Buying the Right Wedding Anniversary Gift

Ideas for the First Five Years

Gift boxes
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The basics of a wedding anniversary seem simple: remembering how long you've been married and the wedding date. However, many people lose sight of the annual reason to celebrate their special day. Using a yearly observation is a great way to reminisce on the past and your relationship—plus, it's an opportunity to offer each other a day of gift-giving and love. However, what to buy for a specific anniversary depends on the date. Luckily, there are traditional and modern gifts that are recommended for each year with special meanings behind each present idea.​

Celebrate Your First Wedding Anniversary

Traditionally, the first wedding anniversary gift should be made out of paper. The symbolism around paper is that it's fragile and withstanding, similar to the first few years of marriage. Couples can go simple with a bouquet of beautiful pink carnations, which represents a youthful and passionate love, or they can frame written love letters and put them on display around the home as a reminder of your relationship. Personal letters can be placed in a closet or the master bedroom for privacy.

The modern version of the first anniversary gift has a theme around clocks, which represents how fast the first year of marriage goes by. Remind yourselves of how precious your time is together with a stationary or wall clock. Personalize it as much as possible to make it truly unique to your relationship.

Second Anniversary

The traditional gift for a second anniversary is made with cotton. Cotton represents a combination of comfort and strength. Whether you get some fabulously comfortable high thread count cotton sheets or a simple cotton fragrance, this gift idea will provide a sense of interconnection, like the threads of cotton woven together.

A modern take on the second-anniversary gift is china. Simply place a flower bouquet full of cosmos and lily into a china vase. These flowers represent liveliness and playful love, while china and porcelain symbolize delicacy and resilience in relationships. Use one of these materials to acknowledge the strength and frailty in your marriage.

Third Anniversary

Leather is the traditional gift for the third-anniversary gift. This is because leather represents security and sense of touch. Additionally, the material is durable and flexible, as your marriage must be over time. Reaffirm how much you value these kinds of qualities in your spouse with leather anniversary gifts that last a lifetime. Consider personalized wallets, belts, jackets, and journals.

The contemporary take on the third anniversary is a gift made out of crystal or glass. Because of the way it reflects beautiful light, crystal and glass represent beauty and reflection. You can find gorgeous gifts like candle holders, vases, wine glasses, and jewelry in these kinds of materials.

Fourth Anniversary

Traditional fruit or flowers is an appropriate fourth-anniversary present. At this point, your relationship has blossomed as a couple, so flowers make sense. You can get low-cost floral arrangements, potted flowering plants, or edible bouquets. More costly options might include a special trip to a garden or nature conservatory. You could always go for a modern take, like a cappuccino maker or other gourmet appliance, for a long-lasting gift.

Fifth Anniversary

Your fifth-anniversary gift is traditionally made out of wood. You can gift anything from bonsai plants to wood-scented candles with this option. If you want something more expensive, you can get a nice piece of wood furniture, like a bed or love seat. Smaller sentimental gifts like wooden art carvings or jewelry boxes could work as well. If wood just isn't your thing, go for the modern silverware gift. Consider a silver candle snuffer, corkscrew, or dollar coin.