How to Celebrate Wedding Anniversary Milestones

A man and woman walking outside on a date.

Anniversaries are important for many reasons and recognizing them can only strengthen the relationship with your significant other. Much like the celebration of New Years, an anniversary is an important checkpoint—one where you toast to the good times, acknowledge the bad moments, and make resolutions for the future. Ignoring them can have negative effects in the long run. And, of course, it’s another reason to pop open the champagne and do something fun!

Aside from a romantic date night, there are many ways of celebrating this special day. Traditionally, every wedding anniversary is tied to an item, each of which represents a certain “leveling up” in the relationship. In most cases, the gifts given on that date would somehow be tied into the symbolic token.

An anniversary doesn’t have to be big and extravagant. A cozy day in, as long as you spend time together, is better than ignoring it altogether. But if you’re looking to go the extra mile, you can look to these milestone anniversary motifs for inspiration.

First Anniversary: Paper

The first year of marriage is represented by paper. It seems simple, but has a sweet history. It’s a reference to the first page of any book, which is always blank, as a symbol of a new beginning and your new life together.

For gifts, suggestions that never fail include art, books, and journals. If you’re the creative type, you can also write a heartfelt poem on specialized stationery. Or, if you’re craving adventure, why not surprise your sweetheart with [paper] tickets to somewhere fun?

5-Year Anniversary: Wood

Standing for strength and smarts, wood is a good symbol for a five-year marriage. By now, your relationship has become older and wiser, and will only grow further from this point.

This is a good excuse to upgrade (or add) some furniture to your happy home. Or, use it as an excuse to chill out in a countryside cabin. If one of you loves to cook, you can get custom-engraved cutting boards.

10-Year Anniversary: Tin or Aluminum

Both of these metals are known for being strong but flexible—just like any happy relationship should be. So, compromise is a key theme. This is a good time to cross off an item off your bucket list and do something that you both have always wanted to do together. Alternatively, volunteer for a cause you both believe in. And for a gift, go with something metallic—it doesn’t have to be tin, necessarily. Some ideas include a fancy picture frame or a jewelry box.

25th Anniversary: Silver

Congratulations! It’s been a quarter of a century. For many, this is considered a very important milestone, with silver as its symbol. This precious metal represents lasting beauty and familiarity. Although jewelry is an obvious choice, silver offers many options for gifts. However, given that this is a rather big occasion, you may want to splurge on something extraordinary.

Often, around the 20-year mark is when many couples choose to renew their vows. And that gives you an excuse to take a secondary honeymoon!

50th Anniversary: Gold

Another eternal metal, gold is a perfect symbol and gift idea for a 50-year anniversary. At this point in your marriage, much like gold itself, your relationship has proven to be long-lasting. And it will only become more valuable with time.

Many couples celebrate half a century together by adding another ring to their finger. And since you’re in your “golden years,” don’t delay doing something special to mark the occasion.

60th Anniversary: Diamond

Not many people can proudly say they’ve had a 60-year-long marriage. It must be true love and it is extremely rare—just like a diamond.

Of course, if you’ve been married for this long, you might not be as keen on sparkly things as you were before, so feel free to use the diamond as more of a symbol, such as decorating your dining table with glass crystals or wearing something sparkly for the night.

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