A lot of people I know say that the first year anniversary is paper. They don’t know why but they heard it somewhere. Today we are looking at Wedding Anniversary Meanings for traditional gifts in our rather extensive anniversary gift guide.
How this wedding anniversary meanings list came about is anyone’s guess. No one can agree or pinpoint when or how this list came to be. As you browse below, you will see that the gifts become more expensive over time. This is to signify your growth together as a couple.
Feel free to take a look and see what gift is for what year. Know what to get your significant other or for potential future gifts. Of course, you can get your significant other what you feel is best. With this traditional wedding anniversary meanings list, you can put a romantic touch by integrating some of these ideas as well if you wish.
Please note that while very similar, some of the wedding gift ideas are different in the UK and US. Here in Australia, we follow the UK system, but both are added for completeness. If there is no UK/ US difference, it’s just left blank as they are the same.
Wedding Anniversary Meanings: Traditional Gifts
Which Year Are You Looking For
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|1st Year||2nd Year||3rd Year|
|4th Year||5th Year||6th Year|
|7th Year||8th Year||9th Year|
|10th Year||11th Year||12th Year|
|13th Year||14th Year||15th Year|
|20th Year||25th Year||30th Year|
|35th Year||40th Year||45th Year|
|50th Year||55th Year||60th Year|
|65th Year||70th Year||75th Year|
|80th Year||85th Year||90th Year|
Traditional Gift & Wedding Anniversary Gift Meaning
While most people joke that paper is to represent ‘divorce papers, ’ its traditional meaning is different. Paper symbolises that you both just started your lives together a year ago. It also represents starting on a ‘clean sheet’. It also represents that paper is easy to destroy and that your relationship has not had the test of time yet. While only the first of this list of wedding anniversary meanings. It may seem like the simplest gift, but it is the starting point.
Popular wedding anniversary gifts for the 1st year anniversary with a paper theme are tickets (movie, theatre, opera), customised stationery (to write with), paperweight, calendars or a book.
This one represents the couple coming together as their lives start to ‘twine’ together, becoming stronger as time goes on. It also represents how the couple is learning to be flexible and strong like cotton when twined together.
Popular gift ideas for year 2 are matching bathrobes, bed sheets, towels or even custom-branded pillowcases.
Every man I know makes a joke about this one, but in fact, leather is about shelter and security. It represents how our ancestors used leather to protect themselves from the weather. Marriage represents being secure and a place to call home as they look out for each other.
Popular 3rd year wedding anniversary gifts are leather-bound diaries, handbags, leather lingerie, wallet or jackets.
Linen / Silk (UK)
Couples that reach 4 years of marriage have sailed through a few storms and have overcome their first few obstacles in their relationship. Having been strengthened by working through their difficulties, they now eagerly anticipate that the road ahead will hopefully be ‘smooth as silk’. Celebrate this anniversary by taking the time to do something in the realm of luxury and elegance.
Popular gifts for this wedding anniversary are Silk and linen bedding. Items such as pillowcases, sheets and even scarves are a popular idea. Other popular silk ideas are for the wife to buy sexy silk lingerie and wear it for her man on their anniversary evening.
Fruit & Flowers (US)
The 4th year of marriage is about the relationship starting to bear fruit and flourish from working and being together. The fruit is to bring refreshment in each other as the relationship continues to grow.
Popular 4th year anniversary gifts are a fruit/flower basket, gardening tools, fruit-scented products like candles or even perfume.
Trees have always been a symbol of strength, wisdom and time. After 5 years the relationship will have already developed roots and the relationship is growing from strength to strength. As roots have sprouted deep to help endure anything.
Traditional gifts given are a wooden sculpture, wooden clock, jewellery box made of wood or other wooden decorative items for the home. Another popular option is a custom branded/engraved elegant wooden pen set.
Candy / Chocolate (UK)
Candy represents the sweetness of marriage as it is time to rekindle any flames that may be starting to go out. Prior to this iron was the 6th year anniversary to symbolise strength and luck.
Popular traditional wedding gifts for the 6th year are a box of candy /chocolate, making your significant other their favourite dessert, going to a dessert bar. You can even give your significant other a candy/dessert cookbook.
