As so many married couples know, the wedding itself is just the beginning of a lifelong journey together. While the shimmer and excitement of the big day have faded, the wedding anniversary is a time to pause, reflect and celebrate another year of highs, lows and everything in between.
Each passing year of the union is a chance to show appreciation and gratitude to your significant other, and what better way to do this than with a unique and sentimental gift? From paper on the first anniversary to diamonds for the 60th, there are so many traditional and less-traditional ways to celebrate these hugely meaningful milestones.
To help you choose the perfect wedding anniversary gift for your soul mate, we have partnered with some of the best gifting experts in the business, who have shared their favourite ideas to make your special occasion even more wonderful.
1ST ANNIVERSARY GIFTS
Paper is traditionally the gift for your first wedding anniversary. “According to romantics, paper represents the start of your story being written together,” explains the team from Papier, the luxury greetings cards and stationery company. “One of our favourite first-anniversary gift ideas is personalizing a set of notecards for the two of you – your two names side by side is the perfect declaration of love.”
Paper is such a versatile category too, from concert tickets to your spouse’s favourite brand to LottoLove’s scratch-off cards, which provide essential things like clean water, nutritious meals and literacy tools to those who need them.
“I’ve only been married for three years, but I look forward to our wedding anniversary every year because it is one day we bring the focus back to each other,” says Laura Beck from LottoLove.
Non-Traditional: Wine & Champagne
Your first year of marriage is in the bag — it’s time to celebrate! “Wine is the perfect anniversary gift because it will transport you back in time to your cherished memories,” says the team at Wine.com, the world’s largest wine store. “Chances are, you served wine on your wedding night, enjoyed a few bottles on your honeymoon and popped some bubbly after the birth of your first child. Celebrating an anniversary with the right bottle of wine invokes these precious moments while also creating a new moment to remember later on.”
Precious metal: Gold
Your first year of marriage will no doubt be filled with many precious moments. Gold is a beautiful way to invoke the shine of these memories. From more traditional yellow gold to modern rose gold, the options are endless.
2ND ANNIVERSARY GIFTS
Cotton is the traditional gift for the second wedding anniversary, as the woven thread symbolizes the ways you have grown into each other over the past two years.
Non-Traditional: Culinary Tools
“Cooking and preparing meals or treats are a chance to release stress from the daily grind and to share in the experience of creating a delectable meal,” says the team at Microplane®, the premier makers of sharp cooking tools. “Early years couples will enjoy this pizza night set as an anniversary gift. Create homemade pizzas to enjoy with your favourite movie for a romantic night in.”
The second wedding anniversary is celebrated with garnet.
3RD ANNIVERSARY GIFTS
The third wedding anniversary is about shelter and security so the traditional gift is leather, with its strong, protective properties. Shoes, leather-bound books and bags all make beautiful gifts for this anniversary.
The stone for the third year of marriage is pearl. Cultivated in the sea, lustrous pearls make timeless jewellery designs, from classic pearl strand necklaces to solitaire pearl pendants and stud earrings.
4TH ANNIVERSARY GIFTS
Traditional: Fruit or Flowers
“The traditional gifts for the fourth wedding anniversary are fruit and flowers, which are symbols of creativity, hope, and renewal,” says the team at Brightland, the modern pantry essentials brand.
“Olives are technically fruits of the olive tree, making olive oil the perfect special gift for four-year anniversaries. Authentic olive oils will provide abundant nourishment to you and your loved ones for many breakfasts, lunches and dinners to come,” they say. The Duo set of extra virgin olive oils is a favourite traditional gift for a four-year anniversary.
Gemstone: Blue Topaz
This vibrant and durable stone is the traditional gem associated with the fourth wedding anniversary. Full of brightness and sparkle, Topaz symbolizes long life, wisdom and knowledge.
5TH ANNIVERSARY GIFTS
“Wood manufacturing is a time-honored tradition, and when done well, makes for an heirloom piece worthy of the most important celebrations,” says JK Adams, the makers of premium wood kitchenware.
“JK Adams Grafton cherry wood serving boards can be personalised with significant other’s initials for something extra special.
Known for its velvety blue hue, sapphires are the traditional gemstone for 5th wedding anniversary gifts.
