The traditional wedding anniversary gift list goes as far back as the Middle Ages, but it’s still very much in use today. A representation of the couple’s marriage strengthening over the years, each gift gradually increases in both substance and value.
If you want to know the meaning behind each gift or are looking for some wedding anniversary gift ideas, you’ve come to the right place.
Here’s the full list of traditional and modern wedding anniversary gifts by year, as well as their symbolism and meaning, so you can make sure you’re getting your gift right.
Traditional & Modern Anniversary Gifts By Year
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- Traditional & Modern Anniversary Gifts By Year
- 1st Anniversary – Paper
- 2nd Anniversary – Cotton
- 3rd Anniversary – Leather
- 4th Anniversary – Fruit & Flowers
- 5th Anniversary – Wood
- 6th Anniversary – Sugar or Iron
- 7th Anniversary – Copper or Wool
- 8th Anniversary – Bronze
- 9th Anniversary – Pottery
- 10th Anniversary – Tin or Aluminium
- 11th Anniversary – Steel
- 12th Anniversary – Linen & Silk
- 13th Anniversary – Lace
- 14th Anniversary – Ivory
- 15th Anniversary – Crystal
- 16th Anniversary – Wax
- 17th Anniversary – Furniture
- 18th Anniversary – Porcelain
- 19th Anniversary – Bronze
- 20th Anniversary – China
- 25th Anniversary – Silver
- 30th Anniversary – Pearl
- 35th Anniversary – Coral
- 40th Anniversary – Ruby
- 45th Anniversary – Sapphire
- 50th Anniversary – Gold
- 55th Anniversary – Emerald
- 60th Anniversary – Diamond
- 65th Anniversary – Blue Sapphire
- 70th Anniversary – Platinum
1st Anniversary – Paper
One year of marriage calls for a paper themed gift to be exchanged. Paper is representative of how you have both just started your lives together – it’s a clean sheet to create new memories and paint your lives how you want. Your 1st wedding anniversary is a time to look back on the first chapter of your lives and start planning how you want to fill the rest of your book of love.
Modern – Clock or Watch
Your first anniversary is a milestone worth celebrating, especially because you have so much time together to look forward to. What better way to express your appreciation for the time you’ve already spent together, and your excitement and hope for the hours, days, weeks, and years ahead than with the modern anniversary gift. Give your loved one a clock or watch they will cherish.
2nd Anniversary – Cotton
Durable and versatile, cotton holds the qualities of a marriage that’s made it to its second year. Cotton gifts symbolise that your marriage needs to stay strong even when faced with difficult changes. Accomplish this, and the two of you will grow ever closer, your lives becoming intertwined like interwoven cotton fibres.
His and Her 100% cotton bathrobes are an excellent cotton themed anniversary gift. Practical but plush, there’s something romantic about wearing a personalized soft cotton luxury bathrobe on the morning of your anniversary. If that’s not special enough, take your loved one for a romantic spa day, a creative way of sticking to the cotton anniversary theme.
Modern – China
After two years of marriage, you and your partner are probably still discovering one another’s strengths and weaknesses, as well as those of your relationship. It’s a bit like the china used to craft beautiful and functional household items. It’s durable enough for everyday use, but you still need to handle it with care. Let the modern 2nd anniversary gift inspire something wonderful for your partner.
3rd Anniversary – Leather
Leather represents the shelter and security that has come from your three years of marriage together. Leather is a durable material the protects us from the elements, just as you are both protect each other from external problems coming from outside your marriage. Through thick and thin, rain or shine, you have each other.
In honour of your leather anniversary, what better present than a snazzy leather suitcase for him or a designer leather bag? Practical, functional and fashion-forward, carrying it every day will be a reminder of your love for one another.
Modern – Crystal or Glass
Like expertly cut crystal or lead glass, you and your spouse reflect beauty and light into one another’s lives. The modern 3rd anniversary gift of crystal or glass is a gorgeous reminder to be gentle with each other so that you can enjoy the beauty of your relationship for years to come.
4th Anniversary – Fruit & Flowers
Four years! That means it’s time for some gorgeous fruit and flowers! After all, at this stage, your marriage has really started to blossom and ripen.
