Couples use wedding anniversaries to stop and celebrate the commitment they have made to one another.
Traditionally, there is a particular gift for every anniversary milestone – and most people follow this.
A first wedding anniversary is called a paper anniversary, which means an item made of or relating to paper should be gifted.
For the Ruby anniversary, marking 40 years of marriage, give a bottle of red wine, a bunch of red roses or ruby jewellery – while the Gold anniversary, at 50 years of marriage, requires a gift of sparkling wine with golden flakes, or gold jewellery.
This tradition, for gifts correlating with years of marriage, has been around since 1937 when the Jewellers of America released a set list of designated gifts connected to anniversary names.
Over time the list of traditions has changed from country to country, and many deem this lack of continuity to make the lists redundant.
However, it is still common-place for a person to follow their country’s set of gift traditions.
Below is the widely followed list of wedding anniversary names and gift suggestions:
Year one – Paper: Tickets to a mutually-enjoyable event, or a meaningful book.
Year two– Cotton: Clothing, a hat or scarf.
Year three – Leather: Shoes or a handbag.
Year four – Silk: Silk sheets or accessories like a tie or scarf.
Year five – Wood: A new piece of furniture.
Year six – Iron: Cast-iron pans or a wrought-iron garden chair.
Year seven – Copper: Copper home accessories or cookware.
Year eight – Bronze: Bronze home accessories.
Year nine – Pottery: A vase, bowl or pottery display-dishes.
Year 10 – Tin: Nice tins for baked goods, or a jewellery tin.
Year 15 – Crystal: Crystal wine or spirit glasses.
Year 20 – China: Fine bone china teacups or dinner sets.
Year 25 – Silver: Jewellery or a silver spirit flask.
Year 30 – Pearl: Pearl necklace or other jewellery.
Year 35 – Coral: Decorative coral piece for the home.
Year 40 – Ruby: A bottle of red wine, a bunch of red roses, or ruby jewellery.
Year 45 – Sapphire: Sapphire jewellery.
Year 50 – Gold: A bottle of sparkling wine with golden flakes, or jewellery.