Wedding Anniversary Gifts by Year: Awe-Inspiring Ideas

The first year of marriage has flown by, and you’re now thinking of the best wedding anniversary gifts for your spouse. While there are literally dozens of things you could give them, gifts inspired by tradition could be your best bet. Here is a list of ideas.

First Year – Paper

The first year of marriage is the paper year, a period in which you start to write your story together. A journal, book, or yearly subscription to a magazine are traditional choices. If your spouse has a more thoughtful soul, sign them up to an origami class.

Second Year – Cotton

An original canvas to hang in the living room, pillows with their favourite pet, a scarf or a personalised tee are ideal choices for the cotton year.  

Third Year – Leather

From leather outwear or footwear to leather accessories or home decorations, there are dozens of things perfect to use as the third wedding anniversary gifts.

Fourth Year – Silk

Besides luxurious silk garments – or undergarments – silk decorations are also on the verge. For instance, a bunch of silk flowers can embellish your home for a long time.

Fifth Year – Wood

From all wood items out there, original wall art is perhaps the most popular. For instance, a world map engraved on plywood could look amazing on your wall.

Sixth Year – Candy

Sweet sixth year has flown by, and you two deserve to treat yourself with a box of candies. You also can’t go wrong with chocolates.

Seventh Year – Wool

Congratulations! You’ve made it to the seventh year. In the wool year, you can surprise your better half with a handmade pullover or wool cardigan. A cosy blanket for lazy Friday nights could also work wonders.

Eighth Year – Salt

This must have been a tricky year before the emergence of salt lamps. Now, there is nothing to worry about anymore.

Ninth Year – Copper

Copper vases, clocks, pots, and other home items comply with this year’s theme and can also boost the curb appeal of your home.

Tenth Year – Tin

If you two love tea time, and we couldn’t think of anyone who wouldn’t, tin tea accessories can make a great wedding anniversary gift this year. Think of tea and biscuit containers, or at decorative designer items, such as tin wall sconces.

Eleventh Year – Steel

Just like copper, steel is used in the manufacture of many home items, from decorative sculptures to more trivial things, such as cutlery.

Twelfth Year – Linen

Linen represents truth and purity and is the twelfth year’s theme. Focus on home décor items, from ornaments to tableware such as table cloths and napkins. Bedding made from linen can also satisfy your spouse.

Thirteenth Year – Lace

Intricate and elegant, lace reflects the beauty of marriage. Suitable gifts include lace attire or home items, including lace clothing and lingerie, tableware, lace curtains, and lace bed skirts.

Fourteenth Year – Ivory

The fourteenth year is the ivory year. Although there are many home décor items made from this material, we can’t advise on them due to ethical considerations. Instead, you could bring tribute to ivory sources, the elephants, by buying an elephant figurine or making a donation to an elephant sanctuary.

Fifteenth Year – Crystal

Precious crystal items make a perfect wedding anniversary gift in the fifteenth year. Crystal glasses or home decorations are a staple, but you could also opt for crystal jewellery or watches if your spouse likes them.

Sixteenth Year – Silverware

That’s the simplest it can get. The name of the sixteenth year tells you exactly which is the perfect anniversary gift. From silver cutlery to plates and plateaus, you can really choose from a wide range of home items.

Seventeenth Year – Furniture

If the sixteenth year wasn’t suggestive enough, know that in the seventeenth year you should give your spouse furniture. A home gift that can satisfy both of you is perhaps your best bet.

Eighteenth Year – Porcelain

Did you think things will get simpler? Well, the eighteenth year is again a bit more generic. Nevertheless, there are many porcelain items you can get, from china to home decorations.

Nineteenth Year – Bronze

Boasting a distinguished look, bronze can seamlessly embellish your home in the nineteenth year. Bronze lamps, wall art, designer furniture, but also statuettes and vases can make beautiful wedding anniversary gifts.

Twentieth Year – China

Oh well, this is quite straightforward. It’s either china or a trip to China depending on your preference. Whatever you choose will make a splendid gift regardless.

Twenty-fifth Year – Silver

The twenty-fifth year marks your silver anniversary. You should already have the silverware from your sixteenth anniversary, so now you can focus on silver jewellery or home décor items.