Nothing says “We made it to year four!” like a classic bouquet of your loved one’s favourite flowers. Too boring? Take them out for an expert-led wine tasting masterclass. After all, wine was once fruit.
Modern – Appliances
As every married couple will tell you, there are different degrees of settling into a marriage. By the time your 4th anniversary comes along, you and your partner should be well and truly settled. This makes the occasion a good one to acknowledge the domestic side of marriage, and you can do that by giving the modern gift of an appliance that will come in handy around the house.
5th Anniversary – Wood
Trees symbolise strength, wisdom and time. Like a tree standing firmly in the wind, after five years of sharing the ups and downs, your relationship continues to grow from strength to strength. With deep roots firmly cemented in the ground, your marriage can endure anything.
Modern – Silverware
In today’s world, many couples focus on getting the basics they need to set up a home before they consider purchasing beautiful, practical silverware. Your 5th anniversary is the perfect opportunity to surprise your partner with silverware that’s beautiful and practical. The gift celebrates the meals you’ve enjoyed together, the meals you will enjoy together, and the ways you make each other shine.
6th Anniversary – Sugar or Iron
Six blissful years together. How sweet! For your 6th year anniversary, you have two choices – iron or sugar. Sugar serves as a reminder of how sugary sweet your love for one another is. Iron symbolizes the strength and durability of your marriage.
Sugar themed wedding anniversary gifts can be as classic as a box of chocolates to an entire chocolate making experience. If you’d rather go the iron-route, how about iron jewellery for her and a set of golf clubs for him? If he’s already got too many clubs to fit in the garage, these gift experiences for him include picturesque golf getaways that will make the most accomplished golfers squeal with joy.
Modern – Wood
6 years of marriage may not seem like a long time, but even that takes personal growth and resilience. You know what else has the qualities of growth and resilience? Trees. No wonder wood is the modern gift for the 6th wedding anniversary. Make your partner’s day by giving them a beautiful wooden gift.
7th Anniversary – Copper or Wool
Copper is an excellent heat conductor, symbolising the heat, warmth and stability of your seven years together. Similarly, cosy, fluffy wool symbolises the comfort, durability and security you provide each other.
A great 7 year anniversary gift that sticks to tradition is copper homeware, from mugs to pots. If that doesn’t tickle your fancy, woolly wedding anniversary gift ideas are soft woollen jumpers or cosy woollen blankets – perfect for those snuggling up on date nights.
Modern – Desk Set
For most people, work is an inescapable part of modern life. You might rather be with your partner than in the office, but the time you spend in your respective places of employment only makes your hearts grow fonder. Make sure you’re present in your partner’s thoughts at the office by giving them the modern 7th anniversary gift of a desk set.
8th Anniversary – Bronze
Did you know that bronze is a blend of copper and tin? While individually copper and tin aren’t as strong as bronze, when blended together, they form a stronger substance. Likewise, the two of you have come together to form a marriage that’s enduring and resilient. Bronze represents the blending of two hearts, combined to become a single strong entity.
Wedding anniversary gifts for your eighth year include sleek and contemporary bronze-inspired cookware, mugs, dishes, bowls or even candle holders. Anything bronze goes!
Modern – Linen Or Lace
There’s no denying the beauty of good quality linen and lace. They may look delicate and fragile, but they’re surprisingly strong, thanks to many individual threads woven together. That’s like your marriage, isn’t it? Individually, you and your partner are weaker, but together, you’re strong AND beautiful. Celebrate your 8th anniversary with the modern gift of linen or lace.
9th Anniversary – Pottery
Your relationship may have started as a lump of clay, but over the nine years spent together, it’s turned into something beautiful. Having gone through thick and thin, and the metaphorical furnace of life, together the two of you can handle anything.
An anniversary gift that adheres to the pottery theme is anything ceramic – pots, plates, a customized coffee mug or even a vase full of flowers. Of course, if you’re looking for fun experience days for two around the theme, you could also make your own creations in a fun pottery class.
