Around half of all marriages end in divorce, but you’ve made it through the good times and the bad. In fact, most of the times have been wonderful. Now you’re approaching your 40th wedding anniversary, it’s time for a big celebration. Mark the occasion with these 40th wedding anniversary ideas.

Traditional and Modern 40th Wedding Anniversary Gifts

Each anniversary is associated with a different gift. According to a list compiled by the Chicago Public Library, there are both modern and traditional wedding anniversary gifts. For instance, for the first wedding anniversary, the traditional gift is paper, but the modern gift is a clock. For the fifth wedding anniversary, the traditional gift is wood, but the modern gift is silver. Gifts become fancier as the anniversaries get bigger. Sometimes, modern and traditional gifts are the same.

For a 40th anniversary, both the traditional and modern gift lists agree that rubies are ideal.

If you want to incorporate rubies into your 40th anniversary wedding celebration, you have several options. Of course, you could give your spouse actual rubies – a ruby ring, necklace, or pair of earrings would make an excellent 40th anniversary present.

Alternatively, you could run with the ruby theme without buying actual jewels – red flowers and balloons, for example. You could also look for gifts made with 40th wedding anniversaries in mind, such as this 40th wedding anniversary picture frame with red detail or these red 40th anniversary crystal swan figurines.

Host a 40th Anniversary Party

The more, the merrier. A 40th anniversary party is a fantastic way to celebrate your marriage with your friends and family.

The type of party you host will depend on how extravagant you want the celebration and how many people you want to invite. For a small, personal celebration, consider hosting a dinner party or cocktail party at your home.

If hosting at home sounds like too much work, have your celebration at your favorite restaurant. Many restaurants have private dining rooms you can reserve, which can be the perfect option for a no-fuss celebration.

If you want to go all out for your 40th anniversary bash, reserve a large venue and arrange for catering and live music. This option allows you to have a large guest list to include all your family, friends, and coworkers. A professional party planner can help you put it all together.

Renew Your Wedding Vows

It’s been four decades since you said “I do,” but your love is stronger than ever. To show you’re still committed to each other, consider renewing your vows.

Your wedding vow renewal doesn’t need to be as extravagant as your actual wedding. Plus, since you’re already married, you don’t have to worry about obtaining a marriage license or finding someone who’s authorized to officiate a wedding. Have fun with your wedding vow renewal – use it as an opportunity to reaffirm your love and commitment.

Go on an Adventure

If a party isn’t your style, consider going on a getaway to celebrate your wedding anniversary.

  • Relive your honeymoon. It’s been 40 years since you went on your honeymoon. Relive the experience by going back to your honeymoon destination. See if you can book a honeymoon suite to make the getaway just as romantic as the first time.
  • Enjoy the honeymoon you always wanted. Newlyweds aren’t always able to enjoy their dream honeymoon. Whether it was a lack of money, an inability to take time off work, or personal factors that kept you from going on a fancy honeymoon decades ago, your 40th anniversary can be your second chance.
  • Travel abroad. If you and your spouse have always dreamed of visiting Paris, Tokyo, or another international destination, your 40th anniversary might be just the excuse you need to stop daydreaming and start planning.
  • Go on a cruise. If you want to travel but can’t settle on just one destination, a cruise might be the right option for you and your spouse. An anniversary cruise is a great way to enjoy each other’s company while traveling the world. Plus, many cruise lines offer special anniversary packages to make the trip even more memorable. For example, Princess offers anniversary packages that include a photo and other romantic perks. The cruise line even offers renewal of vows packages.

Commission a Portrait

A portrait is an elegant way to commemorate your marriage. You and your spouse can pose for a portrait or commission a portrait from a photograph. The former allows you to have a portrait that represents how you look as you celebrate your 40th anniversary, whereas the latter could show how you looked 40 years ago on your wedding day.

When selecting an artist, it’s essential to align with someone whose artistic style resonates with your vision. For those inclined towards the timeless elegance of oil paintings, The Portrait Agency offers the expertise to transform any photo from your marriage into a classic masterpiece. If you’re drawn to the subtle nuance of traditional painting or sketching, Shane McDonald Studios specializes in capturing the depth of your bond through exquisite detail. And for couples who prefer the immediacy and realism of photography, there are local wedding photographers in our area that are skilled in creating portraits that symbolize your enduring partnership. Costs can also vary widely. Talk to the artist about the process and cost to know what to expect.

Learn Something New Together

After 40 years of marriage, you might think you and your spouse know everything there is to know about each other. Find new things to share by learning something new together.

  • Take a dancing class. Whether you want to learn salsa or ballroom, dance lessons are a fantastic way to spend time together. You’ll also benefit from the exercise.
  • Take a cooking class. Cooking for someone can be a wonderful way to show your love. You and your spouse can take a cooking class together to learn how to make new types of food for each other. If you don’t know your way around the kitchen very well, take a basic cooking class. If you’re already skilled cooks, consider a more specialized class – for example, you could learn how to make French pastries or Chinese dim sum.
  • Take up a new hobby. Your 40th wedding anniversary is an ideal time to start a new hobby. You may already be retired or you may be planning to retire soon, meaning you’ll have more free time. A hobby can help you stay physically and socially active. Starting a new hobby together will mean you also have more time to bond. Choose a hobby that appeals to both of you, such as birding, gardening, or photography. The key is to find something you’re both equally interested in. As a wedding anniversary gift to each other, buy the supplies you’ll need to get started.

More 40th Anniversary Gifts

If you want a more specific gift for your loved one, this list can guide you to select the perfect gift that becomes an expression of the journey you’ve shared. These ruby-themed gifts are curated to honor the splendor of forty years together, organized into categories that cater to diverse tastes and preferences.

Home Decor: Adorn your living spaces with these elegant choices that blend functionality with aesthetic appeal.

Kitchen Goods: Enhance your culinary space with items that combine practicality with a touch of ruby red elegance.

Themed Fashion: Fashion gifts that reflect personal style and the radiance of ruby red.

Outdoor Accents: Gifts that beautify your garden or outdoor spaces.

Entertainment:Engage and entertain with these fun and interactive gift options.

  • Red-Themed Board Games – Perfect for game nights that test skill and prompt laughter.
  • Ruby-Themed Experience Gift – Create new memories with experiences like wine tasting or scenic hot air balloon rides.
  • Ruby (Wine) themed gift basket – The perfect gift to indulge the senses. If wine isn’t their thing, consider creating your own personalized gift basket..

Trinkets: Small yet significant items that are perfect for everyday use or as keepsakes.

Each category offers a unique blend of style, utility, and sentimental value, ensuring that you find the perfect gift to celebrate your 40th anniversary. Whether it’s enhancing your home, adding to your wardrobe, or making new memories, these gifts are designed to honor the past forty years and look forward to many more.

Making Your 40th Anniversary Special

Time can pass quickly if you’re not paying attention. Your 40th wedding anniversary is special – make sure you don’t let it pass by without the recognition it deserves.

These 40th wedding anniversary ideas should help you think of some meaningful ways to celebrate your long-lasting marriage. Subscribe to Silver and Smart at the bottom of the page for more tips and useful information.