Wedding anniversaries offer a great opportunity to celebrate your love, but they can also bring some stress and anxiety. When you spend so much time with someone and you share everything, gift-giving gets complicated. You might tend to overthink things, or focus too much on making the gift absolutely perfect. Throw in the traditional wedding anniversary themes, and it’s no wonder many people start to dread the hype behind anniversary celebrations.
For each year that you’re married, there is an anniversary gift theme. First year is traditionally paper, second-year cotton, etc. The list has been updated for more modern gifts as well, so you can choose the modern themes as opposed to the traditional one.
Part of the reason that anniversaries get so stressful is the Pinterest mentality. You’re given this theme, let’s use the example of paper for year one. There’s this societal pressure, especially for women, to be creative. So giving a thoughtful card or even a handmade poster doesn’t seem like enough. You might think you need to learn origami or build a super complex paper structure commemorating your love.
Then comes the years when maybe the theme doesn’t match your significant other. You want to get something they like, not just something that matches the theme.
The first step to reducing anniversary stress is to talk with your significant other. Talk about whether you want to even exchange gifts, or if you simply want to spend time together. If you go with gifts, discuss whether you want to stick with the traditional or modern themes, or go out on your own for inspiration.
Themed gifts can be fun when you approach them right. Below are some ideas for some of the different years.
1st Year- Paper: Make a shadow box with important papers from your relationship. Wedding programs, cards you’ve gotten each other, etc.
5th Year- Wood: Is your significant other a wine aficionado? Buy a wood wine rack to help them expand their collection. If they love cooking, you can build or stain a wood spice rack. Think about their interests and find something that matches.
9th year- Pottery: This is a great opportunity to take a pottery class together! Learn a life skill, bond with each other, and keep your personally made pottery wares as a memento!
Of course, you can always find jewelry to match your partner’s personal style or that fits the theme. This could be paper bracelets made from third world countries, a wood necklace pendant with your partner’s name engraved, or a string necklace made from wool, dyed your partner’s favorite colors.
The important thing is that you use your anniversary to remind your partner how much you love and appreciate them. If you can communicate that message, the actual gift is secondary.