Just when you thought all the drama was over after the Wedding along comes the conundrum of buying anniversary gifts which can be a huge challenge.
To help I’ve teamed up with I just Love it to share this handy guide to keep you ahead of the game.
In this anniversary gift guide, you’ll find an idea for each year up to the big 50, so you’ll never be stuck again finding the perfect gift for your someone special.
However lists of wedding anniversary gifts vary country by country too so keep this in mind, maybe adopting another countries tradition.
These gift ideas will suit every budget, big or small, and if you’re still stuck for ideas, personalised wedding gifts are always a great option.
1st Anniversary – Cotton
Popular Gift Suggestion: Blanket
Our Suggestion: Personalised pillow cases
For your first anniversary, you’ll want something to remember the occasion with.
A traditional gift for cotton would be a blanket, but go one step further with personalised pillow cases.
These can be personalised with your initials, a quote that you both love or simply ‘his’ and ‘hers’.
Either way, you’ll look at these pillows with a smile as you remember the joy of that special day one year ago.
Photo by Marianne Krohn
2nd Anniversary – Paper
Popular Gift Suggestion: Framed wedding photo
Our Suggestion: Paper flowers
Paper seems a bit of an odd gift choice but it’s so varied that anyone could choose a great gift under this brief.
A popular gift to give is a framed wedding photo from the big day, or a simple book.
If you’re looking to go outside the box, get paper flowers that can be enjoyed for years to come – to really go with the theme, get yellow or gold flowers to signify your two years together.
3rd Anniversary – Leather
Colour: Light Brown
Popular Gift Suggestion: Wallet or keyring
Our Suggestion: Leather journal
Like paper, leather seems an odd choice for an anniversary gift but it signifies that the relationship is durable, strong and flexible, as there’s no doubt in your three years you’ve had to overcome a few issues together.
The traditional gift to give for this year is a wallet or keyring, but we suggest something slightly more special and gift your spouse a leather journal.
This can be used as a diary, a notebook or simply a place to keep notes to remember those special moments.
Photo by Julius Drost
4th Anniversary – Fruit and Flowers
Colour: Lime Green
Popular Gift Suggestion: Bouquet of flowers
Our Suggestion: Grow your own plant
Giving someone a plant as a gift is much better than flowers – they can nurture the plant and really take care of it.
If it can go in the garden, the recipient will be proud of this whenever they see it and will be reminded of you and their fourth wedding anniversary.
5th Anniversary – Wood
Popular Gift Suggestion: Wooden photo frame
Our Suggestion: Wooden keepsake box
You’re probably thinking wood isn’t a very exciting gift to give someone for their wedding anniversary, but the meaning is actually quite nice…
Wood represents a strong, long-lasting relationship and signifies the strength of your marriage that has lasted for 5 years so far, so why not celebrate this occasion with a beautiful wooden keepsake box to fill with memories of your marriage?
This will become a great way to remind you of the things you got up to, and you can add to it throughout your marriage.
If that’s not your style, why not update your garden with a new wooden bench, or splash the cash and get a new bed for your fifth year of marriage.
Photo by Sven Scheuermeie
6th Anniversary – Sugar
Popular Gift Suggestion: Favourite confectionery
Our Suggestion: Replica of your wedding cake
This is another case of slightly differing gifts between the UK and the US.
In the UK, a 6th anniversary is typically celebrated with a gift of sugar, whereas in the US the gift is iron.
Why not replicate your wedding cake – this could be a fun activity to do with your spouse.
Just one tip – whatever you do, don’t get your spouse an actual iron (unless they want one, of course!)
7th Anniversary – Woollen
Colour: Off White
Popular Gift Suggestion: Woollen jumper
Our Suggestion: Woollen print
The Woollen anniversary shows that your relationship is comfortable, safe and secure – all the ingredients needed for a healthy marriage.
A woollen print is a unique present to give to someone, as there is a small likelihood that they have already invested in one.
