What are the anniversary gifts for each year?

11 May 2020

Gift Experiences Gift Ideas

Celebrating your love on your wedding anniversary is a great experience, but how can you decide what to get them as a present?

If you have trouble remembering the date every year, you’ll never forget the actual experience of your wedding day. Whether it was a big, raucous event or a small, intimate celebration, your special day will be in your memories forever!

If you’ve got a wedding anniversary coming up and you’re looking to buy a gift, then you know that classic gifts like chocolate are an easy crowd pleaser – our anniversary gifts selection makes picking a chocolate gift all the more simpler!

But, if you’re looking for something a little different, or you want to start a yearly tradition, why not agree with your partner to start giving each other wedding anniversary gifts by year? Each year has a different material to give as a present, a tradition that dates back as far as the Middle Ages, but is still used today. We’ve broken down the years to give you some gift inspiration for future anniversary presents.

Wedding anniversary gifts by year

First anniversary: Paper

Book pages in heart shape

This might seem a strange material to give as a gift, but it represents a clean sheet for both of you to write your life story together on. It also acts as a warning; paper is a delicate material, and can easily be torn, showing that your marriage has just started and hasn’t yet stood the test of time.

Gift ideas

If you fancy yourself as an author, why not pen a short story of how you two first met, explaining how you felt and how happy you are that you’re still together? This can be kept safely and revisited from time to time to remind you of how your burgeoning romance became a marriage. If you’re creative in other ways, why not sketch a scene of you two together, or make an origami heart box or flower?

If your creativity is drawing a blank, why not give a gift experience voucher? It will come on a piece of paper, but means so much more – a special romantic evening tasting chocolate perhaps, or a relaxing spa session for the two of you.

Second anniversary: Cotton

Once you’ve made it to your second year, your marriage is stronger and, like cotton, it is both durable and versatile. Cotton represents strength; your marriage will have to stay strong even when presented with challenges but if this is achieved, your lives will become intertwined like the strands in a cotton sheet.

Gift ideas

Cotton gives you a lot more room to play with when it comes to anniversary gifts. Think about your loved one’s interests to give you some inspiration; if they’re an avid cook, a stylish cotton apron could be a good choice, or if they’re a proud plant parent, a macramé plant hanger could help them elevate their verdant children.

For some extra comfort in your lives, high-quality cotton sheets are perfect for relaxing into after a hard day. Nothing beats snuggling up in a comfy bed with clean sheets – ideal for an anniversary morning!

Third anniversary: Leather

leather couch anniversary gift

Durable and flexible, leather protects you from the elements, no matter the weather. Leather symbolises the security of three years spent together, and also represents how comfortable you have become with each other – well-worn leather moulds to you, just as your relationship moulds with your partnership.

Gift ideas

Choosing a long-lasting leather gift is a great way to get your partner something that will last for decades. A leather wallet or purse can be used every day, reminding them of your love on a daily basis.

To help them organise their day or to pen down ideas for a new story or venture, a leather-bound journal is the perfect practical present to give. Or, for a more personal present, why not give them a leather encased photo frame?

Fifth anniversary: Wood

Trees stand for decades, their roots firmly in the ground, ready to weather high winds and winter squalls. This represents the strength of your marriage after five years of ups and downs, giving you the knowledge that you can endure what life throws at you

Gift ideas

A solid, beautifully made wooden chopping board could be a perfect present for an avid cook, baker or cheese board-lover, and as good quality ones are expensive, it’s a great way to treat your other half.

Or, if they’re environmentally-conscious, why not get a bamboo keep cup for their daily coffee, or a bamboo watch; they’re durable but extremely lightweight!

Tenth Anniversary: Tin/Aluminium

Tin box anniversary present

Tin and aluminium do not rust. Aluminium does oxidise after time, but the oxidised aluminium creates an even harder outer coating, protecting the metal within. After a decade together, you will have gone through some difficult times, but this will only have made you stronger as a couple. The two metals are also easily malleable, showing how you can adapt to accommodate any changes in your life together.

Gift ideas

Aluminium and tin are often used for practical gifts as they are light and durable. Add a bit of sentimental value to an aluminium tin by filling it with photos and memories of your life together so far. If you’re both keen campers, why not get a pair of matching tin mugs for you to drink tea from together after waking up surrounded by nature?

Fifteenth anniversary: Crystal

A crystal gift represents the clear and sparkling love between a married couple. After a decade and a half of married life, you have no secrets and sparkle with love for each other. If crystal isn’t your thing, don’t worry – anything glass is also an option for this wedding anniversary gift.

