Traditional Wedding Anniversary Gifts by Year
Most people don’t know this, but there are actually some traditional wedding anniversary gifts by year! While most of us have been using the same ideas year after year, we have been doing it incorrectly. It turns out that there is a right and wrong way to celebrate based on country and the modern twist.
This helpful guide will explain in detail what you should be getting your spouse for each of the wedding anniversaries, including the traditional gift ideas and anniversary gift suggestions for today’s couples. We’ll cover everything from the traditional gift ideas for the 1st through the 90th anniversary.
|Year||Traditional US Name||Traditional UK Name||Modern Theme|
|4th||Fruits & Flowers||Linen/Silk||Electrical Appliances|
|12th||Silk||Silk & Fine Linen||Pearls/Coloured Gems|
What are the Traditional Wedding Anniversary Gifts by Year?
1ST WEDDING ANNIVERSARY | UK & US Name – Paper
Modern – Clock
On the first anniversary of your wedding, you traditionally give your spouse a paper gift. In the past, this gift was traditionally paper—a book of poetry, perhaps, or a journal—but nowadays, clocks have become the main modern first-anniversary gift as they represent the endless time and love that you will spend together as a couple.
2ND WEDDING ANNIVERSARY | UK & US Name – Cotton
Modern – China (Porcelain)
Traditionally on your 2nd anniversary, you would gift your spouse something produced from cotton as it symbolises the strength of marriage and how it can adapt to change. In the modern era, China is presented as a gift option as it symbolises a promise of protection for the relationship and the continued strength of the marriage.
3RD WEDDING ANNIVERSARY | UK & US Name – Leather
Traditional gifts made from leather used to be the item of choice for a 3rd wedding anniversary as they represented the durability, resilience and strength of the couple’s marriage.
Nowadays, Crystal or glass gifts now symbolise the transparency and clarity of marriage at the 3rd anniversary. This is a clear indication of how the couple will know each other inside out after three years of marriage.
4TH WEDDING ANNIVERSARY | US Name – Fruit and Flowers | UK Name – Linen
Modern – Electrical Appliances
The original name relates to your marriage blossoming and ripening after four years as husband and wife. Traditionally in the UK, linen and silk gifts were important presents as it symbolises that a couple can absorb any issues or problems that come their way during your marriage. However, people have resulted in the modern alternative of gifting luxury electrical appliances to their other half.
5TH WEDDING ANNIVERSARY | UK & US Name – Wood
Modern – Silverware
Trees symbolise wisdom, time and strength. After 5 years of highs and lows during your marriage, the strength of your bond between each other continues to grow. The deep roots of your relationship are firmly attached in the ground so your marriage can withstand anything.
The modern gift for the fifth anniversary is silverware as the precious metal represents the sparkle and shine in your marriage. It is also a reminder of the strong connection and bond that was formed at the start of the relationship when you shared many meals.
6TH WEDDING ANNIVERSARY | US Name – Iron | UK Name – Sugar
Modern – Wooden objects
At this stage of marriage, it is thought that life is sweeter and so it’s only right that you offer each other sugar inspired treats. The US alternative is an iron gift that represents the solidity of your marriage and creates a path for many more years to come.
However, if you want to shake it up for your sixth anniversary and get a modern interpretation of a gift that represents resilience then there an array of wooden presents such as new home décor furniture or ornaments to choose from.
7TH WEDDING ANNIVERSARY | US Name – Wool/Cooper | UK Name – Wool
Modern – Desk Sets
The key symbols that represent your 7th anniversary are copper and wool as they are known to produce heat. This highlights the security, warmth and comfort of your marriage at this stage which are necessary ingredients to achieve a lasting and healthy marriage.
The modern desktop set gifts may not sound romantic but an anniversary present for the desk at work, your home office, or their desk at school is a great gift idea. Desk accessories such as pen sets and desk clocks are thoughtful presents that will communicate your love.
8TH WEDDING ANNIVERSARY | US Name – Bronze | UK Name – Salt
Modern – Linen & Lace
In the US, like numerous amount of metals, bronze symbolises strength and presents that your relationship is much stronger in the 8th year. The UK name is derived from the Roman goddess of health, Salus, and it represents a former luxury item that shows how marriage is a vital part of a couple’s lives.
The modern 8th wedding anniversary gifts are lace or linen which is objects of beauty that are delicate and refined like the feeling of love. Linen and lace are materials that can be used to make any special occasion offering extra special and so are often used for weddings. While you can’t go wrong with a pair of satin slippers or a lace-trimmed hand towel, linen or lace can be a unique centrepiece piece for an 8th wedding anniversary celebration.
