Family & Relationships Marriage & Divorce

Wedding Anniversary Gifts With a Personalized Touch

Few can forget the flush of first love, the excitement of the wedding, and the bliss of settling into life together. As the years pass, however, sometimes the wedding anniversary begins to take a back seat to the demands of daily life. Between the kids' sporting events, work and life's general mayhem, your wedding anniversary may be in need of a little makeover.

Anniversaries are a vital link in helping remind couples the importance of their relationship and what drew them to one another in the first place. Therefore, it's necessary to take the time to plan out something special as the day draws near. Many couples are more than eager to celebrate their anniversaries, but need a fresh idea or approach to the occasion. Dinner at the same restaurant year after year or a movie just may not cut it anymore. The personalized touch is what couples treasure the most. Think back about your favorite wedding anniversary celebration. Chances are, it wasn't an extravagant affair, but rather something that represented time and thoughtfulness. Following are some fresh ideas for wedding anniversary gifts and celebrations to give that romantic and personalized touch:

The Love Letter
While a love letter has long been cherished by women, it's something that many men can easily appreciate as well. This is not the time to try to wax eloquent. A simple letter stating your love and appreciation for your partner is what makes the greatest impact. If a letter seems like a stretch, try the "Top 10 Reasons I Love You" list, or short notes written on heart-shaped paper. The love letter is a perfect accompaniment to a special piece of jewelry or an anniversary jewelry box. For the true romantic, compose short notes or letters and mail them to your spouse for the week leading up to your wedding anniversary.

The Photo Keepsake
Search for old photos of the two of you "back in the day." Gather more recent pictures as well, which include fun family times, special occasions and friends. Scan or upload to your computer and using any number of websites, you can create a photo album representing your love through the years. Many programs let you add text and other small touches to personalize the keepsake album. Or, have reprints of the photos made and purchase a small photo album in red or black. Decorate the front. For some extra sparkle, attach a piece of anniversary jewelry to the front of the album, such as a locket or pair of earrings.

The Hobby Basket
What does your spouse love to do most? Or is there a special hobby the two of you share? Purchase items that represent that hobby and create a basket, which includes gift cards or an annual membership. For the sport fanatic, buy two tickets to watch his favorite team, along with the team's memorabilia, and perhaps a gift certificate to a local sports bar to watch the next big game. For the nature lover, create an outdoor theme such as gardening items, tickets to a local garden or arboretum, or river stones painted with love phrases he or she can use as paper weights.

The Getaway Car
Remember your getaway car on your wedding day? Perhaps friends and family decorated the car announcing you as the newly married couple and others honked from their cars as you drove by. To commemorate a significant wedding anniversary or just the 13th year, use paint-safe markers to announce your wedding anniversary on the car's back window. Then pick her up at the front door of the house and whisk her off for a romantic dinner. If you want to up the "wow" factor, surprise her with a special piece of anniversary anniversary jewelry celebrating 13 years, "just because" over a candlelit dinner. For a 15th or 20th wedding anniversary, invite some friends to join you at the restaurant and surprise her when you arrive. Afterwards, take her on a romantic drive and enjoy the nods and honks you'll receive from passing cars.

The Jewelry Factor
You can never go wrong with anniversary jewelry on an anniversary as wedding anniversary gifts. And no matter what the budget may be, there's no end to the variety and price range. It's not difficult to find something to fit nearly any budget. Maybe she's had her eye on a diamond necklace or a pair of diamond stud earrings. Even if you can't afford diamonds, cubic zirconium is also an affordable and beautiful option. Another possibility is choosing a piece of jewelry in her birthstone.

Charm bracelets are a lovely and no-fail present when it comes to anniversaries. While many think of giving earrings or a necklace, charm bracelets are a wonderful alternative that can be added to as the years go by. The Danish-inspired charm bracelets feature charms that can be exchanged for other charms or moved to accommodate the growing collection thanks to a threaded modular system. If you're lucky, you might begin early in your marriage with a charm bracelet and then add a special charm to commemorate future anniversaries. These charm bracelets feature a wide range of charms, including sterling silver, 18K gold, Murano glass, precious stones and CZ. There are more than 600 beads and matching jewelry from which to choose.

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