Whether it’s your first year of marriage or you’ve been by one another’s side for multiple decades, each wedding anniversary is a major milestone that deserves to be celebrated. What you may not know is that, traditionally, each anniversary year is denoted by a specific gift: Beginning with simple and affordable materials — like paper for the first anniversary — and gradually increasing in significance as the years go on.
If you’re in the market for an anniversary gift for your significant other, parents or friends, we created a guide to all of the traditional wedding anniversary gifts by year, as well as our top gift picks for each landmark occasion.
1st anniversary gifts: Paper
Paper gifts are believed to be a symbol of a blank slate and the start of a new life together. Usually, gifts for the first anniversary are made from paper as it is a relatively affordable material that is meant to reflect the beginning stages of a lifelong relationship. Handwritten cards, personalized journals, and even cookbooks are a perfect nod to this tradition.
Artifact Uprising Folded Photo Cards (starting at $1; artifactuprising.com)
A handwritten note is the perfect way to express just how much you love your significant other on this momentous first anniversary, and what better way to do so than on a customized card?
Filterity Wedding Vows Printable Wall Art ($13; etsy.com)
Relive the magic of exchanging your wedding vows by making them into a frameable work of art that can be admired for years to come.
Uncommon Goods The Personalized Anniversary Journal ($130; uncommongoods.com)
Record your most memorable moments from your first through your 60th anniversary with this personalized journal. It’s complete with photo pages, envelopes for mementos, and more.
5th anniversary gifts: Wood
As a celebration of strength and durability, couples traditionally give one another something made of wood for their fifth anniversary. Just like a tree, making it halfway to a decade is a sign of putting down strong eternal roots. Opt for a personalized cutting board to use while cooking together, a luxe wooden tray for the bath or a classic wooden cornhole set for the backyard.
CircleCityDesignCo Personalized Cutting Board (starting at $39; etsy.com)
Whether you use it while cooking together or as a charcuterie serving board for date night, this personalized cutting board is a perfect wooden gift for any food lovers.
Treasure & Bond Large Acacia Wood Tray ($69; nordstrom.com)
This handmade acacia wood tray is not only gorgeous, but it’s great for using in the bath, as a cheese board or on display as home decor.
Hey! Play! Official Sized Cornhole Game ($140; target.com)
If you and your S.O. enjoy some friendly competition, opt for a wooden cornhole set like this one that’s easy to transport, set up and store.
10th anniversary gifts: Tin or aluminum
Reaching a decade-long anniversary is no easy feat! Commemorate it with something made out of tin or aluminum, which symbolizes strength and resilience. Choose from unique gifts like a map of the stars from your wedding night printed on tin, a monogrammed silver-hued serving tray or spice things up with a fun pair of date night dice.
Tin Date Night Dice ($17; amazon.com)
Add some spontaneity to your date nights with these fun tin date night-themed dice. Roll a mix of 36 different date night ideas including movie nights, a visit to a new town, cooking for one another and more.
Mark & Graham Mariposa Classic Medium Aluminum Serving Tray ($99; markandgraham.com)
Made from 100% recycled aluminum, this beautiful serving tray can also be monogrammed for a special and personalized touch.
DifferentMaps Tin Star Map ($99; etsy.com)
Mark the location of your most cherished time together with this ultra-cool and customizable star map that’s printed on a beautiful brushed aluminum sheet.
15th anniversary gifts: Crystal
Delicate yet sturdy, crystal symbolizes clarity and transparency. Toast to this milestone anniversary with a beautiful set of crystal champagne flutes, set the ambiance for a romantic dinner with a stately pair of candlesticks, or frame a favorite wedding photo in a sparkling crystal picture frame.
Tiffany & Co. Square Crystal Candlestick ($100; tiffany.com)
Timeless and elegant, this crystal candlestick from Tiffany & Co. is a romantic piece that’s sure to be admired for years to come.
Waterford Lismore Diamond Lead Crystal Picture Frame ($170; nordstrom.com)
This diamond-cut crystal picture frame is a stunning way to display your most cherished moments together.
Swarovski Crystalline Toasting Flutes ($350; swarovski.com)
Raise a glass to fifteen wondrous years with a dazzling pair of crystal champagne flutes.
20th anniversary gifts: China
Just like a marriage, china represents the beautifully delicate and fragile nature of being in love. Take this opportunity to refresh your kitchenware with an elegant bone china dinnerware set, a floral-engraved salad bowl or a vintage-inspired teapot.