Iron is a very simple, naturally occurring metal. It was the metal that took civilisation out of the stone age. It represents that while you have been together for 6 years you have entered a new level in your relationship and are now stronger than ever before, and there is room to further to become even strong over time (E.G., Bronze and Steel.
Wedding gifts that are associated with iron are Cuff-links, old-school wrought iron fireplace tools, broaches or lockboxes.
Wool (UK) & Copper (US)
The one thing that copper and wool have in common is that they are able to produce heat. This represents the warmth that the couples give each other warmth, security, comfort and safety. Also, to add that Copper is the next level metal compared to the 6th year which is Iron. This also represents that your relationship is even strong than the year before. Wool anniversary wedding gifts are items such as clothing, shirts, jumpers and so on. Also, woollen scarfs for those cold winter nights are popular.
Copper homewares such as cookware, mugs, dishes, bowls, candle holders and pot plants are popular gift ideas. Giftware such as sculpture for the home or even copper photo frames is a great idea.
Salt is a very important mineral in old times. It was used as a food preservative, seasoning of food, disinfectant for infections and also used in barter for the trade of goods and services. In the early growths of civilisation, salt was seen as a need. It was also expensive and a considered rate. For the eighth wedding anniversary, salt represents the love, growth and companionship that has become extremely important for two people in the marriage to stay strong. One cannot do well without the other.
Popular salt-based wedding anniversary gifts are luxury salt and pepper shakers, a box of salted caramel, cooking a meal such as salt and pepper calamari or even running a scented salt bath. Do not just give a bag of salt (unless it is a gag gift followed by a nice gift. 🙂
As you can see that the gifts are starting to increase with value and substance. Bronze is stronger than Iron and copper showing that the relationship is getting stronger and stronger. As bronze is made from copper and tin, it also represents the blending of the two metals. It makes the two stronger and likewise in the relationship in being with your significant other.
Similar to copper gift ideas, bronze gift ideas can include cookware, mugs, dishes, bowls, candle holders and pot plants are popular gift ideas. Giftware such as sculptures for the home or even bronze photo frames, wind chimes are a great idea.
While the US wedding anniversary was Copper (Year 7) it is now the UK’s turn. Copper is a metal that is able to generate heat and also than previous years metal such as iron for the UK.
Copper homewares such as cookware, mugs, dishes, bowls, candle holders and pot plants are popular gift ideas. Giftware such as sculpture for the home or even copper photo frames are a great idea.
Your relationship may have started (metaphorically) as a lump of clay but over 9 years through good and bad times it has been put through the furnace of life and turned into something beautiful.
Wedding anniversary gifts for the 9th year pottery anniversary gift are homewares such as pots, plates or anything ceramic.
Tin symbolises preservation and the ability to last through time. Tin does not rust, thus does not wear down. It is also used to protect food when it is inside a tin can, protecting the fruits of your labour.
Anniversary gift ideas include items such as paperweight’s, homewares, metal cookie jars, vases, goblets (engraved), plates, bowls and candle holders. Another popular option is an antique or family heirloom made of tin.
Aluminium is a malleable metal which symbolises the flexibility and durability in marriage. As Aluminium is flexible, it means that you can adapt to many situations in life. It is also durable, so it is able to hold strong when required. When a couple reaches their 10th year wedding anniversary, it is seen as the first major milestone, and the couple can now see that they can have obstacles thrown at them without breaking.
Aluminium gift ideas include items such as paperweight’s, homewares, metal cookie jars, vases, goblets (engraved), plates, bowls and candle holders. Or maybe an antique or family heirloom made of aluminium. You can also get your spouse their favourite soft drink or alcoholic beverage in a can. But only do this as a small additional gift or gag gift (followed up by something nice).
Steel is one of the strongest metals found on earth and thus a fitting gift for the 11th wedding anniversary. By this stage in a marriage the bonds forged over the 11 years are as unbreakable as steel. They are now strong enough to go into a second decade of marriage where new challenges may arise.
Great gift for the year of steel are accessories such as a watch key ring, men’s bracelet or watch. Items for the home such as a candle holder, clock, cutlery set, wine chiller, clock, or candle holder). Steel sculptures or figurines are also popular. I will also include Superman as he is the Man of Steel EG to rent the movie or a shirt with his logo on it (preferably as a joke gift… accompanied by a proper gift).