To add a special touch, commission a piece that it means something to the couple such as the date they were married, or perhaps the venue location.
8th Anniversary – Salt
Popular Gift Suggestion: Salt and Pepper Shakers
Our Suggestion: Bronze accessory for the home
Well, the US has a much better choice than the UK – who wants salt over bronze?!
An idea to get you in the spirit for your 8th wedding anniversary are the traditional salt and pepper shakers.
If you want to stick to the salt theme, why not invest in a Himalayan salt lamp?
They create a lovely soft light when turned on, and they have beneficial properties such as boosting your mood, cleaning the air in your home and helping you sleep.
However, Bronze is ‘in’ at the minute, so update your home with any bronze accessory.
This can be a nice activity for you and your husband/wife to choose together, creating a memory for your eight wedding anniversary.
Photo by Jason Tuinstra
9th Anniversary – Pottery
Popular Gift Suggestion: Personalised mug
Our Suggestion: Copper planter
The year before the big anniversary, you’ll need to save up for something special so the ninth year of marriage is often low-key so the traditional gift is Pottery.
This is a great gift idea as it has so many options. You could buy a new pot for the garden, or a new vase for flowers. To add a modern twist to the theme, choose a copper planter.
Or, if you prefer an activity, attend a pottery making class together and have a healthy competition to see who can create the best masterpiece!
10th Anniversary – Tin
Popular Gift Suggestion: Diamond jewellery
Our Suggestion: Tea set
Tin doesn’t strike you as worthy of a ten year anniversary, but the meaning is great – it’s durable and flexible, it can go the mile (much like your marriage!).
You can still make this anniversary special by treating yourselves to something that you wouldn’t normally buy.
A tea set would be a lovely way to celebrate your ten years of marriage, so why not buy some nice tea and biscuits to enjoy at home?
11th Anniversary – Steel
Popular Gift Suggestion: Hip flask
Our Suggestion: Iron sculpture
After celebrating ten years ago last year, Steel makes a great wedding anniversary gift.
Steel is one of the strongest and most durable metals in the world, and after making it to 11 years, it’s safe to say your marriage is like Steel!
We recommend celebrating the occasion with an iron sculpture or something made of steel to mark your 11th year of marriage.
12th Anniversary – Silk and Fine Linen
Colour: Oyster White
Popular Gift Suggestion: Silk tie or scarf
Our Suggestion: Linen bed sheets
Silk and fine linen is one of the most luxurious gifts we’ve had so far in this list, so you should celebrate your 12th year of married life with a bit of luxury.
If your funds allow it, go on a silk trade tour around Asia – it will be certainly an anniversary you won’t forget in a hurry.
If your anniversary falls in the warmer months, treat your spouse to a fresh pair of linen pyjamas or bed sheets to feel the luxury all year round.
13th Anniversary – Lace
Popular Gift Suggestion: Lace item of clothing
Our Suggestion: Day trip to Nottingham
A day trip to Nottingham may seem out of the ordinary, but the city has been well-known for creating lace for centuries.
After 13 years, we’re sure you’ll love a weekend away to a new city.
If you thought salt was odd for an 8th wedding anniversary, Germany beats that with Parsley as their gift of choice for a 13th wedding anniversary!
Photo by Tom Pumford
14th Anniversary – Ivory
Popular Gift Suggestion: Clock
Our Suggestion: Elephant-themed gift
Ivory signifies luck and protection and, whilst we don’t advise actual ivory gifts, we suggest perhaps finding an elephant-themed gift.
The gemstone for this anniversary is Opal which symbolises love, passion and desire. A gift with an Opal incorporated within will be a very romantic gesture that would please anyone.
The traditional gift for this anniversary is a clock – you can stick to the theme and get an ivory coloured clock which will suit any budget and decor.
