The Ultimate Guide to Wedding Anniversary Gifts

Want to know what to get your partner for each anniversary? We've come up with the ultimate anniversary guide, with gift ideas and the meaning of each anniversary explained from your first to your 70th.

Planning a wedding is all about counting down to the big day, but once it’s over you’ll count the years you’ve been married – there’s a traditional gift to go with each wedding anniversary so make sure you celebrate properly.

We’ve put together the ultimate guide to wedding anniversaries so you know exactly how to celebrate every significant milestone. If you’re not at that stage yet, check out our edit of personalised wedding gifts for more ideas, or find out more about wedding gift lists

First Wedding Anniversary

Traditional Gift: Paper

Modern Alternative: Clocks

Reason Behind the Tradition: Paper is traditionally given to celebrate a year of marriage as it’s thought to represent the blank sheet your marriage still is – and the fact it’s still relatively delicate.

Hope and Love at Not on the High Street
Hope and Love at Not on the High Street

Gift Ideas for Her: A beautiful framed print of your first dance lyrics or vows will serve as a sentimental reminder of your wedding. If you’re looking for a budget-friendly idea, what about writing down all the reasons why you love your partner in a beautiful notebook? A more extravagant purchase would be tickets for a romantic trip.

Gift Ideas for Him: What about tickets to a show, an exhibition, a movie or a break away together? If you’ve already done lots of travelling together, how about a personalised map of your journey together so far?

The modern anniversary gift is a clock; you could treat your partner to a fancy watch, or a clock that is stopped at the time you got married – it’d make for an interesting piece of wall art!

Second Wedding Anniversary

Traditional Gift: Cotton

Modern Alternative: China

Reason Behind the Tradition: Cotton is the go to gift as it symbolises how your lives are weaving together, much like the threads that make up cotton.

Butterfly Home by Matthew Williamson at Debenhams
Butterfly Home by Matthew Williamson at Debenhams

Gift Ideas for Her: Splash out on some luxurious bed linen and set up the bed with it – we say scatter it with rose petals and serve breakfast in bed in the morning too. Alternatively, what about a personalised cotton robe (with a spa reservation hidden in the pocket)?

Gift Ideas for Him: Luxurious bedding will be appreciated by your husband too, but if you want something different what about a personalised towel to add to his gym kit, or some expensive new shirts?

If you opt for china you could go for afternoon tea at a fancy venue to drink from china cups, or buy a new dinner service and have a romantic meal at home.

Third Wedding Anniversary

Traditional Gift: Leather

Modern Alternative: Crystal or Glass

Reason Behind the Tradition: Leather is tough and durable, and by your third wedding anniversary your relationship will be strong and able to endure. Leather was also traditionally used to provide shelter and protection and three years in your marriage should be a safe haven for you both.

Image credit: Create Gift Love at Not on the High Street
Image credit: Create Gift Love at Not on the High Street

Gift Ideas for Her: An expensive new handbag (hello, Mulberry!) or purse springs to mind – but there are plenty of luxurious leather products to consider. If you want something more sentimental, what about a leather bound photo album or notebook full of meaningful messages?

Gift Ideas for Him: If your other half loves to read, what about a leather bound book? An expensive new wallet would go down well too, or some handmade shoes. If you want a joint gift to yourselves, a new leather sofa could be a way to dress up your home.

For couples who want to go for the modern alternative, what about a trip to a champagne bar (we’re saying Cristal counts), or some elegant barware and a bottle of something bubbly.

Fourth Wedding Anniversary

Traditional Gift: Fruit and Flowers

Modern Alternative: Appliances

Reason Behind the Tradition: By your fourth year of marriage, your relationship is seen to be blossoming and ripening, much like flowers or fruit. 

Laura Ashley Home
Laura Ashley Home

Gift Ideas for Her: The obvious one is a big bunch of flowers or a hamper full of fruit, but you could get creative with floral or fruit-patterned gifts. Fruit flavoured chocolates and drinks count too…

Gift Ideas for Him: If your partner is green-fingered, you could treat him to a fruit tree or a plant for the garden. If not, what about a floral patterned tie or a trip to a vineyard (wine is grapes and grapes are fruit…).

If you suffer from allergies or have an aversion to fruit, what about the modern alternative of appliances? A handy spiralizer or a coffee machine would be a welcome addition to anyone’s home.

Fifth Wedding Anniversary

Traditional Gift: Wood

Modern Alternative: Silverware

Reason Behind the Tradition: Wooden gifts are traditionally given on the fifth wedding anniversary as trees represent strength and wisdom. By the time you’ve been married five years you’ll have a strong relationship with deep roots.

Ginger Rose at Not on the High Street
Ginger Rose at Not on the High Street

Gift Ideas for Her: What about a bottle of champagne presented in a personalised wooden box? Or collect together lots of keepsakes from your five years of marriage, such as tickets, photos and notes and present them in a wooden box, customised with your names and wedding date.

