Love was meant to be celebrated, especially love that stands the test of time. Surely, that must have been part of the reason Emily Post listed in her Blue Book of Social Usage in 1922, eight traditional anniversaries and the symbolic gifts which were for the most part widely known, which helped develop the larger anniversary lists commonly used today.
History lesson aside, it’s always an amazing feeling to celebrate love, and to thrive in it. For the purposes of this article, we’ll be delving into anniversary gift ideas by year, including some of the biggest anniversaries many couples choose to celebrate: like the 5th year wedding anniversary, 10th year, 15th year, 20th year, 25th year, and the big 40.
Each of these years has its own theme as you’ll discover, and each symbolic theme speaks to the love and dedication that propels couples forward in love, through the good times and bad.
Read on for some amazing gift ideas, and a deeper dive into the symbolic anniversary meanings!
In this article on the Sandals Blog:
The traditional 5th year anniversary gift, wood, has everything to do with durability and strength. This gift theme comes right on time as couples build their love and endurance for the years to come. There are many gift items you can get your spouse or another celebrating couple along this gift theme (or not) for a 5th anniversary celebration, and we’ve got some of the best ones below!
There will always be a reason to have a chill and sip party regardless of the guest list if you always have a supply of good wine and a great place to store it. This makes a wine rack an excellent 5th year anniversary gift, particularly one that’s engraved or includes a painted message of devotion! There are many styles of wine racks to choose from so you won’t have a hard time finding the perfect one for your honey, or another celebrating couple.
A gift of some fancy chefs knives just might help that celebrating couple increase their kitchen presence 10-fold, as they experiment with new recipes while testing out their new goodies. This gift is best if one or both people celebrating already has some experience in the kitchen. Price range varies for this selection, but it’s a definite win if you’re looking for a gift that will impress.
Expert tip: If you’re really looking to splurge on this gift, look into options like a handmade Japanese steel chef’s knife which can include features like a specialty carved wooden handle!
A sturdy, wooden salad bowl is the gift that can keep on giving as the years progress for any couple in love. If you’re gifting one of these, get a set with some really great serving spoons that will add to the appeal. You can find wooden salad bowls made out of material like olive wood, which smells amazing, even before any salad is tossed up!
Wooden frames come in all varieties, and you’ll be able to go as elegant or as artsy as you would like with this gift. Frames of this kind can be pricey if you’re buying more than one, so a gift that combines a couple of these will be well received!
Expert tip: If you’re getting wooden frames for your spouse, consider framing an old love letter that you can place in your bedroom or living room. You can combine this gift with a framed photo of the two of you!
If you’re looking for the perfect 5th year anniversary gift for a couple celebrating an anniversary, it’s a good idea to think about the things they enjoy before shelling out cash for an item you hope they’ll appreciate. If, for example, the celebrating couple are the type who appreciate good literature, you can gift them with a stylish wooden bookshelf which will give them more space to store their favourites!
Tin or aluminium are the traditional 10th year anniversary materials, and guess what? They’re a lot more exciting than you might think! As we’ve discovered, there’s tons of options when it comes to finding creative, romantic, and fun gifts along this theme. Read on if you still need more convincing!
You had to know it was coming. What fun would celebrating a 10th year wedding anniversary be without an aluminium cocktail shaker? Most cocktail shakers come in stainless steel material, so you may need to look around a bit for one specifically made of aluminium, but when you find it, it’ll be well worth being able to stick with the gift theme. To make this gift even more memorable, include some bar tools also made of aluminium.
An anniversary barbecue could be the most exciting thing on your agenda this year, especially if this includes grilling on a smoking new barbecue grill! Surprise your spouse with this gift, and while you’re at it, put plans in motion for a barbecue event that includes some friends and family, or just you two and the kids.
Do you and your significant other enjoy long, peaceful bike rides together? You can get a matching set for you both for your anniversary, or you can get a single upgrade for your spouse, which is sure to be appreciated. Some cool bike accessories also won’t hurt!
