• 02/24/2023

Traditional Anniversary Gifts by Year: Creative Ideas


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Married couples have been exchanging gifts on their anniversary for centuries, which is where traditional anniversary gifts by year come from. Your relationship with your spouse gradually grows stronger with each anniversary, and so do the materials in traditional gift ideas. Here are the traditional anniversary gifts by year with updated modern counterparts and ideas that you can gain inspiration from. 

First Anniversary: Paper

Marriage is intense–it’s hard work to commit and continue to choose someone every day for the rest of your life. It’s challenging to stay and work on things that come between you or try to weaken your bond. It’s worth it–but it’s still hard. 

Paper is fragile but can be preserved and last a lifetime if it’s taken care of properly, like your first year of marriage. The modern first-anniversary gift is a clock, which symbolizes a love that lasts forever. Get crafty with these symbolic ideas by creating a photo album, a custom illustration of a clock marking your first anniversary or lyrics to your first dance in a frame. 

Second Anniversary: Cotton

Cotton is one of the most versatile traditional anniversary gifts by year. Since cotton is flexible, it represents a stronger bond than paper and shows connectedness between you and your spouse. Your second year of marriage is more accessible than your first as you find your footing and settle into your new life together. 

You can get creative with cotton in many ways, like purchasing clothing or a bathrobe, a blanket or tapestry or customizing a pillowcase. China is the modern second-anniversary gift symbolizing strength and gentle delicacy. You can get a ceramic gift mug for your spouse or a trinket tray to incorporate china into your gift. 

Third Anniversary: Leather

Leather is the traditional third-anniversary gift. It’s a durable fabric that looks even better when weathered, much like a marriage. Leather generates phenomenal gift ideas like journals, bags, belts, keychains, watch bands, bracelets or nice wallets. 

Engraved cufflinks are an excellent gift idea or some leather high heels. The modern gift for the third wedding anniversary is crystal or glass. You can gift your spouse a beautiful glass, crystal bowl or figurine that reflects light and symbolizes your bright future together. 

Fourth Anniversary: Fruit or Flowers

The fourth traditional anniversary gift ideas are fruit or flowers. Fruit and flowers both signify a relationship that is in full bloom. You could create a fruit bouquet or basket for your spouse or send them flowers to work. Surprising your spouse with indoor plants are a thoughtful way to show love that comes with myriad benefits like cleaning your air and boosting creativity. 

The modern fourth-anniversary gift comes in the form of home staples. Appliances are sturdy, a significant investment and last as long as you take care of them properly, much like a marriage. Your marriage is maturing and ripening by your fourth anniversary and you want to ensure you are spending enough time with one another. For an extra sentimental gift, consider incorporating blue topaz, the gemstone associated with the fourth year of marriage. 

Creative Traditional Anniversary Gifts 

Anniversary gifts are a way to celebrate and honor your marriage and how long you’ve been together. Utilize these traditional anniversary gifts by year ideas for inspiration as you choose a gift for your special someone this year and for years to come. 

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