Silk / Linen (UK)
After weathering the storms of marriage, the 12th year gift is silk and linen. The symbolism of silk and linen is of a sail and to sail through life’s stormy seas together. After battling through the waves of life, you have ironed out many things together. Through the rough sea, it turns into a smooth, silky road that you made together.
Some popular gift items (similar to the 4th year as they have the same of Silk & Linen. These examples of gifts include pillowcases, sheets and even scarves are a popular idea. Also, for the wife to buy sexy silk lingerie and wear it for her man on their anniversary evening. I do not think he would complain if she wears silk lingerie again like she wore some on the 4th anniversary.
Home Décor (US)
The popular saying “Home Is Where the Heart Is” fits perfectly here. After 12 years of marriage, you have both built a life for the 2 of you. Home decor is also symbolic of your relationship. Just like any home, it will need work from time to time. If there is a leaky pipe, it must be fixed, if the paint starts to chip you repaint and so on. No relationship has ever lasted this long without some kind of work. It is now time to enjoy the fruits of your labour and furnish the place you live together.
Popular gift ideas for home decor are TV’s or a sofa/couch. Decorative items such as pot plants, paintings and statues are also a great ideas. If you are keen and wish to take the symbolism of “Home Is Where the Heart Is” you could also start a renovation project (with your partner’s approval of course). This could be to fix up the living room or finally add that extension you have always been discussing.
The lucky 13th wedding gift is lace. It is to show the elegance and beauty of marriage that you have worked together to create something delicate. It is to represent something beautiful and also strong.
Some great ideas for wedding anniversary gifts are lace clothing (including lingerie if you want the same gift 2 years in a row), home items such as gloves, manchester or tablecloth.
While traditionally ivory is the 14th wedding anniversary gift, it is not considered a great choice in gift ideas in modern times. These days people will choose a gift with a picture or representation of an elephant to showcase the significance.
The reason for ivory in the wedding anniversaries originates from Hindu mythology. It was to represent luck and also protection. The elephant also signifies new blessings that were created from attempting new things and trying new things together. It links back to the elephant and its strength.
The elephant is seen as strong and stable creates that are seen as a symbol of endurance. These qualities are seen as excellent for any long-term marriage. Ivory represents purity and innocence. This rare commodity represents the fidelity and integrity of the marriage.
Some great ideas for 14th-anniversary wedding gifts are elephant themed gifts such as a picture, painting or statue. This can also include some elephant-themed jewellery. Some will also choose to donate to an elephant sanctuary as elephants are now endangered.
Please note: While stated that ivory as a gift is a poor choice in modern times, one of the exceptions is that your family have ivory (statue, pen for example) from many generations ago and is seen as a family heirloom.
When you hit the 15-year milestone, you are presented with crystal which is rather beautiful with its refractive light qualities. This is when gifts start to become expensive. Crystal is to represent the investment and sacrifice over time that the couple had to make. It also represents that even though the couple has been together for 15 years and while the marriage to each other has grown stronger, marriage itself is still delicate and can break easily.
As far as crystal related anniversary gift ideas go items such as vases, wine glasses, dishes, bowls, candleholders, jugs make excellent gift ideas. Also, items such as statues or crystal paperweights make excellent decorative options for the office or household.
China represents the elegant yet fragile nature of being in love. It is to show that a person should not take their marriage for granted but instead take care and look after it.
Popular wedding anniversary gifts for the 20th year anniversary obviously include china such as mugs, jugs, plates, bowls, vases, flowerpots and candle holders. Also china ornaments such as a sculpture or figurine.
Silver is one of the most precious metals and is considered very valuable. Therefore after 20 years of marriage, it is a fitting symbol. Just like silver itself, may your marriage continue to shine just like silver as you grow together.
One of the more popular gifts with regards to silver is of course, silverware such as plates, glasses and cutlery. Other popular items for silver are jewellery such as necklaces, earrings, rings and bracelets. Other silver accessories such as key rings, paperweights and photo frames are popular.
In the depths of the ocean, the precious pearl represents the 30th wedding anniversary. The pearl symbolises the hidden beauty in the relationship and the beauty that comes with maturity and from within. After being married for 3 decades, the pearl repents something beautiful that has been created through longevity. An interesting fact about peals. Freshwater pearls can take 1 to 6 years to form. Saltwater takes considerably longer and can range from 5 to 20 years. The longer the pearl is in the shell, the larger it gets.