15th Anniversary – Crystal
Colour: Ruby Red
Popular Gift Suggestion: Ornamental plate or crockery set
Our Suggestion: Watch
The modern gift list for a 15th wedding anniversary calls for a watch and we couldn’t think of anything better than to celebrate a mile-stone anniversary.
The watch is such a practical gift as it will be worn (if it’s liked!) every day, and will remind the wearer of the gift giver every time they put it on in the morning.
Watches are also great as they suit every budget and can be picked to suit any style.
Photo by Denilo Vieira
Popular Gift Suggestion: Ivy plant
Our Suggestion: Ivy themed photo frame or plant pot
There is no traditional gift for 16 years of marriage in the UK or US, but Spain and Italy’s gift is Ivy, and Germany and France’s gift is Sapphire.
The traditional colour is Silver, so you could incorporate silver ivy into your gift.
You could stick to the literal gift idea of an Ivy plant, or you could choose an Ivy plant pot or a silver photo frame with an Ivy decoration.
Popular Gift Suggestion: Flowers
Our Suggestion: Furniture
Again, there is no traditional gift for the UK or US for a 17th anniversary, but both France and Russia typically celebrate the year with roses, with other countries following the floral theme with Orchids or Violets as options for Germany and Italy.
The modern gift for this year is furniture – is there anything in your home you’ve been wanting to update but haven’t had a reason to so far?
Here’s the reason! Celebrate 17 years of married life with a new chair or dining table. This gift idea is great as it’s so broad it can suit any budget.
Popular Gift Suggestion: Jewellery
Our Suggestion: Personalised print of the sky
Turquoise is the traditional gift for Germany, Russia and France, so with the traditional colour in the UK and US being blue it makes sense to stick to the blue theme.
We suggest a print with turquoise or blue as the main theme – perhaps a personalised print of the night sky from your wedding night.
If your budget is a little more, a well-known jewellery maker has an iconic turquoise packaging you could take advantage of…
Popular Gift Suggestion: Honeysuckle
Our Suggestion: Mother of Pearl storage box
Both Spain and Italy celebrate a 19th wedding anniversary with a Honeysuckle.
Again, similar to the 9th anniversary, it’s typical to have a more low-key present in order to save for the next year.
Germany’s traditional gift suggests Pearl – you could get the couple a beautiful Mother of Pearl storage box for their precious jewellery.
Photo by Aubrey Rose Odom
20th Anniversary – China
Colour: Emerald Green or White
Popular Gift Suggestion: China tea sets or plates
Our Suggestion: China flowers
20 years! 2 decades. The traditional gift for this anniversary is China, so the one everyone thinks of straight away is a China tea set or plates.
We’re sure after 20 years you’ve got some lovely crockery, so we suggest china flowers. These can be on display all year round, marking the occasion well.
If your budget allows, why not go to China and have an unforgettable experience…
21st Anniversary – Brass or Nickel
Popular Gift Suggestion: Brass candlesticks
Our Suggestion: Coin of the year you married
There isn’t a traditional gift for the UK or US for a 21st anniversary, but the modern gift is Brass or Nickel.
We suggest either tracking down a coin of the year you were married to have, or commission a set of special cufflinks with a coin in the birth year of the recipient.
These will become a great talking point in conversation, and makes a unique yet thoughtful gift.
22nd Anniversary – Copper
Popular Gift Suggestion: Cookware
Our Suggestion: Copper garden sculpture
You’re in luck if your anniversary is this year, as copper accessories are in fashion at the moment, so whatever the gift you’ll definitely be on the right track!
A copper garden sculpture would be a great way to celebrate the day.
For the adventurous, why not buy and learn a new instrument that you’ve always wanted to play? It’d be a great talking point, and an anniversary present you won’t forget.
23rd Anniversary – Silver Plate
Popular Gift Suggestion: Silver plate
Our Suggestion: Romantic meal out
This year’s traditional gift is straight forward if you want to match it with the traditional colour – they are both silver.