Gift Ideas for Him: You could go for a practical gift such as a wooden chopping board or a cheeseboard, complete with lots of different cheeses to sample. If your partner is outdoorsy, a tree to plant in the garden could go down well – if you don’t have a garden you can always sponsor one in their name.

If a wooden gift isn’t for you, the modern alternative of silverware could result in a stylish new cutlery set or a pretty piece of jewellery.

Sixth Wedding Anniversary

Traditional Gift: Sugar

Modern Alternative: Iron

Reason Behind the Tradition: As you celebrate six years of marriage together, life should be pretty sweet so you give each other sugar based gifts to reflect this. 

Biscuiteers
Biscuiteers

Gift Ideas for Her: You can go for chocolates, but why not get creative and do a class where you learn to make your own chocolate, sweets or a favourite dessert?

Gift Ideas for Him: You could bake his favourite treats for him, but if you’re feeling a little more adventurous, what about some chocolate body paint? It could follow an amazing meal as dessert…

If you or your partner doesn’t have a sweet tooth, the modern alternative is iron as it is thought to be lucky.

Seventh Wedding Anniversary

Traditional Gift: Copper and Wool

Modern Alternative: A Desk Set

Reason Behind the Tradition: It might sound like a bizarre combo but you traditionally gave gifts of copper and wool to mark seven years of marriage as they are both warm products that conduct heat. Your marriage should feel warm and cosy after seven years!

Sainsbury’s
Sainsbury’s

Gift Ideas for Her: Copper is a huge homeware trend right now – you can go for copper utensils and kitchen accessories, but what about something rose gold, which has a very similar hue? A copper-toned foil print would dress up your home whilst rose gold jewellery is likely to be well received. If you want to go for wool, a cosy jumper or knitted throw could be a winner.

Gift Ideas for Him: How about some copper barware and a cocktail recipe book? You can have fun together mixing drinks in the summer, or if it’s a winter anniversary a stylish jumper would be ideal.

The modern alternative is a desk set – treat your other half to some fancy office accessories to jazz up their working day.

Eighth Wedding Anniversary

Traditional Gift: Bronze

Modern Alternative: Linens and Lace

Reason Behind the Tradition: Bronze is a strong metal which is made by combining two metals together, so it’s the obvious choice after a solid eight years together. 

Betsy Benn at Not on the High Street
Betsy Benn at Not on the High Street

Gift Ideas for Her: There’s lots of bronze jewellery to be found, but we love the idea of a trip away to a sunny location so you can both ‘bronze’ yourselves. If you don’t have the budget for that, what about a fake tan pamper kit for bronzing, complete with moisturisers and exfoliators?

Gift Ideas for Him: A cool sculpture could be well received, particularly if you can have a bespoke one made. It could end up becoming a family heirloom!

If you prefer the modern alternative of linens and lace, what about some luxurious new bed linen or some pretty lace underwear?

Ninth Wedding Anniversary

Traditional Gift: Pottery and Willow

Modern Alternative: Leather

Reason Behind the Tradition: Willow is a flexible and strong wood that can be woven together to create practical and durable products, whilst pottery is handcrafted to result in something beautiful. Both of these things sum up a couple after nine years of marriage – you’ll be strong but flexible and your entwined lives result in something beautiful.

Achica
Achica

Gift Ideas for Her: A willow basket can be used to present a hamper of treats – whether that’s for a luxury picnic or a pamper day at home is entirely up to you. Otherwise why not splash out on a beautifully handcrafted pottery vase?

Gift Ideas for Him: The hamper idea is ideal for your husband too, but if you think he might be doing that for you what about a willow wine carrier or a woven planter? If he loves his tea or coffee a handmade pottery mug would be well received.

The modern alternative of leather is a great option if you didn’t do leather gifts on your third anniversary but still have your eye on that handbag…

Tenth Wedding Anniversary

Traditional Gift: Tin

Modern Alternative: Diamond

Reason Behind the Tradition: You store things in tin to preserve them, and tin is used to plate things to prevent them from wearing away. By giving a tin themed gift for your 10th wedding anniversary, you’re recognising how you’ve preserved your relationship and protected it from corroding.

Novello at Not on the High Street
Novello at Not on the High Street

Gift Ideas for Her: A tin of luxury treats will always go down well – luxury chocolates, bath products or makeup. You can also buy tin prints which can be personalised and have a really retro feel to them.

Gift Ideas for Him: We love the idea of a savings tin – buy a personalised tin and agree to save all your £2 coins or £5 notes for a year, before using the money to treat yourselves. A cake tin (ideally with a delicious baked treat) or a coffee tin filled with expensive coffee beans would also work.

The modern alternative is diamond, so if you don’t fancy tin a diamond eternity ring would probably go down quite well.