Modern – Leather
Humans have used leather since ancient times because of its versatility, durability, and protective qualities. However, our ancestors learned quickly that leather lasts only if it’s looked after properly. Nine years into married life, you’ve got to know that your relationship is durable and versatile and that you and your spouse are a refuge to one another. Acknowledge that with the modern 9th anniversary gift of leather.
10th Anniversary – Tin or Aluminium
To mark double digits, tin or aluminium gifts are exchanged. Tin doesn’t rust or wear down, just like your marriage after a decade together. Tin is also traditionally used to store and preserve things, a nod to the preservation of your love.
On the other hand, aluminium is a malleable metal representing the flexibility and durability in marriage. Having reached ten years of marriage, you can now handle any obstacles thrown your way.
The perfect ten year wedding anniversary gift is a personalized tin or aluminium keepsake box. You can put mementoes of special events in your lives together in, from photographs of your wedding to the birth of your children. After ten years together, you’re bound to have a whole lot of special memories!
Modern – Diamond Jewellery
As much as you and your partner may have wanted the first decade of married life to be something of an extended honeymoon, there’s no escaping the pressures of day to day living. Pressure’s not always a bad thing, because without it, we wouldn’t have diamonds. Give a piece of diamond jewellery to your spouse for their 10th anniversary gift and let them know that all the pressure has been worth it.
11th Anniversary – Steel
11 amazing years together and they are steel the one!
Representing resistance and durability, steel is the traditional symbol for your 11th wedding anniversary. A reminder of the incredible strength of your love at this point, exchanging gifts made of steel signifies that your marriage is all about staying strong together.
While steel might not seem like the most romantic materials for anniversary gifts, you’d be surprised! From cars to kitchen utensils and appliances, steel is all around us. And that means endless opportunities for clever twists on the 11th traditional anniversary gift.
Modern – Fashion Jewellery
Let’s face it – the 10th anniversary diamond gift is a tough act to follow, which is why the modern 11th anniversary gift of fashion jewellery doesn’t try to trump it. Instead, it’s all about the simple wedding anniversary message that is conveyed whenever your partner wears that piece of jewellery – “We’re never separate, even when we’re apart. I love you.”
12th Anniversary – Linen & Silk
A dozen years together calls for something a bit indulgent- which is why the traditional 12 year anniversary gifts are luxurious linen and sultry silk. Often compared to the 2nd anniversary material of cotton, linen is stronger, more durable and more expensive. On the other hand, luxurious silk is as strong as it is sexy. Although your marriage is durable and reliable, you’ve still got that burning desire for each other.
Commemorate your sexy 12th anniversary with silky matching PJs, or even better, some silky lingerie. Or why not splash out on some luxurious linen bedding to spruce up the bedroom. Is there anything better than waking up next to your partner in crisp, white linen?
Modern – Pearls
Pearls are formed when an ordinary piece of grit gets into an oyster’s shell. Over time, the oyster coats it with mother of pearl, turning it into the only gem in the world that is produced by an animal. Naturally occurring pearls are beautiful and rare, and the person who finds one must feel the way you did when your partner said, “Yes,” and later, “I do.” Celebrate your 12th anniversary with the modern gift of pearls.
13th Anniversary – Lace
There’s nothing unlucky about the 13th anniversary gift of lace. An intricate and sensual material, lace signifies unity and the complexity of marriage. Your lives have become intertwined and the result is a marriage of love and dedication. Working with lace requires time and dedication, just as your relationship requires special care and attention.
White lace is synonymous with purity, innocence and new beginnings, which is why it’s often used for wedding dresses, but you can opt for lace in any colour when shopping for lace anniversary gifts. From stylish lacy to sexy lacey lingerie, find a gift to celebrate 13 years of being lucky in love.
Modern – Textile or Faux Fur
After 13 years with your partner, your marriage is a source of comfort and warmth, which makes the modern gift of textile or faux fur a fantastic option when shopping for a present. Let your 13th anniversary gift let your partner know that you appreciate the way they help you to be the best version of yourself.
14th Anniversary – Ivory
In African culture, ivory is a symbol of status and opulence because it comes from elephants, a highly respected animal. These majestic creatures are renowned for their wisdom, long memories, and loyalty, so it’s no surprise they’re symbolic of your devotion after all these years. Even if your memory isn’t as good as an elephant’s!
