When trying to decide what to give your wife for your 16th wedding anniversary, look to traditional anniversary gifts for that year as inspiration. If your wife is sentimental, she may appreciate your effort. Unfortunately, many sources listing traditional anniversary gifts by year don’t include one for the 16th anniversary. Instead, they often jump from the 15th to the 20th year. Don’t take that as an excuse to skip this year's anniversary celebration.
Unlike other sources for traditional wedding gifts, Bride’s Magazine’s “Bride's Book of Etiquette” doesn’t skip over the 16th anniversary. It lists silver hollowware, along with sterling or plate as the contemporary gift suggestion for that anniversary year. Silver hollowware includes table service pieces, such as sugar bowls, creamers, gravy bowls or other serving pieces that go on the table, excluding flatware, such as forks and knives. If you and your wife enjoy entertaining this might be a gift she will appreciate. If your idea of entertaining doesn’t include formal table settings, consider the other choices, silver or silver-plated. Give her an intimate silver or plated item, such as a vanity mirror or brush set, small trinket box or piece of silver jewelry.
Peridot, a light green stone, is the traditional gemstone gift for the 16th anniversary year. It was called the “gem of the sun” by early Egyptians, and legend claimed that when set in gold, the stone protected its owner from the “terrors of the night.” Some believe it wards off evil spirits, when tied by donkey hair to one's arm. While your wife may not appreciate a stand of donkey hair with a peridot attached, she may enjoy a piece of peridot-adorned gold jewelry, such as a pair of earrings, tennis bracelet, necklace, anklet, ring or brooch. One of the major producers of the relatively inexpensive stone is Arizona’s San Carlos Indian Reservation.
If flowers are your gift of choice, choose statice, the traditional flower for the 16th wedding anniversary. Commonly called sea lavender, it is an herbaceous perennial flower often used in dried floral arrangements. Instead of giving her a fresh flower arrangement, give her a dried floral arrangements made with sea lavender. She won’t have to toss the arrangement in a week or so, when it wilts. If you live in a warm weather region, give her live a sea lavender plant for the garden, another gift she can enjoy long after the anniversary.
- “Bride's Book of Etiquette”; Bride’s Magazine; 2002
- American Gem Trade Association: Anniversary Gemstones
- The Language of Flowers: The Romantic Language of Flowers Anniversary List