Wedding Anniversary Gift Lists by Year

Updated on January 30, 2018
Our wedding cake topper (remember its 45 years old).
Our wedding cake topper (remember its 45 years old). | Source
Relive the joy of this day each wedding anniversary
Relive the joy of this day each wedding anniversary | Source

"Grow old along with me! The best is yet to be..." Robert Browning

What celebration is more exciting than a wedding? Follow that with the anniversaries that commemorate that wonderful day. Through the centuries we have derived a list of symbols to celebrate each wedding anniversary from the first through the seventy fifth and with each one relive the joy we felt on that wonderful day!

It is believed that Victorians had a list similar to what we use today but the first recorded list was from dear Emily Post. In 1922 she started the gift giving convention and recognized eight anniversaries; 1st, 5th, 10th, 15th, 20th, 25th, 50th and 75th. Not sure what she thought about the anniversaries in between...did she think they didn't count? Who knows. Maybe she thought it was too expensive to celebrate all of them with a gift!

In 1937 the American National Retail Jewelry Association issued an 'official' list with associated materials, this time counting every anniversary up to the 20th then each five years after that. Now we were on a roll! I'm also curious as to why it was the Jewelry Association but, maybe they saw a future in it.

Candy is always a good gift
Candy is always a good gift | Source

The supposed intent of this gift giving of symbolized gifts was to add significance to the anniversary celebration and help couples anticipate the future. (Maybe that included anticipating better gifts if they could stay married long enough.)

Hallmark research says the 25th silver and the 50th gold originated in Middle Europe. A husband gave his wife a silver garland symbolizing harmony. So, between Emily Post, the Jewelry Association and Hallmark, the traditional wedding anniversary gift schedule was established for all to live by. No one would dare stray from the traditional wedding anniversary gifts now would they?

Wedding Anniversary: Traditional Gifts by Year

Year of Marriage
Traditional Gift
Crystal & glass
Fruit, Flowers
Electrical appliances
Desk sets
Diamond jewelry
Fashion jewelry
Gold jewelry
Silver Holloware
Silver plate
Musical instruments
60 & 75th
Yes, I cheated and went to ten years when I got to the 25th... this would'v been a very long table if I hadn't. In the newer schedules as you can see, many of the middle anniversaries are not assigned a different gift so I left them blank.
Topper from our 25th wedding anniversary cake
Topper from our 25th wedding anniversary cake | Source
Shopping for a gift
Shopping for a gift | Source
Don't forget the celebration!
Don't forget the celebration! | Source

You can see it pays to stay married as the gifts get more expensive the longer you're married. First year paper, eighth year bronze, twelfth year silk...see what I mean?

It seems the 'symbolic gifts' can differ in different countries. For example, in the UK the 1st Anniversary is cotton and the second is paper.

In searching through the Internet I looked up some of the symbols and what they mean or rather symbolize...remember the silver wreath symbolizing harmony?

Paper was selected for the 1st Anniversary because it symbolizes the strength you get when you interlock fibers to make paper. The 2nd Anniversary of cotton is said to be because cotton is associated with prosperity and durability. Leather for the 3rd Anniversary is again due to it's durability. Seems durability is a good theme to use for wedding anniversaries.

On Ladymermaid wrote, "The traditional fifth year wedding anniversary gift is one that is made from wood. Wood was selected for the fifth year of marriage because wood represents strength and a solid relationship. It was believed that both of these qualities were representative in a marriage which had successfully survived for five consecutive years."

On I found that the 10th Wedding Anniversary symbol of tin signifies flexibility and durability in a marriage. Just like tin which can be bent without being broken.

If you review all of the gifts you can see they are either a material or an element (like the pearl, ruby and diamond.) I have been unable to find out why these things were chosen other than the explanations I have listed above. They seem to have been chosen for their symbolism. Giving a gift of paper doesn't necessarily mean you are going to give someone a package of paper plates! You could give anything from a book to tickets to a Broadway show to stay in the 'paper' tradition.

