As one of the most celebrated special occasions globally, wedding anniversaries are marked by an exchange of greeting and some gift-giving between spouses.
Coined from the Latin word “anniversarius” which means “returning yearly,” wedding anniversaries commemorate another year of love, commitment, and passion.
The wedding anniversary tradition has been around for so long across different cultures that from it a list of milestone gifts for every year has been created.
But whether you wish to stick to tradition is up to you.
Here, you’ll find a list of traditional anniversary gifts for every year you’ve spent together since the day you exchanged lab-grown diamond wedding bands, plus four practical tips on choosing the perfect present.
Traditional Anniversary Gifts – By the Year
Traditional wedding anniversary presents differ every year. Below are a few of these gift items and what they signify:
1st Year Anniversary
Gold is the traditional first-anniversary gift for weddings because it represents how precious the first year of marriage is.
Many couples choose a stacking ring that complements their wedding ring to commemorate this occasion. Others decide on getting his-and-hers matching jewelry sets to show unity and togetherness.
Besides yellow gold, you can also choose rose gold or white gold, depending on your preferences.
Aside from this precious metal, you can also choose paper gifts like a love letter or a greeting card. Paper represents the fragility of the initial stages of the marriage. It can also be blank, symbolizing how a married couple begins to write a new chapter in their lives together.
Below is a list of possible gifts for every subsequent year:
- 2nd Year – anything made of cotton, like cotton blouses or shirts and other pieces of clothing.
- 3rd Year – items made from leather, like luxury handbags or wallets.
- 4th Year – fruits or flowers work as traditional gifts, but you can also buy appliances for a modern wedding anniversary.
5th Year Anniversary
During the fifth year of your marriage, you can choose sapphire earrings or pendants to share with your beloved.
According to tradition, sapphires are the gemstones of honesty and loyalty – two characteristics that help make a marriage last.
Below is a list of possible gifts for every subsequent year:
- 6th Year – items made out of wood or iron, like home furniture, signify resilience, strength, and durability.
- 7th Year – things made from wool, like a nice scarf or shawl, for the warmth of passion of another year.
- 8th Year – choose any pottery and bronze item as traditional gifts this year, representing a bond that continues to grow stronger.
- 9th Year – willow and pottery are recommended to symbolize how a couple shapes their future together.
10th Year Anniversary
In your tenth year together, you and your spouse would have already appreciated the longevity and beauty of the covenant you share. Diamond is the perfect gemstone to mark this occasion.
As spouses, it would be customary for you to share an eternity ring on your tenth anniversary. Of course, you can still opt out of this tradition and pick a different type of diamond jewelry that best suits your preferences and lifestyle.
Pro Tip: If you’re having difficulty finding natural diamond jewelry that matches your requirements, there are plenty of lab-grown alternatives in the market.
These diamonds are as genuine as those made deep under the Earth’s core, so you can rest assured that you’re still offering something as authentic as your devotion to your better half. Type “what are lab-grown diamonds” during your internet search to learn more about them.
20th Year Anniversary
Two decades after exchanging vows and keeping them, you and your spouse have reached a significant milestone that deserves a truly special remembrance.
Coincidentally, emerald is considered the gemstone symbolizing 20 years of marriage because this gemstone represents growth, reflection, peace and balance.
When it comes to emerald jewelry, rings are perfect for commemorating your years together (not to mention it is a good way to add color to your wedding set). If you and your spouse already have too many rings marking your years together, you can pick an equally stunning emerald pendant or bracelet instead.
4 Tips in Choosing a Wedding Anniversary Gift
Besides understanding the traditional wedding gifting choices, you also need to consider your budget, lifestyle and the preferences of your spouse who will be receiving the gift.
To make sure you make a practical choice, here are four tips you should keep in mind:
- Pick a year to commemorate with jewelry.
While jewelry is one of the most recommended wedding gifts, you still need to make sure that you don’t compromise your household budget just to buy these pricey symbolic gifts. After all, it would be better to stay true to what they represent.
Instead, choose a few anniversaries to give your better half a piece of jewelry. It’s a good idea to commemorate the occasion with something as valuable after one or two years, and then in five-year intervals after that.
Just don’t forget to do something special for them on the date of your wedding every year. It doesn’t have to be elaborate. Anything that will show that you remember and are thankful for the past year should be enough.
- Try to keep it within the theme.
Themes for your wedding anniversary gift can be traditional (like the ones listed above) or more modern ones you may find online.
For example, while gold is the traditional first-year gift for married couples, more modern gifts lists include clocks, representing the time you’ve spent together.
- Keep it interesting.
In most cases, the amount of effort you put into the planning and decision-making process matters more than how much you spent on the gift. Thinking it through also ensures that your spouse will actually use the present you pick out.
That said, make sure you choose gifts based on your spouse’s interests.
Are you planning to go on a vacation to the beach? A lovely silk kimono or other gorgeous beachwear are excellent gift choices.
Has your spouse been dreaming about living in Canada? Perhaps it is time for both of you to apply for Canadian residency together after being married for more than a decade.
Whatever it may be, considering even the tiniest detail will surely capture your beloved’s heart once more.
- Don’t skip the romance.
Whatever anniversary gift you’re considering, remember to make the occasion as memorable and romantic as possible.
Serve breakfast in bed. Take your spouse to the place where you first met. Relive the good old days when you were just starting to discover your love for each other.
Take a page from Nicholas Sparks’ romance novels or try something unique to your relationship. The bottom line is to keep the romance alive.
Commemorate Another Year of Love
Gift-giving is a tradition that has been around since time immemorial. It happens on birthdays, holidays, and most especially on wedding anniversaries.
Celebrating your wedding anniversary and make it special by giving your loved one a gift that’s meaningful and unforgettable.