Fifteenth Wedding Anniversary

Traditional Gift: Crystal

Modern Alternative: Timepieces

Reason Behind the Tradition: Crystal is traditionally chosen as the gift to mark your 15th wedding anniversary for its transparency. It represents the clarity in your relationship and how clearly you see each other after a decade and a half together. 

House of Bath
House of Bath

Gift Ideas for Her: You could buy a beautiful crystal vase and fill it with flowers, or a bottle of champagne and some crystal glasses. Alternatively, what about a trip to a romantic island with crystal-clear waters?

Gift Ideas for Him: A crystal decanter and some expensive whisky could be well received. Or you could go halves on that trip to the island with crystal-clear water…

The modern alternative to crystal is timepieces, which means if you don’t fancy the traditional you could always treat each other to a new watch.

Twentieth Wedding Anniversary

Traditional Gift: China

Modern Alternative: Platinum

Reason Behind the Tradition: China is chosen to represent two decades of marriage as it is fragile but will last forever if it is looked after well. Gift china-themed gifts to recognise the fact that if you look after your relationship it will continue to stand the test of time.

Seahorse at Not on the High Street
Seahorse at Not on the High Street

Gift Ideas for Her: Why not go for a fancy afternoon tea where you can drink from china cups? Or a porcelain ornament which you can display in your home.

Gift Ideas for Him: If he loves his coffee or tea, you could go for a china mug. Add a twist to the tradition by going for a Chinese meal or even go on the trip of a lifetime to china.

If china isn’t for you, the modern alternative of platinum means you could go for some new jewellery – you could even upgrade your wedding rings and have a vow renewal.

Twenty-Fifth Wedding Anniversary

Traditional Gift: Silver

Modern Alternative: No modern alternative – silver is timeless!

Reason Behind the Tradition: Silver is a precious metal and after 25 years together your relationship will no doubt be very precious to you. If you look after it well it will continue to gleam no matter how many years have gone by, so give the gift of silver to celebrate that. 

GettingPersonal.co.uk
GettingPersonal.co.uk

Gift Ideas for Her: Beautiful, delicate silver jewellery is the obvious choice, but you can also find silver plated champagne glasses or elegant silver cutlery which is perfect for when you’re entertaining.

Gift Ideas for Him: Silver cufflinks will smarten up your husband’s day to day look, whilst a silver penknife could be practical and can be engraved. If you like the idea of engraving something, what about a new watch, or a pocket watch for the vintage-loving guy?

Thirtieth Wedding Anniversary

Traditional Gift: Pearl

Modern Alternative: Diamond

Reason Behind the Tradition: You find beautiful pearls hidden away in less-than-pretty oysters. After three decades together it’s likely you won’t look like you did when you first met but there will still be something very beautiful between you that you’ve cultivated together. 

Links of London
Links of London

Gift Ideas for Her: There are plenty of timeless pearl gifts you can give to mark 30 years together, such as pearl earrings, a bracelet or a necklace. If jewellery isn’t the right fit, what about a beautiful mother-of-pearl photo frame, complete with a favourite family photo or picture from your wedding?

Gift Ideas for Him: Pearl or mother-of-pearl cufflinks could work, but if you want something a bit different how about a book of ‘pearls of wisdom’? You can write them yourself based on all the things you’ve learned together.

Diamonds are the modern alternative – if you can’t wait for your 60th anniversary to enjoy some diamonds now is your chance!

Thirty-Fifth Wedding Anniversary

Traditional Gift: Coral

Modern Alternative: Jade

Reason Behind the Tradition: Coral is a precious and protected commodity. It was once believed to have magical properties and after 35 years together, your marriage will be precious and have plenty of magic about it. 

White Stuff
White Stuff

Gift Ideas for Her: Go for coral coloured items, such as accessories like a beautiful scarf or bracelet. Something for the home, such as a coral coloured vase or a bunch of flowers in coral hues, would also go down well.

Gift Ideas for Him: Coral cufflinks are the obvious choice, but what about a home aquarium or even a trip to one of the world’s famous coral reefs?

Jade is the modern alternative which is more eco-friendly and you can find plenty of jade jewellery options.

Fortieth Wedding Anniversary

Traditional Gift: Ruby

Modern Alternative: No modern alternative

Reason Behind the Tradition: Red is often considered to be the colour of love, and the rich red glow of the ruby reflects that. 

77 Diamonds
77 Diamonds

Gift Ideas for Her: Ruby jewellery is often given to mark this anniversary, but a bouquet of ruby-red roses would also be well received.

Gift Ideas for Him: You could go for an expensive bottle of ruby-hued red wine, or take advantage of cockney rhyming slang and go out for a ‘Ruby Murray’ (curry) to mark 40 years of marriage.

