Are traditional wedding anniversary gifts a thing of the past?

When it comes to wedding anniversary gifts, we all know it’s silver for 25 years and gold for 50 years but when looking for anniversary gifts for your spouse are traditional gifts a thing of the past?

I remember the excitement of buying a gold anniversary present for both mine and Hubby’s grandparents. We didn’t stretch to buying them gold ourselves and went for some personalised engraved glassware and a personalised porcelain plate, although we know they treated each other to something more traditional.

Times have changed though. Many people don’t get married, or marry after having children and we are no exception. Hubby and I have been together for eighteen years, however only married for twelve whereas in my grandparents era it was usual for them to marry at a younger age.


The traditional and modern materials relating to each wedding anniversary, progress from the weakest to the strongest as the years go by, to symbolise the strengthening of the relationship, but many of them are outdated by today’s standards and I am not sure I would be too impressed to receive some of the gifts on this list!

1st Anniversary: Paper

2nd Anniversary: Cotton

3rd Anniversary: Leather

4th Anniversary: Fruit or flowers

5th Anniversary: Wood

6th Anniversary: Sugar

7th Anniversary: Wool

8th Anniversary: Bronze

9th Anniversary: Pottery

10th Anniversary: Aluminium

11th Anniversary: Steel

12th Anniversary: Silk

13th Anniversary: Lace

14th Anniversary: Ivory

15th Anniversary: Crystal

20th Anniversary: China

25th Anniversary: Silver

30th Anniversary: Pearl

35th Anniversary: Jade

40th Anniversary: Ruby

45th Anniversary: Sapphire

50th Anniversary: Gold

55th Anniversary: Emerald

60th Anniversary: Diamond

70th Anniversary: Platinum

For a start, one of the traditional gifts is illegal these days with the trading of Ivory banned in the UK. Plus, there is no way I would want anything that resulted in an elephant losing its life in my house.

Some of the gift ideas you could add a modern twist to, as there are some great personalised gifts to find these days. For example, for travel lovers you could get a wooden luggage tag for their 5th anniversary or perhaps go modern or get a candy floss maker for their 6th?

create gift love

The other question is, do people still give gifts for anniversaries?

The most we do is sent a card to friends and family and even that has waned these days. We only ever receive cards for ours from the kids (and that is a bit hit and miss) and our respective parents. We don’t buy each other gifts either as our anniversary dates falls within a three weeks of both of our birthdays so we tend to get each other a pressie that covers all bases.

So tell me, do you expect a gift on your wedding anniversary or do you not bother at all?

10 thoughts on “Are traditional wedding anniversary gifts a thing of the past?”

  1. We started off following this for the first few years and we did buy some nice things for us and our house, but sadly it went by the wayside. Worth doing I think if you can.

  2. We dont really bother at all and sometimes havent even sent cards to each other lol When we were first together though we were adamant that we would follow each of these every year but you soon realise living together you buy what you want when you want anyway lol

  3. I honestly believe our generation will be struggling to reach a Golden anniversary due to marrying later and higher divorce rates.

    I know when I was married we didn’t buy gifts apart from our first anniversary and apart from parents we didn’t get cards either.

  4. We always buy gifts and I try to link it in with the traditional gifts (or failing that the more modern wedding anniversary gifts). We were 15 years last year which was crystal. So I got the husband some bath crystals lol, he did also get an Apple watch as the modern gift for 15 years was ‘watch’ Feel a little sad I have to wait another 5 years to get to 20 now x

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