20 years together… who’d have thought it?
It’s unbelievable how quickly time flies by. After two whole decades together, it’s hard to even remember all the incredible things you’ve achieved.
But that’s precisely why we have wedding anniversaries. They’re our chance to press pause, and dedicate a day to celebrating all the things - both major milestones and lovely little moments - that you’ve shared with your other half.
So, there’s no excuse for neglecting the celebrations, especially not when it’s been a whole 20 years!
This year, give your partner a present that really speaks to how much they mean to you. Rather than settling for a classic go-to gift (chocolates and flowers won’t cut it this year), find a gift that is full of thought and sentimentality. Que anniversary themes.
With wedding anniversary themes, you can choose a gift that is at once traditional and unique to you, which celebrates everything you’ve achieved so far and all the years you have left to come.
To help you find a gift that really makes your other half’s day, we’ve used this article to share our expert’s guide to choosing the perfect 20th wedding anniversary gifts. Keep reading to find out more about this year’s theme, the modern alternative, and our favourite themed gift picks.
The history of 20 year wedding anniversaries - why china?
Seems like a weird choice of item, right?
I mean, most partners want gifts of gold jewellery, a weekend away, or a dinner reservation… not a mug…
But actually, when they find out more about the traditions of this anniversary gift theme, we think you’ll quickly change their mind.
China is the anniversary gift theme for 20 years, and it’s been this way for 100 years.
It was set as the ‘official’ anniversary theme in 1922, when Emily Post (a popular American writer) published the book Etiquette. In it, she created our first universal, set list of anniversary themes.
These only covered the anniversaries 1, 5, 10, 15, 20 and 25 - the list was expanded in later years to include the early anniversaries, and the anniversaries of every 5 years past the 25th.
Traditional gift ideas for your 20th wedding anniversary
Although it may stray from what we see couples give each other in rom coms, we reckon these themed gifts are a whole lot better.
Just because your other half won’t get some fancy earrings or a posh new tie, that doesn’t mean the gift won’t be special. In fact, we’d say this is an altogether far more thoughtful route to take.
The idea behind choosing china as the traditional theme for gifts (rather than a big ol’ diamond, for example) is that the themes get sequentially more expensive, the longer the couple has been together. That way, the longer you guys are together, the more costly the gifts will be.
To inspire your search, we’ve shared our favourite ideas for 15th wedding anniversary gifts. Below, you’ll find a range of gift ideas (covering stylish, sentimental, and everything in between) to suit every taste, style and budget:
- China mugs
- Look for personalised options, with a message or your names painted onto the mug’s design
- China potted rose ornament
- China house ornament
- China teapot
- Personalised china hanging decorations
- China figurines
- These can be either in the form of animals, couples, or families - choose whatever would be the most relevant and special to you both
- China photo frames
- A couple’s holiday to China (bit of a twist, but we think it still fits)
Where did modern wedding gift themes come from?
You’re probably already thinking, ‘China is a bit of an old-school gift’. If so, then you’re not alone.
In fact, a whole other alternative list of gift themes has been created, for those of you who would prefer to choose more modern presents, but don’t want to miss out on the fun of choosing anniversary gifts based on a theme.
The modern list of anniversary gift themes has reinvented the official themes list, to enable couples to give more relevant, useful and desirable gifts.
For the 20th wedding anniversary, the modern theme is platinum.
This is a great blank canvas, which really allows you to put your own spin on the theme. There’s loads of things you can do with it - from jewellery and accessories to homeware - to choose an anniversary gift that’s both luxurious and sentimental.
To help you get started, here are our top 5 tips for choosing a modern 20th wedding anniversary present:
- When choosing a gift, ask the shop if they will provide personalisation services. This is a great way to take your present up a notch.
- Think about what they actually need. Try to look for a platinum gift that your other half will actually (happily) use.
- Choose an item that suits your partner’s individual aesthetic. That way, it will feel like it was made for them.
- Shop in indie stores, or check out the work of artisan makers. This is a great way to find a real one of a kind piece.
- Have a browse online. There’s loads more out there than just platinum rings, so explore your options - you could find something that you didn’t even know existed before!
There’s something wonderful about anniversary themes. We love the way that they inspire present shopping, while also helping couples to find a piece that is special, deeply sentimental and, often, completely unique to them.
In short, it’s a brilliant way to show your other half just how much they mean to you. After all, it’s not a gift that’s about flashing the cash, or a stereotypical last-minute buy - it shows that you’ve put thought, effort and heart into your choice of present, and we simply can’t think of a better way to mark 20 years together.