Thirtieth Year – Pearl

Things tend to get more precious as the years pass by, so on your thirtieth anniversary, surprise your better half with pearls. Cultured pearls are cheaper than freshwater ones, and they look equally amazing.

Thirty-fifth Year – Coral

Coral jewellery and home décor objects used to be ideal thirty-fifth wedding anniversary gifts. With all the coral bleaching and global warming though, opting for a more sustainable alternative could be a wiser option, while you will still impress your better half.

Fortieth Year – Ruby

Don’t get frightened by the name. While ruby jewellery is a staple this year, so are ruby flowers including nasturtium and gladioli. A ruby red wine could also be an appreciated alternative.

Forty-fifth Year – Sapphire

Another anniversary equals another gem. Or sapphire blue flowers, if you’re not really into jewellery. Blue iris-themed gifts such as scented candles or perfumes can successfully replace both gems and flowers, giving you a more original option.

Fiftieth Year – Gold

Celebrate your gold wedding anniversary with gold jewellery gifts or gold-coloured alternatives. Sunflowers and other flower based gifts can successfully replace gold.

Fifty-fifth Year – Emerald

In the fifty-fifth year of your wedding anniversary, gifts are centred on emeralds. Either gems or emerald green items could do on this special occasion.

Sixtieth Year – Diamond

The sixtieth year of marriage is considered the diamond year, and on this anniversary everything must focus on the precious stone. Either it’s diamond jewellery or orchid-based gifts, you will undoubtedly find the perfect wedding anniversary gifts for this big day. 

10 Wedding Seating Chart Ideas to Wow Your Guests

Among the many things you have to think of when organising your wedding, there is the seating chart. This important item is essential for guiding guests to their tables and avoid seating confusion. It usually consists of a board listing the name of each guest and the number of the table assigned to each name.

However, you don’t have to play by the rules and create a boring seating chart.  Whether it’s a traditional, romantic, contemporary, or rustic wedding, we’ve got you covered.

Check out our creative wedding seating chart ideas below to guide your guests to the table in style.

1. Boutonniere Seating Chart

Instead of making one big chart, you can opt for individual colourful escort cards holding the name of the guest and the number of the table. Pair these cards with flower boutonnieres your guests can wear throughout the reception.

You can even turn the boutonnieres in beautiful keepsakes if you replace the fresh flowers with dried or fabric flowers, or even with artistic brooches.

2. Pressed Flowers Seating Chart

Put your DIY talent at use to create a unique pressed flowers seating chart. Just like above, you’ll have to make individual escort cards with the name of the guest and table printed on each card. Decorate the card with pressed flowers than place it in a small clear plastic box. Alternatively, frame each card in a small picture frame.

Not only you’ll wow your guests with your creativity, but the framed escort cards also make nice keepsakes together with the thank you cards placed on each guest’s seat.

3. Golden Frames

Seating Plan

Romantic and elegant, golden frames can serve more than one purpose at your wedding. Use them to create a display of the bride’s and groom’s most representative photos, nonetheless as a means to help guests find their seats.

Buy golden frames of different shapes and sizes, two of each style. Assign a frame style to each table by using the frame as a centrepiece. Write the name of the guests assigned to each table on vintage paper and fix it in the dedicated model of frame. Then hang all the frames with the names on a board or the entrance wall.

4. Wooden Seating Chart

Wooden seating charts are undoubtedly the most versatile. You can use smooth plywood to make an elegant chart, tree bark for a rustic arrangement, and the ideas can go on and on.

For a stylish event, use a plywood board and white or pastel paint to create your seating chart from scratch.

Instead of numbering the tables, name them. For example, you can call each table after a celebrity, a city, or an animal, depending on the theme of your wedding. Write down the name of each table and the name of the guests assigned to it on separate cards. Pin the cards on a board and decorate your chart with ivy, evergreens, and flowers to give it an elegant touch.

5. Shabby Chic Arrangement

With a handmade wooden frame, handwritten seating chart and a wreath of white and pink peonies, you can make a lovely shabby chic arrangement for your guests. If you want to coordinate all colours, paint the frame in distressed white. Dark brown or natural wood are two alternatives for a countryside or rustic wedding. 