Giving a gift made of genuine ivory is a big no-no due to the unethical ways it is sourced. Rather opt for elephant-themed gifts that celebrate the beautiful animal, like a romantic African safari getaway. Or better yet, choose something that’s ivory coloured, like a gorgeous off-white linen set or ivory-coloured dress.
Modern – Gold Jewellery
Gold wouldn’t be nearly as valuable if it was found in easily obtainable abundance. Instead, it takes a considerable amount of effort to mine it. Likewise, you need to put time, effort, and commitment into finding the real gold in a marriage. Let your partner know that they are your treasure by wowing them with the modern 14th anniversary gift of gold jewellery.
15th Anniversary – Crystal
It’s crystal clear why crystal is the traditional 15th anniversary gift. Sturdy yet delicate, like your marriage, crystal symbolises the sparkling love the two of you have for each other. There is full transparency in your marriage at this point, and you’re stronger for it. You’ve nurtured your relationship up to this point, and the result is a love that’s truly dazzling.
Modern – A Watch
It’s easy to see why watches were chosen at the modern 15th anniversary gift. When you give a watch to your partner, you’re letting them know that you’ve appreciated every second together, and that you’re looking forward to the time you will spend together. You also know that they’ll think of you whenever they glance at their wrist.
16th Anniversary – Wax
After 16 years together, you know that it takes more than puppy love to keep the flame burning. The traditional 16th anniversary gift of wax is a wonderful way to honour your partner for their contribution to the relationship.
17th Anniversary – Furniture
17 years married? You’re part of the furniture in each other’s lives! Seriously, like a good piece of furniture, your partner brings beauty and support, so acknowledge that with the traditional 17th anniversary gift.
18th Anniversary – Porcelain
When looked after properly, porcelain can last for centuries, but make no mistake – even the oldest surviving examples are fragile. After 18 years, your marriage is a thing of beauty, but like the traditional 18th wedding anniversary gift, it must be cherished. Show your partner you care with a beautiful porcelain gift.
19th Anniversary – Bronze
A couple won’t celebrate their 19th wedding anniversary if their relationship isn’t strong enough to weather the storms of life. Beautiful and durable, bronze is the traditional gift for the occasion, and it’s more than appropriate. Celebrate a marriage that’s lasted through good times and bad by giving your partner a bronze gift.
20th Anniversary – China
Elegant and beautiful, but also delicate and fragile, China is an overall representation of your marriage after two decades. Do not take it for granted or mishandle it, or it shall break.
The obvious gift for a China-themed anniversary gift is a beautiful set of china. You could, of course, take your beloved on an adventurous getaway to China, but that might be a bit out of reach. For something closer to home, indulge your spouse of twenty years to a unique tea masterclass at The Chinese Tea Company.
Modern – Platinum
A symbol of achievement, durability, and true love, platinum is the modern 20th anniversary gift. It’s an appropriate choice, because spending two decades with the same person is an achievement that’s not possible without the endurance and commitment that spring from true love. Express your appreciation for your spouse with a platinum gift.
25th Anniversary – Silver
Halfway to 50! Silver needs hardly any introduction, as one of the most popular precious metals around. Having reached your 25th wedding anniversary, the value of your marriage has reached new heights. May your marriage continue to shine just like silver.
Silver jewellery is always a sure-fire way to please your other half. For something even more special, treat him or her to a silver metal clay workshop with Sofi & Amia. They’ll be walking away with their own exclusive piece of silver jewellery, learning the various stages involved in creating a piece of jewellery.
30th Anniversary – Pearl
Pearls are known for their beauty, but also the considerable amount of time required to form. After three decades together, something beautiful – your marriage – has been created through longevity. Pearls also represent the hidden beauty in your relationship and the beauty that comes with maturity and from within. Hidden in the depths of the ocean, in the shell of an oyster, years go by before the treasured gem is revealed.
You can’t go wrong with a piece of some pearl jewellery for your 30th wedding anniversary gift, like pearl earrings or pearl cufflink. Or think outside the gift box with a romantic seafood dinner to enjoy together.
