Wedding Anniversaries

With divorce rates skyrocketing these days, a marriage that lasts for an extended period of time is surely something to celebrate. This is where wedding anniversaries come in. But what do you do when it's your friend's wedding anniversary party? What kind of gift do you get them? What do you do for them? What is the etiquette and tradition here? Or, worse yet, what happens when it's your own wedding anniversary and you don't know what to get for your spouse? Don't panic, read on!

Traditional Gifts

Traditional anniversary gifts are great from the first wedding anniversary to the 75th. Each milestone anniversary has a theme attached to it, which can help you get some ideas for your present:

  • The first wedding anniversary theme is "paper," and it may be a good idea to write an anniversary poem or letter on a nice sheet of stationery. This can often mean more to your spouse than a bought gift, and your spouse will be impressed that you remembered the anniversary ahead of time. Perhaps you may be able to discover or craft a few presents regarding the other anniversaries; for example, the second wedding anniversary theme is "cotton."
  • More important anniversaries, such as the fifth anniversary and the 50th wedding anniversary have wood and gold, respectively, as themed presents. Once the 15th anniversary (crystal) is reached, every year's anniversary is no longer celebrated. Now, it's just the simple anniversaries from 20 (china), to 25 (silver), and then 30 (pearl), and every five after that to 75 (diamond) years.
  • If you are approaching the later anniversaries, keep in mind that it is not necessary to give a present following the themes. Since the themes for the anniversaries of that length involve emerald and diamond, it might be wise, in fact, to select something else if you're on a budget. For instance, traditional anniversary flowers exist, and are listed up to the 50th wedding anniversary. At the first wedding anniversary you give pansies; at the fifth you give a daisy and at the 50th a violet is appropriate. Select the present that is affordable, but more importantly, says the most.

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