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Traditional Anniversary Gifts: Wedding Anniversary Gifts By Year Guide

traditional anniversary gifts by year

For those who have been in a relationship for quite a while, you know that gift giving isn’t always a particularly easy task. In the beginning, gifts are given early and often, sometimes even for no reason other than you want to. They tend to be romantic, spontaneous, and meaningful. However, as time goes on, this can drop off. Presents can become more uninspired than heartwarming, their frequency decreases, and they can sometimes be taken for granted rather than appreciated as the loving gesture that they are. It’s an unfortunate result of time and one that can put a major damper on both your relationship and your important anniversaries – but it doesn’t have to. All it takes is a little awareness and effort to get you back on track. Trying out traditional anniversary gifts is also a great way to up your gifting skills. Here’s a year by year guide to help you out.


1 Year: The Paper Anniversary

The first-year anniversary is a huge milestone for anyone. Just getting to the marriage stage is an accomplishment, but the initial year of marriage brings its own unique challenges. This anniversary’s theme reflects this. Much like the beginnings of your partnership, it’s pure and fragile, but can last a lifetime if properly you take care of it properly.  A handmade card, personalized poem, beloved book, or important photo are all perfect gift ideas to celebrate the paper anniversary. Really, anything that requires a little TLC and reaffirms your status as new spouses will work wonderfully, though.


5 Years: The Wood Anniversary

engraved wooden watches - best anniversary gifts

By 5 years down the line, you’ve already long surpassed the honeymoon stage. You’ve surely had your fair shares of ups and downs, trials and tribulations, and have found ways to stay stable despite any of the hardships. You’ve also likely found yourselves growing together and your once separate lives intertwining, much like a tree’s roots. Want to get your partner something that commemorates this? An engraved wood watch is an ideal fit as it’s actually made of wood, represents both the time you’ve spent growing together and shows that sometimes things can get even better with age.


10 Years: The Aluminum or Tin Anniversary

Aluminum and tin are metals that are strong but pliable. They’re durable and reliable, but they can also be remarkably flexible. They’re don’t require nearly as much worry as other materials, because you know that they aren’t going to be rusting or breaking anytime soon. Despite this durability, however, these materials are easy to repurpose and upcycle. They can be changed and made into something even more beautiful, even decades after you first got them. It’s a lovely (and accurate) metaphor for marriage, especially after ten years. A personalized tumbler, aluminum vase, or engraved jewelry box all work well as a thoughtful 10th anniversary gift. A diamond ring or other accessory can be substituted should you want a more modern version.  


15 Years: The Crystal Anniversary

The 15-year anniversary is also known as the crystal anniversary. Much like crystal, your relationship and marriage is stunning and strong. But, perhaps unlike when your marriage was newer, you also know that it is delicate. That is no longer seen as a potential problem, though. Instead, it is a reminder to always strive for understanding, clarity, and cooperation. Crystal charms, decanters, and anything incorporating gemstones are all fitting gifts for this particular anniversary. Have a partner who is just generally into crystals? Treat them to amber or rose quartz. As good luck charms for love and marriage, they’ll benefit you both.


20 Years: The Porcelain Anniversary

One of the stranger ones for us these days, the porcelain anniversary has historically entailed gifts of fine china. This is to recognize the fine beauty of marriage and how it is something that has to be treasured and looked after in order to avoid any potential for breakage. While china still works as a wonderful present for those who appreciate their formality, it does tend to be a bit unnecessary for most nowadays. Platinum gifts make for a modern twist that you and your partner will love.


25 Years: The Silver Anniversary

Silver is a precious metal that is incredibly valuable, much like your long-lasting partnership. A symbol that signals richness and wealth, grace, balance, and good fortune, it’s easy to see why it’s the silver anniversary. 25 years later, your relationship is now polished and secure. You are lucky – and you know it. Show your partner this by getting them a present to match. Anything silver goes, but silver jewelry, picture frames, and keepsakes are an especially good fit as they signal both longevity and a deep appreciation for your spouse.


30 Years: The Pearl Anniversary

Match His and Hers Rose Gold Tungsten Rings With Meteorite And Wood Inlay-Wood Wedding Bands

Real pearls are incredibly rare but also incredibly stunning. After 30 years of marriage, you’re right there with it. What you have with your spouse is equally as rare and precious and it’s worth pulling out all the stops to celebrate. While a gift of pearls is an obvious start, a vow renewal is much more meaningful in the long run. It reasserts your devotion to one another while giving you space to fully enjoy the life you’ve created together. No vow renewal is complete without a couple new rings, of course. Try out a wooden wedding band set for an option that is both familiar and unique. It’s a gift you’ll appreciate for all the years ahead.

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