Whether it’s your 1st, 10th, or 60th anniversary, celebrating your love is a time to reflect and recognize the milestones you’ve accomplished together and how far you have come! Many couples exchange gifts — because who doesn’t like to be spoiled every once in a while — but did you know there are specific anniversary gifts by year that you can follow?
Some of these traditions date back to the middle ages and most of these themes have been updated to include a modern option as well. Below we break down the anniversary gifts by year, but keep in mind that you don’t have to follow the status quo. Give a gift your partner will love and put your own twist on it!
1st Anniversary Gift
It is said that the first year of marriage can be the hardest, and the gifts represented by this anniversary reflect the delicacy of this period. Paper is the traditional gift for this year and represents the fragility of the first year, and also a blank slate to write your future. Support local business and preserve your wedding bouquet in a unique way with a hand-painted canvas by Paint My Wedding Day (below). The left is an image from the wedding day and the right is a beautifully-depicted painting.
The modern counterpart gift theme is a clock, representing the beginning of something great and cherishing every moment together. The colors of this celebration are gold or yellow and the flower is the classic carnation.
The traditional second anniversary gift is cotton that speaks to the weaving of your lives and how you’ve become interconnected. We love the idea of a cotton canvas weekender bag for your travels, a plush robe, or new bedsheets. The modern theme for this anniversary is china which reflects timeless sophistication. Even if you received some for your wedding, you can still add to your collection with a teacup, vase, and more. The color for this anniversary is red with the gemstone being red garnet. The representing flower is the cosmos and lily of the valley.
For your third anniversary, leather is the traditional gift. Leather is durable representing shelter and security and gets better with age. A leather journal is a classic gift that your partner can use to document all of your adventures that you can reflect on in the future.
The modern gift is crystal which is fragile but with great care can last a lifetime. This is a great opportunity to upgrade your wine glasses or serving platter! White or jade are the colors of this anniversary with pearl being the gemstone and the sunflower as the flower.
Fruit or flowers are the traditional options when it comes to anniversary gifts by year for your 4th celebration. Surprise your partner with a colorful and equally delicious charcuterie board filled with fresh fruit for an at-home date night.
The modern 4th-anniversary gift is appliances. You’ve settled into your new home and maybe it’s time to upgrade your microwave or splurge on the latest KitchenAid! Blue topaz is the gemstone for this day with blue or green being the color representation. Gift a bouquet of geraniums or lush hydrangeas for this anniversary.
This anniversary’s traditional gift is wood reflecting the roots you are creating as a couple. There are many gift ideas for this one including a custom cutting board or coasters and even ones that speak to their personality. If your partner is a proud alumni of their alma mater, give them a wall decor piece that is a carved out map of their college campus. If they are whiskey fien, consider mini whiskey barrels.
Silverware is the modern gift for a 5th anniversary celebration that can remind you of the importance to bond over shared meals. Blue is the the chosen color and the sapphire stone is the gemstone. Daisies are lively and represent new beginnings.
Iron is the traditional choice and marks strength and durability for the 6th anniversary while wood is the modern gift. Calla lillies are the chosen flower and purple is the color for this day. Amethyst is the gemstone and is said to have protective properties and can be given via a necklace, ring, or crystals for a bedside table or office.
For your 7th anniversary, copper or wool are the traditional gifts. Both conductors of heat, it reflects the warmth and comfort you provide for one another. Copper mugs for Moscow Mules or other bar accessories, like the bottle opener below from Uncommon James, are a fun gift that you can both use! As for wool, a chunky blanket is a always a great idea. The modern gift is a desk set, which seems specific but can represent how supportive you are or your partner’s ambitions. Yellow is the color for this anniversary and onyx is the stone.
On your 8th anniversary, bronze is the choice for a traditional gift. The modern option is lace or linen signifying that your love has become refined over the years. Custom Wedding Gown Cufflinks are a totally unique gift and are created using a piece of the bride’s wedding gown. Tourmaline represents a sense of calmness and lilacs are a classic bloom that provides a sense of innocence.
Just as your marriage is shaped and molded over time, pottery makes for a perfect 9th anniversary gift. With terracotta being the color, it’s only natural to give the gift of potted plants. This Modern Desktop Terracotta Planters is a great way to spruce up a home office and perfect if your partner has a green thumb.
The modern option for this anniversary is leather and lapis lazuli represents the gemstone that is said to balance positive and negative energies. Bright poppies symbolize dreams and imagination.
You’ve made it an entire decade! That’s definitely something to celebrate. Tin or aluminum are strong metals that show strength making it the traditional gift. If you and your spouse love to host, an aluminum outdoor beverage tray makes for the perfect gift. The modern option is diamonds — maybe it’s time to upgrade your wedding band? Daffodils are the flowers and silver is the chosen color.
Your 15th anniversary calls for crystal — a material that is sturdy yet delicate and is a symbol of purity. Fiery red is the color for this day showcasing your passion for one another, and ruby is the gemstone. Roses are the signature bloom so go all out on a bouquet for this anniversary! The modern gift choice is a watch that is functional and also embodies the time you’ve spent together.
After two decades together, it may be time to upgrade your tableware with new china, the traditional gift. Platinum is the modern gift and is indicative of the strength your marriage has. Green is the color with emerald as the gemstone both symbolizing growth. Daylilies are considered flirty, something you should never stop doing with your partner!
The silver anniversary dates back to the Middle Ages where men would commemorate the 25th anniversary by gifting their wives a wreath of silver for their hair. Silver is both the modern and traditional option for this day. Incorporate this color by going for a unique gift like a Personalized Metallic 45 rpm Record where you can input your names, title of your album, and favorite songs.
The 30th anniversary is represented by the pearl — a gemstone that signifies innocence, honestly, and is a hidden beauty. A classic pair of pearl earrings is a timeless accessory that anyone can appreciate. Diamonds are the modern choice for this day and lilies are the chosen flower.
It’s all about red for this anniversary with ruby being both the modern and traditional gift as well as the gemstone. The color red is key for this day so take this into your own hands by splurging that rare bottle of red wine for your anniversary dinner. Better yet, go all out and tour the vineyards of Tuscany for an unforgettable anniversary trip.
Known as the “Golden Anniversary”, it is customary to gift gold for this celebration. Whether it’s gold home décor, new hardware for your kitchen, or a 14K Gold Ring, there are many options to give the gift in this theme. Yellow roses are the flower and represent joy after spending 50 years together!
This anniversary is all about the strongest gemstone — diamonds! This stone is invincible just like a 60-year marriage. The organic choice is jewelry with diamonds like this Pink Rough Diamond Cluster Necklace.