Marriage is all the good and all the bad rolled into one lifelong journey. It takes careful intention, hard work, love, commitment and forgiveness. All this makes yearly anniversaries important to celebrate. Honor your day and the one you love with these wedding anniversary gift ideas for your significant other or a couple you want to congratulate.
Giving a traditional wedding anniversary gift can be a thoughtful way of acknowledging this special milestone. Whether you want to stick to the traditional list of wedding gifts or give it a modern twist is up to you. In this post, we explore both options!
Important Wedding Anniversaries
While every anniversary is amazing, there are some milestones that deserve a special celebration. In 1922, Emily Post, an upper-class lady from Maryland published the book “Etiquette” in which she listed appropriate wedding gifts for every five years of marriage after the first one up to the 25th anniversary, and then, as a last anniversary worth a celebration, the 50th. 15 years later, the American National Retail Jewelers Association added more anniversaries like the Ruby anniversary (40th year) and the Sapphire anniversary (45th).
These traditional wedding anniversaries have been changed and adapted over the years. They also differ in the United Kingdom and other European countries. Below you can find the most commonly referenced traditional wedding anniversaries in the United States.
|Traditional Wedding Anniversary Gifts by Year (U.S.)|
|4th Year||Fruit and Flowers|
|7th Year||Wool and Copper|
Now that you know all the different traditional anniversaries, let’s get into some gift ideas for your partner or the lucky couple you’re planning to surprise.
Wedding Gift Ideas for Every Year of Marriage
If the list of traditional wedding anniversary gifts did not spark any inspiration, don’t get discouraged. We list gifts that are affordable, traditional and luxurious so you can pick something for your partner that’s within your budget and fits their personality. We also include a gift idea for friends and family that is less intimate but just as thoughtful to give for an anniversary gift.
Read through the entire post or skip to the wedding anniversary you get to celebrate soon to find inspiration:
1st Year: Paper
Paper isn’t all office documents and grocery lists. Paper is every handwritten note you’ve ever received; it’s every card you’ve kept; every genius idea you’ve scribbled on the back of a receipt. It’s what your marriage certificate is printed on. Here are our ideas of what you can gift for a first wedding anniversary:
- Affordable: Write a love letter. Pour your heart out and tell your partner what this first year of marriage means to you.
- Traditional: Have your vows framed. You can even add pressed flowers that resemble the wedding bouquet to this piece of art.
- Luxurious: Gift your partner concert or theater tickets. Or you can give each other tickets to a show you’ve always wanted to see.
- Friends or Family: Craft a scrapbook with wedding advice.
2nd Year: Cotton
Cotton is the traditional wedding anniversary for everyone who’s celebrating two years of being a married couple. Here are our ideas of what you can gift for a second wedding anniversary:
- Affordable: Give your partner a cozy new pair of pajamas. 100% cotton pajamas are so comfortable, they’ll want to spend all day in them.
- Traditional: Sheets are underrated but they will make or break your master bedroom in which you’ve now slept together for two years as a married couple. Why not splurge on new ones to celebrate?
- Luxurious: Invest in brand new table linens or add a table runner in an accent color. You might also add in napkin rings or a floral centerpiece, just to ice the cake and make your dining room shine.
- Friends or Family: Surprise the couple with engraved towels or matching bathrobes.
3rd Year: Leather
Leather is luxury. It’s quality. It’s class. And it smells good. Here are our ideas of what you can gift for a third wedding anniversary:
- Affordable: If you don’t want to spend too much money on a gift, a cute leather pouch or new wallet will be appreciated by your partner.
- Traditional: A leatherbound journal or photo album is a great way to celebrate 3 years of marriage.
- Luxurious: A classy leather purse or briefcase will surely make this anniversary special.
- Friends or Family: You can gift the couple anything from leather furniture to gloves or personalized leather bracelets.
4th Year: Fruit and Flowers
The fourth year of marriage is all about celebrating the flourishing of your relationship and how it starts bearing the fruit from being and working together. Here are our ideas of what you can gift for a fourth wedding anniversary:
- Affordable: Put together a basket with your spouse’s favorite fruits. Pick some flowers and add them to make this gift even more personal.
- Traditional: A lush flower bouquet says it all. Send your loved one the biggest anniversary bouquet you can find to celebrate this special day.
- Luxurious: A flowery perfume or a gardening tool are great gifts to splurge on for your fourth anniversary.
- Friends or Family: Send flowers or bake a fruit pie to bring over to the couples house and celebrate together.
5th Year: Wood
Wood has such a range of uses. It also symbolizes the strength of your relationship as a married couple that has now lasted half a decade! Here are our ideas of what you can gift for a fifth wedding anniversary:
- Affordable: Plant a tree together. Whether you do this in a forest or in your own backyard, this is a beautiful tribute to this traditional wedding anniversary.
- Traditional: Engrave your names and wedding date on a piece of driftwood. This personalized gift is a gorgeous decor element that will bring even more love into your home.
- Luxurious: Buy a solid piece of furniture. You’ve lived together for five years, now’s the time to splurge on a beautiful dining table or office desk.