6. Elegant Mirror Seating Chart

Get a twin set of framed mirrors for each table. Use a mirror as a centrepiece and write down the names of the guests assigned to the table on its twin. Hang the seating chart mirrors on the entrance wall or a wooden board; you’ll undoubtedly surprise your guests.

7. Illustrated Escort Cards

Wedding Ceremony

If you’re having a themed wedding, use illustrated escort cards to guide guests to their tables. For instance, print famous destinations on each card if you’re having a travel themed reception. Wildlife illustrations are perfect for a wedding inspired by nature. Or pop singers for a music themed wedding.

Your options are truly endless, and the guests can even keep their illustrated cards to remember your special day over the years to come.

8. Record Seating Chart

Another original idea that works wonders for a music themed wedding is a record seating chart. Handwrite the name of the guests on white sheets of paper, and glue each sheet to a record. Display your records on a wooden board at the entrance.

A record player placed in a corner will undoubtedly complement your décor, adding a special vintage feel to your wedding.

9. Rustic Seating Chart

Countryside weddings and rustic decorations pair perfectly, so why not make a rustic seating chart for your event. For instance, you could nail down a piece of burlap on a rustic wooden frame and pin escort cards onto it for your guests.

Alternatively, use twine, clothespins, and individual escort cards to help guests find their table easier. Decorate each card with dried flower boutonnieres your guests can wear or take home.

A traditional seating chart written calligraphically on tree bark is another easy way to impress your guests.

10. Watercolour Escort Cards

If you’re an artist – or if you know one – you can creatively revamp the traditional seating chart. All you need is watercolours, inspiration, and a bit of talent to paint unique escort cards for each guest. Handwrite or use a calligraphic font to print the name of the guest and the number of the table on each card, then create matching thank you cards.

Not only you’ll brag with a one-of-a-kind seating chart; your guests can even take home the escort and thank you card pair.

Undoubtedly, an original seating chart can impress your guests right from the entrance, and we truly hope the ideas above inspired you!

13 Alternative Ideas to Real Weddings Flowers

Alternative to Wedding Flowers

Bridal and bridesmaids bouquets, centrepieces and venue decorations are traditionally made of real flowers. The only issue is, fresh wedding flowers are quite expensive. They also die, leaving you with no keepsake memory from your special day.

Or perhaps you’re not into real flowers at all. Maybe you’re a modern bride looking to add her own twist to the wedding by replacing flowers with something more unique.

Regardless of what drives you to look for flower substitutes, check out these 13 alternative ideas to real flowers guaranteed to surprise your guests.

1. Feathers

Sophisticated and delicate, feathers are an elegant substitute of real flowers. Their glamour highlights the fine taste of the bride, and they can replace the bridal bouquet as well as the decorations.

Feathers are also easy to paint in all imaginable colours. Velvety purple or deep blue, for instance, will undoubtedly add a touch of style. Dark green, burgundy, and other intense hues can also enhance your look, making your gown stand out.  

2. Sheet Music

Brides with a more thoughtful soul might appreciate an original classic music touch to their wedding. Making paper flowers from sheet music is easy and rather inexpensive; you can use old sheet music or print it on white or vintage paper.

Use the paper flowers to create an original bouquet and unique centrepieces. For instance, you can place tiny bouquets in bird cages or mason jars, and then decorate the tables or the buffet.

3. Dried Flowers

If you want to keep your bouquet forever, you can opt for dried flowers instead of their fresh counterpart. Dried flowers, while real nonetheless, are typically treated with substances able to maintain their beauty forever.

There is something vintage in dried flowers able to seduce even the most exigent brides. Their wilderness pairs perfectly with nature or forest themed weddings, and they also complement an outdoor wedding.

4. Silk Flowers

Fabric flowers are one of the latest trends. Made from a variety of materials, they can satisfy the needs of all brides. Depending on the fabric involved, they can look rustic, vintage, contemporary, or trendy.

While most fabrics are great, it is hard to deny that silk is special. It comes in a wide range of colours, and it can be turned into roses effortlessly.

