Wedding Anniversary Gifts by Year

There are times when it can be quite difficult to find the perfect gift. It is easy to get a bit of help when shopping for wedding anniversary gifts by year. The lists include items for each year of marriage and can help gift givers to narrow down their choices to the category that corresponds with each year.

There are two lists: a traditional wedding anniversary gift list and a modern wedding anniversary gift list. There is some overlap between the two, such as the 25th anniversary is silver on both lists and the 50th is gold. Below are the lists for both the traditional and the modern wedding anniversary gifts by year.

Traditional Wedding Anniversary Gifts by Year

1 Paper
2 Cotton
3 Leather
4 Linen or Silk
5 Wood
6 Iron
7 Copper
8 Bronze
9 Pottery
10 Tin
11 Steel
12 Silk
13 Lace
14 Ivory
15 Crystal
20 China
25 Silver
30 Pearl
40 Ruby
50 Gold
60 Diamond

Modern Wedding Anniversary Gifts by Year

1 Clock
2 China
3 Crystal
4 Appliances
5 Silverware
6 Wood
7 Desk Sets
8 Lace
9 Leather
10 Diamond Jewelry
11 Costume Jewelry
12 Pearls
13 Fur
14 Gold Jewelry
15 Watch
20 Platinum
25 Silver
30 Diamond
40 Ruby
50 Gold
60 Diamond


While these wedding anniversary gifts by year lists provide a starting point for your shopping, there is a lot of room for creativity within each category. Paper could be a scrapbook, a piece of art or even money. Fur could be a fur coat, or for those with a more humane mindset, a new puppy. Use the traditional or modern wedding anniversary gift lists as a jumping off point and then be creative to find the perfect gift.

What many people may not know is that there is also a list of flowers that correspond to the years a couple has been married. That list is below. It is a fun touch to include at least some of the appropriate year’s flowers in the décor or centerpieces.

Wedding Anniversary Flowers by Year

1 Carnation
2 Lily of the Valley
3 Sunflower
4 Hydrangea
5 Daisy
6 Calla Lily
7 Freesia
8 Lilac
9 Bird of Paradise
10 Daffodil
11 Tulip
12 Peony
13 Chrysanthemum
14 Dahlia
15 Rose
20 Aster
25 Iris
30 Lily
40 Gladiolas
50 Yellow Rose

Some ideas for how to incorporate the flowers include using the appropriate flowers in table centerpieces and corsages. You could also give a small flowering plant or bud vase to each party guest as a favor. Seed packets in a small clay pot will also make a wonderful wedding anniversary party favor.

Shopping for gifts from the lists for wedding anniversary gifts by year is not a requirement, but it is yet another way to mark how very special the occasion is to the couple and to those who love them. As mentioned above, by adding your own creativity, you will be able to find a gift within each category that is perfect for the recipients.

The Best Wedding Anniversary Gift Ideas

When it comes to wedding anniversary gift ideas, it can be tough to come up with ideas that will draw the desired response from the recipient. What makes the “best” gift for each person will, of course, be determined by their taste and desires. Still, there are some ideas that you can use for inspiration.

Traditional Gifts

There is a sort of built in cheat list for anniversary gift ideas and that is the list of traditional wedding gift items. This is a list that gives a type of gift for each anniversary. For example, the 25th anniversary is silver and the 50th is gold.

There is also a modern version of this list. It is the same idea as the original, but the items on the list have been updated.

When you use this list for inspiration, it will often require a bit of creativity on your part. For example, the traditional gift for a 2nd anniversary is cotton. That doesn’t mean that you should wrap up some freshly picked cotton. Instead, you could purchase a beautiful quilt to mark the occasion.

A Wish List

Another source of inspiration for the best anniversary gift ideas is the wish list of the recipient. This does not mean that the recipient would have written wish list. Instead this idea requires you to listen to hints that may be dropped throughout the year.

One man overheard his mother say that she wished they had wedding videos back when she got married. While he could not deliver an actual wedding video, he did take his parent’s wedding album and had the photos turned into a video, complete with music and comments from the couple’s children.

If you pay attention during the year, and then jot down anything that you think might be a gift idea down the road, you will almost always be able to come up with a gift that is a winner.

Touching Gifts

Anniversaries are a celebration of one of the most important days in two people’s lives. For this reason, it is always appropriate to try and find wedding anniversary gift ideas that are touching. Certainly, the example above would fall into this category.

Other ideas include flying in a family member from far away to join in the anniversary celebration, having damaged wedding photos fully restored or creating a scrapbook of the couple’s years together.

No Limits

As you can see from the above examples, you do not have to spend a fortune to buy an anniversary gift that will be meaningful to the recipients. That being said, if you do have a big budget, there are plenty of options for you.

Consider purchasing the lucky couple a cruise, or another type of dream vacation. One woman bought her parents the new living room furniture that they had their eyes on for a while.

As mentioned above, the best wedding anniversary gift ideas are not the same for every person. Whether you have a huge budget or a tiny one, with a little thought, you’ll be able to find the perfect anniversary gift.

Common Wedding Anniversary Traditions

Wedding anniversary celebrations are a way to mark the passing of the years as a couple spends their lives together. Unlike a wedding, which is celebrating something new, an anniversary celebration is intended to tie each year together as the couple marks the passage of time. One way to do that is by including some common wedding anniversary traditions in the celebrations.


One of the most well-known wedding anniversary traditions is the giving of gifts based on certain items meant to mark a particular year. For example, the first anniversary is traditionally the paper anniversary. The second anniversary is traditionally cotton.

Of course, like all good traditions, they are subject to updates. Along with the traditional gift list is a modern gift list. Using the same examples as above, the modern gift for a first anniversary is a clock and for the second anniversary is china. It is perfectly fine to choose a gift from either the traditional gift list or the modern gift lists.


Another very common wedding anniversary tradition is to have a cake. Often, the cake is in the tiered style of a wedding cake, but this is not necessary. Cakes are part of many celebrations, but at a wedding anniversary party, they often play much the same role as they did at a wedding. That is that the couple will feed the cake to each other as part of the wedding anniversary tradition.

For milestone anniversaries, a very nice touch is to order a cake that looks similar to the couple’s wedding cake. This is a very special way to bring the moment of the wedding together with the celebration of the anniversary.

Personal Traditions

While the above traditions are certainly special and important, the personal traditions that each couple and family establishes throughout the years are even more important. It is these personal traditions that will become precious memories to both the couple and their family. Below are a few examples.

Relive the Day
One couple spent some time on each wedding anniversary looking at their wedding pictures. They would take the time to really dwell on the day and talk about their favorite memories. Today, many couples have video of their wedding day, so they could actually watch the video, or part of it, on each anniversary.

New Picture
Another couple started a tradition very early in their marriage of having a professional photo taken on or around each wedding anniversary. They used the pictures to line one wall in a hallway, and added a new picture every year. When visitors are in their home, they can view the couple – from wedding day to present day – with just a walk down the hall.

Your personal traditions can be something silly or meaningful. The point of a tradition is not so much the tradition itself, but just that you know that this one thing will be the same as you celebrate each wedding anniversary.

With the similar thread of wedding anniversary traditions running through the years, you will tie the years together.