Last week, Dean and I celebrated 6 amazing years together, and while each day with your soul mate is a joyful one, it’s important to mark each momentous year with a special something to remember and celebrate the day that two became one forever. While you can get as creative as you want, I’m a traditional girl at heart. I love that each year of marriage has a symbol as a gift to give. So, each year I look up what the traditional gift is and then put my twist on it as a gift for Dean. I’m sharing some great ideas for the first six years of wedded bliss…

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For your first anniversary, the traditional gift is paper – this can sound boring but don’t be fooled. Play it up by giving two paper tickets to your favorite band’s concert, or put together a collage of your favorite photos in a nice frame –both are meaningful gift ideas that celebrate your time together! For Dean, I wrote a love note for him and rolled it up in an antique bottle corked with sand and shells (we got married on the beach in Fiji). I then drew a romantic bubble bath for two, complete with champagne and floated it in the tub 🙂

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On your second anniversary, cotton is traditionally the name of the game, and it’s a great opportunity to splurge on an indulgence like high thread count bedding (light candles in the room and top the freshly-sheeted bed with little love notes or DIY love gift certificates – or get all Fifty Shades of Grey on your partner and sprinkle some fun sex toys. Won’t he be surprised when you pull back the duvet!). Also, his-and-hers monogrammed bath towels get big smiles if you promise to soap his back in an anniversary shower built for two!

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For your third anniversary, you’ll want to give some leather. An idea I love for this is to give leather luggage to take on a trip – the vacation is the real gift, of course, but the leather suitcase or duffel is a great way to package the present. To be budget-friendly, shop for a vintage suitcase/duffel. Flea markets have amazing ones that come with memories of their own as you two are sure to make new ones. For our third anniversary, I made Dean a leather cuff with our initials embossed in it. It was inexpensive and very personal!

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For celebrating your fourth year, linen and silk are the traditional presents as are flowers or fruits. You could go for a silk robe or pajamas (maybe a matching pair for the two of you). And, a monogram always adds that personal touch. For our 4th year anniversary, I went for a version of the traditional flower gift for Dean. We renewed our vows so I got him an antique engraved wedding band in rose gold. It’s not exactly a flower, but it was my personal nod at the floral tradition by going with rose gold.

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When celebrating your fifth year of marriage (it’s a big one!) wood is the tradition, and a beautiful gift is to plant a tree. If there is a fruit that you both love, like lemon or avocado, plant one of those trees – it will bear fruit for years. If you do this, I’d make a homemade wood sign to put in the ground that says something like, “We planted this with our love!” and then put your fifth anniversary date. It’s such a great representation of love and life together. For our fifth anniversary, I built Dean a wood bench. I had little construction experience but lots of determination. I went and got reclaimed wood from a lumberyard and built a very simple bench from plans I found online. Then I painted on it “Grow Old With Me…” with our names and our kids’ names on the back. It sits outside our house under a tree and I picture us 80 years old sitting on that bench, holding hands!

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For the sixth year (which we just celebrated), the theme is iron. At first I was thrown off but as it turns out iron is a great gift. If he likes to cook (hello Dean!) iron-handled pots/pans can be amazing for your hunky chef. But, if he’s a sports guy then no-brainer, go for golf clubs. Not only will you hit the nail on the head, but it’s also a great gift that will most definitely be appreciated over the years. A cute small token is a lucky antique Iron horseshoe that can be wrapped up on top of your gift with a note saying, “I got LUCKY when I met you!” I’m a sap for the cute factor.

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Now that we’ve discussed all the anniversary gifts you can get for your hubby, I can’t forget to mention how thoughtful my husband is when picking out anniversary gifts for me. He started this amazing tradition on our first anniversary: every year he gives me a new band and slips it on my finger and expresses his love and vows as if it were our wedding day.

It’s so unbelievably thoughtful and intimate, not to mention I get to constantly change up my wedding band! While you might love the thought behind that sentiment, you also might be thinking that gifts like that can get pricey. But, it’s not about the cost of the band, it’s about the meaning behind it. He always goes for antique because he knows that’s my passion. In fact, we found my original wedding band at a small antique store for $300, and there are incredible antique bands/rings for even under that price.

I just love that in 50 years I’ll have the most amazing wedding band collection to pass on to my girls!

So that’s the first 6 years! I can’t wait to think of inventive and romantic gifts for the love of my life as our journey continues throughout the years.

What’s the best anniversary gift you ever gave your better half? What’s the best you’ve received? Tell me how you celebrate in the comments below.

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Photo Credit: Olatz, west elm, Pinterest, 1stdibs, devcow.com, thesnailandthecyclops.blogspot.com

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