Anniversary Gift Suggestions List

Anniversary Year
Gift Suggestion
Flower suggestions
Books, framed photos, stationery
Tablecloth, quilt, towels
Leather photo album, luggage, wallets
Easy choices - go bananas
Photo frames, cutting board, table
Barbeque brander, iron cookware, wrought iron
Calla Lilies
hammered copper, copper cookware, copper jewelry
Bronze statue, bronze door knocker, bronze wall hanging
Pottery - too many ideas to list
Tin/aluminum bowl, tin serving tub, tin sculpture

Of course there is no law stating you absolutely must stick to the traditional list. You may have a friend or relative that defies the norm and want to give them something different and/or special for their anniversary.

Here is a list of some other anniversary gifts that don't follow the 'traditional';

Anniversary Gift Suggestions: Something different

Non-Traditional Gift
Possible Additions
Large Number one to hang on wall
Hammer and nails
Pea Pod ornament - showing two peas in a pod
String to hang it with
A marriage survival kit
together with hacksaw
A "Let Me Ask My Wife" tee shirt
"I'm the Boss" tee shirt for wife
a set of building blocks
wooden storage box
Whip optional
a copper dinner bell
something to hang it with
His and Hers bacon air fresheners for the car
For car or house
Pottery piggy bank marked "retirement fund"
Add $1.00 for retirement fund
"Keep Calm and Carry On" bandaid tin
Or bling bandaids
My in-laws 40th Anniversary cake topper given to us for our 40th!
My in-laws 40th Anniversary cake topper given to us for our 40th! | Source

Of course these lists are just suggestions. You can be really creative and order M&Ms with the couple's names on them, or buy tickets for a Movie Location Walking Tour of Central Park, Pottery Lessons in Los Angeles, personalized wine cellar sign, vintage anniversary art....the lists goes on and on and on.

If it is your anniversary and you are buying a gift for your husband or your wife, you may have a whole different perspective on the type of gift depending on your personalities and relationship. There's always jewelry, flowers, vacations, whatever suits you and your marriage. No gift is too big or too small, its the love behind the giving.

I hope you've enjoyed this little jaunt through anniversary gift lists. Please feel free to share, especially if you think it might help someone out or make them smile. Your comments are not only welcome but appreciated.

Questions & Answers

    © 2012 Mary Craig


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      • tillsontitan profile image

        Mary Craig 2 years ago from New York

        So happy to help out Reynold!

      • Reynold Jay profile image

        Reynold Jay 2 years ago from Saginaw, Michigan

        Thank you for the informative HUB. Gave me good ideas.

      • tillsontitan profile image

        Mary Craig 2 years ago from New York

        So glad I could be of service TT.

      • tirelesstraveler profile image

        Judy Specht 2 years ago from California

        Came back to check 40th. Rubies, nice. Still very useful hub.

      • tillsontitan profile image

        Mary Craig 2 years ago from New York

        Thanks Corporate.

        Glad you found it informative sujaya.

      • sujaya venkatesh profile image

        sujaya venkatesh 2 years ago

        an informative hub

      • profile image

        Corporate Gifts 5 years ago

        Silver has been the 25th wedding anniversary gift for hundreds of years, so both lists honor that tradition.

      • tillsontitan profile image

        Mary Craig 5 years ago from New York

        You are most welcome. So glad this hub turned out to be so helpful!

      • Janine Huldie profile image

        Janine Huldie 5 years ago from New York, New York

        Love this and thanks for sharing the wedding anniversary gift lists. We will be married 6 years in a few days and every year I forget what that year corresponds with on the traditional list. Thanks for the reminder. Voting up and sharing.

      • tillsontitan profile image

        Mary Craig 5 years ago from New York

        Thanks Aunt Mollie. Each one is special.

      • profile image

        Aunt Mollie 5 years ago

        Beautiful ideas! A wedding anniversary is a true cause for celebration.

        Voted up!

      • tillsontitan profile image

        Mary Craig 5 years ago from New York

        I hope you had a happy anniversary, sorry I'm late on the wishes but I was away for a couple of days. Glad this hub could help you out ;)

      • thelyricwriter profile image

        Richard Ricky Hale 5 years ago from West Virginia

        What a great idea to write about Tillsontitan. And believe it or not, today is my 8th year anniversary. The Bronze is a great idea. Very informative and very well written. Best wishes.

      • tillsontitan profile image

        Mary Craig 5 years ago from New York

        And with that you leave me speechless ;)

      • fpherj48 profile image

        Paula 5 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

        THAT's better! ROFLMAO!

      • tillsontitan profile image

        Mary Craig 5 years ago from New York

        Yes Miss Paula. ;)

      • fpherj48 profile image

        Paula 5 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

        OMG! I thought I taught you better than that!! NEVER ever give unnecessary information!! I keep telling my students....."Smile pretty, say "yes, no, please, thank you and Of course I love surprises, Big Daddy!"

        Honesty is counter productive to the subject of age!! You write that 100 times Miss Tillie!!

      • tillsontitan profile image

        Mary Craig 5 years ago from New York

        Okay Effer, are you going to make an honest woman out of me and make you tell you WHEN that picture was taken? You are right, it's me but it was taken almost 10 years ago! So, my secret is out, there is no secret ;)

        Glad I could help you find the perfect gift tirelesstraveler...a little bling goes a long way :)

        Happy to oblige alocsin. I'm sure you know how good it feels to know your hub is useful.

      • alocsin profile image

        alocsin 5 years ago from Orange County, CA

        Thanks for this great reference. I have a few of these coming up for relatives and friends and it's convenient to have the gift info in one place. Voting this Up and Useful.

      • tirelesstraveler profile image

        Judy Specht 5 years ago from California

        With 36 years tucked away, I am a stick in the mud. I like the traditional, especially the stones.

        The bling band-aids to add to the band aid box are what I will give my son the band-aid king when he gets married. :)

      • fpherj48 profile image

        Paula 5 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

        OH.....I did forget to ask........who might that gorgeous, sexy blonde with the svelte body, in the Wild Tiger-skin jacket, be? Would that be "Mary, Mary, Quite Extraordinary.....How does your garden grow?" Whoo-HOO, I'm surprised Larry let's you out of the house alone!

        Lookin like a Baby Fox, Ms. Babyboomer!! What sort of preservatives do you drink?.........

      • tillsontitan profile image

        Mary Craig 5 years ago from New York

        So glad I could help Vinaya. I don't know what your customs are but this could certainly be something different for you!

      • Vinaya Ghimire profile image

        Vinaya Ghimire 5 years ago from Nepal

        My sister's wedding anniversary is in couple of weeks time. I found this hub very useful and informative.

      • tillsontitan profile image

        Mary Craig 5 years ago from New York

        For some unknown reason it doesn't surprise me that you are into the 'fun' gifts. Just a little something I've noticed in your personality ;)

        Yes, Spencer's is everywhere, and it could be because you are such a good customer.

        I love the 'foot in mouth' idea! I bet you come up with some gems. Thanks for the up vote.

      • fpherj48 profile image

        Paula 5 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

        Well, it just so happens I thoroughly enjoyed the little jaunt through the lists of Anniversary gifts! I'm not sure why people somewhere, felt it should be changed here and there......and I don't know if I like that either. If something is "Traditional".....shouldn't it be a continually "repeated" thing?

        Oh heck.....there I go, being an old-fashioned stick in the mud......To tell you the truth, I know you'll find this hard to believe about me....but if it's an Anniversary of close friends....they are definitely getting a FUN/FUNNY gift from the EFFER! Something that would probably horrify and embarrass them. I'm such a good friend, ...tee hee.

        Suffice it to say, I do a lot of shopping for gifts at "Spencer's" ( Spencer's is a National chain aren't they?)

        For a birthday gift for one GF....I bought her a phone in the shape of a stilletto shoe......because she's very famous amongst us for "putting her foot in her mouth" all the time.

        Thanks for the hub....I'll keep these gifts in mind.....yeah, sure I will! UP+++


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