How to Mark Your Anniversary with Traditional Gifts

iStock 842997296 Credit: Beautiful wedding rings lie on a table against the background of a bouquet of flowers

Getting a present for your partner can be difficult. Birthday presents and Christmas gifts can be challenging to buy for your spouse, particularly when you’ve been together for a number of years. The same can be said for anniversary gifts. However, if you follow tradition, you’ll have a helping hand because each anniversary is marked by a different type of gift. You get to choose the specific item you give so there’s some personalization available even if you follow this tradition every year.

First 5 Years

The first five years of your marriage are a time in which you put down some roots and make some lasting memories. Perhaps children arrive, you buy a family home together or you see some of the world together. Whatever you do, the initial period is very special for most people so it’s important to begin celebrating your anniversary each year in the right way. As mentioned before, paper is used to mark year one. In year two, a gift made from cotton is traditional. In year three, a leather gift is normally given. In the fourth year, you have a choice between fruit and flowers or linen with silk, and in year five a gift made from wood should be given.

Years 6 to 10

The sixth year is marked by a gift made from iron. If that doesn’t sound like an easy gift to find, don’t worry because there are plenty of specially created wedding anniversary gifts cast from iron that can be bought online. In year seven, copper is given while bronze gifts are given to mark the eighth wedding anniversary. Pottery, which is the gift for year nine, is great because it can be customized with your spouse’s name or a special message. Aluminum, which is given for the tenth year of marriage, could be given as jewelry.

Years 11 to 15

The presents during the next five years of marriage are steel, silk, lace, ivory, and crystal so you have plenty of options. The steel gift can be something decorative for the home or an item of jewelry. Why not consider a stainless steel watch to mark the eleventh year of your marriage? Silk suggests clothing but it can also be bedding or even a decorative silk rose. Lace is similar to silk in that you have clothing options as well as decorative items to choose between. The same can’t be said for ivory and crystal. Both of these presents suggest that you mark the fourteenth year of your marriage with a lasting memento.

The Next 10 Years

Your sixteen to twenty-fifth anniversaries begin with and end with silver as silver-wear is given at year sixteen and silver items are exchanged in year twenty-five. In between, you’ll be offering your partner gifts made from porcelain, bronze, China, brass, copper, silver plate and opal so you won’t be bored finding gifts each year that are different from those you gave the year before. There are a lot of silver gifts in this period of marriage so you could make this a theme each year mixing silver with each of the other materials.

From Year Thirty to Sixty

If you make it to your thirtieth wedding anniversary, your continued love will be enough to make that anniversary very special but to mark it you’ll need to buy pearls. When your marriage hits the thirty-five-year mark, you should celebrate it with coral. Rubies and sapphires mark the fortieth and fortieth-fifth anniversaries so you might need to save your dollars in the years in between so you can afford those presents. Year fiftieth is gold. A couple will be at least 70 years old when they mark that milestone, and they’ll be in their eighties when emerald and diamonds are given to celebrate the fifty-fifth and sixtieth wedding anniversaries.