Congrats on hitting year 5!

Although it’s still early (in the grand scheme of things), it’s your first major milestone of married life, so it’s definitely a cause for celebration.

Far beyond a yearly panic and routine trip to the supermarket for flowers, an anniversary is your chance to celebrate everything that you have achieved as a couple. You can look back, think about where you started, how far you’ve come, and everything you’re looking forward to in the future.

Romance is founded upon sentimentality like this. That, and not taking each other for granted.

So, to help you celebrate this first (of many) landmark anniversary, we’ve dedicated this post to helping you celebrate your 5th wedding anniversary in style.

Below, we’ve explored the traditional wedding theme for 5th wedding anniversaries, provided some handy anniversary gift inspiration, and shared the modern alternative theme, so that you’ve got plenty of options to choose from.

The history of 5 year wedding anniversaries - why wood?

The practice of giving themed gifts for wedding anniversaries first rose to popularity during the Victorian period.

To immortalise these popular themes, and create an ‘official’ central reference list, in 1922, Emily Post (an influential American writer) wrote the book Etiquette. Here, she listed the major wedding anniversaries, alongside their themes.

Interestingly, the first and fifth wedding anniversaries were the only two early anniversaries to make it onto Emily’s list. She skipped 2, 3 and 4, then jumped straight from 5 to 10.

This means that the tradition of giving wooden gifts on a 5th wedding anniversary has been around for a century. Pretty incredible, right?

Traditional gift ideas for your 5th wedding anniversary

You’ll be relieved to know that the stress is over. No more searching for gifts at random - the theme of wood will give you a solid starting point to go off. Plus, by sticking to this theme, you automatically win extra points for thoughtfulness.

Whoever first invented wedding anniversary themes, we owe them a lot of thanks.

Wood is a timeless material, which is used to create a vast range of different products. As far as wedding gift themes go, it doesn’t get much easier than this.

It’s also incredibly easy to personalise. If you buy your wooden anniversary gift from a craftsperson (or an online gift website, like Etsy or Not On The High Street), there’ll often be a personalisation option that comes with it. It’s extra touches like these that’ll make your anniversary gift a knock-out.

To help you get the ball rolling, we’ve rounded up our favourite 5th wedding anniversary gift ideas:

  • Wooden home accessories - you could opt for wooden bowls, chopping boards, coasters, tumblers, or a combination of all the above.
  • Personalised wooden photo block
  • DIY wooden gifts - if you want to try your hand at making a gift yourself, the internet is an invaluable resource.
  • Wooden jewellery
  • A tree sapling - you can plant it in the garden, and watch it grow over the years to come.

Where did modern wedding gift themes come from?

Giving wooden 5th wedding anniversary gifts has been a tradition for 100 years.

Some couples cherish this long-held tradition, and choose to continue its practice. In so doing, their wedding anniversary is unique to them, while simultaneously becoming part of this romantic tradition.

But for other couples, the idea of a wooden gift doesn’t quite hold that same appeal…

And that’s precisely why modern wedding anniversary themes were created!

In recent years, modern wedding anniversary themes have become increasingly popular. They are designed to provide more modern (clue’s in the name) and relevant options for wedding anniversary gifts, still with all the fun that comes with choosing a romantic themed gift.

For the fifth wedding anniversary, the modern theme is silverware.

Interestingly, this modern 5th year wedding anniversary theme was chosen to represent purity, strength, and togetherness (symbolising all of the meals that you’ll share together).

When choosing your silverware anniversary gift, don’t just settle for any old spoon! It may sound like a tricky theme, but it offers lots of scope for fun and creativity.

If you’re still feeling nervous about this anniversary’s theme, here are a few of our top gift-buying tips:

  1. Visit vintage shops. These shops are filled with intricate, beautifully designed pieces of silverware. This way, you’ll find a one-of-kind piece, for a great price.
  2. Look for matching sets. Try to buy a matching set (even if it's just enough for the two of you) of silverware.
  3. Keep an eye out for unusual or eye-catching designs.
  4. Turn something old into something new - if you’re not the type of couple to have silverware for dining, you could reuse old vintage pieces.
  5. Choose an aesthetic that matches your home and your partner’s signature style.

And there you have it - everything that you need to make your 5 year wedding anniversary an occasion to remember.

Themed anniversary gifts are full of thought and sentiment - see this as your chance to show your other half just how much they mean to you. Don’t be afraid to be gushy! And if it doesn’t come naturally to you, these gifts are a great way to unlock your softer side (without having to go OTT).