Decorate your bouquet with pearls and beads to give it an elegant touch, or with buttons for a nonconformist look.

5. Paper Flowers

Do you remember the coloured paper used during the art classes in school? You can transform it into unique wedding flowers. Cut the paper in strips of about five centimetres each, roll each strip and fix its centre with a pin, then open the “petals.”

If you’re not a skilled DIYer, know that paper flowers in all imaginable hues are readily available online. And you can use them for your bouquet or create original centrepieces.

6. Buttons

Buttons can serve dozens of purposes, including the creation of a one-of-a-kind bridal bouquet or unique table decorations. The best part is that you can unleash your imagination. Play with colours, sizes, and even shapes.

Pair the buttons with other DIY accessories, such as pearls, beads, and silk ribbons to enhance the beauty of your decorations.

7. Pom Poms

Whether you want a no-frills bouquet or original centrepieces, pom poms are undoubtedly a nice alternative to real flowers at weddings. They can be made from all types of yarns and can address the needs of most brides.

For instance, you can go for pastel shades if your event is elegant. A nonconformist bride can play with bold hues. If you want to unleash your creative spirit, you can even mix and match a rainbow of colours.

8. Leather Flowers

Ideal for the rock-n-roll or Goth bride, leather flowers can truly make a statement. Silver and black are the most popular colour choices and both pair well with the white of your gown. There is also to say silver and black are elegant shades that can easily add sophistication to your wedding.

9. Cotton Bolls

A sweet natural touch for your wedding, nonetheless a quirky alternative to real flowers, consists of cotton bolls. Pure and delicate, cotton bolls can make a perfect bridal bouquet for a romantic bride. They look amazing on their own, or you can pair them with ivy.

For the venue, place cotton bolls in mason jars for a natural, shabby chic feel. Our advice is to choose a pastel palette focusing majorly on blush pink, baby blue, and green to highlight the beauty of your original decorations.

10. Brooches

If you like all things vintage, replace real flowers with brooches. You’ll have plenty of choices, from richly decorated metal brooches to porcelain and even fabric ones. Mix and match your favourite jewellery models to make a unique bouquet or outstanding table decorations.

Small brooch bouquets also make a gorgeous keepsake for your bridesmaids. Also, don’t forget to pick some unique brooches to pin onto the groom’s jacket.

11. Wheat Sheaves

Wheat sheaves can make an amazing bouquet and superb decorations at weddings inspired by nature’s purity. Their straw yellow pairs perfectly with a white gown as well as with most neutral colours.

If you’re not truly impressed by wheat sheaves alone, blend them with lavender flowers made of silk and enhance the beauty of your bouquet with some ivy.

12. French Beads

While it takes artistic skills and inspiration to make wedding flowers out of French beads, the result is simply outstanding. The best thing is that French beads come in a rainbow of colours to pair with your personality or wedding theme.

Just like brooches, French beads can also make a nice keepsake for your bridesmaids, not to mention such flowers make original thank you gifts for your guests.

13. Balloons

Last but not least, you can replace real flowers with balloons. Whether you want an original bouquet or less traditional decorations, their festive hype will undoubtedly get everyone into celebration mood.

We truly hope these alternative ideas to real flowers at weddings got you inspired, so you can truly wow the guests on your big day!

The Best Man Duties Checklist Made Simple

Your best buddy asked you to be his best man? We’re sure you’re as thrilled as he is. But being a best man doesn’t mean you’re just a glorified groomsman. On the contrary. This honour comes with duties and responsibilities. You will have to roll up your sleeves and get involved in everything wedding related.

If you want to ace it, check out this comprehensive guide to all expectations and responsibilities that come with this job.

Best Man Duties Before the Wedding

1. Lead the Pack

As best man, you get to be the leader of all groomsmen. It is your duty to introduce everyone to one another – unless you’re all already friends, coordinate the buy or rental of matching outfits for the ceremony, and make sure everyone’s on track with the schedule of the event.  

2.  Organise the Stag Night

A wedding is not a wedding without celebrating the groom’s last night out as an unmarried man. And you have the honour to organise the party for your best buddy. From choosing the venue/s to planning games and activities, it’s all on you. If you’re splitting the costs with the other groomsmen, it’s your responsibility to make sure everyone has paid their quote in a timely fashion.

