The Guide to Gifting Wedding Anniversary Gifts by Year

The different traditional anniversary gifts to husband yearly

By Madiha A.
The Guide to Gifting Wedding Anniversary Gifts by Year

The Origin of Traditional Anniversary Gifts

It’s a big day when two people come together and decide to share their lives for the rest of their life. The day should be celebrated every year to remind each other that the love that brought them together, not only exists but is becoming stronger with each passing year. 

Traditional anniversary gifts differ from country to country and culture to culture. In some countries like Australia, Canada and the United States, personal messages and gifts are sent from Presidents, Prime Ministers and Governor Generals to the couples celebrating their 50th wedding anniversaries.

Anniversary Gifts in the Roman Empire:

The history of wedding anniversary dates back to the Roman Empire where husbands presented silver and golden wreaths to their wives on 25th and 50th anniversaries that were worn as crowns. The traditional name for 25th wedding anniversary is the silver anniversary and 50th is the golden anniversary. 

Anniversary Gifts in Victorian Era: 

Anniversary gifts gained further popularity and special designations in the Victorian era when in 1897 queen Victoria of the British Empire celebrated her 60th anniversary as Diamond Jubilee. Victorians cataloged prescribed list of wedding anniversary gifts and made it part of their custom. 

Anniversary Gifts during 20th Century:

The popularity of anniversary gifts increased during the 20th century. People started giving symbolic anniversary gifts for each year. According to “Blue Book of Social Usage” by Emily Post, there existed eight traditional anniversaries during the year 1922, when her book got published. The married couples during 20th century celebrated first, fifth, 10th, 15th, 20th, 25th, 50th, and 75th anniversaries. 

In 1937, the tradition further regularized when a comprehensive list of anniversary associated gifts was issued by the American National Retail Jeweler Association. For the first 20 wedding anniversaries, a distinctive anniversary gift made out of a specific material was given. After the 20th anniversary, every fifth year was celebrated and the value of the gift increased with every anniversary. As the duration relationship lengthened, so did the stability and the reward. The gifts were often functional like clocks, watches, silverware and electronic appliances.  

List of Traditional Anniversary Gifts and its Meaning 

Each passing year in a married relationship is a symbol that love exists and it should be celebrated and cherished. The anniversary is the time to remind each other the reasons for getting together and the things that you adore about each other. No matter how much you love your partner, manifolds around the anniversary. Just telling wouldn’t be enough, show them how much you love them and care about them. 

"The secret of a happy marriage is finding the right person. You know they’re right if you love to be with them all the time", said Julia Child.

Whether you are opting for a traditional gift for your upcoming anniversary or a modern one, make sure that it has a certain meaning and emotional value attached to it. Here is a list of traditional gifts and what they mean:

1st Anniversary Gift

The traditional gift for first wedding anniversary in the US is paper which symbolizes starting fresh on a new sheet of paper. Giving movie tickets, personalized diary or a book to your husband are some good choices for the first wedding anniversary.

2nd Anniversary Gift

The material for 2nd year is cotton which symbolizes the flexibility and strength of the couple just as twine. Personalized pillowcases, towels, bathrobes will make great 2nd anniversary gifts for.

3rd Anniversary Gift

The leather is the material for the 3rd year which symbolizes security and shelter. Leather handbags, jackets, and wallets are perfect gifts for 3rd anniversary.

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 In some parts of the world, whether you believe it or not, the wedding is called the 5th season.

4th Anniversary Gift

The traditional gifts for the 4th anniversary were fruits and flowers. They represent refreshment and productivity. 

5th Anniversary Gift

A traditional 5th wedding anniversary gift would be made out of wood. Wood symbolizes strength and wisdom. It also means that the roots of relationship have developed and are now strengthening.

6th Anniversary Gift

The Couple in the US would give iron as a traditional gift on the 6th wedding anniversary. Cuff links, brooches, and fireplace tools are some good examples of gifts made out of iron.

7th Anniversary Gift

Wool in UK and copper in the US are the materials for 7th wedding anniversary according to the US traditions. Wool represents warmth and comfort whereas copper symbolizes strength in the relationship.

8th Anniversary Gift

An 8th-anniversary traditional gift is made out of bronze. Being stronger than iron and copper and made out of two materials copper and tin, it represents how two people, if living in a relationship, can make each other stronger. Mugs, utensils, and sculptures will be adored as gifts on the 8th anniversary.

9th Anniversary Gift

With 9 years into the marriage, couples have faced various ups and downs in life which have brought them even closer. Pottery is the ninth traditional gift which symbolizes a lump of clay that has after getting burnt into the furnace has become stronger.

10th Anniversary Gift

Flexibility and durability in marriage come with time. For the 10th anniversary, the traditional material is aluminum. Any engraved utensil, plates, bowls and family heirlooms made out of aluminum are excellent gift choices.

