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It may be the new year, but we still have a few Southern Weddings V6 tricks tucked up our sleeve! First up is this oh-so-charming and appropriately-titled editorial. Though we are all about weddings, in this issue we also wanted to offer inspiration for some of the girly “side parties” that often come along with them, like bridal showers and bridal brunches. From cake pulls to heirloom recipes, this editorial fits the bill. And thanks to an especially talented team including Jen Huang, Poppies & Posies, Elizabeth Demos, and the gals at Amie Decker Beauty, there are just as many beautiful and inspiring details as any of our weddings!

One of these beautiful charm bracelets is my mama’s, and another is my own! We love featuring personal family pieces in our editorials.

What a magical setting!! It was even more beautiful in person, if you can believe it.

Little touches to make the bride feel extra special are always a “do,” and these paper bells tied onto her chair with satin ribbon are a perfect, easy example.

Popping a bow on top of a buttery stack of biscuits almost turns it into a cake, don’t you think?

Not familiar with the cake pull tradition? Read all about it here!

We set up a little station for gifts to give and get off to the side of the table. Guests were invited to bring a favorite family recipe to stock the bride’s recipe box, and were sent home with a basket of tea cakes made from the bride’s family recipe! Looking for a prettier way to organize your own recipes? We love our new citrus floral recipe boxes!

Cheers to amazing friends and happy celebrations!

Photographer: Jen Huang | Film processing: Richard Photo Lab | Florist, copper vessels, pink cake stand, bowls, and spoons: Poppies & Posies | Location, tables, biscuits, and sweet tea glasses: Oldfield Club | Prop styling: Elizabeth Demos | Hair and makeup: Amie Decker Beauty | “Darby” gown: Amsale | “Sofia” dress: Dolly Pearl | “Cap Cana” dress: Troubadour | Pink polka dot dress: Nordstrom | Mix and match china: Replacements, Ltd. | Recipe box: Sugar Paper | Charm bracelets: Crystal Faye and Past Time Jewelry | Gold dot linen: Caitlin Wilson Textiles | Mini cakes: Sweet Memories | Gift wrap: Midori, Paper Source, and Sugar Paper | Crepe paper baskets: Shop Sweet Lulu | Sweet tea stirrers: Em for Marvelous | Cake toppers and calligraphy: Antiquaria

emily Written with love by Emily
8 Comments
  1. avatar Kyla F reply

    This is such a beautiful setting for an intimate side-party! The little details truly make it magical, like those beautiful flowers on the back of the swing. The use of your family charm bracelets add a special, sentimental touch too! I especially enjoyed reading the linked post about the cake pull tradition because I have never seen that done here in New England.

  2. avatar Brooke reply

    Love this! I’m hosting a bridal shower in February and just decided to do a cake pull because of this post! Are you selling those adorable paper bells on the back of the bride’s chair in the yard sale, by any chance? : )

  3. avatar Wedding Rental Supplies reply

    Each and every detail looks so pretty, elegant and unique. Loved the beautiful details of the chair and tables decor.

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Welcome back to our discussion of all things anniversary! I loved learning the history of the traditional gift materials last week, and now we’re back with suggestions to fit the first five years. The best part about the traditional list? It’s SO flexible! In fact, it might help you come up with something even more creative than you would have with no direction, so don’t be afraid to think outside of the box on these, friends!

First anniversary: Paper
They gave us an easy one to start with! An album of wedding photos is a natural pick, and something that would be cherished for years to come. We also like the idea of purchasing a fine art print — Rebekka Seale will make an amazing one from her drawing of your house, and of course, we love some of the ones we have in our shop! Classic stationery (maybe a joint set with your married monogram?) is always a good bet, too.

Second anniversary: Cotton
Try a decadent sheet set or blanket (this one is hand-loomed) — we love the idea of matching it to your wedding colors! A commissioned painting (canvases are made from cotton!) would be an amazing addition to your home — choose a photo from your wedding day for extra points. For a Southern twist, we suggest a bow tie or a cotton boll wreath.