9TH WEDDING ANNIVERSARY | US Name – Pottery | UK Name – Copper
Modern – Leather Goods
The US traditionally used pottery because similar to a lump of clay, marriage is shaped and formed to create something wonderful over time. The traditional 9th-anniversary gift in the UK is copper, which is a great conductor of heat and electricity. This shows warmth, affection and the spark that brought you as a couple together.
Leather is the modern alternative which is known for its durability, just like your marriage that has been durable by the time you have reached your ninth year together. If you didn’t get your partner a leather gift on your 3rd wedding anniversary then now is your chance. You have a wide variety of leather options including leather wallets, leather photo albums, leather journals, leather bags and more.
10TH WEDDING ANNIVERSARY | US Name – Tin/Aluminium | UK Name – Tin
Modern – Diamond Jewellery
The 10th wedding anniversary is a milestone for any couple, making it a special and memorable occasion that will be celebrated with style. 10th-anniversary gifts are traditionally tin or aluminium, in the US, and personalized gifts are always popular. There are several reasons, but the one that rings truest is that tins last a long time and don’t break down easily which is why it is used to mark 10 years of marriage.
A more modern gift is diamond jewellery, likely driven by the jewellery industry. Diamonds are the most durable of gemstones and they symbolise love, commitment, and eternal devotion. The anniversary of the day you said “I do” is the perfect time to show your spouse how much he or she means to you. Diamond jewellery is an important buy and emotional investment whether you’re looking for eternity rings, earrings, necklaces or bracelets.
11TH WEDDING ANNIVERSARY | US & UK Name – Steel
Modern – Fashion Jewellery
Steel gifts are the traditional option for the 11th wedding anniversary, as it is a hard material that is known to last a long time, and it is a durable choice for a gift that will represent your love for many years to come. By choosing a gift like this, you are making a statement about the strength of your relationship.
The 11th-anniversary gifts today are given in the form of fashion jewellery. Some of the pieces are modern and fashionable, while others are more classical. The gifts can be worn every day and can never age so your spouse will remember the sentiment every time they wear it. The fashion jewellery gifts that are perfect for this special milestone include elegant earrings, rustic bracelets and chic rings.
12TH WEDDING ANNIVERSARY | US Name – Silk | UK Name – Silk & Fine Linen
Modern – Pearls/Coloured Gems
The traditional 12th wedding anniversary silk gifts are a great way to commemorate your years of partnership. Silk is a symbol of purity, love, protection and comfort – great for the 12-year stability you feel with your partner.
The modern equivalent is pearls or coloured gems as finding a good quality pearl or coloured gem to purchase is like finding hidden treasure – that feeling when you finally found the person you wanted to be with for the rest of your life. A pearl necklace is an obvious choice for a 12th wedding anniversary pearl gift, but you can also choose earrings, or you can get creative and get her a ring with an embedded pearl.
13TH WEDDING ANNIVERSARY | US & UK Name – Lace
Modern – Textiles/Furs
The traditional interlaced fibres lace gifts and modern show the tight bond that couples share after 13 years of marriage. Lace is a sensual material which requires time and devotion to work with the material – similar to your relationship which requires effort and care.
The different textiles fabrics or faux furs are perfect for gifts and represent the warmth and comfort that marriage brings after 13 years together. There is a wide array of textiles and faux fur gifts that you can present to your partner like leather jackets, silk rugs and fur blankets to name a few.
14TH WEDDING ANNIVERSARY | US & UK Name – Ivory
Modern – Gold Jewellery
In honour of this anniversary, you can consider giving your partner a traditional ivory coloured gift. Ivory, as a 14th-anniversary gift, symbolises luck and protection. It’s elegant, sophisticated, and reminiscent of the wedding day when ivory was the colour of choice.
Gold jewellery in modern times is just as significant as it signifies perfection, eternity and consolidation. Gold is the precious metal that doesn’t tarnish or lose its lustre. Nothing can add more elegance and beauty to the humble glass of water than the wedding ring or a pair of earrings in this precious metal.
15TH WEDDING ANNIVERSARY | US & UK Name – Crystal
Modern – Watches
15 years of marriage is a huge achievement in anyone’s book and deserves to be marked accordingly. The traditional gift for a 15th anniversary is crystal. Like your marriage, crystal is said to be delicate but sturdy which shows how strong marriage of 15 years is. Also, it represents the clearness and clarity of the couple’s relationship.