6TH ANNIVERSARY GIFTS
Traditional: Sweets and Chocolates
The 6th wedding anniversary is traditionally marked with iron or sweets. “Since iron doesn’t taste as good, we think cookies are a better bet,” says the team at artisan cookie makers COOKIE…take a bite! Share a decadent chocolate cookie from the Chocolate Lover’s Collection over a lovely bottle of red wine or have fun together creating your own celebratory tin with the Build Your Own Collection. Just be sure not to fight over the last cookie!
Mark your 6th year of marriage with amethyst. This soothing purple stone is believed to have healing and calming properties.
10TH ANNIVERSARY GIFTS
Non-Traditional: Diamond Jewellery
Congratulations, you have made it into double digits! The 10th wedding anniversary is definitely a time to look back at the past decade and celebrate. Aluminum and tin are the traditional gifts for this year, but a more modern (and sparkly) idea is diamond jewellery.
15TH ANNIVERSARY GIFTS
Crystal is the classic gift for your 15th wedding anniversary but this is truly a moment to reflect on time gone by, so it’s fitting that a watch is the modern gift idea for the 15th wedding anniversary.
“It’s a moment to be thankful for what you have and remember how far you have come,” says the team at WoodWatch, makers of sustainable, personalised watches. “Personalize your WoodWatch with a unique engraving for an extra special anniversary gift — the day you met, a cherished location or perhaps a meaningful quote. Add a heart emoji for a romantic touch!”
The fiery crimson red of rubies makes them the perfect gift for your 15th wedding anniversary.
20TH ANNIVERSARY GIFTS
China is the traditional gift for the 20th wedding anniversary but we think platinum is a much stronger symbol of your bond over the past two decades. From rings to cuff links and bracelets, platinum is an incredible strong and durable precious metal, just like your union.
The official gemstone for the 20th wedding anniversary is the rich green emerald.
30TH ANNIVERSARY GIFTS
The official gift for the 30th wedding anniversary is pearls. These rare gifts from the sea are known for their incredible lustre and brilliance, representing the long-lasting beauty of your union. When choosing a gift for your loved one, ensure you choose the best quality, like freshwater, Akoya, South Sea, and Tahitian cultured pearls.
40TH ANNIVERSARY GIFTS
This special occasion is classically marked with the fiery red of rubies. Coveted for its opulent red colour and durability, rubies sit just as well in a pendant as they do in a vintage style ring.
50TH ANNIVERSARY GIFTS
What an occasion the 50th wedding anniversary is — half a century of marriage! Often called the ‘Gold Wedding Anniversary’, this is truly a milestone moment in any couples’ life and one to be celebrated with family, friends and beautiful gifts. Gold is the classic gift for this anniversary, which signifies strength, wisdom and prosperity. Thankfully, this precious metal is incredibly versatile and comes in various shades, from white to rose and yellow, so you are sure to find the perfect gift for your lifelong soul mate.
59TH ANNIVERSARY GIFTS
We couldn't resist slipping this one in because the theme for the 59th year of marriage is charity. You have given so much to each other, and this year is a chance to give to someone else. Everyone has a cause that’s close to their heart, whether that be social, environmental or medical, so this is a great opportunity to do something really meaningful.
“Wedding anniversaries are a time to reflect and give thanks. For our donors, it can also be a time to pass on the gift and spread love to communities around the world,” says the team at Heifer International, whose goal it is to end world hunger and poverty.
60TH ANNIVERSARY GIFTS
The Diamond Wedding Anniversary is an occasion like no other — sixty years of marriage, with all the joys and trials that come with it. To reflect your ever-lasting love, this wedding anniversary is traditionally marked with diamonds, the strongest and most valuable stones in the world.
When it comes to choosing something truly special for your loved-one, make sure you choose GIA-graded, conflict-free diamonds. Opt for something ready-made that you know your partner will love or create your own custom-made piece to mark this momentous occasion.
A marriage extends well beyond the big day and the honeymoon years — it is a partnership which requires understanding, compromise, perseverance and a good sense of humor! Whether you are marking your first year of marriage or your 60th, remember to stop and take stock of what you have achieved, and here’s to many more years together!