With each passing year of marriage comes a new opportunity to showcase your love and appreciation for your partner with a thoughtful gift.

While it’s easy to get caught up in the hype of materialistic gifts, traditional wedding anniversary gifts offer a unique way to celebrate the longevity of your relationship.

In this article, we’ll explore the origins of traditional wedding anniversary gifts, the difference between modern and traditional gifts, and how to personalize and purchase these gifts on a budget. Our list of traditional wedding anniversary gifts by year guides you through the key milestones. No-one wants to put effort into searching for the perfect gift, only to realise you’ve got the wrong theme. In short, we’ve done the research to make sure you get them right.

We’ll also dive into some unique and unconventional methods for embracing traditional wedding anniversary gifts.

Traditional Wedding Anniversary Gifts

Firstly, congratulations are in order if it is you who has made it to the next marriage milestone year – go you! Each year since the wedding day is a cause for celebration whether it’s yours, a family members, or a friends. Within our ultimate guide to traditional wedding anniversary gifts, we’ll help you through from year 1 to year 90. Only a lucky few make it to 90 years, but at least it may come in handy for a pub quiz answer one day! Although, if you’re reading from the US, you may find that the traditional list stops at 60 years.

Above all, just don’t forget the date… and maybe a card.

Thank us later

The tradition of milestone gift-giving is an age-old phenomenon, that quite literally dates back to the middle ages. Traditional anniversary gifts follow a different theme depending on how many years have passed. Initially, there is a milestone for each year and after 15 years this slows to a different traditional gift every 5 years. (Although that doesn’t mean you stop celebrating yearly!)

Some gifts like ‘Emerald’ (55th anniversary) or ‘Diamonds’ (60th anniversary) seem to be easier for people to remember than others, such as ‘Wood’ (5th anniversary)… we can’t think why. Whilst some anniversaries may not sound as glamorous as others, there are a number of great interpretations that can help to demonstrate your love. It’s not always about jewelry (or jewellery for the UK) dripping in precious gemstones. For example, we love an experience voucher as a great modern interpretation for Paper (1 year).

The Year by Year Wedding Anniversary Gift Guide

The below list contains the traditional gift for each of the milestone anniversary years. Most importantly, it combines both the US and UK traditions, which generally speaking are closely aligned. Where necessary, we’ve highlighted that a gift appears in one list and not the other to avoid any confusion.

Anniversary YearTraditional Gift
Silk (US)
Fruit and Flowers have also become more common
Wool (US)
Aluminum (US)
Fine Linen (UK)
Jade (US)
65thBlue sapphire (UK)
70thPlatinum (UK)
80thOak (UK)
85thWine (UK)
Moonstone (US)
90thStone (UK)
List compiled by Wedding Knowledge

Modern Vs Traditional Anniversary Gifts: Which One to Choose?

Ultimately, it’s down to you as a couple. While modern anniversary gifts offer a more contemporary take on celebrating marriage milestones, traditional anniversary gifts offer a timeless and classic approach. Both options have their merits, but it ultimately depends on personal taste and preference. A traditionalist couple may enjoy sticking to the classic route of anniversary gifts, while a modern couple may prefer more unconventional and unique gifts.

How to Personalize Traditional Wedding Anniversary Gifts for Your Partner

Personalizing traditional wedding anniversary gifts can not only show your love and appreciation but also add a special touch that your partner will cherish forever.

For example, if you’re following the traditional theme of pottery for the ninth anniversary, a personalized piece of pottery with your initials or a special quote can add a personal touch. Adding personalization can also be budget-friendly, especially if you’re working with a tight budget. Personalisation is more and more commonplace on gifting sites where there are options for every budget.

Buying Traditional Wedding Anniversary Gifts on a Budget: Tips and Ideas

Traditional wedding anniversary gifts can often come with a hefty price tag, but there are plenty of budget-friendly options available. One great idea is to purchase antique, vintage or up-cycle thrifted items that fit the theme of the anniversary gift.

For example, if you’re celebrating your sixth anniversary (which is traditionally candy), you can purchase vintage candy containers or jars and fill them with your partner’s favorite sweets. Another idea we love antique gold jewellery for the traditional 50th wedding anniversary gift. This can become a more thoughtful and sustainable gift option. You can also look for discounted or sale items in specialty stores or online marketplaces.

If you’re feeling crafty or just want to add a personal touch to your anniversary gift, DIY ideas can be a great way to create a memorable and meaningful gift for your partner. A brilliant example is a DIY photo album or memory book. A touching way to commemorate the early years of your marriage. You can also create a custom piece of artwork, such as a painting or sculpture, to represent the traditional gift for that year.

If you’re not the creative type, but like the idea of a creative gift, a freelance artist is your answer. From experience, we recommend being as specific as possible with your requirements to get the best results.

Which Traditional Wedding Anniversary Gifts To Buy

To conclude, remember these two points that when looking through the traditional anniversary gifts by year.

1) There will be some traditions that your partner won’t want you to miss (Diamond’s are a girl’s best friend after all).

2) Whether you choose to take each tradition at face value or give them a modern creative flair, there’s plenty of room to add that personal touch to make your anniversary extra special.

Congratulations on sharing another year together.

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