What Are the Traditional Wedding Anniversary Gifts by Year

What are the traditional wedding anniversary gifts by year? The tradition of giving gifts to celebrate wedding anniversaries dates back to ancient times, symbolizing the love and commitment between couples. Each year is associated with a specific material, from paper to china, representing the growth and strength of the marriage. Understanding the significance of these traditional gifts can add sentiment and meaning to anniversary celebrations, making each milestone even more special.

As couples reach significant years in their marriage, it has become customary to honor these milestones with gifts made from materials that mark those specific years. The symbolism behind each material reflects the growth and endurance of the relationship, creating a beautiful tradition that many couples uphold. From paper to crystal, each gift carries its own unique meaning and provides an opportunity for thoughtful and meaningful gift-giving.

In this article, we will delve into the tradition of giving traditional anniversary gifts by year, exploring the symbolism behind each material and offering creative gift suggestions for each milestone anniversary. Whether you are celebrating your first year or your twentieth, these traditional gifts can serve as a timeless way to honor the love and commitment shared between you and your partner. Let’s embark on a journey through time-honored traditions and meaningful gift ideas for each wedding anniversary.

First Year

When celebrating the first year wedding anniversary, it is customary to give a gift made of paper. Paper symbolizes the blank page of a new beginning, representing the delicate and flexible nature of the early stages of marriage.

This traditional gift reflects the idea that your marriage is still young and can be molded and shaped into something beautiful over time. The first year anniversary is an opportunity to celebrate the foundation of your relationship and to look back on all the memories you have created together.

There are many unique and thoughtful paper gift ideas to consider for this special milestone. A personalized photo album or scrapbook filled with cherished memories from your first year of marriage can be a meaningful and sentimental gift. Another idea is to create a custom map art print of a significant location, such as where you got married or where you first met.

For those who appreciate literature, a beautifully bound journal or book can make a thoughtful and romantic gesture. No matter what paper gift you choose, it is important to put thought and effort into finding something that resonates with both you and your spouse.

In addition to these suggestions, consider handwritten love letters or poems, concert tickets, or even plane tickets for a spontaneous getaway. The possibilities are endless when it comes to choosing a meaningful paper gift for your first wedding anniversary. Taking the time to find something truly special will not only show your partner how much you care but will also create lasting memories for years to come.

Second Year

The second wedding anniversary is traditionally associated with the gift of cotton. The symbolism of cotton represents durability and the ability to adapt and grow, much like the fabric itself. This milestone offers an opportunity for couples to reflect on their relationship’s strength and resilience, as well as their ability to navigate challenges together.

Significance of Cotton

Cotton is known for being soft and breathable, characteristics that are often linked to a strong marriage. The material’s flexibility also symbolizes the couple’s ability to remain adaptable and open-minded throughout their journey together. By celebrating this anniversary with cotton gifts, couples can commemorate their growth over the past two years while looking forward to a durable and lasting future.

Creative Cotton Gift Ideas

When it comes to choosing a cotton-themed gift for a second wedding anniversary, there are plenty of creative options available. Consider personalized cotton pillowcases or blankets, matching cozy cotton robes for spending quality time at home, or even custom-made cotton clothing such as t-shirts or hats. For those who enjoy interior decorating, consider gifting each other cotton-based home décor items such as curtains, throw pillows, or even canvas artwork.

Additionally, planning a cotton-themed date night with coordinating outfits made from this fabric can make for a meaningful and memorable celebration. Ultimately, the key is to choose a thoughtful and personal gift that reflects the significance of the occasion while incorporating the symbolism of cotton.

Third Year

When celebrating a third wedding anniversary, it is customary to exchange leather gifts. Leather symbolizes durability and flexibility, making it a fitting representation of the strength and adaptability required in a marriage. The tradition of giving leather gifts on the third anniversary dates back to ancient times when leather was considered a valuable and versatile material.

There are numerous options for leather gifts that can be exchanged to mark this special occasion. Some popular choices include a leather wallet or purse, a stylish leather belt, a personalized leather journal or photo album, or even a pair of high-quality leather shoes. For a more adventurous approach, consider planning a getaway that involves activities such as horseback riding or motorcycle touring to incorporate the spirit of adventure associated with leather.

In addition to being durable and luxurious, leather gifts are also timeless and practical. They can be cherished for years to come and serve as enduring reminders of the love and commitment shared between spouses. Whether opting for a traditional leather gift or putting a modern spin on the third year anniversary tradition, the most meaningful aspect is the thought and sentiment behind the gesture.

Leather GiftIdea
Leather WalletClassic and practical gift idea
Personalized Leather JournalA thoughtful keepsake for recording memories
Getaway with Horseback RidingAn adventurous experience to celebrate the symbolism of leather

Fifth Year

The traditional fifth anniversary gift is wood, symbolizing the strength and durability of the marriage bond. Wood is a fitting representation of a couple’s relationship after five years, as it signifies growth, wisdom, and the ability to withstand challenges. The tradition of giving wood gifts dates back many years and continues to be a meaningful way for couples to celebrate this milestone in their relationship.

Meaning Behind Wood Gifts

Wood gifts are symbolic of the solid foundation that has been established within the marriage. Just as trees grow stronger and more resilient with each passing year, so too does a couple’s relationship. Wood also represents the deep roots that have been developed over five years, signifying stability, security, and interconnectedness.

Memorable Wood Present Ideas

There are countless creative and thoughtful wood gift ideas available for couples celebrating their fifth anniversary. Some popular options include personalized wooden picture frames, engraved wooden jewelry boxes, hand-carved wooden sculptures, or even planting a tree together as a lasting symbol of growth and unity. Each of these gifts carries a unique significance and serves as a reminder of the love and commitment shared by the couple.

