A guide to wedding anniversaries and what they mean

Make every year count with an unforgettable wedding anniversary. Here’s our guide to the wedding anniversaries timeline

wedding anniversaries
Wondering what you should buy for an upcoming wedding anniversary?

Getting married is one of the biggest things you’ll decide to do in life. And every year you spend happily married is worth celebrating. Wedding anniversaries help to guide couples through their married life together. And it’s traditional to give your partner a gift that represents the year you have reached together. 

Not sure where you start or where you’re up to? Here’s our guide to the wedding anniversaries timeline and what they all mean! 

1 year: paper

The first year of marriage is traditionally celebrated with paper, signifying the blank sheet for the life ahead of you. Therefore, why not buy your other half vouchers for their favourite shop, write down a personalised poem or frame your vows. 

Read more: Planning a wedding – it’s all in the cake!

2 years: cotton

The cotton anniversary signifies the bond you are weaving together, strengthening your union. So, when it comes to gifts, consider clothing or a set of personalised deluxe pillow cases. You could even go for an unusual gift like cotton flowers as they will last forever, if cared for, just like your partnership. 

3 years: leather

This anniversary is represented by leather – a strong and durable material to signify the longevity of your marriage. This Mulberry purse should do the trick!

wedding anniversaries
£325 www.mulberry.com

4 years: fruit & flowers

Fruit and flowers is traditionally given at four years of marriage. It signifies a relationship that is blooming. Why not give you partner a bouquet of their favourite flowers or go for a luxurious fruit basket. But don’t forget the champagne and strawberries, though!

5 years: wood

With five years under your belt, your relationship is sturdy and strong and your partnership is rooted like the foundations of a tree. A wooden gift signifies this bond. Therefore, why not have a carpenter create a bespoke piece of furniture for your loved one or whisk them off for a break away in a forest hideaway. Either way it’ll be memories made to last. 

wedding anniversaries
Gentlemen’s multi-tool £20 Wild & Wolf

10 years: aluminium

The 10th anniversary is represented by aluminium. You could buy your partner a necklace with a tin tag that bears a love message or a sleek watch strap. Although, we love the idea of booking a mini-break to somewhere like New York! Well, planes are made out of aluminium after all?

15  years: crystal

When you reach 15 years together, things really start to look up on the gift front! Crystal signifies the sparkling love between you and the clarity of your relationship. You’re probably thinking a piece of jewellery or a beautiful crystal vase would make a great gift. As would a set of glasses, a decanter or shiny cuff links. Go on and splash out! 

20 years: china

The 20 year anniversary is represented by china to show how delicate but intricate your relationship has become. The obvious gift would be chinaware – perhaps an antique or vintage design. But we’re all for bucking the trend and booking a trip to China. You’ll have the holiday of a lifetime visiting the Great Wall, Shaolin Temple and Terracotta Warriors, among other amazing sights. 

wedding anniversaries
China Map £79 Lime Lace

25 years: silver

25 years of marriage is the first major milestone. A lot can and will happen during a quarter of a century together so it shouldn’t be taken lightly! You probably have grown up family now and be feeling comfortable financially and emotionally. It’s the perfect excuse to gather your friends and family together to celebrate with a party. Traditional gifts include a silver jewellery box or picture frame or silver locket. 

Read more: Look inside the Staffordshire wedding of Glyn and Deborah 

30 years: pearl

Ladies will love the 30th anniversary. Your relationship is strong, durable and perfectly intact. And it’s the gift of pearl – the oldest and most highly regarded gem for its beauty and purity. Giving a pearl bracelet, necklace or earrings is a lovely way to symbolise the years you have spent together. But why not spend a nice romantic weekend away too? Or it could be the perfect time to tick off a bucket list experience together?

wedding anniversaries
£32 Oliver Bonas

35 years: coral

The 35th wedding anniversary is celebrated by coral, the colourful and interesting marine life found in tropical oceans. How about a surprise trip to the Great Barrier Reef in Australia? Go on then! 

40 years: ruby

You might be keen to renew your wedding vows if you reach 40 years of marriage. And what a lovely way to reaffirm your love for each other in the company of your closest family and friends. The 40th anniversary is represented by ruby. It symbolises nobility, purity and passion. Gifts can include jewellery, red roses or a vintage red wine.

wedding anniversaries
Ruby & Diamond Pear Cluster Ring £255 Gemondo Jewellery

45 years: sapphire

45 years of marriage is a fantastic achievement! And it is symbolised by the magnificent sapphire. It’s said to symbolise wisdom, joy and prosperity – all of which characterise your marriage and relationship at this stage. Gifting sapphire for this anniversary is a statement of your undeniable love and devotion and your readiness for the golden years to come. 

50 years: gold

It might be hard to believe it but you’ve spent half a century together! And that means you have reached your gold anniversary. The most common gifts are gold jewellery or a personalised golden disc. But, hopefully you’ll both be retired at this point in your lives so why not set sail on a once-in-a-lifetime cruise? 

55 years: emerald

Celebrating a 55th wedding anniversary can be as rare as finding an emerald stone. Emerald jewellery is one of the most striking to wear and that makes it a perfect 55th anniversary gift.

60 years: diamond

If you reach the 60 year milestone, you’ll be celebrating your diamond wedding anniversary. Expensive, rare and beautiful, a diamond is precious and each one unique to the other. Much like your relationship is unique to both you and your partner. What better way to commemorate that milestone than with a new set of diamonds?

70 years: platinum

The 70th wedding anniversary is extremely rare and equally as precious. Platinum jewellery is the most common gift given at this anniversary, but you could also mix it up and buy something unusual like these platinum dinner plates.

wedding anniversaries
Orlo Plates (Platinum) £110 www.natuzzi.co.uk

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