9 years down the line, and there’s an awful lot to celebrate.

After almost a decade of married life, you’ll have achieved immeasurable things - be they major milestones, or countless inside jokes, it’s all worth celebrating.

However, since the big 10 year anniversary is just around the corner, many couples tend to neglect anniversary no. 9, or say they’re ‘saving the celebrations for a bigger party next year’.

But we say, no anniversary should go un-celebrated!

Even if you’re saving your pennies for next year, or you’re both tempted to just make it a cosy night in, there’s still ways that you can mark the occasion as a special one. Queue anniversary themes…

To help you find a themed gift to suit any scale, budget or personality, our experts have created this guide to the 9th wedding anniversary. Below, you can find out more about the origins of the traditional themes, explore our 9th anniversary gift inspiration, and learn about the modern theme for this year.

The history of 9 year wedding anniversaries - why copper?

In 1922, Emily Post (an influential American writer) published her book Etiquette. This book provided a go-to guide for loved-up couples, as it provided the first ‘official’ list of themes for wedding anniversaries.

She gathered together all of the commonly-used themes for wedding anniversary presents that became popular during the Victorian period, then cemented them in her conclusive list.

However, Emily’s original list only included the 1st, 5th and 10th wedding anniversaries, before continuing with the anniversaries of every 5 years, finishing at the 25th anniversary. This means she completely neglected to include the early anniversaries, or the theme for the 9th wedding anniversary.

In fact, this year’s theme was only officially named in 1937. This was when the American National Retail Jeweller Association expanded Post’s official list, filling in the gaps that were left in between anniversaries 1-10, plus the anniversary themes for every 5 years after the 25th.

Traditional gift ideas for your 9th wedding anniversary

This year, your gifts will need to be based around the theme of copper.

This is a pretty tricky theme, but there’s still plenty of ways that you can play about with it.

Interestingly, the traditional themes were governed by the cost and availability of materials, with the themes featuring more costly materials as the years got bigger. At the time, copper was a more costly metal, which would have represented a more momentous gift than, say, linen.

However, today, we largely associate it with roofs and pennies…

So, what can we do with the theme of copper?

To prove to any sceptics that there’s still scope for creativity within this year’s theme, we’ve provided a list of traditional ninth anniversary gift ideas, with some of our experts’ top gift picks:

  • Copper rings
  • Some brands offer personalisation services, allowing you to add their name or a message to the inside of the ring.
  • Elegant copper candle holders will bring a soft, cosy light to your living room.
  • You can also buy engraved copper photo frames, with a little message included on the front.
  • Hammered-effect copper mugs
  • Copper fountain pen
  • Copper themed, bespoke anniversary gifts
  • Personalised copper keepsake box
  • Personalised copper wine cooler

Remember: while the theme for 9th wedding anniversaries in the UK is copper, Americans have a completely different theme. They give anniversary gifts of pottery or willow this year - be careful not to get your themes mixed up!

Where did modern wedding gift themes come from?

As we mentioned above, copper is a gift theme that’s a lot trickier to work with now than it was back in the day.

If you’re feeling crafty and imaginative, there’s always a fun spin that you can put on the theme. However, if you’re more inclined towards practical gifts, then we’d recommend taking a look at the modern list of wedding anniversary themes.

In recent years, a modern themes list was reinvented and made official, so that couples had an alternative theme to use for each anniversary’s gifts. These themes are more relevant to this day and age, but still give couples the fun of choosing themed gifts - win-win.

Interestingly (and luckily), this year’s modern theme is leather - which is, funnily enough, the same theme as the traditional theme for the third wedding anniversary. So, if you’re stuck for ideas, you can take a look at our guide to wedding anniversary #3.

When choosing a leather-themed present for your anniversary, we’d recommend that you follow our 5 top tips:

  1. Make it personal. Leather is a supple material, which is very easy to personalise. Most online shops and artisan creators will include a personalisation option as a part of their service, so make the most out of it!
  2. Think of something that fits their personality. Try to find something (either in style, type of gift, or both!) that suits them. Play about with the theme, and try to find a gift that they’d love.
  3. The internet is your best friend. Make the most out of websites like Etsy and Not on the High Street, and explore the wealth of creative talent within our independent businesses.
  4. Brainstorm ideas that would enhance your lives or home. Not in a massive way, but still, a present that they can use in their home or daily life. That’s what the tradition intended, after all.
  5. Don’t go crazy! This is your permission to not spend a fortune. The tradition of sticking to an anniversary theme is all about choosing small but special gifts, especially in the early years of marriage. So, going OTT would mean that the sentiment is slightly lost.

The tradition of themed anniversary gifts is a wonderful one. With it, you can both give a thoughtful themed gift, which allows you to use your imagination, and showcase everything that makes your relationship a one of a kind.

There’s no need for excessive fanfare or a blow-out budget - no matter their size or cost, these gifts are a wonderful way to show your other half some love.