Wedding anniversary milestones and gift ideas

22 Aug 2016

Can't remember the material that symbolises each milestone? Here's a helpful guide to gifts which commemorate each anniversary year

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Image gallery

An anniversary should be a celebration of the years you spend alongside your loved one, each one unique and full of love, laughter, good times, and challenges. Traditional anniversary gifts have been given for years in history, each one representing a different stage of married life.

From paper for the first year, to diamond for the 60th, it can be hard to keep up. guides you through the anniversary milestones, with the aid of this anniversary gift guide to help you decide what to buy your loved one when marking your wedding day.

1st anniversary: Paper

The first anniversary is one of the most important milestones you will achieve as a married couple. Traditionally, the first anniversary is represented by paper. Paper is symbolic in that it represents a new beginning. You and your spouse have embarked on this new journey together, your two stories becoming one.

Paper is great because it affords you with a wide variety of gift choices. If your loved one is a book lover, consider purchasing an old favourite as the start of your joint library. You may also opt for a journal or diary either before your spouse or for the two of you to use together. Pictures from your wedding are also great paper options, as well as hand crafted art or jewellery made from paper.

Whichever way you choose to go, make sure you celebrate your first year together and the many more to come.


2nd anniversary: Cotton

Cotton is the traditional gift for the second anniversary. It is said to represent the way in which your two lives have been woven in to one, stronger bond.

Traditionally, bed linens or blankets would be given on a second anniversary, and can still be used today. Even clothing can be given for the cotton year or have a blanket stenciled with your names or wedding date for that added personal touch.

3rd anniversary: Leather

The third anniversary, represented by leather, is a marker of endurance and longevity. Leather is a strong, long lasting material and as such is the perfect symbol for three years of marriage. Think bags, purses or wallets. You could even get leather embossed with your wedding date or initials for the extra personalised touch.

4th anniversary: Flowers

After four years your marriage has blossomed into a beautiful partnership. That's why your fourth anniversary is symbolised by flowers or even fruit. Flowers are nature's beautiful way of showing growth and prosperity. For this anniversary, spoil your spouse with fresh blooms, roses, or edible arrangements to show your love.


5th anniversary: Wood

The fifth anniversary is the wood anniversary. Wood represents growth, strength and wisdom; two things that are central to a strong, lasting marriage. Consider an engraved gift for your spouse to mark this special day and celebrate five years of learning and growing together.


10th anniversary: Tin

Tin is the 10th anniversary. Tin showcases everything that is learnt over 10 years of marriage. It shows the bind that is formed between a couple as they forge through life, strengthening each other but also learning to be flexible and change with circumstances. Look for cute trinket boxes, engraved jewellery boxes or photo frames.

25th anniversary: Silver

The 25th anniversary is one of the most famous. It is that glorious quarter century milestone that marks 25 years together. After 25 years a marriage is sure, strong, and shows all the glowing beauty of familiarity and longevity.


30th anniversary: Pearl

Pearls are the hidden gem of the sea. A marriage that has lasted 30 years is a marriage that focuses on inner hidden beauty as well as outer beauty. This anniversary is about our inner souls, and the parts of a person that ties them to their soulmate. Give the gift of pearls, whether in jewellery form or embellishments and celebrate 30 wonderful years.

40th anniversary: Ruby

As a precious stone, rubies showcase just how special and unique your marriage is, but rubies are particularly rare. It has taken endurance, love and strength to get to where you are, and a ruby is the perfect way to showcase this.

50th anniversary: Gold

The big 5-0, the Gold anniversary is for 50 years of marriage. Gold is strong, precious, and unchanging - it truly endures. Gold is the perfect symbol for a 50th anniversary for these very reasons. Through the years your marriage has only proven to grow stronger and more beautiful.


60th anniversary: Diamond

The ever impressive 60th anniversary is marked by diamonds. A diamond is the universal symbol of beauty, rarity, and everlasting love. Strong and gorgeous, a diamond encompasses all that is needed to build a marriage that lasts for 60 years. And there is nothing that says I love you quite like a diamond. 

Here's an infographic which sums up the anniversary milestones and their material markers:


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