Simple Anniversary Ideas

Photos by Rebecca Nelles

Celebrating wedding anniversaries is a wonderful and momentous occasion for couples. And while over-the-top romance may seem like a great way to commemorate the moment, there's a lot of truth in the cliche "less is more." Sharing a dance to a special song, spending time enjoying a favorite pastime or exchanging heartfelt gifts also can be great ways for couples to remember their wedding day.

Take the Traditional Route

Many couples turn to the common list of "traditional" gifts for inspiration when searching for a wedding anniversary gift. Take it a step further by adding a personal touch to the traditional gift listed for the anniversary being celebrated. For example, the traditional gift associated with the first wedding anniversary is paper. If a wife appreciates the way her husband makes her laugh, he could leave a paper trail of witty jokes leading to his paper-themed gift for her: personalized stationery, concert or theater tickets, or paper roses. If a couple is celebrating their second anniversary, they might decide to exchange cotton-themed gifts. Simple gift ideas include ironing initials onto hand towels or bath towels or ordering a blanket that displays a wedding photograph.

A More Modern Approach

Anniversary gifts have evolved over time. Modern gifts tend to lend themselves well to being displayed in the home and are often practical. Use modern gift ideas for gifts that are more straightforward than symbolic or to celebrate an anniversary that does not have a traditional gift assigned to it. Some examples include clocks for the first anniversary, desk sets for the seventh anniversary and appliances for the fourth anniversary.

Add a Floral Touch

Incorporate anniversary flowers into anniversary activities for a simple way to celebrate. There is a flower associated with anniversaries one to 15 and with every fifth anniversary from the 20th to the 50th. For example, to celebrate a 15th anniversary, use roses in creative ways: bathe together using rose-shaped soaps, make a recipe calling for rose petals or sprinkle rose petals on a blanket set up for a backyard picnic. Use calla lilies to celebrate a sixth anniversary. Buy blank cards featuring a photo of a calla lily and compose touching letters to one another, or plant calla lilies together in the yard.

Make It Colorful

Use the color associated with a wedding anniversary to decorate simply. Though lists vary, there is a color assigned to the first 25 anniversaries and to every fifth anniversary from the 30th to the 75th. Celebrate an 11th anniversary wearing matching shades of turquoise, or decorate for a 21st anniversary party with orange paper plates, napkins and balloons. Use food dye to frost a homemade cake lavender for a 24th anniversary, or plan an entire party around an anniversary's color. For a 25th anniversary, invite guests to a "Silver Party." Explain the significance of the color theme on the invitations, and ask guests to join in the fun by dressing in silver or choosing silver gift wrap. If it proves too difficult to find clothing or decorations of the appropriate color for a given anniversary, use the couple's wedding color scheme for inspiration instead.