Forty-Fifth Wedding Anniversary

Traditional Gift: Sapphire

Modern Alternative: No modern alternative

Reason Behind the Tradition: Once upon a time it was only royalty who possessed sapphires, making them a luxurious commodity. After 45 years of marriage, you deserve a luxurious treat you can cherish and sapphires are the perfect fit. 

Artique Boutique at Not on the High Street
Artique Boutique at Not on the High Street

Gift Ideas for Her: If you proposed with a sapphire engagement ring, perhaps now would be a good time to revamp it, or buy earrings or a necklace to match?

Gift Ideas for Him: You could go fancy and give a sapphire tie pin or another accessory with the precious stone, but why not go for a looser interpretation if you’re stuck, such as a cruise through sapphire-blue waters?

Fiftieth Wedding Anniversary

Traditional Gift: Gold

Modern Alternative: No modern alternative

Reason Behind the Tradition: Gold is the only metal that can do 50 years of marriage justice! It is seen to be a symbol of wealth and prosperity so as your love continues to prosper, give golden gifts to celebrate it. 

Cherry Pete at Not on the High Street
Cherry Pete at Not on the High Street

Gift Ideas for Her: You could go for gold jewellery or update your wedding rings, but you can also buy golden wedding roses, which are a rich yellow colour. Or how about a framed gold disc of your first dance song?

Gift Ideas for Him: A watch would make for a timeless present, but if you want to get creative why not make your own golden ticket for an adventure? Whether it’s just to a show you’ve both wanted to see or for an amazing trip is entirely up to you.

Fifty-Fifth Wedding Anniversary

Traditional Gift: Emerald

Modern Alternative: No modern alternative

Reason Behind the Tradition: Emeralds are known for their rich green hue – green widely considered to be a calming colour that also represents luck and wealth. After 55 years of marriage, you should be feeling quite lucky and life is probably much calmer than it was. 

Anna New York at Amara
Anna New York at Amara

Gift Ideas for Her: Emerald jewellery will be well received, but if you want something different how about tickets to see the Wizard of Oz or Wicked, both of which feature the Emerald City?

Gift Ideas for Him: There are plenty of emerald accessories to consider, but what about planning a trip to the Emerald Isle, Ireland, for a getaway?

Sixtieth Wedding Anniversary

Traditional Gift: Diamond

Modern Alternative: No modern alternative

Reason Behind the Tradition: Diamonds are the result of tremendous pressure, and are rare and beautiful. After 60 years together it’s likely you’ll have experienced some pressures but come out of it strong and with something extremely precious. 

77 Diamonds
77 Diamonds

Gift Ideas for Her: Obviously we’re going to say diamond jewellery – it’s an essential after six decades together. Otherwise you can get diamond wedding roses or diamond patterned accessories.

Gift Ideas for Him: We think something sparkly definitely counts – what about a trip to a planetarium to take a closer look at the stars, or a trip to a country that produces diamonds, such as Canada or Australia?

Seventieth Wedding Anniversary

Traditional Gift: Platinum

Modern Alternative: No modern alternative

Reason Behind the Tradition: Even after years of use, it’s hard to tarnish platinum as it’s so hard-wearing. After 70 years of marriage your relationship can be represented by platinum in that you can’t tarnish it. 

Lilia Nash Jewellery at Not on the High Street
Lilia Nash Jewellery at Not on the High Street

Gift Ideas for Her: Go for a piece of platinum jewellery or a beautiful engraved platinum photo frame, complete with a cherished photo.

Gift Ideas for Him: A platinum ring could be given to update his current wedding ring, or you could go for an engraved tankard or a platinum edition of ‘your’ song or favourite film.

If you have gifts on the brain now, why not browse even more gorgeous wedding gift ideas?

Comments

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Nikki93

31/07/2017 at 23:41

I got my husband a personalized song from Songfinch for our first year anniversary and he loved it. I may have loved it more than him since I couldn't wait until our anniversary, lol. I had to give it to him the week before but his reaction was still priceless. He took me to dinner at the restaurant our first date was at so we played the song on the way to the dinner and it tied everything together. Now we both have to top both those gifts in year two -- wish us luck! :)

Kamal

17/05/2017 at 08:49

Best Anniversary Gifts - Personalize Chocolates Chocolates are considered to be one of the best options when it comes to anniversary gifts and you can make it even better by adding a personal touch. Apart from the personalized chocolates, the wrappers or boxes can also be personalized. These can be saved as a unique memorabilia which marks the special day and gives you memories that you will always cherish. Thinking about gifting personalized chocolates on anniversary? Here is an informative guide to help you make the right gifting decisions! Depending on whether you are searching for an anniversary gift for your husband or another couple altogether, you can choose from several types of chocolates. If it is an anniversary gift for wife or husband you can include a sweet message or personal greeting instead of just a wish.

Nikki72

24/10/2016 at 19:18

Great ideas!