11th Anniversary Gift

You must have noticed that with each passing year, the gifts are becoming more valuable. Steel being one of the strongest metals in the form of a gift would represent unbreakable love and bond.

12th Anniversary Gift

Attention has shifted from each other to the things around. It took 12 years to build a life, now is the time to build a house. Items of home décor were traditionally given on 12th wedding anniversary. Anything that reminds you of home can be given as a gift on 12-year celebrations.

13th Anniversary Gift

13 is considered a lucky number by many. The intricacy of lace symbolizes the delicacy of relationship and how it should be handled with care to keep it beautiful. From seductive items as wearing a lace lingerie for him to functional items as a table cloth, anything can be given on 13th anniversary.

14th Anniversary Gift

Ivory (although banned now) was considered traditional gift material for 14th wedding anniversary. It symbolizes luck. Sculptures, statues and jewelry pieces made out of ivory were presented as tokens of love on the 14th anniversary.

15th Anniversary Gift

With 15 years into the wedding, the gifts are becoming expensive. Crystal as the traditional gift for 15th anniversary symbolizes how beautiful and delicate this relationship is. Crystal glassware, vases, candle holders and items of home décor will be well received on a 15th wedding anniversary.

From here on, significant wedding anniversaries come every 5 years. So next in line would be 20th wedding anniversary.

20th Anniversary Gift

Love is beautiful yet fragile and china makes a perfect gift to remind you of both these qualities of love. Crockery and decorative china items make a perfect gift for the 20th anniversary.

25th Anniversary Gift

25 years mark the silver jubilee anniversary of the wedding. Giving silver as a gift is a symbol that you still shine as a couple. Silver jewelry, accessories, cutlery, and items of home décor are some option to select a perfect gift.

30th Anniversary Gift

Three decades are good enough to unfold the hidden beauty of the relationship. Celebrating it with pearls will symbolize that you have nurtured the relationship for quite a long time that it looks finely finished on the outside and valuable on the inside. Pearl jewelry pieces will be a perfect choice for 30th wedding anniversary.

 35th Anniversary Gift

Each passing year brings commitment and loyalty in the relationship. Coral is the traditional gift for 35th anniversary which was considered not only sacred but had unusual magical powers. Giving coral as a gift meant keeping safe from harm and sickness.

40th Anniversary Gift

4 decades ask for something as precious as a ruby for the anniversary gift. The heart of ruby being flame of fire is believed to glow brighter with each passing year.

45th Anniversary Gift

Sapphire is a perfect gemstone to be given as 45th-anniversary gift. It symbolizes longevity and beauty of the relationship that has become obvious over time.

50th Anniversary Gift

50th anniversary is called golden jubilee in most parts of the world. The traditional gift was gold as the name suggests. It symbolizes strength and wisdom. Gold jewelry and watches will be perfect gift choices.

55th Anniversary Gift

Every traditional anniversary gift meant something. Emerald being traditional gift for 55th anniversary symbolized true love and devotion. According to legend, emerald changes its colors if one of the partners is unfaithful. 

60th Anniversary Gift

Anniversary gift on completing 60 years is diamond; a symbol of eternal love.

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65th Anniversary Gift

Something that represents inner peace and integrity should be given on the 65th anniversary. Blue sapphire symbolizes both and makes a perfect gift.

70th Anniversary Gift

 Platinum for a relationship that lasted 70 years isn’t expensive enough.

75th Anniversary Gift

Diamond jubilee anniversary on completing 75 years of love and loyalty is not that everyone gets to see. Celebrating it with diamonds is what a relationship this long deserves.  

List of Modern Anniversary Gifts  

No matter how much the time has changed, the tradition of gift giving has not only strengthened but also modernized over time. The librarians at Chicago Public Library have formulated a list of modern anniversary gifts. 


Modern Gifts


Gem Stones




Mother of Pearl



Lily of the Valley



Crystal, Glass




Electrical Appliances


Blue Topaz




Rose Quartz


Wooden objects




Desk sets/pen and pencil sets




Linens, Lace




Leather Goods

Bird of Paradise

Lapis Lazuli


Diamond Jewelry


Crystal or Green Tourmaline


Fashion Jewelry & accessories




Pearls, Colored Gems




Textiles, Furs




Gold Jewelry








Silver Hollowware









































Yellow Rose, Violet



















Diamond, Gold




Diamond, Pearl




Wife’s Birthstone




Engraved Marble, Granite




Gifts are symbols of love. It doesn’t matter how expensive or low cost a gift is, if it has an emotional value and is given from the core of heart, it is the most valuable thing. Appreciation and acknowledgement are the key elements in the process of giving and receiving gifts.