My husband and I don’t really do birthdays but we have decided to make our wedding anniversary a big deal (because it is a flippen big deal – no matter if it’s your first wedding anniversary or your 90th each year you are together is worth celebrating – can I hear an AMEN!)

So what we decided to do was take turns planning our anniversaries. So on our first, fifth and tenth etc. we plan something together but during the other years we alternate who’s turn it is to plan.

This means it is 100% clear who is in ‘charge’ that year and who is getting surprised (it’s also actually more budget friendly than both of us getting gifts and avoids that awkward moment of ‘oh but I already booked dinner’ or even worse ‘oh I thought you were booking dinner’)

Now you seriously don’t have to follow this formula but I do encourage you to find what works for you and commit to it! Life will always be busy and stuff will always come up…but your marriage is worth taking some time out for.

Because it is my/our 6 year wedding anniversary month (YAY), I’ve done my own take on the first 6 wedding anniversaries traditional gifts and some not so traditional ideas on how to celebrate them.

1st Anniversary – Paper.

So in my very biased opinion one of the coolest first year paper anniversaries I’ve seen was this paper themed shoot we did for Krissi & Mart. They didn’t take the paper idea literally but instead were inspired by it to create this really special afternoon on the dunes with smaller paper elements (her paper flower crown, the paper blossoms and the little paper love note books). They now have these amazing images of each other forever.

Our Paper-Themed 1st Anniversary Shoot | Maitlands | Photos by Niki M Photography | Styling by Runaway Romance

(If you are interested at seeing the mood board that went into imagining this shoot pop over to my Pinterest to have a peek)

Another really great paper gift is a beautiful journal.

Write down your vows on the first two pages, write a love note or write the lessons you have learnt from your first year together. Stick a picture of yourselves in it from that year and then next year (and the next year) do the same… this becomes an amazing collection of memories, pictures and lessons you get to look back on (or even pass on to your kids…imagine how amazing 25 years of love & marriage lessons gifted to your son or daughter on their wedding day would be!)

And yet another is an oil painting made from a wedding photo

Mavenart have a worldwide network of painters who will turn any photo into a painting. Your 1st anniversary is a great time to do this with one of your favourite couple pics (of you) from your wedding! It’s something different for your wall, rather than the usual wedding photos!

2nd Anniversary – Cotton.

So this is easy…have a stay in bed day! Buy a new set of bedding or cotton PJ’s, a bottle of wine, some incredible snacks and just laze around in bed all day.

Time together is the best gift you could ever give each other… so just be together. If you have little people in your life or don’t need new bedding then book a night away, order in room service and just enjoy not having to do anything but be.

3rd Anniversary – Leather.

This one is quick and easy ANYTHING from Freedom Of Movement (or FOM Brand)!

Based on the principles of quality, authenticity and innovative design, this beautiful brand is Proudly South African and an absolute treat of a gift for your lover.

4th Anniversary – Fruit & Flowers.

If you have a garden why don’t you by a beautiful little fruit tree (or four)? You can plant it as a surprise or if you both have green fingers spend some time mucking about planting them together.

If you don’t have particular green fingers or a garden (hello city living) but would like to gift someone else the joy of a fruit tree have a look at the re-greening project I support – Trees & Food for Africa. They plant fruit trees in schools to provide shade and fruit for the kids… and I mean what better legacy to leave than your love literally shading and feeding someone.

If you liked the photo shoot idea then – The Best Day Ever Orange Orchard engagement  – has a great ‘Fruit & Flowers’ theme to it. If you don’t want the photos but love the idea of the picnic drop the camera and head to your nearest strawberry, fruit or flower farm to celebrate like this.

Runaway Romance | Wedding Anniversart Gift IdeasRunaway Romance | Wedding Anniversart Gift Ideas

5th Anniversary – Wood.

Go into the woods. The Garden route (as well as countless other areas in South Africa) is basically dripping with forests and places to stay that are either close to a forest walk or hike or literally surrounded by natural forest. (One of my Knysna forest gems is Phantom Forest Eco Reserve)

Depending on your activity levels you could adapt this into a morning walk on your anniversary to an entire days trail. But getting out into ‘the woods’ is a much better idea than buying something wooden (unless it’s a tree )

PS if you carve your name in a heart on a tree in the woods I shall personally find you and smack you round the head.

6th Anniversary – Candy & Iron.

So despite my best intentions the first idea I had here was getting a 60’s housewife hair do and ironing his skirt in those edible candy panties… and I mean use it if you want… but if you hate ironing as much as I do then here another option.

A Jc Le Roux bubbly tasting with nougat paring if anything it’s a great excuse to visit Stellenbosch and way more exciting than ironing a shirt!

I hope these ideas have sparked some of your own anniversary creativity! I would love to hear your best wedding anniversary story, so please leave it in the comments below.

Much love & AMEN that you have had another year together


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