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Traditional wedding anniversary gifts by year

Is your wedding anniversary coming up?

You might be looking for an anniversary gift for your other half and are all out of ideas, if so – it could be handy to revert back to the traditional wedding anniversary gifts by year. This list varies by location, typically there are differences between the European list and American, so take it with a pinch of salt.

This list could also be really helpful for marking a special and significant wedding anniversary of those close to you.

Step one – remember your wedding anniversary.

Year One: Paper

Reason: Paper is gifted for the first wedding anniversary represents a fresh start, a blank slate and the opportunity to write the future ahead of you both. Paper is also fragile, a nod to the ‘newness’ of the marriage.

Gifting Ideas: Keep it simple with a heartfelt card. Frame your wedding vows or the music score to the song of your first dance. Or gift a boomerang present like tickets for a weekend city break, your favourite band or a voucher for a hotel.

Year Two: Cotton

Reason: Cotton is a woven fabric, and represents year two of marriage as traditionally, your lives begin to intertwine and weave together.

Gifting Ideas: Cotton is generally easy to find in clothing such as t-shirts, socks, underwear etc. But if you’re looking for something different other ideas are a luxury cotton dressing gown (hotel dressing gowns are dreamy!) or rich cotton bed sheets.

Year Three: Leather

Reason: Leather is a durable and protective material, yet once worn is also flexible. Traditionally leather is gifted on the third wedding anniversary as you and your partner are now a solid team, but still learning about each other.

Gifting Ideas: There are so many options for leather gifts; a wallet, shoes, a Smythson notebook or even a wash bag or hand bag. Leather could also be gifted in fragrances, such as Tom Ford’s Ombre Leather or Tuscan Leather, and Jo Malone Bronze Wood & Leather.

Year Four: Fruit & Flowers

Reason: Fruit and/or flowers are gifted to represent the fruitful and blossoming growth of the relationship and union between yourself and your partner.

Gifting Ideas: This one is pretty straightforward, a fruit basket and a bouquet of flowers. Chocolate dipped strawberries could be a good idea here, and maybe a bouquet of flowers that the bride held on the wedding day.

Year Five: Wood

Reason: Wood is often gifted on year four, to symbolise the strength of your relationship and marriage.

Gifting Ideas: Simple gifts could be an engraved wooden chopping board, or memory box, or you could be a little more sentimental and plant a tree together in your back garden.

Year Six: Sugar

Reason: Gift sugar or sugary treats to mark the sweet spot that is the sixth year of marriage.

Gifting Ideas: A straight-forward one would be your other half’s favourite sweets, maybe its a bag of Haribo or bar of Dairy Milk. This could be something as simple as enjoying a donut or slice of cake and cup of coffee together.

Year Seven: Wool

Reason: Traditionally the seventh year of marriage is marked with the gifting of wool representing warmth and protection.

Gifting Ideas: This is the perfect excuse to buy a cosy luxury throw from Avoca or Irish woollen mills like Foxford or Blarney Woollen Mill. Brands like Ganni and Acne do gorgeous and relatively affordable wool beanies. Or go more fashion and invest in a cashmere scarf or jumper.

Year Eight: Salt

Reason: Salt is a preservative, and also enhances flavours. So salt is gifted to acknowledge the solidity of your marriage, and acts as a reminder to always keep things interesting.

Gifting Ideas: This is a weird one because does anyone really want salt as a gift? If your other half is big into cooking, this could be an easy one though – flavoured salts add a new dimension to food, and are great for BBQ season. Or why not go for a sea swim together? Bath salts and salt scrubs for anyone in need of some pampering, or cleanse the soul and air with one of those increasingly popular Himalayan salt lamps.

Year Nine: Copper

Reason: Copper is thought bring good luck and good fortune.

Gifting: Enjoy making cocktails? Copper mugs are the perfect gift for any Moscow Mule lovers out there. Or if you’re into cooking copper pots are also a good option.

Year Ten: Aluminium or Tin

Reason: Yay you’ve reached one whole decade! Aluminium or tin gifting for your ten year wedding anniversary symbolises the durability of your relationship.

Gifting Ideas: Cocktail shakers, wine buckets and keep-cups all are made of or have an element of aluminium in them. If you both love travelling Rimowa or AWAY travel cases could a good investment.

Year Fifteen: Crystal

Reason: Crystal is traditionally gifted for fifteen years of marriage as an ode to the clarity and long-lasting love in your relationship.

Gifting Ideas: A great excuse to buy new glasses or tumblers from Tipperary Crystal or Waterford Crystal. If your other half needs some pampering rose quartz or jade facial rollers could go down well, or a gift from Swarovski.

Year Twenty: Platinum

Reason: One of the most durable metals in the world, the gifting platinum is symbolic of a strong bond and relationship that stands and has stood the test of time.

Gifting Ideas: Jewellery is a traditional way of gifting platinum. A gorgeous roller ball or ink Montblanc pen, with platinum detailing could be another idea.

Year Twenty-Five: Silver

Reason: A valuable and precious metal, silver represents a cherished and treasured number of years together.

Gifting Ideas: Again, silver can be gifted through traditional means such as jewellery or classic silverware pieces. Or commemorative and collector’s silver coins from the Irish Central Bank.

Year Thirty: Pearl

Reason: Pearls are the result of years of growth and patience, and thus become treasures. Pearls also signify wisdom.

Gifting Ideas: Similar to previous significant wedding anniversaries, jewellery is always good way to go when it comes to treasured materials: a pearl faced watch, or maybe pearl necklace, bracelet or earrings.

Year Forty: Ruby

Reason: Red is traditionally the colour associated with love and passion, and rubies are rare and valuable gem stones.

Gifting Ideas: Surprise, surprise – jewellery. Rings, necklaces, earrings or bracelets. Or maybe a vintage or rare bottle of ruby port or red wine.

Year Fifty: Gold

Reason: Not only is gold a precious metal, it’s said that gold is gifted to mark fifty years of marriage: gold represents wealth and a couple who reach fifty years of marriage are wealthy in relationship experience.

Gifting Ideas: To celebrate a golden jubilee, it’s unsurprising that gold is traditionally gifted in jewellery form. Gold proof collector’s coins are also available to purchase from the Irish Central Bank. Or a gold framed picture of your wedding day.

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