- Friends or Family: If the couple loves to cook, give them nice wooden spoons and bowls to use in the kitchen.
6th Year: Iron
The Iron anniversary rings in a new level of your relationship. You’ve now been together for six years and are stronger than ever! Here are our ideas of what you can gift for a sixth wedding anniversary:
- Affordable: Buy or craft an iron bookmark. You can even get a poem or quote from your partner’s favorite book engraved.
- Traditional: Engrave a love message on a horseshoe and hang it above the door in your entryway for good luck.
- Luxurious: If you love spending time in the kitchen together figuring out new recipes, a cast iron skillet or fondue set could be a great addition to your cookware set.
- Friends or Family: This anniversary is the perfect opportunity to think about a personalized gift like a custom set of earrings, rustic iron bookends or a pretty wine rack.
7th Year: Wool and Copper
Copper and wool produce heat and symbolize the warmth of your relationship. Copper is also a little bit stronger than iron, just like your relationship is a little bit stronger this year than it has been before. Here are our ideas of what you can gift for a seventh wedding anniversary:
- Affordable: How about a cute set of copper mule mugs? They will take your cocktail parties to the next level!
- Traditional: Anything from copper candle holders or cookware to wool-lined gloves or felted wool slippers are perfect gifts for a seventh anniversary.
- Luxurious: Give your love a cashmere sweater in their favorite color.
- Friends or Family: Pick a cozy wool blanket and add a personal touch by getting it embroidered with the couple’s monogram.
8th Year: Bronze
You may have guessed it, bronze is an even stronger metal than copper and iron. This metal is a blend of copper and tin. Individually, these two metals aren’t as strong but blended together they form a strong substance. This makes bronze the perfect metal to celebrate your marital bond. Here are our ideas of what you can gift for an eighth wedding anniversary:
- Affordable: A pretty necklace or cool bottle opener are perfect gifts made of bronze.
- Traditional: A bronze vase is a nice gift to commemorate your eight years of marriage. Don’t forget to add a pretty bouquet of flowers to it before giving it to your spouse!
- Luxurious: If you want to splurge on a gift, get a little (or large) bronze statue made that represents your love. This can be an abstract piece of art or a statue of your intertwined hands.
- Friends or Family: You can give the happy couple a custom made plaque for their front door or personalized metal art print with an inspirational quote on it.
9th Year: Pottery
Your marriage has now lasted for nine wonderful years and much like pottery is shaped out of clay, your shared experiences have shaped you into a strong couple that’s excited to celebrate another year of marriage. Here are our ideas of what you can gift for a ninth wedding anniversary:
- Affordable: A clay desk sculpture that represents your special bond won’t break the bank but will remind your partner of you while they’re at work.
- Traditional: A couple of customized mugs don’t just fit the theme of the ninth year of marriage but will also remind them of your love every morning they sip their tea or coffee.
- Luxurious: Take a trip to a local pottery artist and pick a few pieces for your home together. Whether it’s a key tray, mugs, bowls or vases, picking these pieces out together and not worrying about the price tag will be a day to remember.
- Friends or Family: Give the couple a pottery class so they can create their own pieces of art while learning a new hobby and spending time together.
10th Year: Tin
Your marriage has been through a full decade of ups and downs but you’re still going strong and are proving to everyone out there that love conquers all. Did you know that tin was used to protect iron from corrosion and rust? Your relationship has proven that you’d do everything to protect each other which makes it a perfect theme for an anniversary gift. Here are our ideas of what you can gift for a 10th wedding anniversary:
- Affordable: Give your partner a tin full of their favorite treats or an assortment of teas that they enjoy.
- Traditional: Giving new grilling tools or cookware is the perfect way of giving a useful gift that goes along with the theme.
- Luxurious: How about you give your spouse a piece of art made of tin? Find an abstract artist who works with this material. Maybe you can even commission a piece of art.
- Friends or Family: The couple will appreciate a tin flask that has a funny quote engraved into the metal.
15th Year: Crystal
Crystal can be somewhat of a costly gift but you’ve been together for 15 years now so it’s about time to splurge a little! You’ve invested so much time in your relationship, why not invest in a more luxurious gift? Here are our ideas of what you can gift for a 15th wedding anniversary:
- Affordable: A crystal picture frame with a picture of you two will put a smile on your partner’s face.
- Traditional: Now that you’re old enough to know the difference between a cheap and a great red wine, why not give a crystal decanter? You’ve learned what it means to be patient so you surely won’t mind waiting for the wine to aerate before you enjoy a glass.
- Luxurious: Give your spouse a new set of classy crystal bowls. You may only take them out for special occasions but they’ll look amazing in your cabinets too.
- Friends or Family: To celebrate 15 years of love, give the couple a set of engraved crystal champagne flutes!
20th Year: Porcelain or China
You’ve been through thick and thin for 20 years now as a married couple. The delicate porcelain symbolizes the fragility of love and is a reminder to take care of each other and yourself to live a long and happy life. Here are our ideas of what you can gift for a 20th wedding anniversary:
- Affordable: Craft a coffee mug for your loved one with a special dedication message or a joke they’ll appreciate on it.
