Anniversary Gifts By Year: Traditional vs. Modern Wedding Anniversary Gifts

Every year, as our wedding anniversary approaches, we always check to find what the anniversary gift timetables show as being the traditional and modern anniversary gifts for each year. We celebrated our 7th wedding anniversary on January 25, 2010 and according to the tables and charts, the traditional gift idea is wool or copper.

The modern anniversary gift for a seventh anniversary is desk sets. Hmm, seems as though the traditional anniversary gifts would be somewhat more romantic. The idea of giving or getting a desk set as an alternative anniversary gift didn’t appeal to either one of us.

Coming up with a gift idea for my husband made of wool or copper didn’t take much time at all, especially since we were busy planning a vacation to Chicago in the winter months, where having a wool coat would come in quite handy. Fortunately, finding him a wool coat at Men’s Wearhouse in the right size and color wasn’t very hard, even though many of the local stores are already transforming their stock in preparation for spring and summer.

Just for fun, we also decided to buy copper cups that we will have specially engraved with our names and wedding/anniversary date, along with a special romantic inscription or poem of our choosing. As much as we enjoy the look and smell of flowers, we decided to skip buying Freesia flowers, which is the traditional flower for a seventh anniversary.

We enjoyed a wonderful anniversary dinner at a popular swanky restaurant, thanks in part to the
restaurant gift certificate we were given as a gift that covered most of our meal at the extravagant, expensive restaurant that specializes in juicy, delectable steaks and side dishes. It’s not typical for us to spend a lot of money on gifts for each other or eating out, especially since we both had to buy new smartphones recently, so having the gift card to offset most of the dinner costs was a welcome relief.

Traditional Anniversary Gifts vs. Modern Anniversary Gifts

We really liked the idea of getting the cups made of copper and having them engraved, because it’s so easy to forget each of the anniversary gifts we’ve given each other over the years. The traditional anniversary gift for the first anniversary in the U.S. is paper, while the modern gift is clocks, but if we were living in the U.K the gift of choice would be cotton products.

A clock? Really? Why not a new coffee pot since the gift ideas are so unromantic? Oh wait, appliances are for the fourth anniversary, so we must have managed to get through that anniversary without buying small appliances. Whew. Thankfully, the anniversary gift tables seem to show that the upcoming years bring about better and more romantic anniversary gifts.

We still have a couple more years to go before our tenth anniversary, but the traditional gift for that year is tin or aluminum gifts, while the modern gift idea is diamond jewelry. My husband has talked about “upgrading” my wedding ring at some point, but since I’m a very low maintenance-type woman who loves her current wedding ring, perhaps the diamond jewelry will be something like small, inexpensive diamond earrings or a bracelet.

Heaven only knows what gifts we gave each other on our first, second or third anniversary, and I don’t think I could remember any of the gifts we gave each other in the years since, no matter how hard I tried. I suppose that is why the engraved copper gift will be remembered for many years to come, and is now placed where we both can see it everyday.

One of our favorite stores to buy anniversary gifts that can be engraved with unique and special messages is Things Remembered. Anytime we’re hanging out at the mall, we always enjoy looking at the many gift ideas on display there, and it gives us both some good ideas for other special occasions, birthdays and holidays.

When the time comes when we are nearing our 20th, 25th and 30th wedding anniversaries, that’s when the traditional and modern anniversary gifts includes fine jewels like jade, coral, ruby, diamonds, pearl and similar precious stones. Those anniversaries will be special and fun too, and since I typically only wear my wedding ring and no other rings, necklaces, bracelets or watches, what we decide to do for gifts those years will make for some interesting conversation.

I’m interested in finding out what years we can legitimately gift each other electronic gadgets and techie gifts for our anniversary since we both are gadget freaks. If there isn’t an anniversary gift timetable that allows for gadgets as a traditional or modern anniversary gift, I put my vote in to have the timetables changed.

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5 Responses to “Anniversary Gifts By Year: Traditional vs. Modern Wedding Anniversary Gifts”

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  1. I don’t know. I think I like the more traditional type of gifts. I’ve only been married about 13 years now and the modern gifts are too impersonal to me. They can really be given anytime of the year.

    • Lin says:

      There are quite a few of the traditional anniversary gifts that we both like, but we also find that many of the modern gifts seem to be more in line with our preferences and likes.

  2. Janet says:

    Hey Lin,

    Your post came just in time for me 🙂

    My boyfriend lives abroad and this anniversary I want to send across something real special for him. On his b’day last month I had bought a shirt and parceled it across. But I was considering something that could be delivered straight there…

    Btw.. I liked the idea of engraved cups 🙂

    • Lin says:

      Hi Janet,

      We looked at quite a few things that can be engraved with a special inscription and dates before deciding on the cups. The copper cups are really cute and his wool coat looks great on him! There are lots of sites online where you can choose something special, have it engraved through the site and have it shipped directly to your special man. Have fun!

  3. Alentina says:

    I’ve just married about 25 years and we will have an anniversary with our relatives and the best friends. I want that everybody remember this party. And our gifts to each other are very important. For my husband I’ve bought a new Smartphone. It helps him in his business. But for me I chose a special set of the jewelers. I think women understand me it will be the best present 😉