As couples reach their fifth anniversary, they can embrace the tradition of gifting wood by choosing meaningful presents that reflect their journey together. Whether it’s a sentimental keepsake or a functional item for their home, wood gifts offer the opportunity to honor the past while looking forward to many more years of happiness and strength in their marriage.

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Tenth Year

When celebrating a decade of marriage, tin or aluminum is the traditional gift for the tenth wedding anniversary. These materials symbolize durability and flexibility, making them fitting symbols for a long-lasting and adaptable union. Whether you are looking for a unique tin/aluminum present for your spouse or for another couple commemorating their tenth year together, here are some thoughtful gift ideas to consider:

Tin/Aluminum Gift Recommendations

  • Customized Tin/Aluminum Jewelry: Consider getting matching bracelets, necklaces, or cufflinks made from tin or aluminum with engraved initials or significant dates.
  • Outdoor Tin Art: Look for decorative wall art or sculptures made from tin that can be displayed in the garden or outdoor living space.
  • Tin/Aluminum Cookware: Upgrade the kitchen with high-quality cookware sets made from aluminum or tin-coated materials.
  • Personalized Tin/Aluminum Keepsake: Create a custom music box, photo frame, or other keepsake item crafted from these metals to commemorate your journey together so far.

As you celebrate this significant milestone in your marriage, remember that it’s not just about the material gift itself but also the sentiment and meaning behind it. The thought and care put into selecting a thoughtful present will make it even more special and memorable for you and your partner.

Whether you choose to stick to tradition with a tin/aluminum gift or opt for something more modern, what matters most is that your gesture reflects the love and commitment you share as a couple.

Fifteenth Year

When celebrating a wedding anniversary, it is customary to exchange gifts that hold symbolic meaning. Many couples choose to adhere to the tradition of giving specific types of gifts for each year of marriage. This tradition dates back to the Middle Ages and has evolved over time. The significance behind the traditional wedding anniversary gifts is to honor the strength and longevity of the relationship.

One popular question that often arises is, “what are the traditional wedding anniversary gifts by year?” Each year has its own designated gift, which can range from simple tokens to luxurious items. For example, the first year calls for a gift made of paper, symbolizing a blank page on which the couple will write their future together. As couples reach milestone anniversaries such as the tenth or twentieth, they may exchange more extravagant gifts such as diamonds or platinum.

As couples celebrate their fifteenth year of marriage, they have the opportunity to exchange crystal gifts. Crystal symbolizes clarity and transparency in a relationship, qualities that are important for a strong and lasting marriage. There are various luxurious crystal present ideas that couples can consider for this special milestone anniversary.

YearTraditional Gift

Twentieth Year

For couples celebrating their twentieth wedding anniversary, the traditional gift is China. This tradition dates back to ancient times, where the delicate and elegant nature of china was seen as a symbol of the enduring and timeless nature of a long-lasting marriage. The beauty and craftsmanship of fine china are meant to represent the refinement and strength of a relationship that has stood the test of time.

When it comes to choosing a china gift for a twentieth anniversary, there are numerous options to consider. Whether you opt for classic white porcelain or intricately designed patterns, there are endless choices available to suit different tastes and preferences. Here are some elegant china gift options that can make a perfect present for this milestone anniversary:

  • A complete dinnerware set: Gifting a beautiful set of fine china dinnerware can be a practical yet thoughtful option for couples who love to entertain or simply enjoy elegant dining experiences at home.
  • Personalized china: Consider having the couple’s initials or wedding date etched onto a set of china plates or tea cups to add a personal touch to the gift.
  • Decorative china pieces: From vases and figurines to ornamental plates, there is an array of decorative china items that can serve as timeless keepsakes in honor of the couple’s twentieth anniversary.

When selecting a china gift for this special occasion, it is important to consider the couple’s style preferences and any existing decor in their home. By choosing a meaningful and thoughtful china gift, you can contribute to commemorating this significant milestone in their marriage with grace and elegance.


In conclusion, the tradition of giving gifts to celebrate wedding anniversaries is a meaningful way for couples to honor their love and commitment to each other. Each year of marriage is symbolized by a specific traditional gift material, representing the growth and strength of the relationship over time. Understanding what are the traditional wedding anniversary gifts by year allows couples to put thought and intention into their gift-giving, making each milestone anniversary even more special.

Thoughtful gift-giving for each milestone anniversary is important as it allows couples to reflect on the journey of their marriage and celebrate the enduring love and dedication they have for each other. Whether it’s the first year represented by paper, or the twentieth year symbolized by china, taking the time to choose a meaningful traditional gift can create lasting memories and deepen the bond between spouses.

It also serves as a way to honor the commitment made on their wedding day.

Overall, traditional wedding anniversary gifts by year hold significant meaning for couples as they mark each passing milestone of their marriage. From paper to crystal to china, these traditional gifts serve as a reminder of the love and dedication shared between two people. By embracing this tradition with thoughtful gift-giving, couples can strengthen their connection and create cherished memories that will last a lifetime.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Is the Traditional Anniversary Gift for Each Year?

The traditional anniversary gift for each year varies. For example, the first year is paper, the fifth year is wood, and the tenth year is tin or aluminum. These traditional gifts serve as a guideline for gift-giving.

What Item Represents Each Year of Marriage?

Each year of marriage can be represented by a specific item. For example, the first year is often symbolized by paper because it represents a blank page, while the fifth-year milestone is represented by wood to signify strength and growth in the marriage.

What Years Are Wedding Anniversary Milestones?

Wedding anniversary milestones typically include the 25th (silver), 50th (gold), and 60th (diamond) years. These are considered significant achievements in a couple’s life together and are often celebrated with special events and gifts to mark the occasion.

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