- Traditional: Give a set of fancy china bowls. It’s probably time to get rid of the old generic bowls you’ve had in your cabinets forever and make room for some new ones you actually like.
- Luxurious: Who says you have to give each other porcelain gifts? Throw tradition over board and take a trip to China instead!
- Friends or Family: Gifting the couple a set of porcelain dishware is the perfect way to commemorate their 20th anniversary.
25th Year: Silver
It’s been a quarter of a century since you tied the knot but you’re showing no sign of slowing down. Silver is a precious and valuable metal that perfectly symbolizes the love you share with each other. Here are our ideas of what you can gift for a 25th wedding anniversary:
- Affordable: Wrap up any gift that you know will make your spouse happy in silver wrapping paper.
- Traditional: Pick out a piece of silver jewelry for your partner. This can be anything from earrings to a necklace, a bracelet or a watch.
- Luxurious: Give your partner an engraved silver pen. You can also write a note with the pen before wrapping it up to personalize this gift even more.
- Friends or Family: Splurge on a set of silver flatware for the couple. There’s a good chance they’re still using the cheap sets they bought at the beginning of their marriage when they couldn’t afford any better.
30th Year: Pearl
Pearls represent the journey of the soul along the path to perfection. They’re a sign of maturity which your marriage has reached after 30 years of loving each other. Here are our ideas of what you can gift for a 30th wedding anniversary:
- Affordable: Get a seafood dinner together. Share some oysters or just stick with fish if the gem of the ocean is too much for your tastebuds.
- Traditional: Give your spouse a pearl necklace or cufflinks. While white pearls may be considered more feminine, black pearls have a more masculine touch and make the perfect gift for your husband.
- Luxurious: If you really want to splurge, book a trip to go pearl diving in French Polynesia. For a slightly more affordable option, visit Epcot at Disneyworld and pick a pearl in the Japan Pavilion.
- Friends or Family: Give the couple a mother-of-pearl vase with fresh cut flowers.
35th Year: Coral
Ancient Egyptians believed that coral pieces would protect the deceased against evil spirits in the afterworld while Romans gave coral necklaces to their children to protect them from evil. No matter what life throws at you, after 35 years of marriage you’ll conquer all. However, a little protection from evil spirits doesn’t hurt. Here are our ideas of what you can gift for a 35th wedding anniversary:
- Affordable: Cook a seafood dinner and serve it with coral colored napkins.
- Traditional: Give your spouse a coral necklace or jewelry box decorated with dried coral.
- Luxurious: Book a trip to the Great Barrier Reef in Australia or the Great Barrier Reef on the coast of Belize. Go snorkeling and experience the beautiful underwater world in real life.
- Friends or Family: Gift a card to a seafood restaurant so the happy couple can enjoy a delicious meal together without worrying about the price tag.
40th Year: Ruby
The fire red ruby symbolizes the flame of your love that’s now been alive for 40 years of marriage. Here are our ideas of what you can gift for a 40th wedding anniversary:
- Affordable: Give your partner a beautiful bouquet of ruby red roses or a bottle of their favorite red wine.
- Traditional: Ruby earrings or a ruby ring make a perfect traditional wedding anniversary gift to celebrate 40 years of marriage.
- Luxurious: Take a trip to a ruby mine. There are gemstone mines all over the United States and you can find your own rubies in North Carolina.
- Friends or Family: Give a red scarf, hat or sweater to go along with the ruby theme.
50th Year: Gold
Can you believe that it’s been half a century since you vowed to love each other? You’ve officially reached the golden years. Gold symbolizes the prosperity and strength of your love throughout time. Here are our ideas of what you can gift for a 50th wedding anniversary:
- Affordable: Give your partner a huge box of Rocher candy — the delicious chocolate treats wrapped in gold paper are a perfect gift for a 50th anniversary celebration.
- Traditional: Get a gold nugget for your savings. You can put it aside and give to your children or spend it on something later.
- Luxurious: Give your partner a golden necklace or a gold watch as a sign of your everlasting love.
- Friends or Family: Throw them a party. Making it through 50 years of ups and downs is worth a big celebration!
60th Year: Diamond
The fire in a diamond symbolizes the undying love you share and is the perfect stone to celebrate your 60th anniversary with. Here are our ideas of what you can gift for this very special wedding anniversary:
- Affordable: Give your spouse a photo album with pictures of all your years together. If you want to stick with the theme, decorate the cover of the album with little rhinestones.
- Traditional: Your partner will love a piece of silver jewelry with a small diamond accent.
- Luxurious: When was the last time you gave your partner a diamond ring? Has it been 60 years? Maybe it’s time for a new one.
- Friends or Family: Give the happy couple 60 diamond white roses to celebrate their love.
You don’t need to spend a lot of money to show your partner or favorite couple how much you love and appreciate them. All it takes is a little bit of thought and effort and you’ll find a wedding anniversary gift that is perfect for the occasion. Whether you want to stick to the traditional idea of anniversary gifts or give it a modern twist, what matters is that you pour your heart into it. Make sure to include a cute anniversary card and send some flowers their way to celebrate the special day!