The first years of marriage can be an amazing journey. It’s a time of mutual excitement and discovery as you embark upon a new life together.
For many newlyweds, nothing is more romantic than celebrating the passage of time as a couple by honoring each year’s wedding anniversary. And while “forgetful spouse” jokes abound, picking out the perfect gift doesn’t have to be stressful. In fact, it can be great fun – if you know where to look.
One way to make each year’s anniversary gift even more meaningful is to observe the symbolic traditional gifts that represent each of the first five years of marriage. Fortunately, in these hectic times there’s no need to run around town, racing from shop to shop, to find the perfect thing. There are a host of wonderful choices available online that perfectly fit the bill – and make finding the right anniversary gifts a snap!
Year One – Paper
Some people love communicating via email, Facebook, Twitter and e-cards, but to others, there is nothing like receiving a handwritten card in the mail.
For a first-year “paper” anniversary, elegant gifts abound in the stationery arena. Crane & Co., “the oldest paper company in America,” makes 100% cotton fiber, “tree-free,” monogrammed note cards, as well as engraved and letterpress business cards.
For those in the arts –architects, artists, or writers – high-quality writing tablets with ultrasmooth pages are a treat. Blick offers Rhodia Orange Notepads, made from sustainably harvested trees, plus Moleskine® journals with oilcloth-bound covers, acid-free pages and elastic-band closures. Add a fancy pen, and make it a set.
Year Two – Cotton
For cotton, organic is the new trend. Coyuchi, a brand of high-end luxury bedding used by 5-star hotels such as the Post Ranch Inn in Big Sur, CA, offers 100% organic cotton blankets made in Germany and a line of women’s pajamas as well as unisex robes, also made from organic cotton.
Although they aren’t organic, Hanro of Switzerland makes luxurious, whisper-thin 100% cotton pajamas, loungewear and undergarments for men and women.
And if your loved one is a gourmet chef (or at least, an aspiring one), there’s always a classic cotton twill kitchen apron from Williams-Sonoma, available in a wide variety of colors.
Year Three – Leather
For a third-anniversary men’s gift, you can’t go wrong with a buttery-soft wallet, travel kit or briefcase from Bosca, a family-run artisan company with Italian roots.
For women, a classic blue box holding a leather keychain, card case or coin purse from Tiffany & Co – available in black or the store’s classic shade of turquoise – is a truly timeless choice.
Or browse through Etsy to find a treasure trove of handmade wallets, personalized key fobs and vintage leather goods, all sourced or crafted by individual vendors.
Year Four – Linen/Silk
Silk and linen by their very nature spell “luxury.” For a fourth anniversary – and a gift that can be enjoyed by men and women alike – pick a soft, padded pure silk throw or comforter by Eileen Fisher, available at garnet hill website.
For something a bit more intimate, men’s boxer shorts are available in a wide range of colors and patterns – from micro-checks to tie-dye, and from size S to XXXL – at royal silkusa website, where you can also find silk ties and pocket squares. For women, a line of retro silk lingerie designed by Dita von Teese is available at barenecessities website.
If linen is your thing, Restoration Hardware offers a selection of fine washed linen bedding, including duvet covers, shams, sheets and even bed skirts.
Year Five – Wood
For year five of your marriage, a large, beautiful wooden salad bowl to grace the dining table is a lovely choice. Crate & Barrel and Pottery Barn usually have a seasonal collection of large wooden bowls. Another gourmet wooden gift option is a fancy wooden carving board. Williams-Sonoma offers one with a monogram, perfect for creating a family tradition at the holidays.
Another fine gift is a wooden jewelry box. Check heartwood website for a selection of handcrafted jewelry boxes and small “secret boxes” featuring marquetry, inlay and laser engraving, all made by hand in the heartland.
After the first five years of marriage, there are also traditional anniversary gifts for every year from six through 20, for every five years through 50, and the golden anniversary. So why not create a beautiful custom and mark the passage of time as a couple – and perhaps as a family – with symbolic gifts?
And remember, for those blessed and steadfast couples that make it to 60 years of marriage, only diamonds will do.