Wedgwood Butterfly Bloom Tea for One ($160; william-sonoma.com)
This beautiful vintage-inspired piece is a teapot, tea cup, and saucer all in one. Crafted from bone china and decorated with 24-karat gold accents, it’s just as pretty as it is useful.
Noritake Brocato 5-Piece Place Setting ($90; target.com)
You can’t go wrong giving your S.O. a stunning bone china dinnerware set. We especially love the delicate floral design and platinum accents of this Noritake set that are both timeless and chic.
Kate Spade New York Blossom Lane Salad Set with Wooden Servers ($125; katespade.com)
For something equally as elegant but better suited for everyday use, opt for this floral engraved salad bowl with wooden serving spoons from Kate Spade. It’s microwave and dishwasher safe too.
25th anniversary gifts: Silver
The 25-year mark is traditionally known as the “silver anniversary” and signified by the brilliance and shine of this precious metal. Opt for a timeless piece of jewelry — like a pair of silver hoop earrings or tie clip — or a sleek and modern picture frame.
David Donahue Sterling Silver Tie Clip ($60; nordstrom.com)
A sterling silver tie clip is polished, classy and will go with any suit already in his closet.
Kate Spade New York South Street 5x7 Wave Picture Frame ($65; katespade.com)
Showcase your favorite photo with this silver-hued wavy picture frame.
BaubleBar Dalilah Medium Silver Hoop Earrings ($48; baublebar.com)
Nothing is more timeless than a pair of hoop earrings, and these Delilah Medium Hoops are lightweight, dainty and gorgeous for dressing up or down.
30th anniversary gifts: Pearls
The 30th anniversary is represented by pearls. Just like a love lasting three decades, pearls are a rare and hidden beauty. Jewelry, such as an ethically-sourced pearl ring or set of cufflinks, is always a wonderful gift idea. For something more modern, opt for a mother of pearl decorative tray.
Aurate Venus Organic Pearl Gold Ring ($150; auratenewyork.com)
This unique pearl ring is ethically-sourced and crafted with 100% recycled gold. Wear it on its own or stack it with your other favorite rings.
Cufflinks, Inc. Mother of Pearl Cufflink and Stud Set ($95; nordstrom.com)
A pair of mother of pearl cufflinks and matching shirt studs will automatically add a dapper feel to any suit or tux.
Terrain Mother of Pearl Inlay Tray ($118; anthropologie.com)
This mother of pearl floral tray will look gorgeous displayed in a bathroom, entry way, kitchen or on your bedside table.
35th anniversary gifts: Coral
Coral — like the kind you find at the bottom of the sea — represents longevity and strength, and takes years to form. It’s no wonder that this stone is a traditional symbol for 35 years of marriage. If coral-patterned home decor is not your S.O.’s style, go for a cozy blanket, a pretty vase or a piece of jewelry in a coral hue instead.
Honeycomb Studio Coral & Gold Bud Vase (starting at $16; westelm.com)
Add a pretty pop of color to any room with this coral and gold hand-shaped porcelain vase.
Dissa Flannel Blanket with Pom Pom Fringe ($20, originally $28; amazon.com)
Cozy up together for movie night in this super soft pom pom and fringe flannel blanket.
Monica Vinader Linear Solo Diamond Friendship Bracelet ($150; nordstrom.com)
A grown-up friendship bracelet is made even better with a diamond for your 35th anniversary.
40th anniversary gifts: Ruby
Rubies are glamorous, opulen and the traditional gemstone for a 40th anniversary. They’re also known as symbols of protection, wisdom and beauty. Treat your spouse to a luxuriously delicious smelling candle in a ruby-hued glass jar. Or for something a bit more extravagant, a pair of ruby baguette stud earrings or a ruby and diamond ring are sure to hit the mark.
Voluspa Goji Tarocco Orange Candle ($35; amazon.com)
Not only does this Voluspa candle smell like a delicious mix of mango, orange and goji berry, but its vibrant ruby-hued glass jar makes for a beautiful piece of home decor.
Jennie Kwon Ruby Baguette Stud (starting at $199; catbirdnyc.com)
Set in 14-karat yellow gold, this ruby baguette stud is perfect for mixing and matching.
Blue Nile Baguette Ruby and Diamond Pavé Stacking Ring ($480, originally $600; bluenile.com)