Third anniversary: Leather
The goodies are endless in this category! Think wallets, belts, shoes, bags, or watches (pictured above: this watch and this monogrammed tote from Mark & Graham). This “places to remember” leather book would be a great companion for a lifetime of shared experiences. If you skipped on an album for your first anniversary, a leather-bound volume could be a great pick on your third!

Fourth anniversary: Fruit and Flowers
At first, this one might seem fairly restrictive, but think outside of the box with me, here. You can, of course, go the traditional route, and order an arrangement of flowers. But what about a hydrangea or gardenia bush from White Flower Farm? I love that it would bloom every year — the gift that keeps on giving! An indoor lemon tree or outdoor flowering tree could be darling, too. Or what about a gift certificate for landscaping, to make your yard an oasis for lots of romantic dinners to come? If all else fails, there are LOTS of flower-patterned goodies to choose from — we love these casual plates.

Fifth anniversary: Wood
Trees would be acceptable here, too! Or perhaps a beautiful planter for outside, or a piece of beautifully-crafted furniture for inside. (My college graduation gift from my parents was a mahogany dining table that expands to fit twelve, and I love remembering that every time we sit down to eat!) For a smaller gift, a custom address stamp, wooden iPad case, or heirloom cutting board would be lovely.

What do you think, friends? Any suggestions to add to our list? I’d love to hear!!

emily Written with love by Emily
4 Comments
  1. avatar Melissa reply

    So fun! I have been thinking about what I might get my husband for our one year anniversary. I thought tickets might be fun! To where? Is the only question… I know we would like to go on a trip, so plane tickets to each other sounds great to me! :)

  2. avatar Kelly C reply

    We were just talking about this the other day in the office because several of our team members have anniversaries around this time of year. I suggested a Jenga set for a co-workers 5th anniversary. She could write some of her favorite memories of the past five years on the pieces and give it to him. On each anniversary going forward, they could get it out and add new memories.

  3. avatar Cassie reply

    Loved our first anniversary gifts…I got my husband a framed world map so that we could pin all the places we’ve traveled together and he framed a photo our wedding photog (the amazing Eric Kelley) took of the grape vines we were married in front of and then he also framed a wine label for the wine that was made using those grapes. I mean seriously? Major props for my sweet husband, I thought that was so creative of him!

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Y’all, can you believe that John and I have been married for almost a year?? Sometimes it seems like just a few minutes ago that we were sharing our wedding photos and film.

Tanja Lippert

We’ve been discussing for a few weeks how we’d like to celebrate our first married milestone, which got me thinking about the traditions that surround anniversary gifts. I did a little digging into the history behind the list, and thought you might be interested to hear what I found!

The practice of giving certain gifts for certain anniversaries seems to have originated in Medieval Germany, where friends [or the husband, depending on your source] were said to give a wife a wreath of silver after she had been married for 25 years, and a gold wreath after fifty years. Both materials represented harmony.

In 1922, Emily Post listed “eight anniversaries known to all” (1st, 5th, 10th, 15th, 20th, 25th, 50th, and 75th) and associated gift materials in her Blue Book of Social Usage. In 1937, the American National Retail Jewelers Association published a more complete guide; they later updated it with a second set of “modern” choices. This is the list we still refer to today:

Of course, as cheesy as it sounds, the best anniversary gift I think you could ever get is another year with your spouse — marriage is a gift in itself, don’t you think? But it’s also absolutely a thing to be celebrated, and gifts are a lovely way to do that. While it’s handy to have suggestions to fall back on when you’re stumped for ideas, and it can be fun to try and think of a creative and meaningful gift within the bounds of each material, the traditional list is in the end just a list of suggestions. John and I love to travel and experience new things, so I’m sure there will be some years when we don’t exchange material gifts at all, but instead choose to take a trip together!