While pearls do not need 30 years to form it’s the fact that it takes such a long amount of time to create something so beautiful. This is why the pearl represents the 30th year wedding anniversary.
The obvious choice for the 30th wedding anniversary gift would be jewellery that has pearls. Great examples would be a pearl necklace, pearl ring, pearl earrings and pearl bracelets.
Coral is also known as the garden of the sea as it is located on the ocean floor. In times of old, it was viewed as sacred and believed to have magical powers. This power could shield you from sickness and harm. It is also thought to represent the life force because it can have a reddish blood colour to it. Like coral, commitment and loyalty are the life force of a great marriage, and the love that you have for each other protects one another.
When it comes to the 35th wedding anniversary gift would be a piece of coral to decorate the home. Also, coral jewellery is quite popular such as rings, necklaces, charms, bracelets and so on. Gifts that are coral in colour (including jewellery)
The red ruby represents love and passion and is one of the most sought-after gemstones worldwide. The ruby is believed that within the heart of the stone is a flame of fire that will grow brighter each year of marriage.
The sapphire is considered the stone of royalty is the ideal gemstone to honour 45 years of marriage. This gift represents the shining example of the longevity of your relationship. A shining beacon to others who wishes to aspire as you have been together for 45 years.
Only gold can reflect the 50-year milestone that has been achieved. Gold represents the strength, wisdom, prosperity and significance of 50 years of marriage.
Emeralds are the traditional gift for the 55th wedding anniversary. They have two meanings; the first is that emeralds signify true love. Legend has it that the shade of the emerald changes when one is unfaithful. So when a person receives an emerald on their 55th wedding anniversary, it is a sign of devotion and adoration.
The diamond symbolises strength and affection for the 60th wedding anniversary. The diamond symbolises undying love with a fire in the diamond symbolising the eternal love for each other.
65th Wedding Anniversary
After 65 years of marriage, the Blue Sapphire is the wedding anniversary symbol and gift. The Blue Sapphire is symbolic of loyalty, integrity and inner peace. After being married for so many years together, this gem makes perfect sense. You can not last this long in any relationship if there is no loyalty or integrity. The inner peace comes from knowing you have each other’s backs and have definitely been through some ups and downs but you are a well-seasoned pair that can relax knowing you will always have each other no matter what life throws at you.
70th Wedding Anniversary
Platinum is the symbol for the 70th wedding anniversary because just like reaching 70 years in marriage this precious metal is also rare.
75th Wedding Anniversary
You may think that you are seeing double, but diamond is also used for both the 60th and 75th wedding anniversary. Diamond was also the symbol for the 75th anniversary before it also became a symbol for the 60th. The diamond for the 60th was introduced in 1897 when Queen Victoria celebrated her diamond jubilee. It is a tradition that has held through time. When it comes to wedding anniversary meanings and gifts, the 75th year gift is seen as the pinnacle.
80th, 85 and 90th Wedding Anniversary Gifts And Their Meaning – Coming Soon
There you have it, the Wedding Anniversary Meanings Traditional Gifts for all years up to 90. If you need any help with shopping for a traditional gift, contact our team. We can make the arrangements for you as we have many years of understanding the wedding anniversary meanings for our clients.
Check out our other Wedding Anniversary Meaning Gift Guides below to see what you can get for your significant other:
- Traditional Gifts – You Are Here 🙂
- Modern Gifts
- Anniversary Colours
- The Anniversary Flower (coming soon)
- Anniversary Gemstones
What are your thoughts on the modern anniversary gift meaning guide? Have you given a gift based on this Wedding Anniversary Meanings gift guide (or a guide like this)? Did you know the wedding gift means for some anniversary years? Comment down below and join the conversation today 🙂
Stephanie Cassimatis is the founder and head stylist of Pink Caviar Events, a corporate event management and styling company based in Sydney, Australia. With over a decade of experience in the industry, Stephanie is known for her impeccable taste and attention to detail, as well as her ability to bring her client’s visions to life. In addition, she is a certified Project Management Professional (PMP), a credential that reflects her commitment to delivering high-quality events on time and within budget. Stephanie is also a respected speaker and educator, sharing her expertise and insights with aspiring event planners and designers through workshops and conferences.