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 corresponding traditional gift!

1st Year: Paper

The traditional gift for the first year of marriage is paper, chosen to represent a 'clean sheet' (or fresh start) together as a relatively newly married couple. There are so many more possibilities you can use 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

Representing durability, cotton is a great 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 it’s wearers from harsher elements out in the world, just as you and your partner will protect each other from any outside elements during your marriage. You have a lot of options for this one, from handbags or wallets to items of clothing 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’ll be four years in. There are a ton of beautiful ways you can get creative with fruit and/or flowers, beyond the obvious of bouquets of 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) symbolise 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. From paintings on wood, to furniture for the home, charcuterie boards or jewellery boxes, there are so many options for your fifth year.

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 key rings and even kitchenware. For sugar, there are so many gifts, restaurants or alternatives you can choose here on top of food goodies.

7th Year: Wool/Copper

With wool symbolising durability with its fabric, and copper symbolising heat and warmth, your seventh year anniversary can make for some heartfelt options to represent it. With wool, there are so many garments made from wool that can make great gifts and for copper, the possibilities are endless, there are so many things you can have custom made or buy such as homeware, key rings, cute jewellery and so much more.

8th Year: Bronze

Bronze is the pairing or blending of copper and tin, to make a stronger substance. This is symbolic of your relationship: as strong as you both may be individually, you’re far stronger as a unit. Bronze has a ton of options, from homewares to jewellery and more.

9th Year: Pottery

Pottery as a wedding anniversary is representative of your partner and yourself being moulded into one beautiful combination. One beautiful idea for this anniversary is to organise a pottery class together, or alternatively you could choose things like coffee mugs or ceramic kitchenware.

10th Year: Tin/Aluminium

At this point, you’ll have created an incredibly strong relationship that has now lasted into it’s first decade! The ten year mark is a big deal, even if the traditional representations may not seem so at the surface: Tin and/or aluminium are the symbology of the ten year mark. Tin marks staying together through the test of time because tin does not rust or break over time the way other substances do. Aluminium is a highly flexible material that is symbolic of sacrifice and flexibility being a key part of an enduring marriage.

11th Year: Steel

Eleven years together is a big 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 it’s durable, strong nature and is perfect here. There are 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. Known for its elegance and smoothness, silk is a great reminder of keeping the romance (or rekindling it!) in your marriage. There are a lot of perfect options here like lingerie or some silky pyjamas.

13th Year: Lace

Now that you’re thirteen years in, lace is the big gift this year, traditionally speaking. Lace is representative of 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

With ivory being the tradition for the fourteenth year you’ll have been together, it’s important we start this off by saying we don’t mean literal ivory, we’re just talking things that are ivory themed or inspired such as an ivory coloured gown or bedsheets among other things.

Ivory is indicative of opulence due to the way 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 a lot of things ivory and/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 symbolises 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 huge - 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 it’s 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 traditional wedding gifts in your own relationship or plan to? We’d love to hear what you’ve done or what you have in mind!

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