Any timepiece symbolises the passage of time and years spent with each other, including the future years you’ll share. This modern anniversary alternative gives you the option to choose many stylish watches in the market today. You can even choose a watch that is designed with crystals – a great combination of a traditional and modern gift.
16TH WEDDING ANNIVERSARY | US & UK Name – Wax
Modern – Silverware Holloware
Wax is the traditional gift to commemorate the 16th wedding anniversary. It’s a meaningful gift you can give to your wife or husband to show them that your love for them is as solid as wax. It is versatile enough to provide a lasting memory that will warm your soul and arouse your senses.
The modern gift is silverware, which is any silver tableware or serving piece that’s not flatware such as teapots, butter plates, food covers or candlesticks. It represents durability and elegance which is just like your marriage. There are many different types of silver holloware, but the most traditional is silver tea sets and silver candelabras. In some cases, a combination of new and old pieces can make the perfect gift.
17TH WEDDING ANNIVERSARY
Modern – Furniture
If you’re a couple celebrating your 17th wedding anniversary, you’ve already proven you can stick with a commitment for the long haul. The gifting of furniture represents the familiarity, safety and comfort of marriage after 17 years, which is why it’s a traditional and modern 17th-anniversary gift. From a new fancy sofa to a robust and sleek garden table set, you have a variety of options available for this anniversary year.
18TH WEDDING ANNIVERSARY
Modern – Porcelain
The traditional and modern gift for your 18th wedding anniversary is porcelain. It is elegant, refined and beautiful but delicate; it signifies that hard work that has been put in for 18 years to keep the marriage strong and resilient without damage. Gifting a personalised porcelain item such as a vase, mug or earrings will serve as a reminder that your relationship shall be handled with love and care.
19TH WEDDING ANNIVERSARY
Modern – Bronze
Just like the 8th-anniversary gift, the 19th wedding anniversary is often a gift of bronze, which is a traditional material for wedding gifts. Bronze items are meant to symbolise strength and endurance, which makes it the perfect gift for a couple that has been married for 19 years. Some of the bronze items to consider for your anniversary are sculptures, ornaments, bronze coloured watches and personalised bronze and leather bracelets
20TH WEDDING ANNIVERSARY | US & UK Name – Porcelain/China
Modern – Platinum
The 20th wedding anniversary is a milestone for any couple, and it makes a special gift even more special. Porcelain is said to represent love which can be fragile and delicate. Like in marriage, porcelain needs to be handled carefully for it to stay intact.
The milestone modern gift is platinum, which is a symbol of accomplishment, durability and unconditional love. The material choice for this anniversary is perfect as spending 2 decades with the love of your life is an achievement that requires commitment and unconditional love for each other.
A platinum ring makes a perfect gift for your wife as it’s a gift that will always remind your spouse of your love because platinum is so durable and beautiful. If you’re looking for platinum gifts for your husband, platinum cufflinks, tie pins and money clips will be good choices for them.
21ST WEDDING ANNIVERSARY
Modern – Brass/Nickel
There is no traditional gift for the 21st wedding anniversary but the modern presents that couples opt for are brass and nickel. This is sometimes seen as a symbol of unity since both these materials are strong and durable. So if you’re thinking of brass gifts then some good ideas for a present would be a watch, jewellery or maybe even surprise tickets to a brass band concert. Alternatively, you can choose from a variety of nickel gifts to give your spouse, including several new nickels that commemorate the 21st anniversary, an engraved nickel keychain or maybe an engraved nickel charm bracelet.
22ND WEDDING ANNIVERSARY
Modern – Copper
The 22nd wedding anniversary is traditionally and currently marked by the gift of copper. Copper is a beautiful metal that has a touch of pink, which is why it’s usually associated with romance and love. The gifts you give your spouse for the 22nd wedding anniversary should have the same qualities. They should be practical and beautiful. Such examples of perfect gifts include anything from engraved coins and jewellery to home goods and kitchenware.
23RD WEDDING ANNIVERSARY
Modern – Silver Plate
Silverplate is the traditional and modern gift for your 23rd wedding anniversary as the colour silver represents beauty. It is the perfect gift for a person who is looking for something unique. If you’re selecting a silver plate gift then you will not be stuck for options. Great gift ideas include a glittering silver dinner set, cufflinks, jewellery, platters, ornaments and picture frames.