If you want to be literal, a silver plate engraved with a special message would be a lovely gift.
However, silver is coming up for the 25th (spoiler alert) and perhaps you don’t want to ‘do’ silver twice in quick succession.
We suggest going out for a lovely romantic meal somewhere you wouldn’t normally go. 23 years deserves to be celebrated!
Photo by Dana DeVolk
Popular Gift Suggestion:
Our Suggestion: Lavender field day out
Again, there is no traditional gift in the UK or US for a 24th wedding anniversary, but Germany, Russia and France all suggest Satin as a great gift for this year.
The traditional flower is Lavender, so we suggest visiting a local Lavender field and tea room to celebrate the day.
Lavender oil is believed to have antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties as well as being used to treat anxiety, restlessness and insomnia.
Photo by Daiga Ellaby
25th Anniversary – Silver
Popular Gift Suggestion: Silver jewellery
Our Suggestion: Silver photo frame of all your family
A quarter of a century, that’s a great achievement and one you should definitely celebrate!
By 25 years, we’re sure you’ll have a lovely family that you’d love to have photos of around your home.
To invest in a silver photo frame would be a great way to celebrate, and create a potential heirloom that your family would want to keep for generations.
30th Anniversary – Pearl
Popular Gift Suggestion: Pearl or Mother of Pearl jewellery
Our Suggestion: Choose your own Pearl
Choosing your own pearl for a spouse is not only a great gift idea, but it can be as expensive as you like.
Picking out the oyster itself normally is a set price, with jewellery options to suit every budget.
Don’t like jewellery? Why not just choose a pearl each and keep them in a special place to remind you of the great 30 years of marriage you’ve had.
Photo by Joanna Kosinska
35th Anniversary – Coral
Popular Gift Suggestion: Pink coloured jewellery
Our Suggestion: Coral coloured clothing or something your spouse needs
Coral can be a tricky anniversary to buy for. 35 years is a long time to be married and we doubt there is anything you need that you haven’t already got!
Some ideas for you: Is your husband an avid sportsman? Get him a coral coloured shirt – he won’t be missed in a hurry!
If that’s not your style, stick with a sea theme with going out to a nice seafood restaurant.
Perhaps you visited a seaside town early in your marriage that you’ve been meaning to return to? Now is the perfect excuse!
40th Anniversary – Ruby
Colour: Ruby Red
Popular Gift Suggestion: Ruby tie pin, cufflinks or ring
Our Suggestion: Wine tasting
What better way to celebrate a Ruby wedding anniversary than to drink ruby beverages.
Wine tasting is a great way to celebrate a Ruby wedding anniversary, and a day out you’ll (hopefully) remember for years to come.
Yes, cufflinks, tie pins and rings are useful and would be a nice way to remind your spouse of your 40 years of marriage, but sometimes it’s nice to experience activities together rather than something material.
Photo by Kym Ellis
45th Anniversary – Sapphire
Popular Gift Suggestion: Sapphire based jewellery
Our Suggestion: Recreate your wedding breakfast menu
At this length of time of marriage, you may want to remind yourselves of the big day you are celebrating.
Why not go out for a lovely meal just the two of you, or celebrate with the family you have created during this time.
For something extra special, try to recreate your wedding breakfast menu at home. This will create new memories and remind you of the older ones.
50th Anniversary – Gold
Popular Gift Suggestion: Gold jewellery or accessories
Our Suggestion: Golden themed party
A golden wedding anniversary is the big one! Celebrate with a big party with all your friends and family, and make it gold themed.
Congratulations to any married couple that has celebrated 50 years of marriage!
Photo by Mandy von Stahl
Its important to celebrate these milestones.
Marriage is about being a formidable force, nurturing and supporting each other through every situation and remaining steadfast in our relationships.
Showing that small token of appreciation to each other is just one small part but everyone loves a thoughtful gift.