Every year a couple spends together is worth celebrating and commemorating. However, it can be difficult to stay original and creative when shopping for your spouse year after year. Similarly, if you’re shopping for anniversary gifts for a beloved couple in your life, you want to keep the gifts fresh year after year. One way to help yourself think of ideas is by following the traditional anniversary gift guide. The idea of certain anniversary gifts corresponding to yearly milestones has been around for centuries, with the version we’re familiar with today dating back to the early 20th century.
Many people are aware that the 25-year mark means a silver gift, while the 50-year anniversary gift is gold. But with many other milestones to find meaningful gifts for, we’ve compiled the whole list here along with some gift ideas to inspire you for each one. This list of traditional anniversary gifts by year will provide you with lots of ideas that can inspire unique selections throughout your many years of marriage. Without further ado, here is our list!
Traditional Anniversary Gifts By Year
1st Anniversary Traditional Theme: Paper
Paper is simple, but it offers a lot of flexibility in terms of what gifts you can give. It can be said to represent the many years of blank pages that you and your beloved have ahead of you.
Gift idea for him: exquisite stationery
Gift idea for her: beautiful canvas photo print
2nd Anniversary Traditional Theme: Cotton
Cotton is a great material to represent the smoothness of a marriage that’s two years in.
Gift idea for him: duffel bag; pillow
Gift idea for her: bedsheets; clothing
3rd Anniversary Traditional Theme: Leather
Leather can be said to represent the comfort and elegance you have achieved by the third year of your marriage.
Gift idea for him: leather-bound journal; Dopp kit
Gift idea for her: elegant purse or handbag
4th Anniversary Traditional Themes: Fruit or Flowers
Fruit and flowers both make sense as 4th-anniversary gifts because they can represent how natural your union is by this point. You’ve had four years of marriage together and have worked hard to have everything function as smoothly as possible.
Gift idea for him: fruit basket
Gift idea for her: bouquet of fresh flowers
5th Anniversary Traditional Theme: Wood
You’ve now spent half a decade in matrimony, so the 5-year anniversary is an important occasion to celebrate with meaningful gifts. The theme of wood allows you the flexibility to go with something creative or classic.
Gift idea for him: whiskey barrel
Gift idea for her: personalized cutting board; handcrafted furniture
6th Anniversary Traditional Themes: Iron or Candy
Iron represents the strength and durability of your relationship after six years of marriage, while candy is a metaphor for the sweetness that remains and is so essential to your love. Don’t neglect the candy component of this milestone. Putting together a gift bag full of all your partner’s favorite sweet treats is a great way to put a smile on their face.
Gift idea for him: golf clubs
Gift idea for her: iron cookware
7th Anniversary Traditional Themes: Wool or Copper
Wool and copper are quite different materials, but they both signal positive relationship attributes, with wool’s soft warmth and copper’s sturdiness.
Gift idea for him: copper-plated drinkware
Gift idea for her: scarf; pair of slippers
8th Anniversary Traditional Themes: Pottery or Bronze
After 8 years of being together, it’s probably fair to say that you have each influenced and shaped one another in a variety of ways. Thus, the pottery motif makes sense.
Gift idea for him: bronze figurine
Gift idea for her: bronze vase
9th Anniversary Traditional Themes: Pottery or Willow
You can think of the pottery anniversary as symbolic of the molding each of you has undergone over the years. With compromise being an important part of every relationship, each of you has made some changes to please the other, while also retaining the unique features that drew you to one another. A pottery-oriented gift fits this milestone nicely.
Gift idea for him: a pottery coffee mug; bowl
Gift idea for her: willow table; candle holder
10th Anniversary Traditional Themes: Tin or Aluminum
Though thinking of anniversary gifts made of tin or aluminum may stretch the imagination a bit, there are still some potentially cool ideas, such as interesting decorative pieces for the home.
Gift idea for him: unique aluminum home decor
Gift idea for her: tin ring or necklace
11th Anniversary Traditional Theme: Steel
Over the course of 11 years, it’s likely that your marriage has endured some ups and downs, but like a bridge engineered to withstand strong winds, your foundation is stronger than ever. This milestone thus feels like a perfect time to give a steel or steel-themed gift to the partner you’ve shared more than a decade of married life with.
