Congratulations! You’ve made it to another year. Another year of being alive? Sure, that’s impressive. Treat yourself to a birthday gift.
Another year of being married to the person of your dreams? Now that’s really something to celebrate.
The traditional wedding anniversary gift list goes as far back as the Middle Ages, but it’s still very much in use today. There’s just something special about sticking to tradition.
Want to know the real meaning behind each gift? Need some anniversary gift inspiration?
Whether it’s your first, your fifth or your fiftieth, here’s a list of wedding anniversary gifts and their meanings, so you can make sure you’re getting your gift right.
1st Anniversary – Paper
The traditional gift for your first marriage is paper. No that’s not meant to represent ‘divorce papers’, but rather a ‘clean sheet’ for the two of you to write your own story. However it also represents the ease at which your marriage can be ‘torn’. It has not yet stood the test of time.
While you may be thinking that paper is a pretty common, unspecial material, there are plenty of truly special paper anniversary gift ideas that capture how special your first year as husband and wife is. Paper anniversary gifts can be as simple as a love note to creating your own bespoke stationery set.
2nd Anniversary – Cotton
Durable and versatile, cotton holds the qualities of a marriage that’s made it to its second year. The underlying meaning behind a cotton gift is that your marriage needs to be able 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 fibers.
His and Her 100% cotton bathrobes is 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.
3rd Anniversary – Leather
Leather represents the shelter and security that has come from your three years of marriage together. Leather is seen as a durable material the protects us from the elements, just as you are both able to 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 and a designer leather handbag for her? A dream come true for any shopaholic, gift her with a personal consultation with Deni-Deni where she’ll create her very own leather handbag. Practical, functional and fashion-forward, carrying it can every day will be a reminder of your love for one another.
4th Anniversary – Fruit/Flowers
Four years! That means it’s time for some gorgeous fruit and flowers! After four solid years together, 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 a expert-led wine tasting masterclass. Afterall, wine was once fruit.
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 of married life, your relationship as husband and wife continues to grow from strength to strength. With deep roots firmly cemented in the ground, your marriage can endure anything.
A wooden cutting board is a great gift to celebrate the five-year milestone. Or for that little bit extra, take your spouse to the woods with an immersive wilderness dining experience.
6th Anniversary – Candy/ Iron
Six blissful years as husband and and wife. How sweet! The 6th year anniversary has two choices – iron or candy. Candy serves as a reminder of how sugary sweet your love for one another is. Iron symbolizes the strength of your marriage.
Candy themed 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 jewelry for her and a set of golf clubs for him?
7th Anniversary – Copper/ Wool
The element of copper is an excellent heat conductor, symbolising the heat, warmth and stability of your seven years as husband and wife. A great seven year anniversary gift that sticks to tradition is copper homeware, from mugs to pots.
Wool also symbolises the comfort, warmth, durability and security you have provided each other during your seven years side by side. Popular wool-based wedding anniversary gifts are woolen jumpers or woolen blankets – perfect for those cold winter nights snuggling up together.
8th Anniversary – Bronze
Did you know that bronze is actually a blend of copper and tin? Copper represents luck and tin represents durability. Both copper and tin are not as strong as bronze, but when blended together, they form a stronger substance. Just like your marriage. Bronze represents the blending of two hearts, combined to become a single strong entity.
Bronze anniversary gifts for your eighth year include sleek and contemporary bronze-inspired cookware, mugs, dishes, bowls or even candle holders. Anything bronze goes!
9th Anniversary – Pottery
Your relationship may have started as a lump of clay, but over the nine years spent together, your marriage has turned into something beautiful. Having gone through good and bad, 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 you could also actually make your own creation in a pottery class, a great activity for the two of you to do.
10th Anniversary – Tin / Aluminum
Ten years have flown by since you said: “I do”! Can you believe it? To mark the special double digits, tradition states that the two of you exchange tin or aluminum gifts. Having reached a decade of staying faithful as husband and wife, tin symbolises the ability to last through time. Made from copper and bronze, tin does not rust, thus does not wear down.
On the other hand, aluminum is a malleable metal which represents the flexibility and durability in marriage. After ten years together, you can now handle any obstacles thrown your way.
The perfect ten year wedding anniversary gift is a personalized tin or aluminum keepsake box. You can put mementos 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!
20th Anniversary – China
Twenty years together. At this point, your wedding anniversary gifts are increasing in value. 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.
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. Hidden in the depths of the ocean, in the shell of an oyster, years go by before the treasured gem is revealed.
After being married for three decades, the pearl repents something beautiful that has been created through longevity. It also symbolises the hidden beauty in your relationship and the beauty that comes with maturity and from within.
You cannot go wrong with a piece of jewellery that has pearls. An elegant pearl necklace or pearl earrings for her is timeless. For him, a set of pearl cufflinks or a tailor-made suit or shirt with pearl buttons is always a win. Or think outside the gift box with a romantic seafood dinner you can both enjoy together.
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 is known 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
Forty years 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 couple, how about the unique gift of a guided tour of the Bombay Sapphire Distillery? Afterall, 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 50 years of marriage. As the most prized metal, it is a symbol of your 50 years together – 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, you can 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 symbolisese 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.