Your fifth anniversary is a significant one and worthy of celebration. It's a milestone anniversary, so it's one that most couples find important to acknowledge — and their families often want to celebrate it as well.
By the fifth year, your marriage is becoming strong — so it's no surprise that wood, a symbol of durability and wisdom, is the traditional marker and gift for a fifth anniversary. Keep reading to understand how wood became associated with the fifth anniversary and to pick up some great gift ideas.
Why Does Each Anniversary Have a Special Gift?
The idea of giving gifts to denote specific wedding anniversaries seems to date to the 1700s in Germany. The lovely concept moved over to England in the early 1800s, where it became especially popular during the Victorian era.
This era was the time when people began to marry for love, rather than to preserve family fortunes. With the new attitude toward marriage came a new emphasis on commitment. It's not surprising, then, that people began to want to celebrate the continuation of their marriages by marking their anniversaries with special gifts.
By the mid-1800s, etiquette books, almanacs, and even dictionaries began to list the appropriate gifts for special anniversaries — and from the beginning, wood was considered the right gift to commemorate the fifth anniversary. Etiquette maven Emily Post anchored the special nature of the fifth anniversary with her first and bestselling etiquette book in 1922, noting that husbands and wives were expected to give each other gifts for the key anniversaries.
The Fifth Anniversary: Wood
Wood has been the gift of choice for the fifth anniversary for well over 150 years, and it's an appropriate choice. After all, wood becomes more beautiful and stronger as it gains years, just as a marriage glows and grows with the years. Wood stands as a symbol of the long-lasting nature of a marriage, with years of durability and strength still to come.
Some people have tried to modernize the anniversary gift list, calling for silverware as a fifth anniversary gift in place of wood. However, given that most married couples will have need of flatware long before their fifth anniversary (and may not be interested in a traditional silver service at all), wood remains the gift of choice.
Gifts for the 5th (Wood) Anniversary
With the theme of wood before you as you choose anniversary presents, you're in a position to select items that are beautiful and functional as well as symbolizing durability and strength. Whether you're choosing a gift for a couple you care deeply for or you're looking for just the right gift for your own spouse, we have plenty of wonderful ideas to get you started.
Gifts to the Happy Couple
Many couples look forward to receiving gifts that are both practical and a delight to the eyes — and wood gifts fall neatly into that dual category. Whether you lean toward beauty or functionality, you should be able to find a gift that will be well-appreciated from these choices.
Wood Containers and Art Objects
Consider giving the couple celebrating their fifth anniversary a beautiful picture framed in a wood frame — perhaps a photo from a forest or a special stand of trees that holds fond memories. Wooden baskets or boxes (we make an awesome wooden ring box) are also something to keep in mind since they are so versatile. Book lovers might appreciate a pair of wooden bookends, or pick up a unique wooden paperweight to help a desk stay tidy. A striking wood sculpture or carving that suits the couple's style also makes a great gift.
A small side table or other practical piece of furniture made of wood can be a welcome gift. Consider a unique piece made of willow twigs, a beautiful bentwood rocking chair, or something of wicker to use outdoors. Bookshelves, other types of shelving, or a handsome curio cabinet are a great gift, as are small folding tables or TV trays that can solve space problems in a small home.
Wooden Gifts for the Kitchen
A wooden salad set goes with every type of casual dining dishware, or look for wooden or bamboo carving boards to help out in the kitchen. Wine lovers are always in need of new wine racks, and wooden ones add a sense of time-tested tradition to a dining room.
Just for Fun
Consider a wooden jigsaw puzzle as a gift for the happy couple — you can even have them custom made with photos from their wedding. Another fun gift of wood is a croquet set for casual afternoons outdoors.
Gifts for Each Other
Of course, you want to find just the right gift for your spouse as you celebrate the milestone of five years of marriage. Take a look at this creative ideas to commemorate your big day.
A New Wooden Wedding Band
Because it's worn next to your skin, soaking up your natural oils and warmth, wooden jewelry gets more lustrous with each passing year. Whether you choose an intricately carved wooden bracelet, a simple wood cross necklace, or an eye-catching ring that incorporates the beauty of wood at its finest, wooden jewelry is perhaps the best possible gift for a fifth anniversary.
At Alpine Rings, we specialize in creating stunning rings that blend exotic woods with powerful metals to produce wearable works of art. A handsome ring that pairs tropical koa wood with the masculinity of hammered black tungsten stands out as a wedding ring or a special anniversary gift. Another dynamic choice: Our tungsten and pear wood ring. The black tungsten is harder than gold, set with an inlay of polished pear wood, one of the hardest woods on Earth, to stand as a testimony to the durability of your love.
As a special commemorative gift, check out our stunning ring that highlights African padauk wood, combining it with a splash of titanium to make a vibrant contrast that grabs attention and sets your ring apart. Because titanium is hypoallergenic, this ring is comfortable for any man to wear.
As you approach your own fifth anniversary, or the fifth anniversary of a couple you love, make it a special one with wood gifts that mark this important milestone while bringing beauty to your lives.
Plant a Tree
One of the loveliest ways to mark your fifth anniversary is to plant a tree to celebrate the occasion. Think about the traditional meanings as you choose just the right tree. For example, a pine tree symbolizes your evergreen love, an oak tree stands for stability, and a maple tree, with its flaming red leaves each fall, represents your unending passion. (Of course, make sure you choose a tree that's appropriate for your climate, too.)
Make a Memory
If you have a forest nearby, a hike or stroll through the trees can be a beautiful way to celebrate your anniversary. (Don't forget to take plenty of photos to share on social media or to treasure as keepsakes.) A local park or arboretum can also be a lovely destination for an anniversary picnic. You might even want to plan a road trip to visit a national park. And while you're making memories, consider purchasing (or building!) a beautiful wooden box and filling it with photos, love letters, or coupons for special things you can do together.
Wood Furniture and Decorations for Your Outdoor Space
You probably focused on creating your own little nest for the two of you when you settled in to married life together — and now it's time to turn your attention to your outdoor space, where wood is especially natural. If you enjoy a large tree in your yard, consider hanging a wooden tree swing from a sturdy branch (big enough for two, naturally!) so you can relax together.
Wooden lanterns for your outdoor patio or deck also create a romantic and beautiful ambiance and let you enjoy special evenings together outdoors. In the same vein, what about a wooden fire pit that lets you cozy up in front of the flames and even make some s'mores on a brisk fall evening? Consider, too, a beautiful carved wooden bench for a special corner of your garden or a comfortable wooden Adirondack chair that lets you relax outdoors.
Unique Wood Items for Your Home
Fill a wall with photos of your life together, all framed in matching or complementary wood frames to create a striking portrait gallery. If you add a new photo for every anniversary, you'll end up with the whole history of your life together for friends and family to see and enjoy.
Hand-carved wood art pieces or serving bowls help you commemorate this special anniversary while also adding beauty to your home. You can also make all your senses come alive with essential oil diffusers made of wood or with wooden candle holders that display candles with your favorite scents. If you and your spouse are of an especially practical frame of mind, consider a wood docking station that keeps all your electronics neatly arrayed and ready for charging without the cheap look of plastic.