Wedding Anniversary Meanings by Year: Read Before You Shop for a Gift

So I have personally been married for 8 years now.

What am I suppose to give this year? 

Everyone knows the 3rd anniversary is leather, but what about all the other anniversaries.

We have all the meanings for each vital milestone below.

Wedding Anniversary Meanings

Wives are usually better at preparing for anniversaries than husbands. (Sorry fellas)

Regardless of whether you’re a husband who just hasn’t come to the realization that wedding anniversary meanings exist or a wife who is simply scouring the Internet looking for some more insight, let us provide some insight regarding anniversary gifts.

Personalized Wedding Anniversary Gift Idea

Not all of the anniversary years listed below are going to make for great gifts. 

You might want to get your significant other a few gifts, a small gift representing the anniversary year and another gift that is a little more personal and unique.

Here are our top recommendations:

leather bifold wallet

For the Guys!

gift for girls

For the Ladies!

Get that special someone a personalized gift! Maybe a quote inside and their name on the front.

Trust me; I think they will appreciate this gesture a little bit more than receiving the paper gift!

OK, without further ado, here are each of the wedding anniversary meanings listed out per milestone:

1st Year - Paper

paper anniversary

As far as wedding anniversary meanings go, we find that the symbolism coming with the paper gift is accurate.

A paper gift is meant to represent a clean sheet as you are starting anew with your spouse.

Although a paper present might not sound super appealing, this is the traditional gift given for the first year wedding anniversary. 

2nd Year - Cotton

The cotton present is given on the 2nd wedding anniversary and stands for the way the couple should intertwine together and grow their strength as a pair over time.

This gift is also a representation of how as time passes, the couple must learn to exhibit the flexibility and strength such as that of cotton that has been intertwined together.

The cotton gift acts as a constant reminder that a marriage requires the effort of both spouses working together to become better.

You are better with your significant other by your side just as your significant other is better with you by their side.

Your next wedding anniversary gift will bring even more love into your home than you ever thought possible.

Cotton Love Story Pillow

3rd Year - Leather

Leather anniversary gifts are presents your partner will cherish forever.

As the 3 year anniversary memento, leather stands for the feelings of shelter and security that you’re meant to bring your partner.

Your partner should feel safe when they’re with you just as you should feel safe when you’re with them. You’re a primary contributor to your relationship as are they.

This symbolism dates back to how ancient humans used leather as their means of protection.

The truth behind this is that a 3 year anniversary acts as a major benchmark in a marriage. With this said, your marriage is a representation of both spouses feeling secure and having a home as well as someone to constantly look out for their best interests.

4th Year - Fruit & Flowers

Being married for 4 years is quite impressive and within this time, it’s likely that you’ll experience some of the sweetest things life has to offer.

Your relationship will begin bearing fruit and flourish as you both nurture it.

Fruit and flowers symbolize this fact of life, providing a representation of the refreshment you’ll find in each other as well as the care you must give as your marriage matures and blossoms.

4th Year - Fruit & Flowers

5th Year - Wood

Trees on their own act as a symbolization of strength, time, and wisdom. They continue to grow and develop over time and as the years pass, their roots develop.


What was once an unstable sapling becomes a full tree with developed roots and stability that cannot be moved.

Like the trees, your relationship develops and takes root.

Over time, your relationship evolves into something that is capable of enduring the worst of what life has to offer. The wood present carries this meaning with it, making it one that is not soon forgotten.

6th Year - Iron

Civilization would not be where it is today without the discovery of iron.

This naturally occurring metal is what brought us up from the depths of the stone age and into an era of incredible discovery through tooling.

This is your 6th wedding anniversary and the strength your relationship has at this point is beyond anything you’ve ever known. There is room to improve and the fact that you’ve come this far is proof of this.

Over time, your relationship will strengthen and iron symbolizes this evolution in the process.

Iron Fire Pit

7th Year - Copper

Copper is capable of producing heat, allowing the copper present on the 7th wedding anniversary to symbolize the warmth of your relationship.

Couples provide one another with the warmth, comfort, safety, and security they need to become better people over time.

Copper Mug

Over the course of your marriage, you will help each other grow as people and while you nurture one another, you yourselves will become stronger as a couple.

With copper being the 7th wedding anniversary present, this material also symbolizes the strength your relationship is adding each year as it matures.

8th Year - Bronze

Over time, wedding anniversary presents increase in value as well as strength.

Sporting superiority in relation to strength, bronze is a metal that outlasts both iron and copper.

This is a symbolization of your relationship increasing its strength and maturing as it progresses.

Bronze is derived from copper and tin, meaning it also acts as a representation of the blending of two people to become something better and stronger.

