Catholic Gift Ideas for the First Five Anniversaries

CARISSA PLUTA

 

I’ve always loved the traditional “themes” that go along with your wedding anniversary and enjoy the challenge of coming up with a gift idea to go along with it.

PHOTOGRAPHY:    HER WITNESS

PHOTOGRAPHY: HER WITNESS

Finding the perfect gift for your spouse isn’t always easy, so here are some thoughtful and uniquely Catholic ideas for the first five anniversaries:

First Anniversary: Paper

Spiritual bouquet: This gift idea is a favorite of mine. This thoughtful idea allows you to physically show your husband your prayers and sacrifices for him. There are several ways you can go about putting your spiritual bouquet together and you can even invite your family and loved ones to join in.

Framed Print: Beautiful Catholic prints and artwork like this St. John Chrysostom Print or this St. Josemaria Escriva print from our shop, would perfectly fit this theme for your first anniversary and fill your home with even more beauty.

More Here: First Anniversary Gift Ideas

Second Anniversary: Cotton

T-Shirt: Cotton shirts make a laid back but fun gift for your significant other. You can buy functional, everyday shirts or switch it up with a cool (and Catholic) graphic t-shirt like the Beloved and All the Days of My Life tees in the Spoken Bride Shop. 

New sheets or a quilt: Your bed shouldn’t just be the place in which you go to sleep each night, but a sacred space. It is where your vows are made flesh and should be adorned in a manner fitting of such a high honor. New cotton sheets or a custom quilt would help turn your bedroom into a sanctuary.

Third Anniversary: Leather

Leather bound Bible or Liturgy of the Hours: I love leather bound books, don’t you? You can buy a leather bound Bible or the set of Liturgy of the Hours for your spouse (and you) to use daily. These sturdy books will hold up well over the years and would make a great addition to your family’s sacred space.

Leather prayer journal: Does your spouse like to journal as a form of prayer? Buy a leather journal for him to take with him to the chapel for holy hour. 

Personalized Leather Tray: A leather tray to hold your wedding bands, keys, or spare change would make another good option for your third anniversary. You can even have it personalized with a meaningful quote or verse from your wedding mass readings. 

Fourth Anniversary: Fruit or Flowers

Custom painting of your wedding bouquet: If you have a photo of the bouquet from your wedding, you can find an artist to make a custom painting of it for your home. It serves as a beautiful reminder of that special day (and would last much longer than real flowers would). 

Marian Garden: Clear a spot in your yard and plants flowers around a statue of Mary. While this isn’t exactly a simple, one-time gift, it gives you something to watch grow and flourish as the years go on.

Fifth Anniversary: Wood

Crucifix: A wooden crucifix would remind you of your call in marriage to self-giving love, and make a beautiful and meaningful addition to your bedroom or sacred space. 

Wood beaded rosaries: Wooden rosary beads are also a good (and spiritually edifying) option for this anniversary. 

The Spoken Bride vendor guide features many talented Catholic artists and craftsmen and can help you find other gift, art, jewelry, and photo options for your upcoming anniversary. 


About the Author: Carissa Pluta is Spoken Bride’s Editor at Large. She is the author of the blog The Myth Retold. Read more

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Introducing the Spoken Bride Shop.

Since Spoken Bride’s start in 2016, we have hoped and prayed to share our mission not only through images and the written word, but through the tangible: beautiful, distinctively Catholic products that could serve brides during all stages of engagement, wedding and Mass planning, and newlywed life.

Today, we’re thrilled to share the fruits of those dreams with the launch of the Spoken Bride Shop.

Intentionally designed to offer you simplicity, truth, and expertise in Theology and the wedding industry, our first collections in the shop are visual expressions—and meaningful gifts—that highlight the beauty of marriage. We celebrate celebrate men and women who found fulfillment through their married vocation; we express the truth of our vows; we acknowledge our identity as children of God; we provoke reflection on the holy wisdom of the saints. 

