Modern Wedding Anniversary Ideas: Years 1-5

There is a long list of traditional gifts when you reach a milestone in your marriage. The problem is… very few of them are inspiring.

It’s easy enough to start off strong. On your first wedding anniversary, in UK tradition, you exchange cotton gifts. So, you buy your husband a nice shirt or something along those lines. Tick, you can do that.

Second anniversary is a bit trickier; paper. Fun fact: in the USA, the first two years are the other way around, which could make a transatlantic marriage more than a little bit confusing! But still, in the UK, paper is something you can do something with. Maybe a nice notepad, or a subscription to their favourite newspaper.

After that, it all goes a bit downhill. The next few years are a mix of the dull – tin, copper, wool – to the outright mundane, such as salt and fruit. “Happy anniversary honey! I got you an apple!” – it just doesn’t have much panache to it, really.

The good stuff comes a lot later. You’ll have to make it to at least your 50th for some stunning gold jewellery; while it’s your 60th wedding anniversary that will herald the entrance of diamond eternity rings into your life. That’s a long time, especially if you got married later in life. You could just abandon the tradition altogether – plenty of couples do! – but here are a few ideas to make the first five years a little more exciting if you do decide to stick with the traditional ways.

First Wedding Anniversary: Cotton

Aside from clothing – which is tough enough to buy for your significant other at the best of times – here are a few cotton-inspired items to consider:

  • New bed linen, for those perfect cosy nights at home.
  • Many tents are made from cotton, so a camping break could be fun.

Second Wedding Anniversary: Paper

You could try:

  • An airline ticket could be considered to be made of paper, so you could take a weekend away to celebrate.
  • Gift vouchers might seem like an easy gift, but they are the perfect way of giving someone something they really want.

Third Wedding Anniversary: Leather

  • Belts, shoes, bags – all of these make nice gifts for a third wedding anniversary.
  • Wallets and phone cases are also great leather items with a modern twist.

Fourth Wedding Anniversary: Fruit

Fruit is pretty dull by ways of a gift, but you could consider…

  • A trip to a wine-producing country like the USA or South Africa for a wine tour. Grapes, of course, are fruit!
  • If you’re not one for wine, then a trip to any of the highest fruit-producing countries could be seen as still very much tying in with your theme!

Fifth Wedding Anniversary: Wood

  • How about a weekend at a forest retreat, sleeping in a log cabin? There’s plenty of woodland adventures you can have if you put your mind to it!
  • If you’d rather give gifts that you can wrap, then furniture, key rings, and kitchen accessories can be a quaint touch, especially if you like the rural look.

With a first five years like this, you’ll be on your way to the hallowed years of pearls, rubies, and diamonds before you know it. Do you bother with the traditional gifts? I’d love to hear your thoughts!