Gift idea for him: steel decor; stainless steel tumbler; steel flask
Gift idea for her: stainless steel jewelry; kitchenware
12th Anniversary Traditional Themes: Silk or Linen
Once you’ve celebrated a dozen years of marriage, the two of you have grown so attuned to another that the functioning and mechanics of your relationship are as smooth as silk.
Gift idea for him: silk bedsheets
Gift idea for her: new tableware
13th Anniversary Traditional Theme: Lace
You can think of lace as representing the elegance you’ve attained after 13 years together. While lingerie would be an apt gift, we were thinking about other lace-oriented gifts too.
Gift idea for him: pajama set
Gift idea for her: scarf
14th Anniversary Traditional Theme: Ivory
Ivory used to connote high class, but with endangered elephants being poached due to demand for ivory products, items made of genuine ivory are now illegal. However, you can still stay on theme. Try looking for elephant-themed items or faux-ivory products.
Gift idea for him: Teapot
Gift idea for her: Ivory-colored dishes
15th Anniversary Traditional Theme: Crystal
Crystal symbolizes the elegance and transparency your marriage has achieved by the 15-year mark. For those who are looking for another option, watches often fill in as a 15th-anniversary gift.
Gift idea for him: engraved pocket watch
Gift idea for her: crystal glassware
20th Anniversary Traditional Theme: China
With china symbolizing grandness and ceremonial pomp, it’s a perfect theme for a 20th-anniversary gift. Making a marriage last for 20 years takes hard work, communication, and of course, an abundant supply of love. Take the opportunity to celebrate; this really is a special milestone! You could even get creative with this milestone and celebrate with a trip to China!
Gift idea for him: Flowerpot
Gift idea for her: fine china set
25th Anniversary Traditional Theme: Silver
A quarter of a century together is definitely a big milestone! Be sure to celebrate the silver anniversary with gifts that feature the appropriate precious metal.
Gift idea for him: engraved silver keepsake
Gift idea for her: silver jewelry
30th Anniversary Traditional Theme: Pearl
It’s said that finding a pearl is good luck, so after thirty years of married bliss, it’s safe to say that each of you has found a pearl in the form of one another.
Gift idea for him: cufflinks; unique artwork
Gift idea for her: necklace; other jewelry
35th Anniversary Traditional Theme: Coral
The unique beauty of coral mirrors the unique beauty you and your spouse have achieved after 35 solid years of marriage.
Gift idea for him: coral cookware
Gift idea for her: Coral-colored apparel; earrings
40th Anniversary Traditional Theme: Ruby
The 4-decade mark requires a special signifier, and the beautiful ruby does the job nicely. If you’d rather go with something that’s not ruby but close, items featuring a strong red hue also work, like a red photo frame or vase.
Gift idea for him: unique home decor
Gift idea for her: ruby necklace; ring
45th Anniversary Traditional Theme: Sapphire
Sapphires are hard to find and valued highly, not unlike the wonderful partner you’ve been able to love for 45 years. If you want to stay on theme without getting a sapphire gift, you can look into other special gifts that feature a blue hue.
Gift idea for him: blue home decor
Gift idea for her: sapphire jewelry
50th Anniversary Traditional Theme: Gold
Fifty years of marriage? Wow! This gold anniversary bears that nickname for a reason, so break out the gold anniversary gifts. This is a truly impressive achievement that’s worth honoring.
Gift idea for him: gold watch; gold keepsake
Gift idea for her: gold earrings; gold jewelry
55th Anniversary Traditional Theme: Emerald
After such a long period of matrimony, it’s time to turn to the beautiful emerald to symbolize your rock-solid bond. Other green gifts are great stand-ins too.
Gift idea for him: green tie
Gift idea for her: emerald bracelet; earrings
60th Anniversary Traditional Theme: Diamond
The sixtieth anniversary is truly an impressive accomplishment fully worth celebrating with something extravagant. In fact, very few couples reach this milestone. Being together for sixty years means you have spent a large majority of your entire life with each other. That’s truly incredible! Congratulations, and best wishes for many more happy years together.
Gift idea for him: wristwatch
Gift idea for her: a beautiful ring or necklace
This list offers many ideas of fun and meaningful gifts you can give that follow the traditional anniversary gifts by year, but don’t be afraid to get creative and try something else that’s unique and that will make your partner smile. If you’re looking for personalized anniversary gifts to give your partner something that has a uniquely special touch just for them, take a look at our selection!