Whether you are a single woman in discernment, an engaged woman preparing for marriage, a newlywed or a bride of many years, we share our hearts with you through the Spoken Bride Shop and pray you are encouraged and inspired to pursue the truth of every woman’s call to be a beloved spouse. 

As our ministry is brought to life in a new way, we share our deepest gratitude and praise for the Holy Spirit’s grace in bringing these dreams to fruition. And we thank you—this community of brides, mothers, vendors, contributors, and readers—for empowering this mission to be a place where God dwells among us.

Click here to view additional listings in the Spoken Bride Shop!

Starting Your Christmas Shopping? 5 Gifts Perfect for Newlyweds

ADA PIMENTEL

 

One of the options for the blessing at the conclusion of the wedding Mass reads, May you… have solace in your friends and enjoy true peace with everyone.

 As friends and family of a newlywed couple it is our job to help them throughout their marriage and on their way to salvation. Of course, the majority of the work is up to them, but there are still many ways we can offer support-- one of the most tangible being through gifts.

The purpose behind wedding gifts is to provide the newlyweds the things they need to start their life together, and while everyone does need sheets and towels and dishes, these don’t necessarily support your friends in their actual marriage. Here, a few ideas for meaningful gifts to help them along the way.

A date night in

Common wisdom says, “Never stop dating.” Give your friends some treats to enjoy at home, while they relax in each other’s company. A two player game or a book of Mad-Libs, some snacks, a nice bottle of wine, and voila! The perfect date night in.

A date night out

After planning a wedding, budgets are often tight, which means luxuries often get cut out for a few months. A gift card to a nice restaurant or tickets to a concert or movie can be a great excuse for a night out without breaking the bank. Consider planning with several friends to splurge on an event the couple would really enjoy, but which may not be in their budget. Of course, you may have to ask ahead of time whether their calendar is open!

 Practical religious items

When I got married a friend sent an Advent wreath. I had never had one before, but it set the tone for a prayerful first Advent together. A small nativity scene, family Bible, or some holy salt for blessing their home are all good options. Consider including a small booklet of prayers or a note about how you celebrate different occasions throughout the liturgical year.

Words of wisdom

The best gift my husband and I received was a simple note that read, Welcome to marriage (or as we call it, The Eternal Sleepover). Don’t forget to get cocktails together. Our friends’ humor and advice were exactly what we needed during our jittery period of anticipation before the wedding. Consider passing on the best wedding advice you ever received or a book that had a major impact on your marriage.

 A Polaroid camera

After all the wedding hubbub has died down, and all the photos have been posted to social media, people often forget to document the silly, happy, or even mundane moments of their lives. A Polaroid (or a few disposable cameras) is a great way to remind newly married couples that the adventures are just beginning, and that these new memories deserve to be cherished.

Over the years married couples rely on friends for many things: solace in hardship, companionship in good times, and a support network through all the little highs and lows. A small token of your friendship on their wedding day lets your friends know you care for them and that they are assured of your friendship in the years to come.


About the Author: Ada Pimentel studied English at the University of Dallas and currently teaches elementary school. She married her college best friend in November 2017. When she is not teaching, Ada can be found contemplating classical education, redecorating her apartment for the hundredth time, and reading British novels.

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Editors' Picks | Vol. 14: Catholic Home Décor

At Spoken Bride, we love a good book, a good meal, a standout statement necklace, a heel you can dance in, and the list goes on. And when we make those discoveries, we want to tell everyone. So every month or two, we're sharing our latest and favorite finds in everything engagement, wedding, and honeymoon-related.

Did you know the Spoken Bride Vendor Guide has a Gifts & Home Décor section? In addition to the artists and creators whom we’re proud to partner with, today we’re also sharing additional items that inspire beauty and prayer in your home (non-sponsored).

