By: Faye Smith

Celebrating a couple’s love for each other no matter how long they have been married is a happy moment every year. You want to mark the special occasion with a gift they will love. With so many anniversary present ideas out there, it can get overwhelming. You might be the traditional sort who wants to present the couple with a classic wedding anniversary gift or they might be a modern pair who don’t care for tradition. Regardless, we’ve researched the history of anniversary years, put together an easy-to-read table of traditional and modern gifts and provided unique anniversary presents too! The next time you wonder about anniversary years, you’ve got our handy guide to refer to.

History of Anniversary Years and Gift Giving

It is believed exchanging gifts on an anniversary dated back to Ancient Rome or Medieval Germany. Neighbours and friends would present the wife with a silver wreath to celebrate 25th years of marriage to her husband. The wife would then give her husband a few silver leaves, symbolising their commitment to one another. A gold wreath would later be presented when they celebrated 50 years together.

The exchange of anniversary gifts in English-language regions did not begin until the 19th century when Queen Victoria reigned. It is said that this is timely because love became the reason for marriage rather than prosperity, inheritance and money. Most notably, 60 years of marriage became associated with diamonds due to Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee in 1897.

It wasn’t until the 20th century, however, that more anniversary years and gift ideas were created. Emily Post, an American author, wrote substantially about etiquette. In her book (aptly named “Etiquette”), published in 1922, she listed the anniversary years alongside small gift guides. As a result, these became the traditional wedding anniversary gifts we search for today. She created paper anniversary gifts and present ideas for every five years up until the 25th, concluding with 50th anniversary gift ideas.

In 1937, the American National Retail Jeweler Association expanded on her list by filling in the missing anniversary years between the first and 14th wedding anniversary. They also completed the wedding anniversary names in multiple of fives between the 25th and 50th anniversaries.

Since then, multiple authors have suggested and created anniversary names alongside traditional gifts for various anniversary years, including 80th and 90th anniversaries.

What are the Traditional and Modern Wedding Anniversary Gifts by Year

Anniversary YearUK Anniversary Name and Traditional Gift IdeasModern Anniversary Gift Ideas
1stPaperClock
2nd  CottonChina
3rdLeatherCrystal or Glass
4thLinenAppliances
5thWoodSilverware
6thUKSugar
7thWoolCopper or Wool
8thBronzeLinen or Lace
9thPotteryLeather
10thTinDiamond
20thChinaPlatinum
25thSilverSilver
30thPearlDiamond
40thRubyRuby
50thGoldGold
60thDiamondDiamond
70thPlatinumPlatinum
80thOakOak

Unique Presents for Different Anniversary Years

Whilst we love some tradition, Find Me a Gift revels in unique wedding anniversary gifts which will give the happy couple an unforgettable experience. We have experience days for couples, but our anniversary present ideas also include hilarious novelty gifts to provide love and laughter on their special day. Similarly, getting sentimental is something else Find Me a Gift cherishes. Explore our range of personalised keepsakes and jewellery gifts for anniversaries which encompass some traditional elements with a unique personal twist.

In Conclusion

It really depends on the loved up couple or other half you want to find an anniversary gift for. Their personality and enjoyment play a huge role in the types of anniversary gifts you want to find. If they are fans of tradition, it is best to stick to traditional wedding anniversary gifts; perhaps with a note of history behind their milestone anniversary. Nevertheless, for the more modern couple, any anniversary gift will be a welcome present, be it money, experience, or a sentimental gift to treasure. Plus, you’re not exactly going to give your wife a piece of paper to celebrate your 60th wedding anniversary, are you? A diamond for any year, however, will be appreciated nicely.