Gift Ideas for Wedding Anniversaries


When their anniversary date comes around, husbands and wives are sometimes at a loss, scampering for wedding anniversary gift ideas. Some people go with tradition while some prefer to do away with tradition altogether.

The good thing about going with tradition is that each wedding year symbolizes something, and based on that something, the gift can be bought and given. Type “wedding anniversary” on any search engine and you’ll get these for each year of wedded bliss:

  • First year: paper
  • Second year: cotton
  • Third year: leather
  • Fourth year: fruits and flowers
  • Fifth year: wood
  • Sixth year: candy or iron
  • Seventh year: wool or copper
  • Eighth year: bronze
  • Ninth year: pottery
  • Tenth year: tin or aluminum

Have you looked at that list and scratched your head, muttering, “how boring!” Yes, they are boring in a way but curiously, notice how the gifts get more exciting as the couple makes it beyond their 10th wedding anniversary.

For instance, on the 13th year of marriage, it is lace; on the 15th it is crystal; on the 20th it’s china, on the 25th it’s silver (of course); on the 30th it’s pearls and on the 50th it’s gold. No wonder the saying “it’s as good as gold.” A golden wedding anniversary is definitely something to write home about. Speak of solid, of class, and of love!

We think that whoever thought of these symbols deliberately left the goodies for the later years of marriage. The longer you stay married, the better the rewards are for being faithful to each other!

But to keep matters simple, let’s go with the first ten years of marriage and make those gift suggestions pronto!

Make each year count with a brilliant wedding annivesary gift!

First anniversary: paper


  • a picture frame made of paper maché,
  • a newspaper reproduction published on his or her date of birth with the headline “the Jones survive their first year!” or something like that,
  • a set of expensive personalized stationery with her/his name embossed
  • a rare book
  • a sepia photograph of you two
  • Japanese silk paper
  • a year’s subscription to her favorite magazine or paper
  • stock certificates (choose the company)
  • paper airline tickets to Kenya

Second anniversary: cotton


  • a pair of pants – 100% cotton
  • half a dozen of cotton underwear or shirts
  • a year’s supply of absorbent cotton
  • take her out for cotton candy and a movie
  • a picture book about cotton
  • a card that says “I love you because you’re so soft – like cotton.”

Third anniversary: leather


  • a leather bag / knapsack
  • a wallet made with 100% leather with $500.00 inside
  • a pair of the best Italian leather shoes
  • leather seats for her/his car
  • a leather key chain
  • leather boots
  • leather saddle (if he rides horses)
  • a leather case for her iPod or iPhone

Fourth anniversary: fruits and flowers

Suggestions: do we really need to suggest anything under this category? You can go all out and order some exquisite orchids, or exotic fruits that you can have flown in. If you’re giving her strawberries by the way, make sure you throw in chocolates. Or some pricey English cream.

Fifth anniversary: wood


  • a coffee table (100% oak of course)
  • a young tree
  • a guitar with a wooden body
  • a log cabin (if you can afford it)
  • a handmade Spanish fan made of wood and lace
  • a walk in the woods
  • a slab of wood with the words “Glad I married you” carved on it

Sixth anniversary: candy / iron


  • a jar of jelly beans
  • an ironing board (if she already has the iron) or an iron (if she already has the ironing board)
  • iron golf clubs
  • a bottle of iron supplements
  • a gift certificate to an upscale candy store

Seventh anniversary: wool / copper


  • a wool coat with matching wool gloves
  • copper jewelry
  • a woolen blanket
  • copper mug
  • cookie cutters made of copper
  • copper wind chimes
  • copper wine enhancer
  • wool gift tags

Eighth anniversary: bronze

  • bronze statue of yourself
  • bronze castings (choose your theme)
  • an antique bronze lamp
  • the Liberty Bell made of bronze (or the Maple Leaf made of bronze)

Ninth anniversary: pottery

Suggestions: again, do we really need to suggest any gift in this department? If she’s got enough pottery things at home, you can pay for her to take a pottery course; that is, if she’s into pottery.

If you do some research on pottery, you can use your imagination and buy any one of these:

  • a Kanika African sculpture (Kanika Marshall is an African artist who makes art pieces in her studio in Sacramento, California. She uses authentic African fabrics, and buys pieces of jewelry from Africans which she puts together. She also uses wooden beads, shells, metals and breast plates).
  • organic vases
  • wall sconces

Tenth anniversary: tin / aluminum


  • new aluminum siding for the terrace
  • a year’s supply of aluminum foil (only if she has a sense of humor)
  • tin containers for the kitchen
  • tin containers for his garage and workshop
  • personalized tin plaques

How about something unique? You know how newlyweds have those milk tins tied at the back of their wedding limo with ribbons saying “just married”? Why not get a dozen tins of milk and fancy ribbon and hang them from the ceiling of your bedroom with the words “10 years married and still kicking!”

Wedding anniversary gift ideas: the non-traditional way

Who says you need to follow tradition? Going with the symbolic gift for each year can cramp your style. You also run the risk that he or she may not like the gift. If you want to be practical, why don’t the two of you just go to a nice restaurant, have a sumptuous nice dinner with excellent wine and then after dessert, ask each other what you want as a gift?

We bet that after a few moments of hesitation, your spouse might blurt out, “make that cash!”

Why not? It may not be so romantic, but it is practical. That way you buy what you want.

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