24TH WEDDING ANNIVERSARY
Modern – Musical Instruments
For the 24th wedding anniversary, it’s traditional to give and get musical instruments. Musical instruments are gifts that express the music within us. Romantic music is the best gift that can be presented to the one you love. You can get your beautiful partner a songbook of their favourite artist, tickets to see their favourite artist perform live or a CD of their favourite artist. You can also get them a musical instrument that they can learn to play. If you prefer to give a gift that will be used over and over again, you can get your musical instrument-loving loved one a CD that they can use to learn how to play their favourite instrument.
25TH WEDDING ANNIVERSARY | US & UK Name – Silver
Modern – Silver
Can you believe it! For a quarter of a century, you’ve been together and the love you’ve shared for those many years is worth celebrating! Silver is a valuable and precious gift for a 25th wedding anniversary. It’s a traditional symbol of strength, faith, purity, and wisdom, which makes it a great gift for couples that have been married for beautiful 25 years. Finding a symbolic and sentimental gift for your spouse should be your top priority. You can never go wrong with personalised silver jewellery to commemorate the special and iconic year but of course, any silver presents that you think is special to you will most likely be special to your partner.
30TH WEDDING ANNIVERSARY | US & UK Name – Pearl
Modern – Diamond
The pearl is the traditional anniversary gift for 3 decades of marriage. They represent purity and everlasting love with the maturity that reveals itself from within; two characteristics that will be right at home on your special day.
For a gift more modern, diamonds are the choice for this significant year as their strength, allure and durability reflects the nature of a 30-year marriage. There’s no doubt that the perfect diamond gift, such as a new diamond ring, earrings or pendant, will top off a memorable year of celebrating your 30th anniversary together.
35TH WEDDING ANNIVERSARY | US Name – Coral/Jade | UK Name – Coral
Modern – Jade
The 35th wedding anniversary is a special milestone worth celebrating with gifts made of coral. Coral originates from the ocean floor and is believed to have magical healing powers that protect you from harm similar to how the love for each other shields your tight union.
For a modern twist, jade is the alternative, more environmentally friendly option for a gift for your significant other. It has become the modern-day gift as it symbolises wealth, luck, wisdom and deep love which relates to the long years of marriage. The range of quality jade presents you can choose for your anniversary date includes facial rollers, bracelets, rings, pendants and all kinds of pristine jade jewellery.
40TH WEDDING ANNIVERSARY | US & UK Name – Ruby
Modern – Ruby
A Ruby anniversary is a celebration of the 40th year of marriage. This is a time to look back on past achievements and look forward to the next 40 years. The ruby anniversary is one of the most popular gemstone anniversaries, as ruby gifts are not only romantic and sentimental, but they are also classic and elegant. Your love and devotion for each after 40 is like a Ruby which is believed to possess a never-ending flame. Jewellery is always a favourite pick for this anniversary but if you want to think outside the box then booking a ruby red wine tasting for the day will be a creative choice.
45TH WEDDING ANNIVERSARY | US & UK Name – Sapphire
Modern – Sapphire
Sapphires are the traditional gemstone for a 45th wedding anniversary. If you are looking for a very special gift and one that will be treasured by your spouse, then an anniversary sapphire is a perfect choice. It represents the lasting feeling of adoration for each other. The gemstone is also associated with royalty and so for your king or queen, you can gift them an actual, extraordinary sapphire stone, sapphire jewellery or deep blue sapphire coloured item to mark the occasion.
50TH WEDDING ANNIVERSARY | US & UK Name – Gold
Modern – Gold
The 50th anniversary, or Golden Anniversary, is the biggest milestone in a married couple’s journey together. Gold is the traditional half a century gift of choice. The prized metal symbolises wisdom, prosperity, strength and love that lasts a lifetime and is also a traditional gift for this special occasion. For the special couple, gold jewellery would be the obvious choice as it carries sentimental value but if you’re looking for something unique, why not book an exotic holiday abroad to Colombia, which is a country that has recently reached a population of 50 million people.
55TH WEDDING ANNIVERSARY | US & UK Name – Emerald
Modern – Emerald
Emerald is the traditional gemstone for the 55th anniversary and has a long history as a symbol of love and devotion. 55 years of marriage is an accomplishment that can be celebrated with a gift from the heart. The 55th wedding anniversary is a time for jewellery that conveys your love and devotion to each other. Just like previous years, it can range from earrings, pendants, necklaces and cufflinks but if you really want to celebrate for 55th anniversary then you can arrange a short trip to Ireland which is known as the Emerald Isle.
