Traditional Wedding Anniversary Gifts By Year

May 17, 2019

Traditional Wedding Anniversary Gifts By Year

If there’s something us humans love it’s marking the passing of time, year by year. Who doesn’t love a birthday for example? And a wedding anniversary that rejoices the love between two people, well that’s another great excuse for a celebration. We’ve been giving wedding anniversary gifts since Roman times (what have the Romans ever done for us?) and, unsurprisingly, traditions have evolved around each year and a gift to represent it.

Anniversary Gifts By Year

1st Year - Paper anniversary gifts

Paper has traditionally represented a “clean sheet” for you both – ready for your future to be written out on. However, paper is also a fragile material and can be easily torn. A reminder to look after your new marriage with tender loving care.

Gift ideas: You can really use your imagination with paper anniversary gifts. A much-loved book signed by the author, a gift experience voucher, a lottery ticket, concert or theatre tickets, a self-penned poem or song? Or why not recreate your wedding playlist in this retro cassette playlist art print?

casette tape print

2nd Year - Cotton anniversary gifts

Cotton – a durable a versatile fabric, woven together from many threads – much like the best marriages!

Gift ideas: Cotton bedding is a lovely gift or choose something quirky like his n hers matching t-shirts. Push the boat out with this embroidered cotton artwork!

cotton anniversary gift

[credit: Emma Giacolone Textiles]

3rd Year - Leather anniversary gifts

Leather is another durable fabric and has been used to make clothing that will protect you from the elements for centuries. Warm and waterproof! Leather as a third wedding anniversary gifts speaks to how a strong and happy marriage can protect you both from external elements.

Gift ideas: You could definitely stick with clothing and treat each other to some gorgeous handmade leather shoes! Or for a fun and vegan friendly alternative, these vegan leather couples passport holders are great for couples who love travelling together.

personalised passport holders

4th Year – Fruit and flowers anniversary gifts

Celebrate the blooming bounty of your four years together with blossoms and fruit. After four years you might well feel like you’ve put a lot of work and love into your marriage and now it’s time to see the fruits of your labour.

Gift ideas: Go big with the floral bouquet or take an alternative spin with this personalised botanical gin.

personalised gin

[credit: The Whisky Exchange]

5th Year – Wood anniversary gifts

Wooden anniversary gifts symbolise the strength and suppleness of trees. Firmly rooted in the ground and standing tall yet swaying in the canopy able to withstand storms. You can’t miss the symbolism here!

Gift ideas: You could carry on through with the tree theme and buy or dedicate a tree to each other or the happy couple with the National Forest.

Or for something really beautiful and unique, these wooden coastline clocks capture the shape and intricacies of your favourite coastline. Available for any stretch of coastline across the globe, from home town to honeymoon location there’s bound to be a coastline to suit.

betsy benn coastline clock

6th Year – Iron anniversary gifts

Iron is another symbol of the strength of a marriage in its sixth year. But unless they really really want one, please don’t go for an ironing board for the happy couple! Instead, we love these hand forged iron bookmarks that can be personalised with any message.

custom bookmarks

[credit: Coach House Forge]

7th Year – Wool or Copper anniversary gifts

Both wool and copper can be seen as representing the warmth of your marriage at year 7. Copper is a great conductor of heat and wool is an insulator helping to keep you both warm.

Gift ideas: We can’t resist these chunky knit slippers. All members of the Betsy Benn household own a pair of these fellas.

chunky slippers

[credit: EKA]

Or for some copper inspiration, this personalised map engraving comes in copper (as well as silver, bronze and gold) and can feature any location in the world. Home maybe?

personalised map engraving in copper

8th Year – Bronze anniversary gifts

Bronze – an alloy of tin and copper that takes the best elements from each metal and blends them together perfectly to make something better and stronger. A wonderful symbol for your 8th year of marriage and the coming together of two individuals in a cohesive and strong unit!

Gift ideas: A wonderful bronze personalised destination print that charts the journey you have taken together – what could be more perfect for your eighth wedding anniversary.

betsy benn bronze personalised destination print

9th Year – Pottery anniversary gifts

Making something beautiful from raw clay takes time and skill and patience. After nine years together you’ll probably have something Wedgewood worthy by now!

Gift ideas: Learn the actual skill and go on a pottery course together. Or jump straight to the end of the process and discover some amazing handmade mugs – perfect for enjoying lazy Sunday coffee mornings together.

handmade mug

[credit: Linda Bloomfield]

10th Year – Tin anniversary gifts

Tin is another alloy – this time of copper and bronze and so will not rust, a terrific metaphor for a marriage that cannot be eroded. We also love that tin and ten are such similar words. Wordplay ahoy!

Gift ideas: This tin/ten personalised coffee tin is a moment of genius from fellow Cotswold based artisans, NovelloUK.

personalised coffee tins

[credit: NovelloUK]

15th Year – Crystal anniversary gifts

Clarity and precision are represented by crystal for your 15th wedding anniversary. You’ll have a clear and very accurate perception of each other’s hopes, dreams, personalities, and know exactly what to say when you need support and exactly what not to say when you’re just on the verge of being too tired!

Gift ideas: this personalised Crystal champagne bucket gets our vote. Champers anyone?

personalised champagne bucket

[Credit:Becky Broome]

20th Year – China anniversary gifts

China is fragile, but when it is looked after properly, it can stand the test of time. Much like a relationship. Even after two decades together, you may have your moments but if you take care your relationship will always survive.

Gift ideas: there’s so much beautiful chinaware out there we hardly know where to begin. We do have a personal soft spot for Jimbobart and his whimsical animals and their general loving of baked goods and sandwiches. This badger pancake plate would be a massive hit in my household!

china anniversary gifts


25th Year – Silver anniversary gifts

Silver is the first of the precious metals in the list and rightly so as 25 years of marriage is a precious gift to be celebrated.

Gift ideas: Obviously silver jewellery is a personal and intimate choice of gift, but if jewellery isn’t your bag then we can’t think of anything better than a favourite quote or song lyric engraved in a silvery art print like this one.

silver anniversary gifts

30th Year – Pearl anniversary gifts

After being married for three decades, the pearl represents a beautiful gem that has been created through time and longevity. It also symbolises the hidden beauty in your relationship and the beauty that comes with maturity and from within.

Gift ideas: if you want to step away from the jewellery and go for something original and inspirational that will also represent beauty and time then we love this “pearl” rose bush.

rose bush

[credit: Gift A Plant]

40th Year – Ruby anniversary gifts

Ruby red – the colour of passion and deep, true love. An amazing milestone to reach and marks the start of when all the serious gemstones come out to play in the list of traditional anniversary gifts. Obviously, you could go to town with the appropriate stone in an item of jewellery, but the more budget friendly version might be to concentrate on the colour of the precious gems rather than the gem itself.

This ruby red velvet cushion can be personalised with the wedding date details and sits nicely in a range of personalised velvet cushions that include song lyrics, favourite quotes and maps. Oh, and look, the cushions come in Sapphire blue, Golden yellow, Emerald green and Coral pink as well! Handy that!

ruby velvet cushion

For all the wedding anniversaries we've missed in this article you can find in the image at the top of this page, save the image and keep it for future use - you're welcome in advance! If you're going to a new wedding this year and in search of wedding gift inspiration? Click here for our guide to modern wedding gifting. 

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