Framed artwork: Spoken Bride Vendor Michelle Arnold Paine

Framed artwork: Spoken Bride Vendor Michelle Arnold Paine

Stephanie, Co-Founder & Editor in Chief

Vatican Gift Icons: Iconography has been my favorite type of religious art for a long time; I love the immersive nature of the images for both artist and viewer and their many deep, beautiful layers of prayer and symbolism. Icons purchased through the Vatican’s online gift shop can be blessed by the Holy Father at your request--if you and your beloved aren’t honeymooning in Rome, items like these are a wonderful option for acknowledging your unique call as spouses within the universal Church.

Consecrate This House print: To celebrate your first home as husband and wife is to accept the invitation to make the home a domestic church and school of love. This elegant print from a Catholic-owned shop (one of our brides!) inspired by Scripture is a reminder “of God's presence within our homes and that He will never abandon us.”  It would take on a wonderful significance in your entryway, dining space, or another area of your home where your friends and family gather.

Wrought Iron Advent Candle Holder: I’m drawn to simple design for my home and love the clean styling of this candle holder, which could be dressed up with scattered greenery during the Advent season and would fit well with minimalist, rustic, or modern decor.

 

Jiza, Co-Founder & Creative Director

Monastery Icons: This company offers a wide variety of sacred art, including sculpture, jewelry, and, of course, icons. All icons are written by a religious brother in the U.S.

Lily Porter Niederpruem Art: It’s beautiful when the concept of “Catholic” art extends beyond the literal. For the abstract art lover, Lily Niederpruem describes her colorful, Impressionist-style oil paintings as an invitation to contemplate the spirituality of God at work in the natural world, “because nature shares an intimate relationship with the sacred.” Graphite drawings and watercolors are also available. I have a print of her Luminous Mysteries painting, and I love it!

 

Andi, Business Director

Sick Call Crucifix: Our dear friends gave us a crucifix similar to this as a wedding gift, along with holy water, beeswax candles, and instructions on how and when to call a priest for the sacrament of Anointing of the Sick. Although I generally don’t want to even think about needing to use this kit, I do like acknowledging this sacrament in our home and having necessary items ready. It’s like having an emergency kit for our souls!

Outdoor Statues: When my husband and I first bought our home ten years ago, I stumbled upon an Our Lady of Grace statue at a local outdoor shop and immediately brought her home. She’s lived in various places in our backyard ever since, usually with white roses nearby.

Sacred Heart Enthronement: The Enthronement of the Sacred Heart is a ceremony led by the Legion of Mary, wherein a family makes a formal entrustment of their lives to Christ. My family participated several years ago, and it was beautiful. We love having the image of Jesus’s Sacred Heart right on our mantel, under Our Lady of Guadalupe. Jesus is right there in the heart of our home, watching over us as we play, read, watch movies.

We love the sensory nature of the Catholic faith and the ways it invites us to contemplate the love of God in tangible ways—including those that can be experienced daily in our homes. Be sure to share the items that draw you into contemplation and beauty in the comments and on our social media.

4 Ideas for Wedding Gifts to Your Beloved

The future Saint John Paul II wrote in Love and Responsibility that “[betrothed love’s] decisive character is the giving of one’s own person (to another). The essence of betrothed love is self-giving, the surrender of one’s ‘I.’” Every vocation finds its deepest fulfillment in self-gift; marriage, perhaps, in the most tangible way. Within the sacrament, husband and wife give nothing less than their entire selves to one another; a yes given in total freedom.

But that doesn’t mean you can’t commemorate your wedding with additional items besides your very beings. While there’s no rulebook requiring wedding gifts to each other are required, the gesture can carry emotional significance--particularly for those whom gift-giving is a love language. If you and your beloved have chosen to give each other wedding gifts, we present these four categories as a starting point for your ideas.

Experience gifts

The gift of quality time through shared experience not only creates an indelible memory of your first days as a married couple, but can be a surprise for your beloved if it’s planned for after your wedding day. You might secretly plan a dinner or pilgrimage in your honeymoon location, for instance, purchase two tickets for an upcoming sports event or concert, or book an in-home photography session to document your time as newlyweds.

