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Celebrate Your Love: The Traditional Wedding Anniversary Gifts by Year

Getting married is an exciting adventure, but staying married takes real commitment and effort. That's why it's important to celebrate each year you spend together with your beloved. And what better way to commemorate your...

Getting married is an exciting adventure, but staying married takes real commitment and effort. That's why it's important to celebrate each year you spend together with your beloved. And what better way to commemorate your anniversary than with thoughtful gifts?

According to Jodi R. R. Smith, wedding etiquette coach and president of Mannersmith Etiquette Consulting, using the traditional anniversary gifts by year as a guideline is a wonderful way to honor your love language. Whether you're looking for gifts for her, gifts for him, or a classic bouquet from the best flower delivery services, the traditional anniversary gifts can provide great inspiration. Let's explore the history and meaning behind these gifts and discover creative ways to celebrate each milestone.

Where Did the Traditional Wedding Anniversary Gift Guidelines Start?

The practice of giving gifts to celebrate marriage dates back to ancient times, but the concept of "anniversary gifts by year" became popular during the Victorian era. The traditional gifts for each year may seem outdated, with items like china, tin, and wax. However, it's important to remember that these gifts serve as a starting point for generating ideas. As Jodi R. R. Smith advises, communication as a couple is key to understanding each other's expectations and finding the perfect way to celebrate your unique bond.

Don't Be Afraid to Get Creative

While the traditional gifts provide a solid foundation, it's essential to infuse your own creativity and personal touch into each anniversary celebration. Nick Leighton, etiquette expert and host of the podcast "Were you raised by wolves?" suggests taking a modern approach to these gifts. From adventurous trips to naming your own constellation, there are endless possibilities to showcase your sense of humor and deep understanding of your spouse.

Now, let's explore a few anniversary gift ideas for some of the most significant milestones:

1st Anniversary: Paper

First Anniversary Paper Image source: merchant

The first year of marriage is like a blank book waiting to be filled with beautiful memories. Embrace the symbolism of paper by gifting each other tickets to a show or boarding passes for a vacation. For a more budget-friendly option, consider a love journal like "A Year of Us," which provides prompts for you to document your first year together.

2nd Anniversary: Cotton

Second Anniversary Cotton Image source: merchant

By your second anniversary, you are starting to weave your lives together. Cotton represents the comfort and warmth of your growing bond. Get creative with cotton by choosing favorite clothing items, new bedding, or even a cozy hammock for two.

3rd Anniversary: Leather

Third Anniversary Leather Image source: merchant

Leather symbolizes the strength and durability of your relationship. Consider gifting real leather items such as designer bags or shoes. If you prefer cruelty-free options, explore "vegan" leather alternatives. Matching leather wristwatches or bracelets engraved with your anniversary date can also be a modern way to commemorate this milestone.

4th Anniversary: Fruit or Flowers

Fourth Anniversary Fruit Basket Image source: merchant

After four years together, you know each other well and have shared significant life events. Celebrate these memories with fruit or flowers. Get creative with a fruit pizza, an edible fruit arrangement, or a potted plant. You can also never go wrong with a beautiful bouquet from one of the top online flower delivery services.

5th Anniversary: Wood

Fifth Anniversary Wood Image source: merchant

Wood represents the strength and growth of your relationship, just like a tree that keeps growing and getting stronger over time. Consider buying a sapling and planting it together, or donate to a charity that plants trees around the world. A custom-etched wood charcuterie board with your anniversary date can also be a stylish and meaningful gift.

6th Anniversary: Candy or Iron

Sixth Anniversary Iron Image source: merchant

This anniversary offers a fun choice between candy and iron. Representing the sweetness and strength of your relationship, you can surprise your spouse with a candygram or a visit to a famous candy shop. On the other hand, an iron gift like a meat branding iron for your next barbecue can add a touch of fun and romance to your celebrations.

7th Anniversary: Wool or Copper

Seventh Anniversary Copper Image source: merchant

As you celebrate seven years together, you have likely settled into a comfortable routine. Wool and copper represent beauty and durability in everyday items. Consider gifting cozy blankets, stylish wool rugs, or practical copper mugs for Moscow mules. Personalize these items with your names and anniversary date for a special touch.

8th Anniversary: Bronze

Eighth Anniversary Bronze Image source: merchant

Bronze symbolizes the strength and blending of different elements, just like your marriage. Celebrate your eighth anniversary with a bronze lamp, a charming bronze sculpture, or even a cute "I Still Do" bronze anniversary keychain.

These are just a few ideas to get you started on your anniversary gift journey. Each milestone offers unique opportunities to express your love and create lasting memories. Remember, the most important aspect of any anniversary celebration is the love and thoughtfulness behind the gift.

As you explore the traditional anniversary gifts by year, make sure to communicate with your partner and find ways to infuse your own personal touch. Celebrate your unique journey together and cherish the love that grows stronger with each passing year.


  • Jodi R. R. Smith, Wedding Etiquette Coach and President of Mannersmith Etiquette Consulting
  • Nick Leighton, Etiquette Expert and Host of "Were you raised by wolves?"

Note: This article retains the core message from the original but has been adapted and enriched with novel insights to provide a fresh perspective on the topic.