It may seem small, but a five year wedding anniversary is your first significant milestone as a married couple. Each and every wedding anniversary, whatever the number, offers the chance for both partners to reaffirm their love for each other, so each one is definitely worth celebrating. The effort made by couples in the early stages of marriage can pay off years later – and this is even backed up by science.
So how should you celebrate your 5th wedding anniversary? You can use some of the traditional symbols and meanings behind five years of marriage to help you. Many couples will give each other a bouquet of the traditional flower (Daisy) or a gift made of the traditional material linked to the 5th anniversary (Wood).
Five years of marriage is an important milestone and should be cherished as much as your 25th or 50th, because each one is a chance to step back from daily worries and focus on the happiest day of your lives. To help make your 5th wedding anniversary special, we look at the meanings behind it and how to celebrate with romantic holidays, party ideas and memorable gifts.
What is The Meaning Behind the 5th Wedding Anniversary?
The first five years of your marriage are a turbulent and exhilarating time – by now you have weathered many obstacles together related to things like money, moving home or starting a family, and you have made it out the other side. Now after five years, a strong bond has been formed between the two of you and you have become wiser as individuals, which is why wood represents the 5th anniversary.
As far back as the Roman Empire, the 5th year of marriage has been traditionally celebrated with some form of wooden gift. These gifts were normally crafted from the finest oak tree, as they believed the tree shared many of the qualities a marriage needed to grow – strength, roots and stability.
We still cite the important link between wood and a healthy marriage today. Modern wedding etiquette expert Amber Harrison explains that wood is significant to the five year milestone because “trees are stable and enduring, with deep roots that are always connected – a great model for a healthy, fulfilling relationship.” Your first five years lay down the roots needed to ensure your marriage stays resilient in the face of whatever comes next.
Every wedding anniversary is associated with a unique gemstone, so why is a sapphire the traditional gem of choice for five years? There have been many strong beliefs attached to sapphires throughout history. Royal figures often wore sapphires as it symbolizes wisdom and fortune and they believed it provided them good luck.
Historically, sapphire has always been viewed with awe, since it was once believed that the earth rested on a huge sapphire stone and reflected the sun to make the sky so bright and blue. In biblical times, it was also thought that the tablets that featured the Ten Commandments were made of sapphire.
To this day, sapphire has a holy, virtuous quality, which is why it makes for such a great traditional anniversary gift as couples hold the belief that the gift of sapphire will make our partners faithful to us. An alternative anniversary stone for five years is Pink Tourmaline, which represents friendship and love. It is also a much cheaper gemstone than sapphire, which makes it a great gift for couples on a budget.
The flower associated with the 5th wedding anniversary is the daisy. Daisies represent purity, loyalty, faith and innocence and have been used to celebrate the fifth anniversary milestone since the Victorian era. The Gerbera Daisy in particular comes in all colors of the rainbow, and their joyful appearance reflects a couple’s joy of reaching their first big milestone together.
Surprising your loved one with a bouquet of daisies on your anniversary (or planting some in your garden) is a great way to show you care. The bright and cheerful color pop of Gerbera daisies can also symbolize positivity and hope as you look back fondly on your happy wedding day, while also looking towards the future with excitement and love.
Gift Ideas for Your 5th Wedding Anniversary
If you’re not sure how to celebrate your first five years as a married couple, the time-honored symbol for a 5th wedding anniversary – Wood – can be a good start to finding a special gift. A wooden photo frame or a beautiful wood carving of your wedding date, perhaps? Every couple is different of course, and if celebrating traditionally isn’t your style, there are other sweet and unique gifts you can give to commemorate your 5th wedding anniversary.
Special Wine Selection
Everyone knows that wine only gets better with age, so selecting a special bottle of the stuff for your 5th anniversary can be a romantic metaphor for how you feel about your partner. It also gives you the opportunity to add a personal touch when choosing one too. Here are some tips for picking the right wine:
- Find a bottle of wine that has a vintage of the same year as your wedding day.
- Buy a particular wine variety with a meaningful name.
- Choose a wine that originates from a place with a special meaning to you both. For example, the country of your wedding proposal, the destination of your honeymoon or possibly where you first met.
A ‘Date Night’ Jar
If you’re on a tight budget, you can still give your partner this sweet and thoughtful gift for your 5th wedding anniversary. A ‘date night’ jar is essentially a jar filled with popsicle sticks (or scraps of paper) with ideas for a romantic or fun date written on them. Making time for date nights together is an important part of keeping your marriage healthy and exciting, so keeping a jar of ideas close by will make it more likely that you stick to them.
