz. You could go on a night out to see your favourite band or watch your team play.
By your third anniversary, you both deserve a vacation away from home. Take yourself at least 500 miles away so neither of your feel the pull of home. Take yourself to the beach, to the mountains or somewhere that you both find relaxing.
Set yourself a challenge
Your anniversary is a time to look back to your wedding and the year or years that have passed since then, and particularly the last 12 months. The beauty of doing this together is that you can agree on how to do some things differently in future and what you want to continue taking forward in your marriage.
To keep your relationship from falling into a dull routine, consider your anniversary as a time to consider what new skill you will learn in the next year. This could be something you could learn together such as ballroom dancing, or you could be her supporter for a course she has always wanted to do, from learning anything from French to embroidery or taking a scuba diving course.
When you get to five years of marriage, it is time to celebrate successful cohabitation where you are considerate and loving in your relationship. This is a time for a significant gift such as a new laptop, mountain bike, or season ticket to their favourite team, art gallery or museum.
For your silver (25th) and golden (50th) wedding anniversary plan a holiday of a lifetime to a place that you have always wanted to go. You have both earned and deserve such a gift. You may also want a more formal party to which you invite your original bridal party from groomsmen to bridesmaid. One of the party could be a surprise guest that you fly in, especially for the occasion. This is particularly fun if your wedding reception was not quite what you wanted at the time.