Couples have been giving each other gifts on their anniversary since the middle ages, where a husband would traditionally give his wife a silver wreath on their 25th anniversary and a gold one on their 50th. Depending on where you live, the associations of these different gifts can be either related to materials that imply the gradual strengthening of a marriage, or a symbol of the investment of time and self that a couple gives to one another. In the UK, the idea of associating different materials with years of marriage became increasingly popular in the Victorian period before it travelled across the pond to the US.
If you’re soon expecting an anniversary with your significant other and are in a bit of a rut about what to get them, following this tradition is a great way to gift something meaningful. The point is, as years of marriage increase, the gifts you give each other get more and more valuable. Look no further than this handy gift guide to find the perfect present for your loved one, whether you’re at year one or year 40.
First Wedding Anniversary: Paper
Paper seems like it could be a difficult material to work with, but it’s actually a great opportunity to find a creative gift to celebrate your one year. This personalized print from Not On The High Street is affordable and is the perfect way to commemorate your special day (or, if you’re crafty, you can make it yourself!)
Second Wedding Anniversary: Cotton
At the end of the day, there’s no better feeling than cuddling up in a cozy cotton bathrobe and slipping your feet into some warm slippers. This gift box from King of Cotton includes a pure cotton bathrobe in your choice of size and color, a pair of cotton slippers, and a bath/shower gel. You can even get the robe embroidered for a bit extra.
Third Wedding Anniversary: Leather
There’s nothing better (or more useful) than a crisp new leather journal. This refillable one from Aspinal of London is perfect for recording all of your to-do lists and thoughts throughout the day and has a variety of different options for personalization.
Fourth Wedding Anniversary: Fruit or Flowers
Fruit and flowers are meant to symbolize how much your relationship has blossomed and bloomed over the years, and the possibilities are endless for this gift. You really can’t go wrong with a beautiful bouquet of flowers, but if you feel like going all out, try one of Jo Malone’s signature floral candles like bestseller Peony and Blush Suede. You can even get it engraved!
Fifth Wedding Anniversary: Wood
A personalized wooden keepsake box is a perfect gift to store some of the trinkets and treasures the two of you have accumulated over the years. This one from Not On The High Street is available in either a dark or a light finish with your choice of a burgundy or ivory felt lining. And, you have the option to personalize.
10th Wedding Anniversary: Tin
Vera Wang has a beautiful silver-plated line with Wedgwood perfect for this anniversary. The infinity ring catcher is a beautiful keepsake and is perfect for storing your wedding and engagement rings in a safe space.
20th Wedding Anniversary: China
A classic choice for this year’s gift is a beautiful china set. This traditional floral tea set from Royal Albert is a long-lasting gift that will be treasured for years to come.
30th Wedding Anniversary: Pearl
While pearls may arguably be the most classic of all precious stones,
that doesn’t mean pearl gifts have to be boring. This stunning ring from Paloma Picasso’s range at Tiffany & Co. will definitely make its recipient feel loved
40th Wedding Anniversary: Ruby
While rubies make for beautiful jewelry pieces, step outside the box with this set of handmade Ruby tinted champagne flutes that’ll be perfect for popping that bottle of champagne you’ve been saving.