3. Help the Groom

As the big day approaches, the groom-to-be might easily get overwhelmed by his to-do list. As his best man, it is your duty to step in and take some of the burdens off of his shoulders. Help with whatever you can, from acting as an intermediary between the future spouses and the venue or wedding planners to making sure his suit or tuxedo is tailored and ready for the ceremony.

Best Man

Best Man Duties Before and During the Ceremony

4. Show Full Support

The morning before the ceremony is perhaps the most stressful moment for the future groom. Show your full support, be it a pat on the shoulder, a motivational speech or a shot of vodka. It’s also your duty to help the groom get dressed. Remember, you must be a relaxed and upbeat presence during this important day.

5. Keep Things on Schedule

Or at least try to do so. The easiest way is to ask the couple to give you a full timeline of the events you can use to make sure the groom gets to the ceremony on time and that everyone else in your pack is on track.

6. Hold the Rings

If the couple didn’t name a bearer of the rings – usually a child – it is the best man’s responsibility to hold the wedding bands until the part of the ceremony when the spouses exchange them. Be super careful with this part. Place the rings in a safe spot before the wedding day, and in a safe pocket until you have to hand them to the newlyweds. Nothing can ruin a ceremony more than lost rings.

7. Stand by His Side

This is an obvious duty, but not all best men are doing it right. Wedding ceremonies can be boring if you’re not exactly the romantic type. We know standing upright and smiling for the entire time can be annoying, but you should at least look interested when your pal is saying his vows.

8. Pose for Pictures

Standing in front of a camera may not be your favourite thing, but it’s part of the game. Not only you’ll have to be present in the photos, but you may even have to coordinate guests during the shoot.

Best Man Duties During the Reception

9. Play Host

The newlyweds are typically the hosts of the reception, but they will surely be overwhelmed by the events. That’s where you and the maid of honour are expected to step in. You should be able to direct guests to their places or answer their questions. By now, you should hopefully have a timeline of the wedding day and be able to answer all concerns.

10. Dance with the Maid of Honour

Is the maid of honour someone you can’t stand? Well, you’ll have to sacrifice yourself this time and dance with her during the first guest dance. You are also expected to be one of the first people on the dance floor and encourage the other guests to join you.

11. Give a Speech

Once you’ve agreed to be the best man, you must also make sure you master your public speech skills for the big day. Because the best man is expected to give the second toast, right after the father of the bride. Don’t procrastinate when it comes to writing your speech either. Speak from the heart but keep it short – and make sure you memorise it before the day.

12. Make Sure the Groom Eats

The groom may be busy during the reception, and nervous too. This could cause him to have one too many shots and actually forget to have a bite in between. It is your duty to make sure the groom actually gets to eat during the party, and that he mixes booze with alcohol-free beverages.

Best Man Duties After the Reception

13. Safe-keep Gifts

It is common for the newlyweds to flee towards the end of the reception. However, someone will have to safe-keep their gifts. Yes, you got that right! It’s the best man’s duty to gather and keep the gifts somewhere safe until the couple returns from the honeymoon.

14. Pay or Tip Vendors

Together with the collection of the gifts, you must also make sure the vendors are paid or tipped for their services. Keep the amounts in labelled envelopes and find out who you have to hand the envelope to, to avoid confusion or mistakes.

15. Return Rented Attire

Did you rent coordinated outfits for the reception? Make sure all groomsmen return their tuxes as soon as possible, to avoid late return charges. This is perhaps the hardest part of your job, as following up with some groomsmen can turn out to be quite difficult.

Now that you know what’s expected from you, what are you waiting for? Learn your duties and go stand by the groom!

11 Easy Ways to Keep Children Entertained at Weddings

One of the most frequent bridal dilemmas is keeping children entertained at weddings. Little humans find this type of celebrations long and tiring, and we all know – or can imagine – the disaster that can come up when temperamental children lose their patience.

If your guest list includes children, avoid transforming your special day into a total fiasco by planning some activities for the little ones.

Short of ideas? Here are eleven easy ways to keep children entertained at weddings.

