Traditional Wedding Anniversary Gifts

A young man and woman dancing on a city rooftop with the sun setting in the background.

Whether it’s your first wedding anniversary or your 50th, it’s a special day that calls for celebration year after year. Many people call on a list of traditional anniversary gifts, different for almost every numerical year that passes. While you may have heard of these traditions (or perhaps you haven’t!) you may not understand the special meanings behind each year’s gift of choice for your spouse. Here’s a rundown of all the traditional wedding anniversary gifts according to the number of years that have passed.

First Anniversary: PaperA book open to the middle with the pages curled into a heart shape.

The traditional first anniversary gift for newlyweds is something made of paper. While gift ideas to fit this category can certainly range, there’s history behind why this gift is specified for this monumental anniversary. This is an old Victorian tradition that has a deep symbolic meaning. The idea of giving something paper connects with the idea of a new beginning. It also symbolizes the fragility of marriage as well as its forthcoming growth.

Some gift ideas to fit this first anniversary tradition are a book, stationery, or art print. If you’re on a budget, just a special card would fit this gift’s theme perfectly. A photo album or photo book is another popular idea as a first anniversary gift.

Second Anniversary: Cotton

A pink blanket.

Perhaps less commonly known than the first anniversary gift of paper is the traditional second anniversary gift of something cotton. This material also carries a symbolic meaning as it’s known to be light and adaptable. This is easily compared to that special second year of marriage for many couples, making something cotton the perfect gift.

Some ideas to incorporate something cotton into your second anniversary gift are monogrammed pillows, bedding, or towels. Another idea would is coordinating cotton lounge wear or a cozy blanket.

Third Anniversary: Leather

A leather backpack.

The next traditional wedding anniversary gift is something leather, to commemorate the third year of togetherness. Leather is cited as a traditional anniversary symbol due to its unwavering durability and tendency to change over time.

Some great leather anniversary gift ideas are a passport holder, monogrammed leather coasters, or a leather catchall for the top of a dresser. You could also go with something classic like a leather wallet or bag, which never disappoints.

Fourth Anniversary: Fruit and Flowers

A bouquet of flowers including dahlias and greenery against a dark table.

The next year is typically commemorated with gifts that incorporate fruit or flowers— or both! These symbolize a budding relationship that is constantly renewed as well as beautiful. You can go with the real thing for these gifts, or you could get creative by opting for something with a floral print or fruity scent.

Fifth Anniversary: Wood

A wood tray with a coffee cup and small vase of flowers against a blue background.

A fifth anniversary is somewhat of a milestone, and that calls for a gift that incorporates wood. Originating from trees, wood symbolizes stability and constant endurance as well as ever-connected roots. This special anniversary can incorporate this “wooden” tradition with furniture, wood art or frames, or wood home accents.

10th Anniversary: Tin (Or Diamonds!)

A diamond engagement ring and a pair of diamond eternity bands.

Jumping forward a bit, a 10th wedding anniversary traditionally calls for a gift that incorporates tin. Tin is associated with this year of marriage due to its typical use. Usually, tin is used to preserve and protect whatever it holds from outside elements. This mindset can be applied to marriage.

Some tin gift ideas for a 10th anniversary are tin earrings, a tin of luxury truffles, or tin cufflinks. If you’re looking to wow your bride with a more modern 10th anniversary gift, which is known now to be diamonds, present her with a diamond eternity band or pendant. Place the ring in a decorative tin to incorporate the old and new sides of the tradition.

15th Anniversary: Crystal

A pair of crystal cocktail glasses with an orange drink in them.

As another milestone anniversary, the 15th year of marriage has its own gift tradition: crystal. This material symbolizes the sacrifices and investment that the couple has made in each other since the day they said “I do.” Crystal gift ideas are easy to come by; consider an elegant crystal bowl, crystal stemware, or even beautiful crystal candle votives.

20th Anniversary: China

A table setting with gold-rimmed china and flatware.

It’s undeniable that being married for 20 years is a huge accomplishment! This big anniversary calls for the traditional gift of china. This elegant yet breakable material stands for the fragile nature of love that marriage encompasses. Use this anniversary as a chance to present your spouse with a beautiful set of china serveware, a china figurine that holds meaning to you as a couple, or a china frame with a favorite wedding snapshot showcased inside of it.

50th Anniversary: Gold

A sleek gold modern watch.

Not all that glitters is gold, but on your 50th anniversary, the gift for your spouse certainly should be! A 50th wedding anniversary is considered a couple’s “golden” anniversary, and this metal is both precious and timeless. For this special day, gift your spouse a gold figurine, watch, or jewelry.

These traditional anniversary gifts are fun to abide by and it’s a great chance to both adhere to tradition while getting creative!

Find Amazing Vendors