When did you know he was the one? The second I saw him, I’m stubborn that way. And has that feeling faded away? Never. It’s changed, but no, it’s never faded.
We’re definitely different people. At 18, I never could have imagined what the next 2 decades would look like, but as our 20th anniversary creeps closer, I’ve started to realise how important it is to make time for ‘us’.
We’ve forgotten our anniversary far too many times. Let it slip by unnoticed. Just another day. Never really gone in for gifts. Maybe got something special in for dinner, but sometimes not even that.
Not that we take each other for granted, or that we’re completely inconsiderate, but there always seems to be something more important to do. More important to spend the money on.
We still kiss, say I love you, and send a million Messenger messages, but life in general gets in the way and the days just disappear.
So many couples seem to do the same thing. Getting caught up in the here and now.
It’s only recently that I decided we should start to make the time. That it’s actually quite important. It’s only once a year after all!
Every year, our marriage brings with it unique and special memories to treasure and anniversaries are the perfect excuse to remember that.
To remember that we actually still like each other a lot. To remember we’re actually a pretty great team.
Gifts can be difficult, but if you’re struggling to think of something perfect to commemorate the day of your wedding, there is a traditional list with symbols for every year.
So here we go. The symbols for the first ten years of marriage, and a few meaningful gift ideas for each year you spend together.
1st Anniversary: Cotton
For your first year of marriage, it is customary to give cotton. This could be a new item of clothing, or sheets for your bed. However, if you are feeling creative, you could consider sewing a completely original gift for your other half (this definitely is not my forte, but for those of you who can sew, it might be a winner!) For me, I’d stick with bedding and curtains.
2nd Anniversary: Paper
Paper is the traditional gift for your second anniversary, and you can interpret this in a number of creative and thoughtful ways. A notebook or scrapbook is the perfect way to record all your happy memories and experiences together, while a photograph album enables you to keep your treasured pictures together in one place.
If you’re artistically talented, you could draw or paint a picture or portrait to hang up at home, or if you’re not, maybe buy a print to pop up somewhere.
3rd Anniversary: Leather
Leather never goes out of style, so for your third anniversary you could consider buying your partner a jacket, a pair of boots, a wallet, bag, purse or personalised leather keyring. Or, if you prefer something for the home, you could go all out and treat yourselves to a new leather sofa so you can snuggle up together in the evenings?
4th Anniversary: Linen or Silk
Silk, the traditional gift for 4 years of marriage, instantly conjures up romantic imagery. Pyjamas, night clothes or bedsheets offer the ultimate in romantic luxury, while a silk tie or scarf might be a more practical way for your partner to keep your gift close to them during the day.
If you look around, there are some absolutely stunning examples of hand painted silks.
If you want to get really creative and your budget will stretch to it, you could take a tour of the famous Silk Route in Asia, enabling you to spend some precious time together while discovering this fascinating part of the world.
5th Anniversary: Wood
Wooden gifts are a beautiful, traditional way of expressing your love and celebrating five years of marriage. An original wooden sculpture or photograph frame is something which your partner will treasure for a lifetime. There are so many beautiful personalised laser cut and engraved pieces around these days, you’re almost spoiled for choice.
If you’re looking for a more practical gift, invest in a special piece of wooden furniture such as a table where you can enjoy eating together. Or for the ultimate romantic gesture, plant a tree, which will continue to grow as the years pass by.
6th Anniversary: Iron
Iron might not sound particularly romantic, but if you’re creative, you can still provide a romantic gift for your sixth anniversary. Iron doesn’t have to mean cookware; there are now plenty of beautiful iron sculptures and wall clocks which make beautiful presents. You could have an iron scroll or keyring engraved with both your names and the date of your wedding, or give your other half a traditional horseshoe to grant them everlasting good luck.
7th Anniversary: Wool
Alternatively, look out for a super soft oversized throw or bedspread, made from gorgeous chunky, organic merino wool.
8th Anniversary: Bronze
This one is a little more tricky than most. Whilst there are some beautiful bronze ornaments around, or you could go for a bronze bracelet of set of cufflinks, they won’t suit everyone.
So for an eighth wedding anniversary, it might be better to get a little creative and interpret this theme in another way.
Consider splashing out on the holiday somewhere you can top up your tans and get a little bronzed yourselves. It doesn’t actually have to be a tropical island destination, just somewhere you can enjoy plenty of quality time together.
Or if you want to keep things more low key, consider a painting or some word art, written using beautiful bronze paint or calligraphy ink.
9th Anniversary: Pottery
Copper is now hugely popular in interior design, so why not celebrate your seventh year of marriage with a special gift for the home? There are a huge range of attractive copper products available, from standard lamps to intricate wall art, all of which will make your home a beautiful place to live together.
10th Anniversary: Tin
You’ve been married for a decade, and the magic’s still there! The tenth anniversary is traditionally celebrated with tin, which doesn’t sound particularly romantic, but it’s all in the interpretation (no tins of beans please).
One of the sweetest gift ideas for your tenth year is to buy a personalised, engraved tin with a lid, and fill it with different items representing precious memories for each of your ten years together.
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