Gift ideas

If they adore jewellery, then a crystal bracelet, necklace or earrings are a good idea, as they show how much you value your loved one. For something you can share, crystal glasses can help you drink your bubbly in style, or a crystal decanter will help you perfectly aerate your wine before quaffing.

Twentieth anniversary: China

blue and white china anniversary present

After two decades, you’ll notice that the traditional wedding anniversary gifts are growing in value. China is precious, but easily breakable, acting as a reminder that even after all these years, you still need to care for the other to keep your relationship strong; don’t take each other for granted or treat each other carelessly.

Gift ideas

For those who love an adventure, why not take a different interpretation of the anniversary gift and go on holiday to China together? Make new memories and remind each other of your lives together before you settled down.

A class china tea set is a classic gift for the twentieth wedding anniversary, but if you think it would just sit at the back of a cupboard collecting dust, why not keep it simple, like a fancy teapot that will go perfectly with your kitchen decor, or a matching teacup and saucer set so that they can drink their hot beverages in style.

Twenty-fifth anniversary: Silver

Classy, elegant and timeless, silver is a beautiful precious metal, representing how a quarter-century of life together has given your relationship new value.

Gift ideas

Silver jewellery is the classic gift for this wedding anniversary, and with the variety of silver accessories available you can find something that really suits their style. Go a little off-piste with a silver toering, or go more classic with a silver photo frame to remind you of one of your special moments together.

Thirtieth anniversary: Pearl

pearl necklaces anniversary gift

A pearl is made when a tiny piece of sand or rock gets into an oyster’s shell. Slowly, the oyster covers the intruder with layer after layer of nacre; the iridescent substance that the shell is made from. This process can take years, but ultimately creates a beautiful and unique pearl. This represents both the inner beauty of your relationship, but also the time and effort you have both gone into to care for each other.

Gift ideas

Pearl necklaces are romantic and classic, but earrings or cufflinks are an equally good choice. If you want to think outside of the box, mother of pearl is another material you can gift, either as a letter opener, plates or bowls, or even as a mother of pearl insert in a new pen.

Fortieth anniversary: Ruby

Glamorous ruby is the stone of love and passion, and the deep colour is representative of the complexities of your love for each other.

Gift ideas

Ruby lends itself to jewellery, but you can also get a bit more creative by gifting other things with the same deep red colour. A gift of our rich and spicy vintage red wine could be a good gift (it pairs perfectly with chocolate), or creating a special cocktail for you both along the lines of a negroni or a manhattan to give it that rich colour.

Fiftieth anniversary: Gold

Gold bars wedding anniversary gift

Gold has been treasured for its beauty for millennia; the Mayans and Aztecs adorned their royalty with it and the Ancient Egyptians believed gold was an indestructible and heavenly metal. Even now, gold has retained its value in society and, as an anniversary gift, it is a celebration of your timeless and still beautiful marriage.

Gift ideas

After half a century together, you might be running out of ideas for wedding anniversary gifts, but gold jewellery will never go amiss. If you want to splash out a bit more to celebrate your fiftieth, why not visit Colombia’s Gold Museum, and see the beautiful sites of the country, from Cartagena’s sparkling beaches to the coffee-covered hills of the Andes?

Sixtieth anniversary: Diamond

The term diamond comes from the greek word adamas, which means invincible. It’s earned this name for a good reason; diamond is currently regarded as the hardest known material in the world. As a wedding anniversary gift, this represents the strength of your marriage – after sixty years, you have weathered the storms of life and have come out the other side hand in hand.

Gift ideas

Just as it is traditional to give a diamond as an engagement ring, it’s also customary to give diamond jewellery as a gift for your sixtieth wedding anniversary. For a classic gift with a memorable twist, why not treat your loved one to a diamond ring making workshop, so that they can create a unique piece of jewellery to treasure forever.

We know that, after a while, it’s harder to think of creative and individual wedding anniversary gifts. Hopefully, these anniversary gifts by year have given you a little inspiration on how you can make them feel special on your anniversary.

We know we’re biased, but we think each of these gifts could be supplemented with a luxurious box of chocolates – because what is a celebration without something delicious to eat? Our H-box and Sleekster chocolate boxes come with a free “Happy Anniversary” sleeve, so that you can make sure they feel special, no matter how many chocolates you’ve already eaten from the box!

However you decide to celebrate, all of us at the Hotel Chocolat team wish you a very happy wedding anniversary!