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Traditional Wedding Anniversary Gifts

Wedding traditions – something borrowed, something blue, not seeing each other before the ceremony on the big day, carrying the bride over the threshold and the like – aren’t solely for the wedding day itself. Traditional gifts for wedding anniversaries have their own symbolism, and are a great source of gift ideas for each successive year of a successful marriage.

1st year: paper

By tradition, gifts to celebrate the first year of marriage are paper, because the marriage is still somewhat of a blank canvas.
Gift ideas: personalised cards, lyrics printed on paper, photos, books

2nd year: cotton

Cotton symbolises simplicity and purity, and that after two years, the couple are woven together and strong.
Gift ideas: his & her aprons, pillowcases, dressing gowns, t-shirts, cushions

3rd year: leather

By the third year, tradition has it that you two are strong and dependable as leather. And a little worn in for maximum comfort.
Gift ideas: wallets, key rings, bookmarks, journals, bracelets

4th year: fruit & flowers

The four-year gift is traditionally fruit and flowers, which symbolise the relationship blossoming and flourishing… and hopefully you still smell sweet!
Gift ideas: plants, trees & fruit trees for the garden, cut flowers, pot plants for indoors

5th year: wood

The symbolism here is the trees that wood comes from: rooted, dependable, strong.
Gift ideas: trees (actual for the garden or sponsored), wood cuts, cheese boards

6th year: sugar

Hopefully everything is still sweet by the sixthyear, and so we give sugar.
Gift ideas: actual sweets, a candy floss machine

7th year: wool

By the seventh year, the symbolism is all about warmth and comfort. Make sure the wool is good and soft though, we don’t want any 7-year itches!
Gift ideas: throws or blankets, socks, gloves, knitting classes, a sheep?

8th year: salt

Salt is a well-known preservative and cleanser and historically important: salt forms the basis of the word salary as people were once paid in salt.
Gift ideas: salt (and pepper) grinders, salt lamp, bath salts, a sailing trip

9th year: copper

Can it be coincidence that Cupid begins with Cu? We don’t think so! Copper is also a great conductor of heat, and good for arthritis.
Gift ideas: anything, it’s so on-trend, try copper kitchenware, jewellery, wall art

10th year: tin

Tin is traditionally used for safety and preservation so it’s appropriate to celebrate the decade.
Gift ideas: vintage tins, personalised tins, tin planters or pots, not a tin ear!

And the rest of the anniversary milestones...

15th year: crystal

20th year: china

25th year: silver

30th year: pearl

35th year: coral

40th year: ruby

45th year: sapphire

50th year: gold

55th year: emerald

60th year: diamond

70th year: platinum