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Monday, 30 September 2013

Being creative - and frugal- with traditional wedding anniversary gifts

Today, gentle readers, marks my seventh wedding anniversary with That Guy. I still like him enough that I would do the whole thing over again, so I am marking this as a win. ;) 

My initial intention was to do a blog post about the gift I made That Guy. We have always gone by the guide for traditional anniversaries and had a lot of fun with it.  This year, seven, is the copper anniversary. So I ordered some copper online back on the 17th with which to make a gift.  Very disappointingly I have still not received my order  so I cannot share my gift with you today. 
But in celebration of our anniversary I thought I would be fun to review the traditional gifts for the first ten years of marriage and some of the ideas I have had to go with them.

Year One - Paper
At first I thought this was going to be hard.  What could I give That Guy, worth giving, that was made from paper? As it turns out though this is one of the easiest years to think of gifts.  Just remember how many things are made of paper.... a card, concert tickets, wine tasting tour cards, movie stubs, even photos are printed on "paper".  Our first anniversary was before the days of DIY entered our home.  That Guy, however, knocked it out of the park by writing me a poem - on paper- and having it framed.  For him, thinking I was very creative, I bought him a plush toy that came with a code with which you could go online and register to name your own star then print off - on paper- the certificate of your registered and named star.  Hilarity ensued when we realized during the name registration process that this was a gift intended for children under the age of 4. 

Year Two - Cotton
By the time our second anniversary rolled around I was eight months pregnant with Walter.  I was only a matter of weeks into exploring the world of DIY.  I found cotton very difficult to gift.  Now I would be much more inclined to sew something with a cotton fabric but I was in no position to do that five years ago.  We settled on buying That Guy new - cotton - clothes. I did not want new clothes since at the time my body was not my own.  Cotton can be a few different things.  Instead of just  buying towels for the house think outside the box of towels.  Go visit a beach or water park and take new towels along.  Go for a couples massage at the spa where you will certainly be draped in cotton towels.  New cotton bed sheets are always nice to get and have as well. 
If I were making a gift today I would likely make him some quick PJ pants, or cute pillowcases for our bed. 

Year Three - Leather
Come our third anniversary I had taken DIY to heart.  That being said I am NOT a leather worker. Two months before our third anniversary we had purchased our first home and it need a lot of work. So for year three I bought That Guy a tool belt.  Other good ideas would be a wallet, leather luggage tag, leather covered notebook, watch, belt or bag. 

Year Four -  Fruit and Flowers
This is pretty straightforward. That Guy bought be some beautiful flowers and I made my own edible fruit arrangement complete with chocolate dipped fruits for That Guy.  Have fun with this.  Since so many weddings happen in the summer yours very likely falls in a prime fruit season.  Hire a photographer and make a day of going out to a Pick- Your-Own farm to pick delicious fresh fruits and get a timeless photo session along the way. 

Year Five - Wood
This is the year That Guy and I pooled our resourced and bought ourselves a fireplace (from with a wood mantle.  I love that fireplace and it gets tons of use but it wasn't DIY at all.  If I had made That Guy a gift I would have made him this DIY pallet coffee table chest, or decorated wood handled hammer or wooden spoons for him. A DIY wooden board game the two of you could play would be a very thoughtful and inexpensive gift as wel. 

Year Six- Iron
Last years gift was a total fail, gentle readers.  What I wanted to do was have a custom branding iron made for That Guy to use when BBQing. I reached out to a local fabricator company who specializes in custom work. After months of back and forth e-mails and phone calls explaining what I needed, how I wanted it to look and nailing down a price I could justify I suddenly stopped hearing back from them.  I imagine much bigger orders from huge companies took precedence over my single item order and I was lost in the shuffle. As understandable as that is I was more than a little disappointed. I had spent so much time trying to work out this branding iron idea that it was only two days before our actual anniversary that I came to terms with the fact that this wasn't going to happen.  Out of desperation I got him a six pack of beer with the word "iron" in the brand name. *shakes head*  That Guy bought me a new iron, which I did need.  But the romance in gift giving was totally missing. 

Year Seven- Copper
That Guy surprised me last night with an early anniversary gift.  He bought me a stunning bracelet set in copper rather than the usual gold or silver. I am one very lucky lady.  The intention for That Guy was a key chain.  Doesn't sound very creative, does it?  I had gone online and ordered five copper key chain blanks. From a friend I had borrowed a number and letter metal stamping set.  I went back online and looked up the exact global co ordinates of where we were married seven years ago.  I was going to stamp those co ordinates into the key chain.  Until I either hear back from the seller or I receive my package That Guy's gift is on hold though. 

Year Eight- Bronze
Wow, NO idea yet what I will do here... Ideas?  Anyone?

Year Nine - Pottery 
Maybe I should look into take a class now, so I will have developed a skill set two years from now good enough to actually gift an item I make from pottery. Anyone want to take a class with me?

Year Ten- Tin
Fortunately tin is inexpensive and easy to find.  I don't know what I will make yet, but I am sure I will think of something. We also plan on renewing our vows on our tenth wedding anniversary. And maybe, finally, take a honeymoon we never had when we were married. But that is a ways in the future still.  

For today, Happy Anniversary That Guy. I love you!


  1. Bronze: Another word for getting a tan. Maybe next year you should take a trip somewhere sunny...? :-)

  2. The 10th anniversary also includes aluminum. I made my husband a bright aluminum chainmaille bracelet. It was a very frugal gift for me because I won the lesson and supplies from a local shoppe thru a small silent auction. You can probably find the jump rings at Walmart and the instructions free online. Hubby is not a jewelry wearer, but he likes it and wears it. :)

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  5. Really a pretty ring. Gifts are undoubtedly a pleasant gesture of love and emotions. Went for a trade fair organized in our city at one of the spacious New York wedding venues recently. Order yourself stall preparations and varieties of dishes were available. Liked the sales and different designs of decoration pieces. Did heaps of shopping.