Determining an appropriate wedding anniversary gift can be difficult. Thankfully, there are a few guides you can use to help you find a special item for your spouse such as the traditional flower associated with that year, the material that matches the year, or the gemstone for that milestone.
Take a closer look at the traditional anniversary flowers that are associated with major milestone wedding anniversaries.
Pansy (First Anniversary)
A pansy is a small, delicate flower, much like a newlywed couple. The beginning of a marriage can be very delicate. This plant only grows once a firm foundation is established. A potted plant of pansies is an appropriate first wedding anniversary gift.
Cosmos (Second Anniversary)
Representing the second anniversary, the cosmos is a sublime flower of unique and intense beauty. The cosmos symbolizes not what love should be, but instead the even more powerful love that exists uniquely in this second year of marriage.
Fuschia (Third Anniversary)
Most people know fuschia as a vivid purplish red color, which was named after the color of the flower of the fuchsia plant. The beautiful bell-like flowers now come in other colors blooming in white, pink, red, purple, or various combinations. So, if you were thinking of giving your love third-anniversary earrings, instead consider these "Earrings of the Queen," a common nickname for these flowers.
Geranium (Fourth Anniversary)
The vibrant and colorful geranium is a flower that perfectly celebrates four years living as one. The familiar geranium symbolizes the comforting beauty of the recognizable, while also adding unexpected texture and color that reveal the many great surprises still to come.
Daisy (Fifth Anniversary)
The structure of a daisy is symbolic of the intense bond of a married couple of five years and all their shared experiences. The big round center is the foundation—two living as one—and each of the petals is the expansion and growth. The daisy has come to represent fidelity. While the daisy appears to be a simple flower, its beauty is apparent to those who look closely.
Calla Lily (Sixth Anniversary)
The elegant and sophisticated calla lily symbolizes all the unique ways love has grown and developed over six years. Legend has it that the calla lily has its own magical light source inside it, which radiates upwards. The sixth anniversary is a moment to reflect upon the internal illumination that the marriage produces.
The jack-in-a-pulpit is a wildflower which blooms in the spring in wet, wooded areas. It symbolizes shelter and representing the home as well as the safety and protection that two people provide each other in their marriage.
Clematis (Eighth Anniversary)
The clematis, a flower in the buttercup family that has a Chinese and Japanese origin, is a beautiful climber which traditionally marks intellect and cleverness and symbolizes the cognitive connection between two minds in a marriage.
Poppy (Ninth Anniversary)
The ornate poppy symbolizes imagination, extravagance, eternal sleep and oblivion and these qualities all lead to a peaceful existence, contentment, and the pursuit of common dreams in a marriage.
Daffodil (10th Anniversary)
A single daffodil is beautiful. A bunch is extraordinary. This is a perfect analogy for your 10th wedding anniversary. Over 10 years you’ve created many wonderful memories. When you take the time to bunch all of those memories together you have your extraordinary life together. Celebrate your 10th wedding anniversary with these romantic blooms.
Morning Glory (11th Anniversary)
The morning glory flower has a short lifespan in which it blooms and dies in a single day. Within the Chinese folklore, this flower represents a single day for lovers to meet. The flower symbolizes the appreciation of each new day that life brings and, as the 11th year, it is the beginning of a new decade of marriage after the passing of the first decade.
Peony (12th Anniversary)
After 12 years of marriage, there is an understanding and appreciation of the finer things in life. The sublime peony is one of those finer things. This sophisticated flower is used in important ceremonies around the world. It symbolizes romance and a happy marriage, as well as prosperity and good fortune. The full, lush, and rounded bloom also resembles a coin, hence, money and wealth.
Hollyhock (13th Anniversary)
The hollyhock, with its dramatic petals, is an exotic-looking flower depicted among the flowers American artist Georgia O'Keeffe liked to paint. Its scientific name, Alcea, means to cure. A bouquet of hollyhocks carries a sensual charm and aroma. This flower is said to symbolize fecundity and fruitfulness.
Dahlia (14th Anniversary)
The dahlia flower symbolizes dignity, grace, and elegance. The brilliant, architectural petal structure makes it look like a firework display on the Fourth of July with their explosion of color. These flowers send the message that there are plenty of exciting times yet to come in your marriage.
Rose (15th Anniversary)
Roses are synonymous with passion and romance. So doesn't it stand to reason that roses would represent an earlier anniversary when passions run hottest? After 15 years together you know each other very well and you’ve earned the sensual opulence of the mighty rose. Throughout history, a red rose has been the classic symbol of romantic love that runs very deeply. It signifies the perfect love.
Day Lily (20th Anniversary)
The daylily takes on a cheerful meaning of being carefree, which represents the stability of a long-term marriage that has successfully survived many challenging times. Once you achieve your 20th wedding anniversary, you can sit back, relax, and enjoy life a little more. Perhaps your children have grown up, left home, and you are less burdened by daily family errands and have more time together.
Iris (25th Anniversary)
After a quarter-century of marriage, celebrate with an iris, a royal flower. This flower inspired the French fleur de lis, a symbol of elegance and sophistication. This flower is fitting as the 25th wedding anniversary flower since it is traditionally symbolic of hope, faith, courage, wisdom, and admiration.
Orchid (28th Anniversary)
Orchids represent love, luxury, strength, and beauty. In ancient Greece, the orchid was associated with virility, and similarly, in Chinese culture, the orchid symbolizes many children, as well as elegance, nobility, perfection, and friendship. After 28 years of marriage, it is likely that your years of bearing children are over, but now you can safely step back to relish the fruits of your union. It's even possible that your children have started to make families of their own.
Sweet Pea (30th Anniversary)
The sweet pea is an annual climbing plant that signifies blissful and lasting pleasure. It is grown for its flower color (usually in pastel shades of blue, pink, purple and white, and dual-toned blooms), and for their intense unique fragrance. A fancy flower, they are grown for private enjoyment, for an exhibition, and the florist trade. According to other traditions, the 30th-anniversary flower is a lily.
Nasturtium (40th Anniversary)
After 40 years, your loyalty to one another and the sense of accomplishment is clear. Traditionally, the nasturtium stands for patriotism, conquest, and victory in battle—it's not a stretch to translate that to the celebration of a 40th wedding anniversary. It signifies the loyalty and devotion between two people.
Violet (50th Anniversary)
If you are considering which flowers to buy your spouse to celebrate 50 years of marriage, then, wow, congratulations on that major milestone! The official 50th-anniversary flower is violets. The violet symbolizes modesty, virtue, faithfulness, understated beauty, affection, simplicity, and innocence.