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From Paper to Crystal: Wedding Anniversary Gifts By Year

Marriage is a beautiful journey that unfolds and evolves over the years. Partners grow side by side, supporting each other through life’s many seasons. And just like weddings, anniversaries have their own tried and true traditions. For all you married birdies who subscribe to the gift-giving love language, this will be an especially meaningful read.  Traditional anniversary gifts by year offer a wonderful opportunity to express your love and appreciation for your partner. 

Hailey and Justin Beiber are celebrating their fifth anniversary this month. Do you know what the traditional fifth-anniversary gift is? Keep reading to find out.

In this guide, we'll take you through the first 15 years of marriage, sharing traditional anniversary gifts and ideas that emphasize creativity and thoughtfulness.

Year 1: Paper

The first wedding anniversary is symbolized by paper. It represents a blank canvas, just like your fresh, new marriage. Consider creating a scrapbook filled with mementos from your first year together. Add notes, photos, and ticket stubs from memorable dates. This gift not only showcases your journey but also promises many more pages to be written together.

Year 2: Cotton

Cotton is soft, just like the comfort and warmth your partner brings to your life. A thoughtful gift could be matching cotton pajamas, cozy blankets, or even a personalized cotton tote bag. It's a reminder that your love continues to grow, softening the rough edges of life.

Year 3: Leather

Leather symbolizes durability, which is a key element of any lasting relationship. You could consider personalized leather accessories, such as wallets, belts, or even a leather-bound journal for you both to jot down your dreams and plans together.

Year 4: Fruit or Flowers

The fourth anniversary is all about the natural beauty of flowers and the deliciousness of fruit. A creative gift idea is to plant a fruit tree together in your backyard. Watching it grow over the years will be a beautiful reminder of your love and commitment.

Year 5: Wood

The fifth anniversary signifies strength and growth, just like a sturdy tree. A thoughtful gift could be a handcrafted wooden photo frame or a customized piece of wooden wall art that celebrates your journey together. Back in the ‘80s, my in-laws celebrated their first anniversary by buying a house, which is pretty much the pinnacle of wood-related gifts.

Year 6: Iron

Iron represents the unbreakable bond between you two. You can commemorate this with an iron sculpture or an iron-forged piece of jewelry. It's a reminder that your love is strong and enduring. Have a fireplace? A new set of fireplace tools could be a sweet addition to your home.

Year 7: Wool or Copper

Wool and copper symbolize warmth and comfort, perfect for your seventh anniversary. A cozy wool blanket or copper cookware for shared culinary adventures are excellent gift options that can enhance your time together.

Year 8: Bronze

Bronze represents the strength forged through your years of love and partnership. Consider gifting a beautiful bronze sculpture or a set of bronze-colored home décor items that will remind you of the solid foundation you've built together.

Year 9: Pottery

Pottery symbolizes the shaping of your life together, molding it into something beautiful. Attend a pottery class together and create something unique, or gift each other personalized pottery pieces like mugs or vases.

Year 10: Tin or Aluminum

A decade together is a significant milestone, and tin or aluminum reflects the flexibility and durability of your relationship. A creative idea is to write 10 love letters, each sealed in an aluminum envelope, to be opened on special occasions throughout the year.

Year 11: Steel

Steel is strong and unyielding, just like your enduring love. Consider gifting steel jewelry or a personalized steel keychain that reminds you both of the strength of your bond.

Year 12: Silk or Linen

Silk and linen represent luxury and comfort, perfect for celebrating 12 years together. Consider a romantic silk scarf or a set of high-quality linen sheets for your bedroom. It's a reminder to keep the romance alive.

Year 13: Lace

Lace symbolizes intricate beauty, just like the intricacies of your relationship. Gift your partner a delicate lace item, such as lingerie or a handkerchief, with a heartfelt note expressing your appreciation for the details that make your relationship special.

Year 14: Ivory (... ish)

Ivory is the traditional 14th anniversary gift, symbolizing fidelity. However, because it's super important to invest in alternatives that don’t harm wildlife. Instead, opt for gifts made of white or off-white materials like porcelain, pearl, or moonstone to celebrate your 14th anniversary.

Year 15: Crystal

Crystal signifies clarity and transparency in your relationship. Consider a crystal vase or a personalized crystal photo frame to showcase your love and the beautiful memories you've created together.

As you can see, traditional anniversary gifts by year offer a wealth of creative and meaningful options to celebrate your journey as a couple. Remember, the thought and effort you put into selecting the perfect gift matters more than its monetary value. These gifts serve as symbols of your love, commitment, and the unique bond you share with your partner. So, whether it's your first anniversary or your fifteenth, make it special by choosing a gift that truly speaks to your hearts and your shared story. Happy anniversary!