You give one another strength and this is something the bronze gift will constantly remind you of.


9th Year - Pottery

In the beginning of your relationship, it was a ball of clay without any shape or substance.

Over the last 9 years you’ve been together, you’ve gone through good and bad times that have molded your relationship into something that’s simply stunning.

pottery wheel

      Photo by : john pack

Your relationship has gone through this furnace we call ‘life’ and like pottery, it has been transformed from something visually unappealing to something gorgeous as well as useful.

Pottery Wheel Classes

The pottery gift is something that will provide the proper remembrance of just how far you’ve come as a married couple.

10th Year - Aluminum

As a famously malleable metal, aluminum provides some significant symbolisation that a married couple must always remember.

The aluminum present is a representation of the flexibility and durability your marriage must have. Your relationship has lasted a decade now and with this time comes the ability to adapt to whatever life throws at the two of you.

Aluminum is a metal that exhibits toughness as well, allowing it hold its strength when necessary.

A couple reaching a 10th year wedding anniversary has reached a major milestone in their marriage, showing their relationship’s ability to continue on regardless of what challenges it must take on.

In a last minute pinch, give a 1974 USA penny along with something else much more expensive!

Aluminum Anniverary

11th Year - Steel

Strength is one of the primary characteristics of steel with this feature it’s actually one of the strongest metals in existence on this planet!

This makes it the perfect traditional wedding anniversary gift to give following a decade of love and happiness.

At this point in your marriage, your relationship has forged incredible bonds that are strong enough to the point that they can be symbolized by a steel present.

You’re officially within the second decade of your marriage and your relationship must have this strength to take on any new obstacles confronting it in the future.

12th Year - Home Decor

“Home is where you make it” is something that comes to mind when going into one’s 12th year being married to the love of their life. It has been a long journey with many challenges but your relationship is still standing strong.Currently, home truly is where you make it and the gift of home decor symbolizes this fact being relevant in your relationship.

Your relationship is your home and just like with any dwelling, some upkeep is required at times. The pipes might start leaking, the paint on your garage might begin to peel, and a variety of other issues can arise.

There is nothing your relationship cannot endure and with a little bit of work, your relationship will continue to thrive.

At this point, you and your spouse are using these gifts to make the place you live a symbolization of the relationship you share.

Home decor

13th Year - Lace


Lace is the perfect traditional anniversary gift for the 13th year as it displays the elegance and beauty you want in your marriage.

You’ve worked as a team to create something delicate, yet it’s stronger than it’s ever been.

This balance is what every marriage strives for, giving ample reason to give the gift of lace for your lucky 13th wedding anniversary.

14th Year - Ivory

Ivory is traditionally used as it’s a symbolization of purity and innocence. It goes further to provide a representation of the integrity and fidelity within your marriage as well.

While ivory is the traditional anniversary gift of the 14th year, it’s not the most ethical present you can give your significant other.

ivory anniversary

With elephant populations dwindling and poaching being such a problem, we recommend skipping on a true ivory present and opting for a gift that is elephant themed, white in color, or both.

Take a trip to South Africa to see the real live elephants. There are many volunteer opportunities or elephant lodges to take advantage of. An elephant themed holiday works much better than an ivory gift.

The elephants will thank you and your spouse will appreciate the beautiful gesture of conserving elephant populations.

15th Year - Crystal

Congratulations! 15 years of marriage is yet another milestone and you should be excited for all that the future has in store for the two of you.

This year is when you’re to present a crystal present. At this point, the gifts are becoming increasingly valuable and the gift of crystal symbolizes the investment and sacrifice you both are making as you continue on in your marriage.

These gifts also showcase the clarity and transparency you want to have within your marriage.

As you gift crystal presents to one another, you can reflect on your relationship and all of the years that have led up to this milestone.

Flora & Fauna Mt. Congreve 18in Summer Vase, Limited Edition of 250

Flora & Fauna Mt. Congreve 18in Summer Vase

20th Year - China

You’ve given all of yourself to your spouse for the last 20 years and now you’ve reached a new milestone.

East Meets West in Hybrid Dinnerware Collection by CTRLZAK Studio for Seletti

You’re aging, your bodies aren’t what they used to be, and you might even have a few grey hairs. It doesn’t matter.

Your marriage has withstood the test of time thus far and although being in love is a fragile experience, you’ve made it work.

You haven’t taken this love for granted and the China is a symbolization of the fragile nature of love and how you’ve nurtured it over the the last 2 decades.

Over the next 20 years, we’re sure you’ll continue caring for your marriage as you have!

25th Year - Silver

As a precious metal, silver is one of the more valuable metals in existence.

Following 25 years of commitment, it makes sense that the gift will be forged out of something so precious.