There is one thing I love about the traditional anniversary gift list, however: each material has a symbolic value, and the value increases every year to symbolize the increased investment each partner makes in the other. The idea that my marriage will grow more precious with time is a beautiful one, I think. Here’s to many, many more anniversaries ahead of us all!

Tell me: What anniversary are you celebrating? What did you get each other, if anything, for your first anniversary? Do you follow the traditional list of gift materials? I’d love to know!

P.S. Check back next week — I’ll be offering up some gift ideas for specific anniversary years!

emily Written with love by Emily
12 Comments
  1. avatar Ashleigh reply

    I love that the modern gift is included in the list, but I am a traditional gal at heart. I saw an ad for Love Book the other day and (while I’m approximately 49 weeks away from my first anniversary) I loved the idea. We like to travel, as well, and have already planned our 1-year anniversary getaway to a foreign land – so a small gift like Love Book might be appropriate versus a lavish gift on top of a trip! Great post, Emily!

    http://www.lovebookonline.com/

  2. avatar Elizabeth reply

    My husband I just celebrated our year anniversary. I got him a watercolor of our home. It’s beautiful and he loved it. I wrote a sweet message on the back. I guess that it’s traditional in that it’s paper. I like the fact that we will always have the painting of our first home together. He got me a necklace that is my monogram. Although not traditional, I love monograms and couldn’t have asked for something better!

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  7. avatar Morgan reply

    First off, can I just say how much I ADORE this blog?! I love you all!

    My husband, Derek, and I were married on June 2, 2012. We decided to celebrate our anniversary each year with the traditional gift! For our first year (paper!), he made me a frame and placed a picture of us from our anniversary dinner in Charleston inside it. I made a sheet that highlighted my favorite memories from our first year together as a married couple! I am looking forward to celebrating our second year soon (cotton!)…I am going to get us monogrammed robes from Pottery Barn, which is fitting since we’ll be moving into our brand new house!

    xoxo Morgan

  8. avatar Janice Collins reply

    For our first Anniversary I got my husband a “paper” gift certificate for a deep sea fishing trip off the coast of Charleston, SC (where we live). He was thrilled! He really enjoyed the day of deep sea fishing and even brought home plenty of fish for us to eat.

  9. avatar Cheri Dunn reply

    9/23/15- celebrating 9 years of wedded bliss today!
    We married on Bermuda in 2006 in a beautiful ceremony with many symbolic moments, the memories of which we will treasure forever!! We returned to Cambridge Beaches, Bermuda for our first anniversary and stayed in the same cottage as honeymoon. The resort manager gave us the key to the cottage! Our first anniversary gift was a beautiful watercolor painted by a local artist–on paper, of course!

  10. avatar Erica Broker reply

    My sister in law received a sketch of her wedding dress. It was the perfect one year anniversary gift framed.

  11. avatar Rebecca B. reply

    For our first anniversary my husband got me an anniversary sundial that he found online, it is made of glass and sits on the window sill and was handmade just for us so it would work where we live. It is a clock that tells time by using the sun, but the coolest thing is that it makes really vivid rainbows in our home when the sun shines. He had the guy who made it add a date line to our sundial that the time shadow follows on our anniversary day each year, and there is even a special mark on that anniversary line to celebrate the actual MOMENT we got married! My husband tells me that the sun and moon and planets all move every day, but they will always align for us on our day together (awww) It really is a great gift though because it also makes brilliant rainbows on the floor when the sun shines, and our toddler loves to play in the colors on the floor. I don’t remember what it’s called but you can find it online with a search – it has become a real touchstone in our home and it does something really cool every year on our anniversary!

Southern Weddings reserves the right to delete comments which contain profanity or personal attacks or seek to promote a business unrelated to the post.  And remember: a good attitude is like kudzu – it spreads.  We love hearing your kind thoughts!

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