Ahhh summer. The season of sun, sand and one million weddings. The majority of people I know were married during these sunny summer months, myself and my parents included. But what do you get for people who are already partaking in wedded bliss? They have each other, what more could they want? Save yourself the stress of trying to figure out a wedding anniversary gift for your spouse or a cherished couple that you know. Here are a few unique wedding anniversary gifts that they don’t already own (and weren’t on their registry).
Year 1- Tradition with a Twist
That first year of marriage can be total honeymoon-period bliss, but it can also be a complete adjustment period in terms of space and finance. Many couples in their first year of marriage are still struggling to work out how much closet space each gets as well as how to pay the mortgage. They are still figuring out where to store all the china from their wedding registry, and how to use some of the kitchen gadgets that they received.
Year one is definitely about reflecting upon that time the couple has spent together and reminiscing about the actual wedding day. I found this incredible wedding vow art on Etsy, and knew it was a unique wedding anniversary gift for my husband. Bonus- the traditional gift for year one is paper!
We wrote our own vows, and having them on our wall means we both get to read and live them every day.
Year 5- A Little Playful
Maybe they have kids, maybe they are dependent-free and love to travel. At this point, a couple has started to figure out their coupled groove in life and hopefully having fun along the way. The traditional gift for 5 years is wood, and a cutting board or wood photo frame is definitely not a unique wedding anniversary gift in my opinion.
I love gifts that you can actually USE, that won’t sit around gathering dust (like that *ahem* interesting vase- pronounced “vas”- that Aunt Sylvia bestowed upon you). My husband and I have gotten in to a nighttime TV rut, and occasionally our kids and I bust out a board game to mix it up.
This personalized Jenga-style game is the perfect piece to have out on the table for an impromptu challenge. In addition to providing bragging rights to the winner, it also reminds you of marriage milestones. You can have individual pieces engraved with dates, phrases or words.
Also- if you are looking for a wedding gift for someone, this company also makes the same game that doubles as a wedding book! Guests can write a message to the couple on a game piece. Wedding books seem to be outdated (I can’t remember a wedding recently that had one), but this is a great way to personalize the day.
Year 10- Making Memories
Whew, ten years of living under the same roof as one person? Now THAT is an accomplishment in my book. Many couples take a ten year anniversary trip to commemorate this major milestone. But what unique wedding anniversary gift can you get for someone who is already heading to paradise? Something to enhance their trip!
One of the best gifts we received for our honeymoon was a list of a friend’s favorite restaurants in the city to which we were traveling. They knew our taste, so bought us a gift card to their top pick. You can also research top excursions, hidden gems and logistical shortcuts.
Another ideal travel gift is the gift of memories. You can hire a vacation photographer who will document the trip for them. No out of focus selfies, no asking strangers to snap a shot. When my girlfriends and I go on a trip together, we usually hire a local photographer to capture a few moments in time. I absolutely cherish these photos- they bring me back to the absolute joy of that experience.
Here are a few reputable vacation photographer companies:
Year 20- Looking Back
After twenty years with someone, there is a lot of shared history to celebrate. You aren’t who you were when you met each other, but have grown together as both individuals and a couple. I think the gift of memory is truly the best, and the ability to recapture those first moments that you met is priceless.
For a twentieth wedding anniversary, try to re-create a couple’s first date. If the restaurant they went to is still around, make a reservation. If it isn’t, try to prepare a meal in the same style. Play music from that era, pull out a few fashions from then as well. If they went to a sporting event, grab tickets for them to an upcoming game. This makes an incredibly unique wedding anniversary gift because it involves the re-creation of a memory!
For my parent’s wedding anniversary one year, I found the menu from their wedding and prepared most of the dishes on it. I also ordered a mini wedding cake in a style similar to theirs, and invited friends and family who were at the wedding to celebrate with them.
Year 30+- Experiences
Alright, they seem to be in it for the long haul at this point. They have tried every restaurant around, have their favorite places to vacation, and can finish each other’s sentences. What can you get them that you can be almost certain they haven’t already tried? An experience! Find a show that appeals to their generation and interests. I recently attended “My Life on a Diet” starring Renée Taylor of “The Nanny” fame.
This is a memoir-driven comedic solo story of Taylor’s journey through the weight-obsessed world of stage and screen. She recounts stories from her world through the lens of a struggling starlet who is constantly trying to figure out the secret to success through a stream of ill-advised fad diets. Friendships and conversations with stars such as Marilyn Monroe and Barbara Streisand pepper the tale, some awe-inspiring and others heartbreaking. Renée Taylor offers entertainment with perfect comedic timing while allowing audience members to reflect upon their own motivations and life choices.
This show is ideal for those who grew up during the era of Cary Grant, Liz Taylor, Barbara Streisand and Marilyn Monroe. I heard couples of this era cackling with laughter in the audience throughout the entire 90 minutes! Laughter is definitely the best medicine, and those who love lighthearted humor with a dash of glamor will enjoy this show. My Life on a Diet runs at the North Shore Center for the Performing Arts in Skokie through Sunday, August 4th. Tickets to this show make an incredibly unique wedding anniversary gift, so grab them here!
Cheers to celebrating memories with those you love!
Disclosure: I received tickets to My Life on a Diet for review purposes. All opinions are honest and my own as always.