Practical gifts

Of course, the start of your life together isn’t solely a material pursuit. When kept in a virtuous perspective, however--a detached sensibility and an understanding that life has its seasons of fasting and feasting within our means--it feels special to celebrate your marriage with a new or upgraded item your spouse (or the both of you) can use to elevate your daily routines and habits. Practical goods fit well into this category, including coffee equipment, tech items, barware, luggage or everyday bags, or even a piece of furniture your spouse would love or has his eye on.

Hobby-related gifts

Whatever your talents and interests, or whatever your spouse-to-be’s, there’s probably a way to channel them into a meaningful wedding gift: an original poem or song, a painting of the church where you were engaged or are to be married, an instrument, camera, journal, outdoor or hiking gear, or beautiful edition of a favorite book. Your hobbies are a source of creativity, and future leisure, waiting to be tapped into.

Spiritual gifts

A mass enrollment--perhaps at a church or with a religious order with significant meaning for your spouse--a statue, icon, or religious image for your home, family Bible, Rosary, or saint medal are gifts that offer a deeply personal element, allowing you to choose items that reflect the particular spirituality, saints, and devotions significant to who you are.

We love hearing the meaning and intention behind the details of your wedding day. Did you and your spouse exchange gifts, or are you planning to? Share your gift ideas for brides and grooms, and how you chose them, in the comments and on our social media.

How to Create + Give a Spiritual Bouquet

ANDI COMPTON

 

On the morning of our wedding, my Maid of Honor presented me with a bouquet of daisies. Tied to the flowers were sweet cards written with prayers and sacrifices our bridal party and friends had been offering for my husband and I as as we prepared for our wedding day. I was absolutely floored by this wonderful, thoughtful gift; a spiritual bouquet. It was incredible to see all the ways our loved ones were bringing us to the Lord. A reminder of how we are all part of the body of Christ, praying and sacrificing for one another always.

There is no right or wrong way to create a spiritual bouquet, a lovely way of gathering prayers either from yourself or a group, for anyone who could use some spiritual encouragement. Essentially, it is a gift of prayer--like a bouquet, a collection of beautiful offerings intended to bear fruit, goodness, and beauty in the life of the recipient--that can be presented in a creative, tangible way to commemorate a significant event.

If you’re a bridesmaid looking to intercede for a bride, or a bride hoping to infuse your gifts for parents and wedding party members with a spiritual dimension, here are ideas to inspire you.

Binder of prayers

This works well when you’ve got a large amount of people--even groups of several hundred--contributing, or when flowers simply wouldn’t be practical or affordable. Use the free printable we’ve created below to distribute the cards. Have participants to fill in with prayers and sacrifices, then collect them and use plastic trading card sleeves to put them in a binder.

Embroidered flowers or a floral painting

For flowers that last forever, considering ordering or creating your own work of art. Hyssop and Honey turns your prayers into flowers for a lasting keepsake. If you're feeling artistic, try painting or crafting your bouquet as you pray.

Greeting cards

Something as simple as sending a loved one a card like this one, citing prayers you’ve offered for them, is a great way to show your love and encouragement.

Download our Spiritual Bouquet printable below:


About the Author: Andi Compton is Spoken Bride's Business Director. She is the owner of Now That's a Party where she coordinates weddings, fundraising galas, and social events. Read more

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The Spoken Bride 2017 Gift Guide, Curated by Our Vendors

Last year, our team shared with you our favorite gifts for fiancés and spouses, family, and friends. Today, with our gratitude, we've turned to our vendors. Here, some top picks from their gift lists:

Lindsay Trezza, Artist, Just Love Prints

Handmade Wooden Pocket Rosary: This shop, Catholic Woodworker, is one of my favorites! Owner Jonathan Conrad is a talented craftsman who uses his woodworking skills for the glory of God. Any one of his creations would make a great gift for a husband, but this pocket rosary is definitely my top pick.

