Wedding anniversaries have been traditionally celebrated since the middle ages. The idea of gift giving for commemorative occasions has become more popular, with more anniversary years being celebrated, since the turn of the century. Most of the gift themes are precious stones and metals, though the personality and age of the recipient will vary the gift greatly.
Traditionally, the first year is the paper anniversary. A more modern custom is plastic, while pansies are the flower for the one-year celebration.
Traditionally, a gift of cotton is given for year two. Modern tradition combines cotton with the pattern of calico. China is also an acceptable gift for year two.
The third year is traditionally celebrated with leather. Modern custom has stayed true to this tradition; however, crystal and glass are also acceptable gifts.
Fruit and flowers are a traditional gift for year four. Modern custom adds linen, silk and nylon to the list of gifts. The geranium is the flower to give for year four.
Wood is both the traditional and modern choice for gift giving in year five. Silverware or daisies are also acceptable gifts for the fifth year.
Years Six to Ten
Traditionally, candy is given for year six, while copper and wool are given for year seven. Bronze is a traditional gift for year eight and pottery is given for year nine. Year ten is traditionally celebrated with a gift of tin, and modern custom gives aluminum. A diamond or daffodils are also acceptable gifts for year ten.
Years 11 to 15
For year 11, steel and jewelry are traditionally given. Silk and linen are the gifts to give for celebrating the 12th year, while lace is given for the 13th. For the 14th year, give the gift of ivory. For the 15th year, crystal is traditional, while modern custom dictates a similar gift in glass.
Years 20, 25 and 30
China is traditionally given for a 20-year anniversary. Platinum and day lilies are also acceptable. Silver is traditional for the monumental 25th year, while pearls are given for the 30th year of marriage.
Years 35, 40, 45, 50 and 55
For the 35th year, give coral, jade or emerald. Year 40 traditionally means the gift of a ruby, while modern tradition says to give a garnet. Year 45 is celebrated with sapphires. The 50th anniversary is the golden anniversary, while year 55 is emerald.
Years 60 to 75
For the remaining anniversaries of 60, 65, 70 and 75, tradition dictates the gift of diamonds, while modern tradition gives the gift of gold.