What Are The Traditional Wedding Anniversary Gifts By Year?

Another year has passed by, and you find yourself facing that same awkward situation of having to select wedding gifts for your spouse on your wedding anniversary.

Now, as anyone who’s ever had to select gifts on anniversaries knows, this task is easier said than done. After all, selecting gifts for anniversaries can be tricky, and often, most couples prefer a mix of the traditional and modern when celebrating their years of marriage.

The trouble is, even if you’re sticking with the traditional gifting ideas for wedding anniversaries, you can’t just buy any gift. It has to be related to the number of years of marriage that you’re celebrating. That’s why it’s important to know what are the traditional anniversary gifts by year.

In the following, we’re going to take a look at all traditional anniversary gifts, categorized according to the year of anniversary. Once you go through the following, you’ll have no trouble selecting gift ideas you can use to impress your spouse this year.

Let’s begin with the first anniversary theme then, shall we?

Traditional Wedding Anniversary Gifts By Year

1. 1st Anniversary: Paper

For your first wedding anniversary year, traditional norms dictate that you present each other with paper. Paper signifies the freshness of your marriage, a blank sheet on which you’re meant to write your love story. At the same time, it also represents the fragility of your new relationship, and how easily it can get torn.

While giving paper may seem pretty uninteresting, it doesn’t have to be as simple as tearing a page out of your journal. You can buy a wedding anniversary card, or even design and print one yourself. You can also go with artificially scented paper flowers, tickets to a concert, or even a romantic getaway for two.

All of these gift ideas count as paper, though the choices need not be limited to the above. You can always use your creativity and come up with a unique mix of the traditional and modern. After all, first anniversaries are always memorable, and help you look forward to many more happy years of marriage.

2. 2nd Anniversary: Cotton

If you’re celebrating your second year of being married, then you should go for cotton-themed anniversaries gifts. The intertwined strands of cotton fibers are durable yet flexible, signifying the bond of a marriage in its second year of bloom.

Cotton on your second anniversary implies that your marriage needs to remain strong even when you’re faced with extreme difficulties, just as the cotton strands are inextricably linked with each other. Doing so will only help to ensure that your relationship remains as soft and supple as cotton.

Great ideas for gifting cotton can be matching bathrobes, pajamas, or even bedsheets and table linen. And if your spouse is still young at heart, then going with a giant teddy bear might be the best way to blend the traditional and modern.

3. 3rd Anniversary: Leather

The durability of leather is beyond question, and it’s used to protect and preserve objects. Similarly, you and your spouse have protected each other through three anniversaries, and this has only strengthened the durability of your relationship.

Leather is also long-lasting, and an anniversary gift of the same implies that you intend for many more blissful years of marriage to come your way. When you gift your spouse with leather, you also make a promise to protect your relationship from the ravages that life may put you through.

When it comes to leather, the gifting options are endless: from leather bags to jackets, from shoes to wallets, you can select anything that your spouse desires. And if you’re in the mood to blend the traditional and modern, then nothing beats a leather smartphone case.

4. 4th Anniversary: Flowers/Fruits

When you’ve crossed four years of your married life, this means your relationship has begun to spread its petals. Hence, what better way to celebrate your fourth anniversary year than to gift your loved one with some flowers and fruits!

Consider a specially made designer bouquet, along with a basketful of colorful and ripe fruits. In case you think that’s too simple, then go for a bottle of the wine he or she likes. After all, wine is nothing but fruit in disguise! And if you’re looking for a more personal touch, arrange for a dinner at home with flowery decorations, or maybe bake a fruit pie.

5. 5th Anniversary: Wood

A gift of wood symbolizes not only strength and resilience but also wisdom gathered over the ages. Just as a tree stands tall in the face of a gale, your relationship too has stood the test of time and continues to grow evermore, branching out and bearing new leaves.

Further, wood also symbolizes the strength of the tree roots; they go deep underground, hold the tree together, and nourish it. Along the same lines, your relationship’s roots also go deep, and ensure that your bond with your loved one never breaks in the face of adversity.

For wood gifting ideas, think of a personalized, wooden photo-frame with a picture of your wedding day. You can also go with modern anniversary presents such as wooden decorative pieces, customized miniatures, and even a wooden gift box. And if you’re looking to get adventurous, take your spouse for a trip to the local woods.

6. 6th Anniversary: Sugar/Iron

By the time you celebrate six years of togetherness, it’s expected that your relationship will reach a new level of sweetness. To celebrate that mushy feeling, the best gifting theme has to be sugar, though some cultures recommend iron to indicate the strength of your relationship.

