Your wedding day is such a momentus, important day in your lives, and celebrating your wedding anniversary each year recognises its significance. The day you celebrated your love, were legally bound to each other, and began your marriage in the presence of family and friends. Many couples also choose to exchange Wedding Anniversary gifts, but it can be difficult to find the right balance between traditional, sentimental and actually desirable!
Historically, wedding anniversary gifts were only for certain years. Prior to 1937, only the 1st, 5th, 10th, 15th, 20th, 25th, 50th, and 75th anniversary had a material associated with it. In 1937, the American National Retail Jeweler Association issued a more comprehensive list, which associated a material for each anniversary year up to the 20th and then each fifth year after that up to the 75th, with the exception of the 65th.
I have created two journals especially for celebrating wedding anniversaries. Celebrate and I still do make the perfect first wedding anniversary gift, ticking the traditional box of being made of paper, and also being something sentimental that you will love to use. I still do is a wedding anniversary journal, with 10 pages of thoughtful relationship journalling prompts each year – best for the couple who want to spend a few hours talking through their relationship goals and what they love about each other. Celebrate is a larger memory book for recording special occasions, of which anniversaries are the perfect subject matter. With four pages of prompts and illustrations per year, this 200 page heirloom book has room for up to 50 years of wedding anniversaries.
Wedding Anniversary Gifts You Actually Want
According to Tradition:
The tradition of giving a specific gift on a specific wedding anniversary dates all the way back to the Middle Ages. I’ve put together the complete list of wedding anniversary gifts and ideas to help you celebrate each of your wedding anniversaries.
1st Wedding Anniversary Gift Ideas
Traditional Gift Material: Paper
Meaning: It symbolises the strength in paper that comes from the interlaced connection of the paper’s individual threads. While there is a second, modern gift of ‘clocks’ we suggest that the traditional first wedding anniversary gift of paper is best.
Gift idea: gift our I still do wedding anniversary journal. I still do is the perfect wedding anniversary gift (for any year) but what better time to start than on your first wedding anniversary! Other idea, this beautiful framed paper map heart print including where you met, married and live.
2nd Wedding Anniversary Gift Ideas
Traditional Gifts: Cotton
Modern Gifts: China
Idea: If you haven’t already, our linen memory book Celebrate is a beautiful second wedding anniversary gift, a space to record all of your wedding anniversaries for 50 years. Another lovely idea…. gift your loved one a set of beautiful new bedsheets for an excuse to spend the day in bed to celebrate your second year of marriage, or this adorable custom portrait.
3rd Wedding Anniversary Gift Ideas
Traditional Gifts: Leather
Modern Gifts: Crystal
Idea: Celebrate your third wedding anniversary with a trip out of town for a steamy weekend away, and taking matching leather carry-alls. If you travel further afield, take personalised leather passport covers too.
4th Wedding Anniversary Gift Ideas
Traditional Gifts: Fruit or Flowers
Modern Gifts: Electronics
Idea: For an electronic gift, buy yourselves a sleek new nespresso machine to enjoy together for your fourth wedding anniversary, or fitness trackers to reach your health goals.
5th Wedding Anniversary
Traditional Gifts: Wood
Modern Gifts: Silverware
Anniversary Gift Ideas: A cute silver spoon set like this ‘Spoonful of Strength’ (or entire cutlery set) makes a great silver anniversary gift, or a monogrammed wooden cutting board for something really personal.
After 5 years of marriage, consider starting I still do – the perfect way to reflect on your relationship so far, and work on strengthening it too.
6th Wedding Anniversary Gift Ideas
Traditional Gifts: Candy
Modern Gifts: Wood
Anniversary Gift Ideas: It’s easy to tick the box for candy, but if you want something to keep, consider candy styled cufflinks or jewellery.
7th Wedding Anniversary Gift Ideas
Traditional Gifts: Wool or Copper
Modern Gifts: Desk Stationery
Gift ideas: Wow your spouse with a new suit or scarf or a wool throw for the bedroom, or for a modern gift: or a nice piece of stationery to enjoy together for your seventh wedding anniversary. No seven year itch here 😉
8th Wedding Anniversary
Traditional Gifts: Bronze or Pottery
Modern Gifts: Linens or Lace
8th wedding anniversary gift ideas: These personalised pottery pieces are adorable, and you can’t get wrong with a modern gift of lovely new bed linens.
9th Wedding Anniversary
Traditional Gifts: Pottery and Willow
Modern Gifts: Leather
Ideas: For traditional, a pottery mug-set to enjoy your morning coffees together, or celebrate your third wedding anniversary with a trip out of town for a steamy weekend away, and taking matching leather carry-alls. If you travel further afield, take personalised leather passport covers too.
10th Wedding Anniversary
Traditional Gifts: Tin or Aluminum
Modern Gifts: Diamond Jewelry
Ideas (I think this one’s a little too easy, diamonds it is!)
11th Wedding Anniversary
Traditional Gifts: Steel
Modern Gifts: Fashion Jewellery
12th Wedding Anniversary
Traditional Gifts: Silk or Linen
Modern Gifts: Pearls
13th Wedding Anniversary
Traditional Gifts: Lace
Modern Gifts: Textiles or Furs
You can’t go wrong with lace lingerie for a wedding anniversary, sex things up with something unexpected…
14th Wedding Anniversary
Traditional Gifts: Flowers
Modern Gifts: Gold Jewelry
15th Wedding Anniversary
Traditional Gifts: Crystal
Modern Gifts: Watches
While my husband would never go past a watch, Etsy has beautiful Crystal gifts, or you could think outside the square.
20th Wedding Anniversary
Traditional Gifts: China
Modern Gifts: Platinum
Yes, from the 20th Wedding Anniversary onwards… it gets expensive! However, think outside the square for each of these. Diamond doesn’t necessarily have to mean purchasing a diamond stone or jewellery piece…
25th Wedding Anniversary
Traditional Gifts: Silver
Modern Gifts: Silver
30th Wedding Anniversary
Traditional Gifts: Pearl
Modern Gifts: Diamond
35th Wedding Anniversary
Traditional Gifts: Coral
Modern Gifts: Jade
40th Wedding Anniversary
Traditional Gifts: Ruby
Modern Gifts: Ruby
45th Wedding Anniversary
Traditional Gifts: Sapphire
Modern Gifts: Sapphire
50th Wedding Anniversary
Traditional Gifts: Gold
Modern Gifts: Gold
I hope this article has been useful in helping you find the perfect wedding anniversary gift for your spouse! If you enjoyed it, I hope you’ll consider the wedding anniversary journal and keepsake of marriage I created for this very purpose – I still do.