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Anniversary gifts and Themes by year 

Every couple will have fond memories of the ‘big day’ when they got married. The Dress, the ceremony, who came, who didn’t, and who caught the bouquet. And, unless you were wed on a distant beach with the chamber maid as witness, you will have created wonderful memories for everyone else who was there as well. A wedding is therefore a fundamental milestone in life and as such the date must be remembered and honoured ever year.

and that’s exactly what’s been happening since the Middle Ages when specific anniversary gifts were presented to bring good luck. In Central Europe a wife might receive a silver wreath from her husband on their 25th wedding anniversary. It’s said that silver indicated the harmony of their relationship. If the happy couple subsequently got to celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary – good going for mediaeval times – the wife would be given a wreath of gold. These were obviously pretty lucky and wealthy people.

The history of gift Themes for each Wedding Anniversary year 

The Victorians then took up the baton. The 5th anniversary became associated with wood – probably as trees indicate strength, solidity and stability; the couple have put down roots by now and are set for a long life together. Then in 1897 Queen Vic herself established her 60th year on the throne as her Diamond Jubilee, and from then on a 60th wedding anniversary also became associated with diamonds. 


By 1922 there were designated gifts for the major milestones of every five years. Then, in 1937, the American National Retail Jeweler Association issued a comprehensive list – they may just possibly have been anticipating some extra sales! Each year up to the 20th was given a different symbolic material, as was every fifth year after that. The list even went up to the 75th anniversary. Impressive, but definitely needed as longevity increases! 


What started as a list of increasingly expensive materials as themes for anniversaries has blossomed into a smorgasbord of gifting options. There are modern themes, as well as the traditional, and each milestone also now has associations with particular gemstones, flowers and colours. Of course, there are lots of marvellous lifelong couples who just don’t happen to be married – so what? They deserve recognition too! So there are lots of options for the spouse / partner / other half who wants to show they’ve put in some careful thought in their gifting. 


Need to get into the detail? Cool – we’ve put the work in, so you don’t have to. See below a comprehensive list of anniversary gift themes (both traditional and modern) plus the relevant gemstones and flowers. Simples! And check out those which are highlighted – Lily Gardner offers her own solutions for these items, especially when it comes to lace gifts. Lily has the only bespoke lace gift for men, for example. 


[Insert table design – click thros for all items LG sells.] 


Which anniversary gift is best – traditional or modern? 


As you can see from the history of anniversaries above, the lists have been complied by different communities at very different times. Initially the traditional version was a list of materials of increasing solidity and longevity (and cost) to denote the strength of the couple’s union as their marriage endures. This creates some of the odder themes, eg wood or iron. 


Or indeed some materials are simply not acceptable anymore – gifts made from ivory are mostly illegal, and for good reason. But these facts don’t mean that you can’t show some creativity and still follow the theme. A silk scarf with a smart elephant motif would be nice; or going to a posh piano recital (tickling the ivories) could work too! 


You can think of the modern anniversary themes as sometimes being a bit more practical or gift oriented (desk set, anyone?). Although times change: this list also has ‘fur’ under the 13th, which many people would disapprove of these days. Which to choose? It’s just a question of personal taste. You are already demonstrating your love by putting in the time to link your celebration with an appropriate theme. Choose whichever version – traditional or modern – appeals to you, and the gift you think will appeal most to her or him. Brownie points guaranteed.


 How do I choose an anniversary gift? 


As with all presents, it’s all about the recipient (and, alas, not about you). What do they like? What have they bought previously? Which windows do they gaze into longingly on the high street? But it does become about you when you do a little research. Quietly ask friends and family what he or she might be interested in. If buying for a female, check out what jewellery she normally favours (eg dangly or discreet?) and how she likes to dress (eg classically tailored or extrovertly trendy?). 



Which anniversary gift is best – traditional or modern? Christmas gift Ideas for 

As with all presents, it’s all about the recipient (and, alas, not about you). What do they like? What have they bought previously? Which windows do they gaze into longingly on the high street? But it does become about you when you do a little research. Quietly ask friends and family what he or she might be interested in. If buying for a female, check out what jewellery she normally favours (eg dangly or discreet?) and how she likes to dress (eg classically tailored or extrovertly trendy?). 


 See above our comprehensive table of possible gifts: there are themes, materials, gemstones and flowers. A whole bunch of potential directions – all giving you a great story to tell when you hand your beloved the gift. Here’s the payoff: you are actually giving them you, your time, and the proof that you think of them constantly. And that’s priceless. 

Christmas gift Ideas for Women who love the sun

Whisk her away for a 3 or 4 day break only a short-haul flight away. Even a busy girl can drop a note to the boss and grab a long weekend of sun and sunnies... then think of a surprise activity on arrival for an even bigger experience. Try a cool hotel in Gran Canaria – it’s a   
mini continent, boasting everything from volcanic craters to snow-topped mountains, sand dunes to rich forests.
Check out – well, check in – the Hotel Cordial Mogen Playa (www.cordialresortholidays.com/gran_canaria)for good value and a botanical garden!

In for the long haul? Belize is a hot destination in all senses at the moment. January to March has the lowest chance of rain, making this an ideal time to explore this tiny adventure-packed nation. Belize attracts a fraction of the crowds of its bigger neighbours yet it’s home to Mayan ruins, national parks, nature reserves and the Belize Barrier Reef – all begging to be explored. Look out the Coppola-owned Turtle Inn (www.thefamilycoppolahideaways.com/en/turtle-inn) for individual thatched cottages and cooling sea breezes – that’s a cocktail, right?

Christmas gift experiences for Women

or keep It Classic

Straight Lace Cuff | Lily Gardner
£115.00

Make it the winter of her deep content: give a gift that is season appropriate.

Vogue’s advice for festive fabrics is to stick to velvet, chiffon, silk or lace. With all that dressing up and fancy parties, your better half will be scouring the boutiques for the right ensemble.

Why not help her out with a Lily Gardner Lace Cuff that mixes the modern and traditional by setting French lace from 19th century looms inside crystal-clear Perspex. It will definitely get the table talking as the port is passed round!

And, finally.. What does the woman who has everything really need? Time.

So...Book a babysitter or send the teens to a bootcamp. Serve bubbles in bed for breakfast… and lunch… Upgrade your Netflix for a box set bonanza. Give her a Deliveroo fuelled day of absolutely nothing – pure relaxation.

Get the idea? (Hopefully she’ll want to share the day with you – but if not, no worries.You’ll get your reward later.)

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