Customizable Wedding Vow Print: If you someone you know is celebrating their first, second, tenth--or 50th--Christmas together as husband and wife, this hand-painted 8x10 print will make the perfect keepsake. Give to a friend or create one for yourself! It's customizable with names and a wedding date to make this a truly unique gift that will be treasured for years to come. 

Lighthouse CD of the Month Club: With this subscription, a different Catholic CD is delivered to your mailbox each month. The discs cover a wide range of captivating topics that are great for long car rides and daily commutes. I think it's a perfect gift idea for parents and in-laws!

"Love Begins at Home" PrintThis hand-painted print of St. Teresa of Calcutta's words makes a lovely addition to any home, as a holiday housewarming gift or any time of year. 

JUST LOVE PRINTS | WEBSITE | INSTAGRAM | FACEBOOK | PINTEREST

 

Brianna Fitzpatrick, Videographer + Photographer, OC Media

Artifact Uprising Photo BookFor a recently married couple, Artifact Uprising allows you to personalize your books to make them special. We often give these as gifts to our photography clients, and they LOVE them. Another great gift idea from the same company is a personalized photo box, accompanied by prints. We also love these wedding memory boxes from Etsy, or these glass keepsake boxes.

JORD watch: We were at a wedding where a bride gifted this to her soon-to-be husband the day of the wedding. Not only was it a beautifully crafted wooden watch, but it made for some great pictures during the wedding day! It was a great cue for my husband, who ending up gifting me with my own for Christmas that year. I absolutely love my watch!

Martin Family IconThis can be a very beautiful gift from children to their parents! The Martin family holds a special place in our own hearts because they represent a whole family of saints.

OCULI CORDIS MEDIA | WEBSITE | INSTAGRAM | FACEBOOK

 

Emily Ricci, Designer, Gloriam Marketing

Engraved handwriting bracelet: I actually gave this engraved bracelet to my mom as a thank you present at our rehearsal dinner, but it is such a sweet idea for any occasion to give to the awesome women in your life! The jeweler actually takes your handwriting and engraves it onto a bangle, necklace, or ring, which adds a beautiful touch of love and personalization to the gift. I love the idea of  aiding in creating a piece for a loved one!

Catholic Planner: This planner is perfect for just about anyone. It includes Scripture passages, Mass readings, and even space for journaling. For someone like myself who likes to be super organized, it's nice having that reminder right in my planner pages to let go and offer my busy life to the Lord.

GLORIAM MARKETING | WEBSITE I FACEBOOK I INSTAGRAM

 

Mel O’Keeffe, Photographer, Mel Watson Photography

The Night Sky Custom Star Map: I ended up giving this as a gift to my husband for our first anniversary this past August. It serves as the perfect Christmas gift, too! Want to see what the night sky and constellations looked like the night you had your first kiss, got engaged, or held your wedding reception, in poster form? All you do is enter the month, day, year, and location of your significant event and BOOM! The Night Sky finds the coordinates of that location, making instant constellation awesomeness to remind you what the stars looked like on a super meaningful and important night. You can also add a quote or words at the bottom of the poster.

The Little Oratory: A Beginner's Guide to Praying in the HomeThis book is worth its weight in gold. My best friend gifted it to me right before I got married, and it's been so helpful for me and my husband in creating an intentional, prayerful environment in our home. The authors cover everything from praying the Rosary as a family to living liturgically to how to create an altar or "little oratory" in your home! It's perfect for a girlfriend who is engaged and is preparing for marriage, or friends who have recently gotten married. It truly is an aid for those striving to create their own domestic church.

MEL WATSON PHOTOGRAPHY | WEBSITE | INSTAGRAM | FACEBOOK


This season comes down to letting "earth receive her king"--heaven come down to us in the Incarnation, the ultimate act of spousal self-gift. Know of our prayers for you and your beloved during this sacred time of Advent. Be sure to check out our vendors' most recent work and to share your favorite gift ideas in the comments and on our social media!