Anniversary Gifts By Year
Anniversary Gifts By Year: Celebrate Your Milestones With These Traditional Presents
Some historians speculate that the practice of giving themed anniversary gifts dates back to the Middle Ages, but the evidence for such a storied legacy is scant. While it’s certainly possible that traditional anniversary gifts by year can be traced back that far – at least for the major milestones – there is better evidence to suggest that things really got rolling in the 19th century. This is when we see proof that German culture had embraced the idea of anniversary presents, and it is certainly the first time we see specifically-themed gifts as part of the historical record: For instance, a wealthy couple’s friends might bestow a silver wreath upon them as part of a 25-year celebration.
Why not take seriously claims that these themed gifts date back earlier – to before the Renaissance or, as some have suggested, all the way back to the Holy Roman Empire?
Well, for one thing, the idea of marrying for love is a fairly modern one, believe it or not. It was not until the 1800s in Victorian England that the principle of marrying for status and wealth was abruptly replaced by the trend of marrying your heart’s desire – and it was only then that it became fashionable to give heartfelt gifts to your betrothed. Now, of course, the idea of marrying for any reason other than love is an odd one in Western culture, and these gifts have become commonplace.
Now that we have a better idea of when anniversary gifts as a concept were popularized, what about the specific and comprehensive “anniversary gifts by year” lists that we now see all the time? Well, silver for the 25th and gold for the 50th have a long history, but when you dig beyond that, you get to the late 1800s and, indeed, the 20th century before you begin to see the list take shape. And even though these lists have only been around for a little over a hundred years, they have been subject to transformation during that time – and those have included some oddballs – for instance, the Chicago Public Library invites you to give the gift of “groceries” to your beloved spouse on your 44th anniversary.
We don’t have any groceries in our list of anniversary gifts by year, but we’re sure we have something your spouse will adore on the big day! Plenty to choose from monogrammed gifts to engraved gifts.
1st Anniversary – Paper
The first anniversary is a very special occasion, not only because your marriage lasted through that sometimes-rough first year but because you get to be a little bit creative with your presents. Notebooks, origami, personalized stationary – all of these and more fit the traditional anniversary gifts by year template. And while any of these would make for a terrific gift, we like this Forever & Always Photo Wine Label. It lets you take an ordinary bottle of wine and turn it into an instantly-customized gift. The wine may be gone by midnight, but the special bottle could earn a place in your collection forever.
2nd Anniversary – Cotton
The second anniversary gift is cotton, which represents hope for prosperity and abundance in the future. What better wish to make as a young married couple just getting their sea legs underneath them? We like this We Do + Names + Date Tote for a 2nd anniversary present for a number of reasons, its customizability not the least of them. The writing on the outside of the bag makes it clear that this is a functional monument to the day you took each other, to love and to cherish, for better or for worse. Not to mention: Totes are endlessly useful and eminently stylish. A great gift!
3rd Anniversary – Leather
You may not think that a wallet is the most romantic gift in the world, but that’s only because you haven’t seen this beauty. This Bride & Groom Initials Wallet puts your relationship front and center, embossing your initials on the front of a handsome leather cover. Every time he (or she) pulls out their wallet to make a purchase, it will remind them of the special person they have waiting for them at home. The best gifts – anniversary or otherwise – are those that combine form with functionality, and you don’t get more functional than a wallet that you use every day. Besides, we love the idea of pushing the boundaries of “acceptable” anniversary gifts by year – that’s where the fun and surprise come in!
4th Anniversary – Fruit and Flowers
Are we cheating a little with this idea? Perhaps, but what are you going to put in a champagne flute if not…champagne? Is not champagne made with grapes? Are grapes not fruit? Can we ask enough questions to get ourselves out of this conundrum? Seriously, though, this Set of 2 Anniversary Year Toasting Flutes sets you both up nicely for a 4th anniversary that you’ll remember forever thanks to the customizable etching on the glasses themselves. A beautiful monument to your enduring marriage and yes, we think it fills the “fruit” obligation quite nicely.
5th Anniversary – Wood
Speaking of wine, it’s time for the 5th anniversary, and we can think of no better wooden gift than this Love Birds Wine Box. We know, we know, this list is getting a little wine-heavy, right? But a wedding anniversary is a time of great merriment and celebration, and nothing says celebration like a nice bottle of wine. Now, this gift is a nice way to deliver a bottle of wine on your 5th anniversary, but it also makes for a great present to set up at the wedding itself. Put the wine and love letters to each other in a wine box ceremony when you get married, and then open it all up on your 5th anniversary to remember the love you had for each other on that memorable day.
6th Anniversary – Iron
Let’s face it, there are very few modern gifts that really scratch the “iron” itch that this anniversary demands. We warn you: Getting your wife an iron for your 6th anniversary isn’t going to go over well (unless she specifically asked for one…and even then, you’re taking a chance). So what then? Should you get your husband a blacksmithing kit? How about taking a twist on the old idiom, “Too many irons in the fire” and give the gift of terrific outdoor grilling? This Custom Text BBQ Set may not literally satisfy the iron requirement, but great gifts are born when you use a little bit of creative license. That’s what we think, anyway.