Modern – Jade
In many Asian cultures, jade is a symbol of longevity, good luck, wealth, and wisdom. Not only does this green gemstone symbolise the longevity of your relationship, it also lets your partner know that meeting them was a stroke of good luck. Marrying them was one of the wisest and most enriching things you’ve ever done!
35th Anniversary – Coral
Thirty-five years calls for a coral-themed wedding anniversary gift. This beautiful material, known as “the garden of the sea” is found on the ocean floor. It’s also regarded as the stone of peace and transformation, and in ancient times it was believed to hold magical powers. It symbolizes longevity and strength, two traits that are certainly present in a marriage that has lasted this long.
As far as coral related anniversary gift ideas go, any nautical themed gift is a great idea, from a coral necklace to a new bathing suit. Alternatively, experience the life of a mermaid with a dreams-come-true underwater experience. Staying in an underwater room 13ft beneath the surface promises to be absolutely unforgettable.
40th Anniversary – Ruby
Your 40th wedding anniversary together calls for something special – and what could be more special than a glamorous blood-red ruby? Ruby is the stone of love and passion, a symbol of your deep and unwavering love for one another.
Show them how much they mean to you with a pair of stunning ruby studs, or alternatively a luxury red wine tasting. After forty years of wedding anniversary gift-giving, you may have to get a bit creative!
45th Anniversary – Sapphire
For year 45, the appropriate wedding anniversary gift is sapphire. This gemstone holds a very special legend, perfect for over two decades of marriage. It is said that should the wearer’s love begin to diminish, the colour of the stone will gradually transition from blue into green. When giving a blue sapphire on this anniversary, they represent the lasting nature of your adoration for one another.
The sapphire is also considered to be the stone of royalty. For your beloved king or queen, anything of the deep blue sapphire colour would make an excellent gift, from a sapphire blue cashmere sweater to an actual sapphire necklace. For the modern wedded pair, how about a couple’s gift experience of a guided tour of the Bombay Sapphire Distillery? After all, it does have the word ‘Sapphire’ in it!
50th Anniversary – Gold
Half a century of being married, and you’ve made it to the gold standard. Gold represents the strength, wisdom, prosperity and significance of your marriage. As the most prized metal, it is a symbol of your 50th wedding anniversary – something that cannot be replaced.
The natural gold-themed gift is gold jewellery, which is always cherished. How about designing your own bespoke hand-decorated enamel bangle cuff, with 18ct gold plating? Or get a little crazy with a once in a lifetime trip to Asia’s premier luxury Elephant resort, Anantara Golden Triangle. After 50 years together, you certainly deserve it.
55th Anniversary – Emerald
Emerald symbolise the 55th wedding anniversary. It is said to change colour if the wearer is unfaithful, acting as a sign of devotion and adoration. Emerald jewellery such as a bracelet or pendant will be greatly appreciated.
For an exotic gift as a happy couple, why not travel to Ireland, the Emerald Isle, or Emerald Bay in the Cayman Islands.
60th Anniversary – Diamond
Fun fact: the word diamond in Greek translates to “unconquerable”. As is your love for one another. Shining bright like a diamond, your marriage has stood the test of time. This precious stone symbolises strength, affection and your undying love for one another.
For that extra special 60th anniversary gift, treat the love of your life to a silver diamond ring making workshop. They’ll get the unique opportunity to hand-craft your own sterling silver ring, finished with a dazzling rose cut grey diamond.
65th Anniversary – Blue Sapphire
Blue sapphire is a rare and beautiful symbol of inner peace and loyalty, both of which are qualities that help a couple stay together for 65 years. You can see why this blue gemstone was chosen as the traditional gift. A 65th anniversary is a relatively rare celebration, so celebrate your special day with gusto (and with a sumptuous gift, of course)!
70th Anniversary – Platinum
Rare and more valuable than gold or silver, platinum is the quintessential symbol of prestige, luxury, and achievement. No wonder the precious metal, which also symbolizes true love, integrity, truth, and endurance, is the traditional 70th anniversary gift. Your relationship with your spouse is enduring, and your love for them is true. Spoil them with a platinum-themed gift.