Symbolizing the value of marriage and how it will shine throughout your future together, this gift is one that will last the rest of your lives.

The silver present acts as a reminder of your commitment to one another and how your relationship will never tarnish.

Silver cufflinks

30th Year - Pearl

The depths of your marriage are depths you’ve swam over the years and you will continue swimming no matter how rough the waters get.

Presenting a pearl gift on your 30th wedding anniversary acts as a symbolization of this as well as all of the beauty that come with your relationship.

Pearls take a lot of time to form and the end result is something gorgeous. This is a symbolization of your marriage’s beauty that comes with 3 decades of maturity.

35th Year - Coral

If you’ve seen live coral before, you know how it spreads like a vast garden along the ocean floor. Deep down in the depths of the ocean these sea gardens are revered as sacred spots that continue to flourish.

In the past, some cultures believed that coral possesses incredible powers capable of shielding a person from harm and sickness.

Some coral has a reddish blood-like color, allowing the idea that it symbolizes a sacred life force. Similar to coral, the life force of your marriage is the loyalty and commitment that comes with 35 years of devotion. As you continue to love one another and protect each other, this life force will surely continue to grow.

40th Year - Ruby

Symbolizing the love and passion found in your 4 decades of marriage, rubies are gemstones that are prized throughout the world.

The idea behind the ruby present is that within its confines is a flame that grows brighter as your marriage matures.

Over the next 40 years, your love will continue to grow as will the fire within the ruby gift you present your spouse with.


45th Year - Sapphire

Revered as the royal stone, this gemstone is perfect for paying tribute to the 45 years of marriage you and your spouse have conquered.

It has been many years of taking on countless obstacles, but you’re continuously been there for one another.

The longevity of the marriage is honorable with a sapphire gemstone, acting as symbolism that your kingdom will continue to prosper in the many years to come.

50th Year - Gold

In various cultures, gold symbolizes prosperity, wisdom, and strength. With these characteristics comes the comparison of what a 50 year marriage will bring to a couple.

American Gold Eagle Coin

Your relationship has prospered over the last 5 decades and now is the time where you are to enjoy your marital wealth.

As your marriage aged, the wisdom and strength you both possess grew tremendously, giving ample reason to give the gift of gold to honor your 50 years of marriage.

55th Year - Emerald

They say diamonds are a girl’s best friend but before you gift the diamonds, you’ll have to gift the emeralds! These green gemstones symbolize true love that matches the love you’re experiencing in your marriage.

Emeralds range in darkness from being almost black to a light light green. That being known, there’s a legend that says the shade of an emerald will change when a person is unfaithful in their marriage.

Giving an emerald on the 55th wedding anniversary is the same as saying, “I’m yours. I’m devoted to you & only you.”

Showing your spouse your devotion with this precious gemstone is the perfect way to celebrate this anniversary.

55th year anniversary


60th Year - Diamond

So while diamonds are a girl’s best friend, they’re also now a traditional wedding gift to give on your 60th wedding anniversary.

In 1897, Queen Victoria celebrated her diamond jubilee for her 60th wedding anniversary, giving ample reason to make this a part of the traditional wedding presents given.

Ever since this happened, 60 years of marriage means giving a gift of diamonds.

70th Year - Platinum

Platinum is one of the rarest precious metals around, as is the ability to reach 70 years of marriage. This is a milestone that is more like a 70-milestone, showcasing just how important this anniversary is.

You’ve spent 70 years married and committed to your spouse.

It’s a lifetime for most but to you, even 70 more years is not enough time to spend with the love of your life.

This being said, the rarity of this precious metal makes it the perfect gift to symbolize the 7 decades of happiness you’ve experienced with your spouse.

platinum ring

75th Year - Diamond (repeated)

Yes. The diamond is also the present that is gifted for the 75th year wedding anniversary. This is in accord with a tradition that began long before the diamond was the gift for the 60th anniversary.

These gemstones, besides being highly valuable, stand for the strength and affection you’ll continue to experience over the course of your marriage.

Diamonds are formed under pressure, much like a good marriage. This pressurization forms something that is so strong it is nearly impossible to break.


You’re in a marriage that you can expect to endure the test of time and with this in mind, it symbolizes the eternity of love you will share with one another.

Knowing what the wedding anniversary gifts by year are and the meanings behind them is important.

Marriages are built upon a foundation that lasts forever.

With wedding anniversary meanings being associated with these gifts, it’s no wonder that these traditional anniversary gifts have maintained their relevance throughout history!

Traditional Wedding Gift Ideas

Now that we’ve gone over what the wedding anniversary meanings are, continue on for some traditional anniversary gifts that go beyond satisfaction.