Traditional Wedding Anniversary Gifts: Year by Year
Your wedding anniversary is the perfect reminder of your love and why you decided to get married in the first place. Some couples choose to follow tradition when it comes to giving anniversary gifts, so we wanted to take you through some examples for each year, and it's a corresponding traditional gift!
1st Year: Paper
The traditional gift for the first year of marriage is paper, representing a 'clean sheet' (or fresh start) together as a relatively newly married couple. You can use so many more possibilities as gifts if tradition is your thing, from love letters or framable wall art through to gift vouchers and so much more.
2nd Year: Cotton
Cotton represents durability and is an excellent representation of something that will be long-term, much like marriages, and last through any difficulties your partner and yourself will face together. With cotton, there are so many options you can choose from, including clothing items for your significant other.
3rd Year: Leather
Leather is a material that is well known for protecting its wearers from harsher elements out in the world, just as you and your partner will protect each other from any outside factors during your marriage. You have many options for this one, from handbags or wallets to clothing items like jackets or even shoes, the choice is totally up to you.
4th Year: Fruit & Flowers
The fourth year signals fruit & flowers, traditionally speaking, to represent the blossoming nature of your marriage now that you've been together for four years. There are many beautiful ways you can get creative with fruit or flowers, including things like fruit/flower-themed food boxes (think fruity treats, roses chocolates, and so much more) or keepsakes themed around fruit & flowers.
5th Year: Wood
Wood (or trees) symbolizes wisdom and strength, something quite fitting for the fifth year of marriage. After five years together, you'll have shared so many experiences, both good and bad, and come out the other end stronger, capable of enduring anything. The possibilities here are almost endless. There are so many options for your fifth year, from paintings on wood to furniture for the home, charcuterie boards, or jewelry boxes.
6th Year: Iron/Candy (Sugar)
For your sixth year, iron will represent the strength of your marriage with the love of your life, while sugar or candy will represent the sweetness of love. As with most entries on this list, there are endless possibilities for both. For iron, you could opt for sporting goods like golf clubs to wine bottle racks or cute keepsake keyrings, and even kitchenware. There are so many gifts, restaurants, or alternatives you can choose here on top of food goodies for sugar.
7th Year: Wool/Copper
Your seventh anniversary can make for some heartfelt options to represent it, with wool symbolizing durability with its fabric and copper symbolizing heat and warmth. With wool, there are so many garments made from wool that can make great gifts, and for copper, the possibilities are endless. You can have custom-made or buy so many things such as homeware, keyrings, cute jewelry, and so much more.
8th Year: Bronze
Bronze is the pairing or blending of copper and tin to make a more potent substance. This strength is symbolic of your relationship: as strong as you both may be as individuals, you're far more powerful as a unit. Bronze has many options, from homewares to jewelry and more.
9th Year: Pottery
Pottery for your wedding anniversary represents how you and your partner have been molded into one beautiful combination. One lovely idea for this anniversary is to organize a pottery class together, or you could choose things like coffee mugs or ceramic kitchenware.
10th Year: Tin/Aluminium
At this point, you'll have created a strong relationship that has now lasted into its first decade! Even if the traditional representations may not seem so at the surface, the ten-year mark is a big deal: Tin and aluminum are the ten-year mark's symbology. Tin marks staying together through the test of time because tin does not rust or break over time the way other substances do. Aluminum is a highly flexible material symbolic of sacrifice and flexibility being a crucial part of an enduring marriage.
11th Year: Steel
Eleven years together is a significant moment to celebrate, you're now officially beginning your second decade together, and steel is a great way to represent that milestone. Steel is known for its durable, robust nature and is perfect here. There is a wide range of steel options that you can use, from kitchenware to home goods and many other options.
12th Year: Silk
For the twelve-year mark, silk is the go-to traditional wedding anniversary gift. Silk is known for its elegance and smoothness and is an excellent reminder of keeping the romance (or rekindling it!) in your marriage. There are a lot of perfect options here, like lingerie or some silky pajamas.
13th Year: Lace
Now that you're thirteen years in, lace is the big gift this year, traditionally speaking. Lace represents intricacy and intertwined fabrics, similar to the intricate and delicate love life you and your partner have become intertwined in. Lace is used in a wide range of garments, from gowns to lingerie, ties, and much more.
14th Year: Ivory
Ivory is the tradition for the fourteenth year of marriage. We must start this off by saying we don't mean literal ivory; we're just talking about ivory-themed or inspired things, such as ivory-colored gowns and bedsheets, among other things.
Ivory indicates luxury because it's traditionally viewed as a symbol of high status in African culture because of the wisdom and loyalty elephants are said to possess. As we mentioned above, there are many things ivory or elephants can be used to inspire or be the theme of, to give as a gift on your fourteenth wedding anniversary.
15th Year: Crystal
Entering your fifteenth year of marriage together as partners is an incredible milestone, and what better way to mark that than with an actual stone? Crystal is the traditional gift for the big one-five. Crystal symbolizes strong yet delicate with added clarity. I think we all know what hints we'll be dropping for our lover to give us as a gift on the year of crystal!
20th Year: China
Two decades together is enormous - that's a long journey of love that is more than worthy of celebration. For your twentieth year, china will be the theme (the ceramic kind!), and it's chosen as such, traditionally, due to its beauty and delicate elegance. The go-to gift for the twenty-year mark is generally an extravagant set of China.
So there we have it, all the traditional gifts you'll need to consider by the time you reach your two-decade point. Have you followed conventional wedding gifts in your relationship? We'd love to hear what you've done or what you have in mind!