60TH WEDDING ANNIVERSARY | US & UK Name – Diamond
Modern – Diamond
The 60th wedding anniversary is a milestone that brings with it the desire to celebrate. It’s a time to honour the couple’s love, commitment, and the longevity of their union. The special celebration calls for a stone that shows enduring and unconquerable love. Diamonds are formed and shaped under an enormous amount of pressure but have stood the test of time and shine brightly, just like your marriage. Instead of selecting your diamond jewellery, why don’t you take your partner to a diamond ring making workshop and create a personalised ring for your husband or wife?
65TH WEDDING ANNIVERSARY | US & UK Name – Blue Sapphire
Modern – Blue Sapphire
The 65th wedding anniversary gift is traditionally a present of blue sapphire because blue is the traditional colour of loyalty and fidelity. The stone itself has been held sacred by various ancient cultures and it symbolises royalty, faith, wisdom, commitment, security, enlightenment and faith.
If you have a big family then you can celebrate your day by visiting a castle which displays rich royal history. It’s also important to remember that you may also receive a card from the Queen congratulating you on your special 65th wedding anniversary. This pressie can be organised by contacting Buckingham Palace to make your day truly one to remember.
70TH WEDDING ANNIVERSARY | UK Name – Platinum
Modern – Platinum
Seventy is a major milestone for many couples, and they consider it the best year of their lives. This is the year you are celebrating your platinum wedding anniversary year and need to find the perfect gift for your husband or wife. Platinum is the ultimate symbol of luxury, prestige, achievement, endurance, honesty and integrity. At this stage of your life, the love for your partner is true and enduring, so choosing a platinum-themed gift will be perfect for them such as a platinum diamond ring or platinum diamond pendant.
75TH WEDDING ANNIVERSARY | US & UK Name – Diamond/Gold
Modern – Diamond/Gold
Your 75th wedding anniversary is the second diamond anniversary after the 60th anniversary which was added in 1987 when Queen Victoria celebrated her Diamond Jubilee. There isn’t really a modern gift as nothing beats a diamond. An alternative to buying another diamond would be to organise a party with your family and friends to celebrate a perfect 75 years of good health and true love.
80TH WEDDING ANNIVERSARY | UK Name – Oak
Modern – Diamond/Pearl
Every couple that celebrates their 80th wedding anniversary deserves to be recognized. It’s not often that couples make it that long in today’s society, so when they do, it’s a special occasion that should be marked. The most common way to traditionally honour such an occasion is with an oak gift which symbolises strength, longevity and deep-rooted love. These will last for generations to come and remind them, as well as anyone who sees it, of this special achievement.
For a modern approach, couples could search some diamond and pearl gifts but most couples at this time in the life will rather value time with their loved ones – similar to the 75th wedding anniversary.
85TH WEDDING ANNIVERSARY | US Name – Moonstone | UK Name – Wine
Modern – Wife’s Birthstone
Traditionally, the 85th wedding anniversary in the UK is celebrated with a gift of wine which is symbolic because the taste of wine improves the longer it is stored away. These anniversaries are very rare so it deserves a proper toast to the long lives and commitment of both partners. In the US, the traditional symbol of the 85th wedding anniversary is the moonstone which has a calming effect upon emotions and is said to bring good fortune to lovers.
Nowadays, a birthstone for your wife or vice versa can be given in different forms of jewellery. As each birthstone has its own meaning and history for every month of the year, they make for a great personal and attentive gift that can be cherished for the rest of your lives.
90TH WEDDING ANNIVERSARY | US Name – Granite | UK Name – Stone
Modern – Diamond/Emerald
The 90th Wedding Anniversary is one of the most significant milestones in anyone’s life. You have watched your children grow into adults, and your grandchildren become more independent, and you have survived the ups and downs of family life. In the US, the 90th anniversary is often celebrated with a family celebration and a gift of granite whilst the UK gifting is stone. Both symbolise strength, durability and solidity which has been present throughout your whole marriage.
The incredible milestone is celebrated with a modern gift of diamond and emerald, mostly as it’s a bit more appealing than lumps of rock. Emerald was historically worn by the Queen of Egypt, Cleopatra, and represents love, fidelity and integrity. Diamond and emerald jewellery will be an obvious choice as there is a variety of refined and sentimental gifts that incorporate both diamond and emerald within the design. This includes diamond emerald shaped rings, emerald and diamond decorated necklaces and pendants.
While not many couples will be celebrating wedding anniversaries for 90 years, the complete list is useful none the less for the marital journey.