Tea can be a novelty anniversary gift idea that sticks right along with tradition if presented in the right manner. Get some pre-packed tins of tea, or create your own customised version that your spouse, or another celebrating couple, can add to their tea collection. Include various flavours and scents for a gift that’s as thoughtful as it gets!
As any gift selection highly depends on who you’re getting it for and their personality, think carefully about whether your spouse will appreciate something like a custom licence plate. You’ll know if they’re really into car customisation, or if they’ve perhaps mentioned it recently. The great thing about this gift is that you can get a custom licence plate made out of aluminium, which will really say something about your dedication to tradition and romance!
Exquisite crystal goes right along with the 15th wedding anniversary, as the traditional gift theme. This gift is said to symbolise a transparent and ever sparkling love, and there are many options to choose from along this theme. We’ve included some of the most popular below:
It’s hard to go wrong with jewellery, and you’ll have an even greater likelihood of satisfaction if your jewellery gift choice has something to do with crystal. If you’re shopping for your wife, go for something like a crystal Pandora charm (if she’s a collector), a crystal bracelet, crystal earrings, or even a crystal ring.
Add some style to your home bar that your spouse will love with the gift of a crystal decanter, and a set of matching glasses. Whether he likes whisky or brandy, you can include his favourite drink with this gift to really make an impression.
Nothing says celebration like champagne, and a new set of crystal champagne flutes will help ensure the celebrating couple kick starts their 15th year anniversary with a touch of elegance. This is a great gift for couples who love entertaining, or the love birds who enjoy sipping on mimosas on couples' nights in.
Express your undying love for your spouse with the gift of a beautiful crystal long-stemmed rose. If you choose to get this gift for your wife, she’ll be pleasantly surprised at your thoughtful devotion to tradition, even more so if you get one of the eye-catching versions available from Swarovski, and the like!
Any way you look at them, and in whatever they might be incorporated in, crystals are magnificent to look at. Raw crystals take this to another level, and this is one gift your wife will surely marvel at. In fact, you can purchase and choose to have your crystal gemstones framed, which will look amazing on your walls at home!
As far as anniversaries go, 20 years is quite the milestone! The 20th anniversary theme is china, which speaks to the delicacy and beauty of a well-watered union. As creativity would have it, china gifts go well beyond fancy dinner plates, though those are an option too! For those hoping to explore what’s on offer beyond the dining room, here’s some of the best 20th anniversary gift ideas around!
There’s no need to reinvent the wheel for this anniversary. For the sake of simplicity and satisfaction, why not for the sake of tradition, go for an exquisite china dinner set for a special celebrating couple? This gift will be one that surely will be appreciated and loved for years to come!
Every household needs a china tea set (or two) for the purposes of unwinding, and even entertaining. If you’re getting this as a gift, go for one that’s fancier than the average. You might even be able to source a set with platinum-coloured details, which will really seal the deal.
China jewellery will be an unexpected gift your wife might enjoy if she has an appreciation for unique and exotic jewellery. There are various pieces you can choose from, but even a simple pair of earrings will do for the surprise factor — plus they make an excellent conversation piece!
A china sake set can be a great gift for someone who really loves sake. If you get this for your spouse, they’ll be able to share something they really enjoy in the most authentic form with you or friends whenever they’d like.
Travelling to an international destination can really make you feel like you’re in a whole new world. If you can afford it, why not give your spouse or a special celebrating couple the chance to experience this feeling themselves, in a place like China for instance? This gift is a big give, but it just might be perfect for someone who has always wanted to go to China!
A gift of sterling silver goes a long way on a 25th anniversary as this precious metal is associated with the theme for this anniversary celebration. Sterling silver is known for many things, but above all, being able to stand the test of time. By year number 25, surely a marriage has stood firm, which is all the more reason to go the traditional gift route this time around!
Surely every woman loves a good purse mirror, and an intricate silver number will keep her looking sleek and polished in more ways than one. Options abound with this gift, including versions made with silver and mother of pearl, as well as simple, trendy, or vintage choices. Whatever you choose, make sure it’s (somewhat) comparable in beauty to the love of your life!
