Modern Vs. Traditional Anniversary Gifts


There is something comforting about traditions and when it comes to weddings all those traditional gifts symbolise an accomplishment and that is one of the reasons why they are so popular. However, when the year comes and you are told you have to buy a gift made out of fruit, for example, you can feel a little restricted in your romantic gesture. This is why these traditional yearly gifts have slowly changed over the years and in some cases are being replaced by modern alternatives when it comes to wedding anniversary presents. We have compiled a helpful little list of the first 5 yearly gifts, comparing the traditional with the modern and hopefully inspiring your gift-buying experience.

1 Year) For that special 1 year anniversary the traditional gift is paper.  Nice ideas for paper gifts include paintings, a newspaper from the wedding day or origami collections. These are lovely ideas but don’t quite speak of romance unless you put some real thought into them. The modern alternative is clocks, which is also an unusual gift idea. However, twist the theme a little and a beautiful engraved watch is the perfect 1 year anniversary gift. It all depends whether you want to be a little creative or opt for the always well-received watch.

2 Years) The traditional cotton gift for the 2 year wedding anniversary can often leave people looking confused and stuck for ideas as to what they can buy that would be suitable. Although the thought of buying a cotton gift may seem unusual, many people choose linen bedding sets, tea towels or even 100% cotton shirts or dresses. Nowadays people are twisting the tradition by choosing hammocks or similar unusual gifts. The modern gift idea is china. This could involve an antique tea set, or modern crockery.

3 Years) Three years into the marriage and the gifts start to get even more surprising. The traditional option is leather, so you can really let your imagination take control with this. Popular options range from luggage and handbags to seating and desk chairs. Then there are the more modern options of leather clothing, wallets or shoes. Naturally this option is not suitable for all people due to the controversial nature of leather, but for another option crystal is the modern choice. This could be anything from mirrors to jewellery or even crystal flowers.

4 Years) The 4th wedding anniversary gift is designed to represent the blossoming relationship and although it seems unusual it can be adapted in numerous ways. The tradition of giving fruit or flowers is a simple one, but for more adventurous gifts think outside the box and consider floral jewellery, or even a trip to Amsterdam to see the blossoming tulips. Alternatively, the modern version is appliances. This is much more practical and less imaginative, but also extremely useful, as long as it is something that the couple, or your partner truly needs rather than what is on offer in the shop.

5 Years) Finally, the 5th year traditional gift is wood. On first impressions it can seem an unimaginative option, but many people get a little adventurous with this option, commissioning wooden sculptures or buying engraved wooden photo frames. Alternatively the modern version is silverware. Similarly you could choose an engraved silver frame, cufflinks or jewellery to add that personalised touch.

When you first look into buying gifts for anniversaries it can seem difficult to find something that conforms with the traditions and is also romantic and appropriate, but remember these traditions are a guide, not an obligation. Wood, china and fruit can seem daunting, but use it as inspiration and you will easily find something ideal for your loved one.


This post was written by Elizabeth A. Wright. She loves nothing more than thinking up new and creative gift ideas to make her loved ones feel special and is keen to show that the tradition of gift-giving is still alive. She writes on behalf of Personalised Pressies.