Traditional Anniversary Gifts

Most married couples give each other gifts to celebrate their wedding anniversary each year. Traditionally, each year of wedded bliss has its own gift theme. While you certainly aren’t required to stick to traditional suggestions, knowing what kinds of gifts are associated with each anniversary may be helpful if you’re trying to come up with anniversary ideas.

Anniversary Gifts: Traditional

Traditional gifts have been around since medieval times. Each year of marriage has a traditional gift theme, with the idea that the gifts become more valuable as the years go by. If you’re looking for traditional anniversary ideas, this list is a great place to start.

Traditional gifts by year include:

  • Year one:Paper. Origami art, memory books, photographs and books make great first-year anniversary gifts.
  • Year two: Cotton. Consider giving new bed linens, an embroidered handkerchief or new cotton clothing.
  • Year three: Leather. Depending on your budget, anniversary gifts can range from a new leather wallet to leather furniture.
  • Year four:Flowers or fruit. The traditional fourth-anniversary flower is the geranium, so consider having a florist create a professional bouquet of geraniums. Or spring for an “edible arrangement” of fruit or cookies designed to look like a bouquet of flowers.
  • Year five:Wood. Fifth-year anniversary gifts for him or her can range from hand-carved wooden decorations to new wood furniture.
  • Year 10:Tin, aluminum and diamond. Traditional gifts in any of these three materials mark this first major milestone. Budget-friendly gifts might include kitchen items made from tin or aluminum. If you’d like to celebrate with something more expensive, diamond jewelry is especially appropriate for this anniversary.
  • Year 15:Crystal. Consider purchasing new crystal champagne glasses, serving dishes or decorations.
  • Year 20:China. This anniversary is a great time to update the china collection you purchased or received when you were first married.
  • Year 25:Silver. One of the most popular gift ideas for this major anniversary is silver jewelry. However, you could also give new silverware, silver candlesticks or silver sculptures. If your budget doesn’t allow for real silver gifts, consider creating a gift basket decorated with silver wrapping and ribbon.

Anniversary Gifts: Contemporary

For each traditional anniversary gift, a contemporary alternative is available. Go with contemporary anniversary ideas if the traditional ones are too old-fashioned or expensive for you. For example, an alternative to a first-anniversary paper gift is a clock. For 15th-anniversary gifts, watches are an alternative to crystal.