1. Give Lots of Treats

As awful as it may sound, your #1 weapon to keeping children entertained at weddings is by bribing them with treats. White marshmallows and clear gummy bears are perfect for the ceremony and the beginning of the reception when you want to keep the dress as white as snow.

If you don’t want to hand them treats right away, invite the kids to play a little game. Promise a special sweet during the reception to the one that behaves the best during the ceremony. Just don’t fail to deliver the promised award to the winner.

2. Plan Outdoor Games

If the weather and venue permit it, arrange an outdoor games area. Chess, cricket, hopscotch or lawn bowling are just some of the activities you could propose. A kids outdoor area will most likely keep the little guests entertained for hours.

3. Create an Indoor Play Area

Regardless of the weather and on whether or not the venue has a garden, create an indoor play area too. Old-school board games are not out of fashion, and will also be enjoyed by older children.

Another nice idea is to build an indoor tent fortress if space allows it. Decorate with cushions and pillows, throw in a few toys, and let the kids unleash their imagination while inventing their own games.

4. Set Up a Kids Table

Seating children at an adults’ table is an almost certain recipe for disaster. Let the kids have their own eating space. Set up a dedicated children’s table; use kid friendly decorations and colourful tableware. Not only the children will have fun, but they will also feel important.

5. Special Children Menu

Do you know what children like at weddings? Food. All those decorated plates stimulate the curiosity of your little guests. However, your wedding menu could be too fancy for the underdeveloped palate of a child. To keep children happy, ask the chef to prepare a different menu for them.

Delicious finger foods, cupcakes, and mini sandwiches might be your best bet if you want to impress the kids at your wedding.

6. I Spy with a Twist

I Spy is a popular game ideal for children who can read. Make cards with objects present at your wedding and invite the little ones to cross them off the list. For instance, make the kids look after a pink dress, a fancy hat, or something blue. Place the cards alongside coloured pencils on the table and allow them to have fun while hunting for the objects on the list.

If the kids are old enough to operate a camera, you can even spice up the game, by asking the children to photograph the objects they’ve spotted.

Printable and disposable cameras are perfect for the purpose. And who knows, maybe one of your little guests will even immortalise your favourite snap of the reception. 

7. Play Kids Music

Another thing to think of when organising your wedding is music. Adults will most likely entertain themselves on the dance floor, but most children don’t like the kind of music adults listen to. If you want to satisfy everyone present, ask the DJ to throw in a kid’s song every now and then.

Disney songs are guaranteed to entertain children of all ages. Ten-minute sessions of children songs every hour or so is all it takes to make the kids happy.

8. Revamp the Photo Booth

If we were to find a children’s attraction at a wedding, it would perhaps be the photo booth. Fancy props, funny hats, and cute signs will act as a magnet for the little ones. While the photo booth should entertain everyone, make sure the kids can find props able to stimulate their imagination.

9. Set Up a Film Room

If the venue permits it, set up a film room. Disney cartoons can entertain children of all ages, keeping them occupied for hours. Make things cosy using cushions instead of chairs; let the children lay down and enjoy their favourite movie while everyone else has fun in the main reception room.

All you need is a responsible adult willing to supervise the little ones. This could be one of the parents or one of the venue’s employees. Alternatively, consider hiring a babysitter.

10. Think of Naptime

Weddings can sometimes be long, and even the most well-behaved children will need a nap at some point. If you have set up a film room, you can use it as a nap area too. Or ask the venue to set up an area where mums can feed their youngsters and place their nappy bags. The same area can also be used as a naptime zone for kids who drained their energy on the dance floor.

11. Get an Entertainer

A sure way to keep children entertained at weddings is with the help of a professional entertainer. Magicians, clowns, balloon modellers, and face painters can keep the children occupied for hours, taking all the burdens off of you.

Not only you’ll make sure all parents are enjoying your wedding instead of watching the kids, but no other adult at the reception will know how to catch the children’s attention and keep them busy the way an entertainer will.

Weddings should be enjoyable for guests of all ages, and we truly hope you spotted some great ideas to keep children entertained. In this way, you can prevent any meltdowns that could ruin your long-waited big day.