Anniversary Gift: 5 Ways to Drop a Hint – May’17

by audrey

Anniversary gift giving can be pretty challenging

Sometimes people just need a little hint about exactly what you’re looking for. Audrey Vance shares her insights after 4 years in business creating bespoke anniversary gifts, 7 years of marriage and hundreds of satisfied customers.

I have the world’s best job. Getting to draw and paint all day in my home studio, after setting up Wedding Dress Ink and it’s just a dream to come. And my customers are the best part! 

Anniversary gift from Wedding Dress Ink

What do I do, you ask?

I create one-off fashion illustrations capturing a bride’s unique wedding day style from her figure and flair to the finest details of her wedding dress, using Indian ink on watercolour paper. 

The secret of these wedding dress illustrations being such an anniversary success is simple. At a glance a bride can remember how gorgeous and feminine she looked on her wedding day, her unique style and how she stands apart.

Most wives just want their husbands to be thoughtful, that’s why it’s a win win! 

Anniversary gift from Wedding Dress Ink

So, down to the research…

Whenever I get a chance I ask my male customers how they heard about Wedding Dress Ink. 50% of the time they tell me their wife dropped serious hints. The funny part is most of these husbands go on to tell me that they try to throw the wife off the scent, by suggesting they are getting something else, less special, so they can still surprise them. Just for your information, the other 50% say ‘Internet Search’ or ‘Social Media’.

Curiosity got the better of me and I started asking the wives how did they go about dropping hints to their husbands. Here is what I’ve learned…

Tip #1: The Art of Story-telling  

One of my customers shared with me how she told her husband a romantic story, about her friend receiving a thoughtful gift from her husband, for their anniversary. She emphasised how lucky the girl was, how thoughtful the husband was and how many brownie points the husband had clocked up with one gift. She hinted using a story about someone else, letting her own husband know she’d love an illustration. And it worked!

TIP # 2: Sharing is Caring

Another customer was happy to tell me that she confided in her sister, best friend and mother about lusting after an illustration. Trusting that at some point they would ask her loving husband about his plans to celebrate their first anniversary. She was not leaving her ideal gift up to chance. Needless to say she celebrated her 1st anniversary with a ‘paper’ gift and emailed afterwards with a fabulous ‘thank you’.

TIP # 3: The Early Bird Catches the Worm

Sometimes husbands don’t even remember when an anniversary is, subtly can be tricky. One husband told me that his wife had given him a really lovely anniversary gift a few days early hinting that he might need a reminder about the upcoming date. He immediately bought her an illustration gift voucher online and had it shipped in time for their celebration dinner. His wife was redeeming the voucher the very next day, thrilled.

TIP # 4. With the Help of a Printer

The best way to drop a subtle hint could to make it look like an accident. For example, a female customer was buying an illustration for her sister’s wedding. She really wanted one for herself and her own 1st anniversary was only 3 months away so she printed off the images and info from the website ‘accidentially’ leaving them on the printer for her husband to see. Luckily, her clued-in husband picked up on the hints and her gift will be ready for their anniverary next week. The husband told me he was delighted to get the hint.

Anniversary gift from Wedding Dress Ink

TIP # 5: If Wishing Made it So

So really all that’s left is the direct approach. I’m afraid I must admit to falling into this category. Having made attempts at the other more subtle ideas mentioned above, my darling husband simply responds better to the somewhat less romantic, more open discussion approach. So, like lots of other readers and customers out there who have their ‘wish list’ pinned to the fridge or an online wish list app – I simply tell him what I’d like. After a few years of hit n’ miss birthdays and anniversaries I came to the understanding that I don’t want to feel disappointed on days I’d prefer to celebrate. The man I married is romantic in tonnes of ways that make me really happy and for the gift giving occassions I now really appreciate receiving something lovely that I actually want.

Anniversary gift from Wedding Dress Ink

We hint for the same reason we joke – to get the truth out in a way the listener can choose to hear it or ignore it. It’s indirect and possibly sounds complicated but it can be a considerate way to get your message across without any pressure.

Dropping hints isn’t about being conniving or cunning. Whether you want to be super subtle, flat out direct or somewhere in between, the bottom line is that exchanging gifts should be a happy experience for both people. At the end of the day you both want to have a smile on your face so how you get there is up to you.

If you wish to order an illustration please click here, 3 little steps to a unique anniversary gift.

Thanks for reading to the end,

Audrey Vance 

Co. Wicklow, Ireland, 086-8036914

Anniversary gift from Wedding Dress Ink

2 thoughts on “Anniversary Gift: 5 Ways to Drop a Hint – May’17

  1. marsha murphy

    An unusual request but i dont think i got much photos of the back of my dress.
    so how much would a drawn of this cost.
    love the idea

    1. audrey Post author

      Hi Marsha,

      I’m just after finding your lovely message, apologies for the slow response!!

      Wedding Dress Ink is just about the launch a new range of ‘sketch’ options starting at €150 but the ink paintings start at €295 (with the 3 layers of black ink painted around the dress).

      I also offer to create ‘Mirror View’ illustrations but will need at least one good photo to work from. Do you have one?

      If you are interested in pursuing a bespoke fashion illustration of your wedding dress please email me at or call me 086-8036914

      I’d be delighted to chat to you.

      Thank you,



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *