Wedding Anniversary Gift Ideas – Understanding the Traditional Rules

For birthdays, weddings, baby showers, and the like, family and friends can be pretty creative with the gifts they give. However, for a wedding anniversary, there are rules! If there’s a wedding anniversary on your horizon, it’s probably a good idea that you know these rules. After reading this article, whether a couple is celebrating one or fifty years of marriage, you will know what kind of gift tao give the two.

The world of wedding anniversary gifts is kind of complicated and understanding the traditional rules is only part of it. One has to know what are popular gifts today! So, here is a guide to both tradition and modern-day gifts for wedding anniversaries.

For the first fifteen years of marriage, there are specific gift ideas for every single year, then it gets a little bit simpler. So let’s discuss what the best wedding anniversary gifts are for those key years.

First wedding anniversary

Traditionally, a couple newly introduced to the world of marriage is given paper. But the modern 1st year wedding anniversary gift is a little bit better… it’s a clock! You can get a typical cuckoo clock, a clock that doubles as an alarm and a radio, or a beautiful, antique clock. It’s really not surprising that friends and family should want to help the new husband and wife keep time; this first year of marriage can be a real chaotic period with many changes.


At the fifth year mark, the two love-birds have overcome a lot of obstacles and so if you want to celebrate their five-year marriage, there are two very distinct routes you can take. Traditionally, wood has been the theme of a couple’s fifth year into marriage. Gifts along these lines can include plants, pine-scented decorative items (like candles), furniture, or even simple logs for the fire! These days, however, it’s common for the husband and wife to receive silverware or other more unique gifts made of silver (like coins).


10’s the first benchmark of a marriage. And it’s no coincidence that “tin’” is a typical traditional gift for a couple that makes it to the 10-year point. Any items made of tin and aluminum are ideal, like jewelry boxes or vases. There is a lot of possibility here. For the 21st century however, diamond jewelry is a pretty popular gift for married couples (but a bit pricier too!).


For a husband and wife who have managed to keep the knot tied for fifteen years, the themes are pretty basic. If you want to preserve tradition, give the couple something made of crystal. But, also, watches are an acceptable gift too that’s the favorite modern gift.


Twentieth wedding anniversaries are a big deal, especially in today’s society, where only about half of all marriages ever seem to last. So it’s probably a good idea that you know the rules about gift-giving for a couple who has been together for twenty years. Traditionally, china is the theme, so anything from picture frames to salt and pepper shakers to plates is not off dibs. Modern-day gifts should fall under the umbrella of platinum (jewelry, collective boxes, etc).

Twenty fifth

Twentieth wedding anniversaries are important, but a twenty fifth wedding anniversary is one that often receives the most attention from family and friends. So what do you give the couple on a this special occasion? It’s not difficult to pick out a twenty fifth wedding anniversary gift; that’s because the them (both traditional and modern) is just silver.


For a thirtieth wedding anniversary, traditional gift ideas are anything made of pearl (which is often jewelry). But diamonds are the craze these days.

Thirty fifth

Thirty fifth wedding anniversaries really don’t get celebrated enough! The traditional and modern gift suggestions for a couple who’s been married for thirty five years are probably the most interesting of them all. Coral used to be the common gift, and today jade is very popular.


For a husband and wife who have been married for an impressive forty years, gift givers are supposed to stick to the theme of ‘ruby;’” that theme hasn’t changed with the times.

Forty fifth

Many couples like to celebrate their forty fifth wedding anniversary and in this case, stick to sapphire. That’s another traditional wedding anniversary gift that really hasn’t budged over the years!


Now, it’s time for the wedding anniversary of all wedding anniversaries: the fiftieth wedding anniversary. If there were ever achievements truly worth celebrating, a marriage of fifty years certainly would rise to the top of that list. And the theme of gold (both of yesterday and today) suits it well.

There are traditional and modern wedding anniversary gifts for every year of marriage up until 100, if you can believe it. The themes from fifty on up tend to range from diamond to pearl, and for a 100th wedding anniversary, it’s appropriately a 10k diamond.

So if you’ve been invited to a wedding anniversary, or if you ever are invited to one in the future, hopefully now you know where to shop when you hunt for that perfect gift.



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