If you’re going with sugar, then chocolates are the obvious choice, but anything sweet will do. Otherwise, you can choose to go with iron and select an iron mantelpiece that celebrates your anniversary year. For a modern anniversary celebration, you can get a cast iron fondue set.

7. 7th Anniversary: Copper/Wool

Seven is always a lucky number, and for your seventh wedding anniversary year, it’s best to stick with either copper or wool as the anniversary gift theme. Both are good conductors of heat and represent the warm and fuzzy feeling that has developed between you both.

Copper gifting ideas on your anniversary can range from copper mugs and coffee pots to designer flower vases. If you choose to go with wool, then the best idea would be a cashmere blanket for you both to snuggle under. For a more modern gift this year, you can go with a desk set to spruce up your spouse’s home office.

8. 8th Anniversary: Bronze

Why bronze, you may ask? Well, just as copper signified your seventh anniversary’s warmth, bronze celebrates the strength of your eighth anniversary year. Bronze is a mixture of copper and tin, which blend to form a stronger bond. Just like you two have done every year since you said, “I do!”

When gifting bronze, you can select anything from traditional bronze statuettes to modern gifts such as homeware or decorative pieces. A bronze plaque with both your names engraved, or similar customized metal art can also be a great combination of the traditional and modern.

9. 9th Anniversary: Pottery

Think of what pottery is: a lump of clay shaped by the artist’s hands and hardened in a furnace to form something beautiful. Isn’t that the perfect analog to your marriage, which started as a moldable mush, but through nine years of life, has been shaped into a beautiful bond to be cherished forever?

A traditional anniversary gift that’s pottery themed can be anything from pots and plates to coffee mugs and miniature statues. In case you’re looking for something a bit more interactive, you can always sign up for a pottery class, where you two can feel both the traditional and modern by getting your hands dirty with real clay.

10. 10th Anniversary: Tin/Aluminum

Whoa! It’s been a decade since the day you both exchanged vows, and this year, traditional culture calls for something unique. It would make perfect sense for you to give your love tin or aluminum gifts. Both metals represent the malleability, flexibility, and corrosion-free nature of your relationship, and draw upon both traditional and modern themes.

For the tenth year of your life together, you can get a tin or aluminum metal art. Another great traditional option would be a designer box to store all the knick-knacks from your ten years together. After all, memories are meant to be the best gift of all on any wedding anniversary!

11. 11th Anniversary: Steel

The year after you’ve completed a decade together, and you’re still going strong. What could be a better wedding anniversary gift option than steel to show the world that your strength and durability are unmatched? As far as both modern and traditional gift ideas go, steel is one of the best materials you can think of for your 11th anniversary gift.

Speak of steel, and what immediately comes to mind is a watch. You can get customized pairs for him and her, or even go with cufflinks or a hip flask. If your spouse is the outdoorsy type, then a swiss army knife as an anniversary gift could be a nice touch for that next camping trip.

12. 12th Anniversary: Silk

Silk signifies luxury, comfort, and security: something that both you and your partner should feel about each other after a dozen years of marital bliss. Silk also represents stability, which must’ve become part and parcel of your relationship by now.

Thinking of silk gifting options, silk robes or lingerie immediately come to mind. A fine traditional silk shirt would also serve equally well, and if you’re thinking something less expensive, then go with a monogrammed silk handkerchief.

13. 15th Anniversary: Crystal

A decade and a half together calls for something special and valuable, and crystal is just the thing to go with. Luxurious, beautiful, traditional and transparent, it represents the trust and transparency that should exist between spouses after fifteen great years together.

Crystalline figurines can be a great gifting idea, and for her, crystal jewelry might be more appreciated. You can also go with crystal cufflinks for him, or a set of crystal wine glasses to add to your collection of kitchenware.

14. 20th Anniversary: China

The ideal traditional gift for your twentieth wedding anniversary is china. Just as china is fragile, yet lasts a long time when looked after, so is a marriage that has stood for twenty long years. The gift of china indicates that you’re both ready to take care of the relationship and take it to the next level.

China gift items can be a great way to show that you both care for each other. China dinner sets, statues, or decorative pieces can be great choices. And if you’re of the quirky mindset, you can always take a trip to the Great Wall; that counts too.

15. 25th Anniversary: Silver

You’re halfway there to fifty, and you couldn’t have done it without constant support from each other. Your 25th anniversary is the right time to gift each other with silver, that timeless metal that only shines more as it ages. Just like your marriage, silver, too, has the potential to be forever.

