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Traditional Anniversary Gift List plus Gift Ideas

For years people have selected anniversary gifts from a list of traditional wedding anniversaries and the materials that gifts should be made from. It's not clear where or when this list originated, but traditionally gifts made of traditional materials are to be given of specific anniversaries. Here is a list of the anniversaries, the traditional gift materials and ideas to help you chose that perfect gift.

1st Anniversary - paper - Beautiful paper roses in a vase that compliments their beauty is a great gift to give on this anniversary and they will last for years. Other options are paper place mats or a favorite book.

2nd Anniversary - cotton - Many gifts can come from a cotton source. Sew a pair of curtains for the kitchen that matches the recipient's kitchen theme, or create a dozen roses from cotton fabric. Other options are bedspreads, towels, table napkins or a cotton duvet.

3rd Anniversary - leather - Give separate gifts such as a leather wallet or a handbag. Beautiful handmade leather roses can be purchased online, or give a leather memory box or picture frame.

4th Anniversary - fruit/flowers - If the recipients have a love or gardening, give a flowering shrub, a rare species of rose or a pot of garden plants. A fruit tree would cover both traditional gifts and a fruit basket is always welcome.

5th Anniversary - wood - Seek out a local artisan and choose a handcrafted wooden cake plate or fruit bowl. Flowers carved from wood can be purchased online or ask a local carver to create a special bouquet. If you'd like to give a larger gift, consider a wooden table set, a coffee table or a side or corner table. Other ideas include a wooden picture frame or photo cube.

6th Anniversary - candy/iron - Give a bouquet of candy displayed in an iron bowl. Fill an iron bowl with chocolate, mints, licorice and other favorite candies. Wrap it in fancy cello tied with a ribbon. Attach a gift certificate to the local candy shop. Iron gifts can include an iron skillet, a trivet or a plant stand that can be used either inside or in the garden.

7th Anniversary - wool/copper - Give a traditional copper tea kettle, copper vases or a copper wood box to set beside the fireplace. Woolen gifts range from a his/hers sweater set to afghans or a footstool with a tapestry covering. For a more exotic gift give plane tickets for the couple to visit a sheep farm in New Zealand.

8th Anniversary - bronze/pottery - A bronze planter filled with lush tropical plants bring life into the couple's home. Bronze statuary, a bronze anniversary shadow box, a bronze tabletop fountain or longevity turtles are all unique gifts that the couple will love.

9th Anniversary - pottery/willow - A pottery dinnerware set is the perfect gift for this anniversary, or purchase a piece of Native American pottery. If you wish to give a gift of willow, seek out a local woodcarver craftsman and have him make a willow rocking chair, footstool or corner table.

10th Anniversary - tin/aluminum - Give a bouquet of aluminum flowers in a complimentary engraved aluminum vase. For a unique gift, give a love poem framed in an aluminum or tin frame. If you are not confident in your poetry writing ability, love poems can be purchased online.

15th Anniversary - crystal - Purchase a crystal teapot and matching cups and saucers or mugs. A beautiful crystal sculpture of the couple's favorite animal or an elegant crystal swan makes perfect gifts. Crystal roses can be purchased online. Crystal decanters, glasses, candlesticks and vases are easily found in local stores or online.

20th Anniversary - china - An antique china dinnerware set, platter or tea set is perfect for this occasion. Other options are a personalized china anniversary plate, a china butterfly or a china basket of porcelain or china flowers.

25th Anniversary - silver - A silver coffee set, a personalized silver serving tray, a silver horseshoe decorated with flowers for good luck (hang the horseshoe with the opening pointing toward the ceiling,) or an engraved silver keepsake box are all appropriate gifts for this occasion. Individual gifts could include silver lockets or cuff links.

30th Anniversary - pearl - Pearl jewelry can be given individually to the couple. If you want a shared gift, chose a Mother of Pearl bowl, figurine or vase. For a more exotic gift give a trip to the Pearl Islands. Other choices would be CD's, DVD's or books with a pearl theme.

35th Anniversary - coral - Coral candleholders, bowls, trays, bookends or a coral chess set is an appropriate gift for this anniversary. If you can't find them in local shops, they can be purchased online. For a more exotic gift, a trip to the Great Barrier Reef would be much appreciated and always remembered.

40th Anniversary - ruby - Add sparkly red glitter to cards and invitations. For gardeners, ruby colored flowers such as nasturtium or a climbing rose with ruby colored blooms are perfect gifts. A ruby red memento box will keep the couple's treasures safe and secure. For a more exotic gift, give a trip to a ruby mine in Cherokee, North Carolina. Ruby colored paperweights, candles, candleholders or antique ruby glass are other options.

45th Anniversary - sapphire - Sapphire jewelry can be given on this anniversary as individual gifts. For a more unique gift give personalized sapphire candles. These can be purchased online or at a local candle shop. A more exotic gift would be a framed certificate for a single share in Tiffany & Company. Other options include a bouquet of pink sapphire roses, a love poem or a set of blue sapphire glasses.

50th Anniversary - gold - Gold jewelry is always an option. His/her wedding bands can be worn with the original set. Gold roses can be purchased online, or give a photo of the bride and groom at their wedding in a gold leaf picture frame. Another option is to purchase an Alaskan gold nugget, or a personalized 50th Anniversary plate. A family tree quilt is an exquisite gift. If you are not a quilter, contact the local quilter's guild. They will be happy to make one for you.

55th Anniversary - emerald - Emerald jewelry can be given on an individual basis, or give an emerald personalized candle. Purchase a set of emerald green dinnerware or emerald green wineglasses. For a more exotic gift send the happy couple to Ireland, the Emerald Isle, or Emerald Bay, Cayman Islands.

60th Anniversary - diamond - Diamond jewelry that you've personally designed is an exquisite gift for this anniversary. Another option is a single share in Tiffany & Company in a silver frame studded with diamonds. A bouquet of diamond white roses are appropriate. Add sparkly silver glitter or crystal rhinestones to cards, invitations and gift wrap. Greetings can be solicited from Queen Elizabeth II, the President of the United States, or, in Canada, the Prime Minister. For a more exotic gift give the couple a trip to Arkansas where they can visit Crater of Diamonds State Park, the only public diamond mine in the world. It is a once in a lifetime opportunity that will always be remembered with much affection.

This article was written by Mary M. Alward.