While the 25th is traditionally the silver anniversary, it's OK to flaunt or forgo tradition as long as you surprise your one-of-a-kind wife with a one-of-a-kind gift. Whether you’re gift giving on a budget, or you have some financial wiggle room, you can find the ideal gift by investing a little creativity and a whole lot of heart.
Gifts from the Heart
Surprise your wife with a romantic handmade gift that won't break the bank. If you're crafting on a budget, tear off a check from your checkbook. Make it payable to your wife, date it "forever" and fill in an amount of "one heart and one soul". In the note section, write "My love forever." Insert the check in a small picture frame and wrap it up for your wife. Alternatively, make a music CD filled songs that have meaning for her, such as the song playing during your first dance and the music that was playing in the background when you proposed. If you're wrapping the gift, skip the store-bought paper and use white butcher paper instead. Draw pictures and love notes all over the paper and then wrap your gift inside.
Commemorate your 25th anniversary by presenting your wife with a photo gift she can treasure for years to come. You can rummage through old photo albums to find a favorite photo from each of your 25 years together and assemble the collection into an eclectic collage to frame or organize all your favorites into a new photo album for the two of you to look through together. You might also have your favorite wedding photo laser-etched in crystal or turn it into a work of art by having it professionally painted or digitally altered to look like an oil painting or artist’s sketch. You can even slip a little tradition into your gift by displaying the photo in a silver picture frame. If you're going to opt for jewelry for your 25th anniversary, opt for a silver locket with a wedding photo inside and personalize your gift by having it engraved with your anniversary date or a short message of love.
Near and Far Getaways
Surprise your wife with an anniversary night at the place where the two of you first met, the site of your first date, or the place where you proposed. Better yet, if you still live close to all three, rent a limo and surprise your wife with a visit to each one. Alternatively, you can relive your honeymoon by planning a vacation to the same destination -- and book the exact same hotel room to add to the romance factor. For a weekend-long 25th anniversary event, plan a getaway to a romantic bed and breakfast, private cabin hideaway or a spa resort. If you’re planning a getaway for your anniversary, keep the destination a surprise. Add a little suspense and excitement throughout the preceding week by leaving little notes around the house or on her pillow each day with hints about the destination. If you’re staying close to home, for something out of the ordinary, arrange for a helicopter or hot air balloon ride above the city, or take your wife on a romantic dinner cruise.
The "25" Theme
Use your anniversary years as the theme for your wife’s gift. You can surprise her with 25 roses or bake 25 of her favorite cookies. You can present her with a little coupon book with 25 small favors for her to redeem, such as massages, a candlelit dinner prepared by a personal chef -- even if it's just you -- a bubble bath for two and breakfast in bed. You can draw out the celebration of your milestone anniversary by presenting your wife with a small gift or favor each day for the 24 days preceding your special day and one more gift on your anniversary. If you have a way with words, write 25 small love notes and leave them in various places throughout the house, such as on the coffee pot, in the cupboard or medicine cabinet and on the car seat, for your wife to find during the day.
- Happy Anniversary!: A Guide to Fun and Romantic Anniversary Celebrations; Robin A. Kring; 2000
- StrongerMarriage.org: Making Wedding Anniversaries Meaningful
- Photodisc/Valueline/Getty Images