When thinking silver, fashion jewelry is an obvious choice. You can also go with a silver wreath or photo-frame that holds some snapshots of the years gone by. And if you’re looking for something more practical, go with silver-plated personalized watches indicating your 25th anniversary.

16. 30th Anniversary: Pearl

Pearls not only signify beauty, but they also tell of the time it takes for something beautiful to truly mature. Just as a pearl grows over the years, hidden in an oyster in the ocean’s depths, so has your relationship after thirty years of togetherness.

A pearl wedding anniversary gift denotes the longevity of your marriage and the maturity that only comes with time. For gifting pearls, jewelry is the obvious choice: a pearl necklace for her, and a pair of pearl cufflinks for him is always appropriate.

17. 35th Anniversary: Coral

After thirty-five long years of marriage, you can’t do with any old wedding anniversary gift; it has to be remarkable. And what can be more special than coral, symbolizing the strength and longevity of a relationship that’s as vast and deep as the ocean itself?

Coral wedding anniversary gifting options can range from coral jewelry to a coral-themed anniversary party. And if you’re looking to splurge, you can always take a trip to the Great Barrier Reef and go scuba diving with your spouse. Now that would be an adventure of a lifetime!

18. 40th Anniversary: Ruby

Forty years together is no mean feat, and this occasion marks the need for some special anniversary gifts. To ensure that this occasion is memorable, consider gifting your spouse with a precious ruby.

A ruby not only signifies a deep and burning passion for each other, but it also symbolizes the timeless appeal of your enduring relationship. Gift ruby jewelry, or if you’d like to get a bit creative, you can also go for a different kind of ruby, and get a vintage red wine for your spouse.

19. 45th Anniversary: Sapphire

Another half a decade, and you’re all set to step onto the threshold of half a century together. This calls for a valuable traditional gift, and one of the best wedding anniversary gift ideas can be sapphire. Representing the enduring adoration you feel for each other, this is one of the best anniversary gift ideas ever.

If you’re not in a position to splurge on the real gemstone, you can always go with something of the same color, such as a sapphire dress or shirt. And for those with a spirit of adventure, take your other half on a trip to the deep blue sea; after all, that’s a sapphire on a whole new level.

20. 50th Anniversary: Gold

As you step into your fiftieth wedding anniversary, it’s time to celebrate this golden moment of your marriage with actual gold. Gold represents the malleability of your relationship, the long-term endurance of love, and the glitter of adoration you still behold in each other’s eyes. This is something that’s forever and cannot be replaced with anything else.

Here, gold jewelry is an obvious choice, which is valuable on so many fronts. You can also gift a gold watch, gold pens, and even golden homeware or decorative pieces. For a more golden wedding anniversary experience, you can even plan a trip to an actual gold mine.

21. 55th Anniversary: Emerald

Green is the color of calm and growth, and an emerald signifies these two characteristics in your marriage that has lasted over half a century. After fifty-five years together, you have now settled into your life’s calmer years, but your relationship continues to mature with time.

Designer emerald jewelry is an obvious choice for this wedding anniversary, but you can also go with emerald color clothing. And in case you want to make your fifty-fifth wedding anniversary particularly memorable, take a trip to the Emerald Isle or the Emerald Bay.

22. 60th Anniversary: Diamond

You’ve made it for sixty long years together, and nothing can break your bond now. That’s why the best traditional anniversary gift for this milestone is diamond. Your love for each other can always match the strength of even the strongest substance on earth.

In this case, the classic gift would be a diamond ring, though diamond-themed watches and other jewelry will suffice. You can also get a diamond-shaped photo-frame with a photo of your wedding day, reminding you of the brilliance that still shines in your bond together.

23. 70th Anniversary: Platinum

Just think carefully: making it to your seventieth wedding anniversary is a feat in itself. Just as platinum is one of the rarest and most resilient substances available, so is your marriage as it has lasted for seventy long years.

Gifting each other platinum jewelry on this wedding anniversary would be the perfect way to show the world that love never really grows old. And as platinum is one of the most enduring metals, you can also make sure that it will become a family heirloom, passed down across generations to your grandchildren, and maybe their children in turn.

Bride and groom with champagne at ocean


Marriage is not merely the meeting of two people sending out invitations and throwing a party; it’s a melding together of two souls, forged by the fire of life into a resilient bond that lasts beyond years. And every wedding anniversary that you spend together needs to be cherished and made memorable.

The above traditional gifting ideas can be the best way to make your wedding anniversary more remarkable. As time grows older and deeper, so does the value of your relationship and the strength of your bonding. So, make sure you mark each wedding anniversary year with something special.

After all, love is the only thing that lasts forever!

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