Don’t forget to make it personal! A date night jar could either be activities that you like to do on a regular basis throughout the year – such as going to the movies or having a romantic meal – but the jar could also be filled with new hobbies and ‘bucket list’ dates that you both want to try. And once you’ve completed a new hobby or ‘date’, you can write the day you did it on the back of the popsicle stick to create a memory jar.
As the five year anniversary symbolizes wood, you could go with a wood-themed gift if you’re a more traditional kind of couple. These could be things like:
- A personalized wooden photo frame
- A wooden wine box engraved with your names and wedding date
- Wooden cufflinks for your husband (these could be personalized with your initials)
- A set of personalized wooden coasters. These could be engraved with your wedding vows or the lyrics to your favorite song, so that you can reminisce about your special day every time you sit down to a meal!
Plant a Tree or Buy Daisies
You may like to take the ‘Wood’ theme even further by planting a tree together. This can be a lovely way of marking your 5th anniversary, as you can watch your tree grow stronger and more beautiful with each passing year of your marriage. Some of the trees you could plant together are:
- Pine is symbolic of an ‘evergreen’ love for each other
- Flaming red maple signifies the fiery passion you still have
- Oak, as it represents solidarity
- A flowering crab tree symbolizes ‘eternal love’
Party Ideas for Your 5th Wedding Anniversary
Because five years of marriage is not a huge milestone in the way that a 25th or 50th anniversary is, most couples celebrating wedding anniversary number five may be reluctant to throw a party – but there’s no reason why this should be the case. Every married couple celebrates their relationship in their own way and if simply going to a restaurant isn’t your style, there are plenty of other ways you can celebrate (even if you stay at home!). Here are some magical ways to party on your 5th wedding anniversary:
Throw a Theme Party
If you’re not a fan of formal dinner parties, why not celebrate your five year milestone in a less conventional way by hosting a theme party? Theme parties give everyone a chance to be creative and makes for a fun, memorable night with the people you love. Here are just a few ideas for hosting a great theme party on your 5th wedding anniversary:
- Theme based on your favorite hobby or sport – did you secretly wish to have a themed wedding based around your favorite sports team, but your other half wasn’t on board? Your anniversary party is the perfect time to indulge that part of you! Use your team’s colors for everything from the cups and banners to the costumes.
- Theme based on your favorite show – are you both super fans of Game of Thrones? You could dress up like the characters and assign different ‘houses’ to your guest tables.
- Choose the ‘5 years ago’ theme – have a mini time-capsule party by playing music from the year you got married. Having a mix of songs that were popular at the time of your wedding (as well as playing your wedding song again) will take you back to your special day and be a little nostalgia trip for your guests too!
- Have a daisy and wood motif – reflect your five anniversary traditions by decorating your venue with daisies and wooden items like coasters or mini boxes with party favors. Keeping to the traditions of the sapphire gemstone, you could also ask guests to come to the party dressed in blue or turquoise.
Celebrate with The Kids
By the time you have been married to each other for five years, it’s possible that you may also have children together. If this is the case, including your kids in your anniversary celebrations can be a sweet idea. We know what you must be thinking – children and romantic anniversary don’t mix!
It may not be for every couple on their anniversary, but if you’re interested in a low-key and low-budget way of celebrating your time together, there’s sometimes no better place to be than surrounded by family. Here are some tips for a modest, at-home party with your kids:
- Re-watch your wedding video – reliving the memories of your special day can be done with photographs and anecdotes, but it’s equally special to relive the big day by watching your wedding video again – especially with your kids. If your children are old enough, they’ll get a kick out of watching mommy and daddy tie the knot – like a fairytale come true!
- Cook a meal together – okay, so preparing a romantic anniversary dinner with the help of young children might seem like a recipe for disaster, but you could involve them in something less risky instead – like making breakfast. Let your little ones help with easy stuff like making pancake mixture or spreading jelly on to toast with a dull butter knife.
- Have a duvet day – daily life can get pretty hectic with young kids and you can forget to take a slow deliberate pause to spend time together, so why not make this a part of your anniversary? Dedicate a whole afternoon to having a movie marathon in your PJ’s. Get out the treats and let your kids build a cozy pillow fort if they want!
Host a Rustic Picnic Party
Why not go all out with the wood theme and celebrate your 5th anniversary in the great outdoors with a picnic party? Inviting a small gathering of your close friends and family to a woodland retreat can be a simple yet memorable way to celebrate your wedding anniversary.
Instead of taking everyone to an expensive restaurant, your guests can enjoy home-made food in a relaxing setting. You could serve the food in cardboard lunch boxes or serve up a feast of snacks on a wooden platter.
And if you’re bringing kids along to the party, they’ll have much more fun roaming free than sitting still in a high-class restaurant! Unless you want to make your anniversary gathering adult only, it may be a good idea to find a family-friendly venue ahead of time. Some woodland parks will have a play area to keep the kids amused – so you and your partner can enjoy reminiscing with friends and family.
5th Wedding Anniversary Holiday Ideas
Five years into your marriage is a great time to plan a vacation. Shortly after tying the knot, married couples can be under great financial and emotional strain from saving up for and planning their own wedding (not to mention the honeymoon). Once you’ve hit the five year mark though, it’s more likely that you have saved up enough to plan a much-needed romantic getaway.
You can look at your five year milestone as a chance for part 2 of your honeymoon! And with the possibility of children now in the picture, it can be a great chance to have a memorable first family vacation together. However you choose to celebrate your anniversary on holiday, here are some tips and destination ideas to help you plan an unforgettable trip:
A Wood-Inspired Getaway (New Zealand)
Use the five year tradition of wood to inspire you and get back to nature for your anniversary. For a truly unique anniversary destination, the breathtaking forests of New Zealand are an ideal place. Not only is New Zealand known for some of the most beautiful landscapes on earth, it is also home to a stunning art form known as ‘Whakairo’ – a Maori tradition that involves the intricate carving of wood, jade and bone.
Other woodland highlights to explore on your New Zealand travels may be the spectacular Redwoods Whakarewarewa Forest which features plenty of romantic nature trails to explore together, not to mention the stunning Sapphire-like Blue and Green lakes of the forest park. The village of Whakarewarewa itself is home to bubbling hot springs, geysers and an arts and crafts area where you and your spouse can learn about the Maori traditions of wood carving and flax weaving.
A Fairy Tale Forest (Germany)
For couples in search of an adventurous but equally romantic woodland getaway, exploring Germany’s Black Forest will make for an unforgettable trip. Stretching 160 km across, the Black Forest is like stepping into a fairy tale with its lush meadows, carved winding valleys and pretty waterfalls. You and your partner will have miles of woodland to explore together and feed your inner child by exploring by bike or by foot through an endless forest canopy.
5th Wedding Anniversary Wishes
Expressing your love and appreciation for each other can be done in many ways, but a good place to start is with a sweet message in their card! A thoughtful message from the heart is a simple but deeply romantic way to show how much they mean to you, and your partner will always appreciate a personal love poem or thought from you than receiving a card with a ready-made verse inside.
Whether you want to exchange anniversary wishes with each other or need inspiration to send a special message to another married couple celebrating their 5th anniversary, here are a few beautiful wishes to include with their card or gift on the special day.
General Wedding Anniversary Wishes:
- ‘Celebrate the joys of today, the memories of yesterday and the hope of tomorrow – happy anniversary!’
- ‘To the most beautiful couple in all the land, may your anniversary be happy and grand’
- ‘May the love you both share last a lifetime through’
- ‘Happy 5 years together! Look back with laughter, look forward with hope’
Wishes for Your Husband:
- ‘No-one makes me laugh like you do. Thanks for being the best part of my day’
- ‘You will always be my happy place’
- ‘My life is so much sweeter when you’re around’
- ‘I’m a better person because of you’
- ‘Thanks for the best 5 years of my life. I can’t wait to spend many more by your side’
Wishes for Your Wife:
- ‘You’re still as beautiful as the day I married you’
- ‘When I’m with you, I’m home’
- ‘Even in no make-up, you’re still the most beautiful woman in the world’
- ‘It takes just a moment to say I love you, but I will spend my lifetime trying to show it’
- Your love makes my days so bright, just knowing that you are my darling wife’
What is an appropriate gift for 10 years of marriage? The traditional gift for the 10th wedding anniversary is tin or aluminum, so anything with a silver tone to it can make a great anniversary gift. This could be things like a silver photo frame, a commemorative silver plate inscribed with the lyrics to your wedding song or – for a budget option – a tin filled with pampering goodies or treats you know they will love.
What can I buy the couple who has everything? We all know a couple who are difficult to buy for. They both have the latest gadgets in their home and are always ahead of the trend – so how can you buy them a stand-out anniversary gift? The trick is to go for things they would not think to buy themselves. We’d recommend: ‘His’ and ‘Her’ keychains, cute matching hoodies or coolest of all, a sound wave print representing their wedding song or a recording of ‘I love you’.
What is the traditional symbol for a 4th wedding anniversary? The fourth year of marriage is normally symbolized by flowers, fruit and linen. The tradition of fruit and flowers are supposed to represent your budding and blooming relationship as husband and wife, and that you have now become truly comfortable with each other. Linen, meanwhile can symbolize making a home together, and could be gifted with new bedding and cozy blankets.
Mike Zhang. Founder of FamilyLifeShare