7th Anniversary (Modern – Desk Sets)
Instead of going with the traditional gift of wool or copper on your seventh anniversary, we recommend updating to the “modern” gift of desk sets. And for that, we have this stately Times New Roman Font Name Plate that is certain to add professionalism and style to any office décor. Whether you’re outfitting your corner suite in a high rise or sprucing up your home office, this name plate turns an ordinary desk into a seat of power and authority.
8th Anniversary – Bronze
Who doesn’t love a delicious piece of cake on their anniversary? You can easily turn a beautiful cake into a proper celebration of your 8th anniversary with this Always & Forever Cake Topper, which is gorgeously designed with a heart and scrolling font. This topper is available with a duranodic bronze finish, tying it in nicely with our anniversary gifts by year theme. Granted, this is specifically designed to be a “wedding cake” topper, but don’t let that dissuade you – this is perfect for commemorating your eight special years together.
9th Anniversary – Willow/Wicker/Pottery
Willow and pottery represent the 9th anniversary for a simple reason: Both materials are flexible and easily shaped into something beautiful – just like a long-lasting relationship. A marriage achieves its greatest strength when two people come together to become one, a phenomenon that can only happen when both partners are flexible enough to give up some of themselves to put the relationship first. Pay homage to this enduring idea with this intricate Always and Forever Wood Sign that can hang on the wall as an ongoing tribute to your durable and successful marriage.
10th Anniversary – Tin or Aluminum
Tin or aluminum is used for the 10th anniversary present because these material symbolize longevity and durability. Incidentally, that’s exactly why we’ve chosen this Craft Brew Growler as our choice for this milestone year. If your husband or wife is a craft beer enthusiast – or if they enjoy brewing a batch of homebrew themselves every now and then – this growler is a must. This insulated container will keep beer fresh long beyond any other secondary option, making it the perfect receptacle for a home brew or a sample from the local microbrewery. Craft beer is special because it simply tastes better than mass-marketed ales; using this well-crafted growler will ensure that it stays that way from the first pour to the last.
15th Anniversary – Crystal
In the pantheon of anniversary gifts by year, crystal earns its spot at #15 by acting as a symbol for the sparkling love between a man and a woman. We can think of no better way to commemorate this once-in-a-lifetime occasion than with this Names in Circle Whiskey Decanter Set which livens up scotch, whiskey, and bourbon with a touch of sophistication. This set is a terrific gift under any circumstances, but the customizable etching makes it a beautiful anniversary present. With your individual names encircling your family name, the message is unmistakable: This love is eternal and undying.
20th Anniversary – Porcelain
Let’s face it: You don’t make it 20 years in a marriage without a sense of humor. Hopefully, by the time you reach this milestone occasion, you and your significant other still find time to enjoy some belly laughs. We love this “Marriage: An Endless Sleepover With Your Favorite Weirdo” Coffee Mug because it doesn’t take itself too seriously. If you can look at every day of your relationship in the same way, chances are you’ll be able to endure even the toughest punches life has to throw your way.
25th Anniversary – Silver
The example picture for this next product happens to feature the frame in wood, but if you choose the silver option, this Anniversary Year and Date Picture Frame makes a fantastic gift idea for your 25th anniversary celebration. Silver represents hope and unconditional love, two aspects of a healthy, long-lasting marriage. It is also said to provide a mirror to the soul, helping us to see others as we see ourselves. This is the bottom-line meaning of empathy, and that’s exactly what it takes to make it through the trials and tribulations of a long relationship.
30th Anniversary – Pearl
The pearl as a gem represents hidden knowledge. Buried as it is within an oyster’s shell, the pearl is easily transposed into a metaphor for those layers of a person that you can only peel back and discover through a lifetime of love and curiosity. What do you call that if not an adventure? This You Are My Greatest Adventure Puzzle sings in harmony with that message, and you can use any image you want to customize it to your specifications. Perhaps a picture of pearls, just to match the moment? We love it!
35th Anniversary – Coral
The 35th traditional anniversary gift leaves the door wide open for both creativity and interpretation. Clothing, bedding, towels, signs, jewelry – the sky’s the limit when it comes to finding coral-colored presents. We’d like to submit this Home Is Where Our Story Begins Pillow Case, completely customizable with the couple’s name and “established” date on the front. With hypnotizing sequins, this pillow case can be chosen in coral colors to fit the occasion. Plus: It’s just pretty!
40th Anniversary – Ruby
Congratulations on your 40th anniversary. A marriage that lasts this long deserves a grand celebration. This is a fantastic time to invite your friends, family members, and everyone else to come together and raise a glass to your enduring relationship. For the occasion, why not outfit the party with this Initials in Hexagon Wedding Sign in Clear Acrylic. We know, we know, it says “wedding sign,” but this intricately-designed sign works just as well for an anniversary party. Customize the sign with the date of your wedding and choose the color red to pay respect to the “ruby” ornamental tradition.
50th Anniversary – Gold
Did you know that you can get a congratulatory letter from the President of the United States on your 50th wedding anniversary? That’s how rare and special this milestone is. If you and your spouse have made it fifty years together, you have achieved an accomplishment that can only be celebrated with gold. If you’re looking for the right piece of jewelry for your beloved, we recommend this Wife Tiny Heart Necklace. Not only is it a lovely piece in its own right, it comes in a box with a fully-personalized message. Use this space to tell your wife just how much you’ve enjoyed your years together – a message that, if done right, will mean even more to her than the present itself. A great way to top off a monumental day.