If you’re looking for a jewellery option that is understated yet elegant, silver is a good choice. Some of the top silver jewellery choices include lockets, bracelets, earrings, and rings. You can choose from simple to truly intricate pieces, most of which your wife will probably be able to wear every day if she chooses, due to the versatility of silver jewellery.
Get silver cufflinks if you’re looking for something stylish and functional that your love will even be able to wear on anniversary night. You can pair these with a well-tailored suit, or a shirt, for an anniversary present he’ll truly appreciate.
Wrist watches work for gift giving across the board, but for a 25th year anniversary, you’ll need to zero in on those with a body of stainless steel. It won’t be hard to find these, and you can even look around for options with silver dials which adds a bit of panache.
A silver-plated picture frame will really bring out that amazing picture you love of the two of you. You know the one; the one that reminds you of just how far you’ve travelled together on your journey of love. Or, you can have a fresh photo taken, and have that framed and gifted to your spouse. Either way, this is a gift that will be cherished for many years.
Dazzling, red and just as radiant, the 40th anniversary theme is associated with the ruby gemstone. Said to be reminiscent of a still burning love, there are quite a few ways you can incorporate this gemstone into your anniversary celebrations. Whatever your preference, you’re sure to find a ruby inspired gift item on our carefully compiled 40th anniversary gift idea list!
A gift of jewellery certainly has a way of making a person feel special, and what better way to say “I love you” on your ruby anniversary, than to gift your spouse with something in this category? Whatever item of jewellery you choose, make sure it’s something with a ruby pop that will really stand out in your spouse’s jewellery collection!
Even if your hubby already has a few pairs of cufflinks, a gift of special ruby cufflinks will help set the tone for a momentous anniversary together. On anniversary night, both of you will be able to throw on something amazing, and his outfit can include your carefully thought-out cufflinks!
The colour red and watches definitely go together, especially if you’re thinking about a sexy, red-faced wristwatch that your husband will be able to show off on anniversary day, and on other special occasions. This will be one accent piece he won’t be able to get enough of!
What better way to honour 40 years together, than to get your spouse something that reminds them of how precious they are in your eyes? A ruby coloured crystal vase will deliver this message effortlessly, especially if this gift includes flowers. Go for nasturtiums or roses, as these will help you stick even closer to the 40th year anniversary tradition!
Wearable options make for great anniversary presents, especially if your gift of choice is a ruby-red blazer that’s anything but ordinary. This gift is ideal for the man who loves to stand out in the crowd; you can get him a custom-tailored blazer that he’ll be able to wear on anniversary day, and whenever he likes!
A ReTie the Knot ceremony is a great way to commemorate your marriage and begin a new chapter of your lives together.
Nothing beats an all-inclusive holiday at a couples-only resort. Even better is an all-inclusive trip for the purposes of celebrating a wedding anniversary!
Sandals all-inclusive resorts are specifically designed for romance and are located on the most beautiful beaches in the Caribbean. Sandals anniversary packages include breakfast in bed on a night of your choice, lots of gourmet dining options, and romantic suites, including suites with private butler service, swim-up room, and Over-The-Water Bungalows.
This special trip can be an anniversary surprise, or something you two plan together. Either way, it’s bound to be unforgettable!
Not that you needed a reason to take off to paradise, but potential vow renewal plans considered… what better place to go than the Caribbean? Vow Renewal Packages are created so you and your spouse will be able to spend days on end rediscovering all the reasons you feel in love in the first place!
At Sandals Grenada you'll find an exotic island paradise where the intoxicating scent of spices and tropical blooms make a heady elixir for romance.
Anniversaries are truly special occasions, and as the years go by, going through gift ideas for the sake of tradition can be fun. It is something to be appreciated when a couple can remain steady through the years, and every year that they put their love first, and everything else after, will continue to be a reason to celebrate.