Anniversary themes by year: man surprising his partner

Marriage is a special union that takes time and effort to nurture. With each year, your love grows stronger and your bond becomes more unbreakable. As time passes, it’s important to celebrate your commitment to one another and honor how far you’ve come. From your first anniversary to your 60th, discover traditional gifts and modern anniversary themes by year to mark these special milestones.

Anniversary Themes By Year to Inspire Your Celebration

Anniversary themes by year: senior couple celebrating their anniversary

Pop the champagne, it’s time for a toast! Whether you’re looking for anniversary gift ideas to celebrate one year together or want to buy something special for your parents’ milestone anniversary, these gift-giving ideas are a wonderful way to mark the occasion. When you search anniversary themes by year, you’ll find plenty of inspiration to suit the occasion.

1st Anniversary: Paper

The traditional gift for the first year of marriage is paper, which symbolizes the blank slate on which you’ll write your love story. From adventures you’ll take to experiences you’ll share and dreams you’ll build together, your story is just waiting to be written. For this gift theme, pick something on paper that represents you as a couple. If you love to travel, give the gift of plane tickets to a new locale. If you love art and music, buy tickets to a concert, opera, or Broadway show. 

2nd Anniversary: Cotton

Year one flew by and year two went even faster. Celebrate two years together with the traditional cotton gift theme. This gift symbolizes the intertwining of two lives, growing as one — just like cotton fibers. The color red is also closely associated with this anniversary, so monogrammed cotton towels in a garnet hue could make a special gift.

3rd Anniversary: Leather

Leather is a durable material that stands up to the test of time, just like your love. With a rugged feel that requires care, this material symbolizes the ability of your love to withstand pressures and the efforts you put toward nurturing it.

4th Anniversary: Flowers or Fruit

Just like sweet fruits and fragrant flowers, your relationship is blossoming and maturing. Honor four years wedded bliss with a traditional gift of flowers or fruit. You can plant a fruit tree that bears fruit in four years — like a pear tree or a cherry tree to lean into the numeric symbolism. 

Alternatively, have a florist recreate the floral bouquets from your wedding or choose sweet favorites like daffodils, roses, or hydrangeas. For something extra special, custom order pressed flower jewelry using petals from the flowers you had on your wedding day. 

5th Anniversary: Wood 

Anniversary themes by year: wooden box with wedding rings and flowers on a table

Wood you believe it?! Five whole years together and you’ve made it to the anniversary theme that’s all about strength and durability. Celebrate your fifth anniversary with a wooden gift like a charcuterie board engraved with your initials or a woodland getaway. This theme is all about celebrating the roots you’ve put down and the strength of your union. 

6th Anniversary: Candy or Iron

How sweet it is to be loved by someone special! Mark this momentous occasion with a box of sweet treats or a custom miniature cake that looks just like the cake from your big day. For a modern anniversary gift, choose iron, which symbolizes the strength of your relationship. To combine the two gift ideas, select cast iron cookware from brands like Le Creuset to bake sweet desserts and celebrate your love all year long.

7th Anniversary: Wool or Copper

This anniversary theme is all about warmth. From the feeling of cuddling up on the couch for movie night to snuggling in a warm embrace, the seventh anniversary is about celebrating the coziness of love. Choose a warm throw blanket or copper cookware to celebrate the occasion. For a modern take, choose colors like yellow and onyx that are associated with this milestone.

8th Anniversary: Pottery

Pottery is molded to perfection — even when it’s imperfect — just like your relationship. Give the gift of a fine piece of pottery to reflect your ability to create a strong, growing union. For something extra special, buy kintsugi pottery, a Japanese pottery style that glues broken pieces of pottery back together with gold. It’s a beautiful way to symbolize how relationships overcome obstacles to be stronger than ever.

9th Anniversary: Willow

Anniversary themes by year: Vintage Branch Arch Invitation

Design: Stacey Meacham Design, LLC

Build on the theme of resilience for your ninth anniversary by choosing something made of willow. These branches are known for being flexible and strong, making them an ideal symbol for nine years of marriage. For this milestone, consider wedding anniversary gift ideas such as a picture frame with an image of a willow tree and the date of your marriage.

10th Anniversary: Tin or Aluminum

Bronze Statement Invitation

Design: Raven Erebus (photo courtesy of Jimmy Bishop)

Tin and aluminum are resistant to rust, so they can weather even the most intense storms. Pay tribute to the strength of your marriage with a tin vase or an aluminum metal print featuring one of your wedding photos or another image with special meaning. 

11th Anniversary: Steel

As the famous quote goes, “The finest steel has to go through the hottest fire.” You’ve tested your relationship and built a union you can be proud of. Honor this anniversary year with steel gifts like a serving platter and dinnerware or decorative art pieces.

12th Anniversary: Silk or Linen

Your relationship isn’t just about strength, it’s also soft, cozy, and a place you call home. For your 12th anniversary, celebrate with luxurious linens like silk sheets or silk robes in gem hues like amethyst and peridot.

13th Anniversary: Lace

Superstitions aside, this year has you counting your lucky blessings. Celebrate 13 years together with exquisite lace gifts such as gold filigree jewelry or a lace print tie. Want a more modern textile to mark this milestone? Consider faux fur to embody the warmth and protection of marriage.

14th Anniversary: Ivory

The traditional gift for a 15th anniversary was ivory, but with ethical concerns about sourcing, modern gifts include safe and respectful experiences with animals or gifts inspired by them. For example, you can choose an elephant-themed gift or plan an outing like horseback riding, whale watching, or scuba diving.

15th Anniversary: Crystal

Colorful crystal glasses on a table

Let’s toast to you! Grab a bottle of bubbly and splurge on fancy crystal to honor 15 years of marriage. Want something a bit more modern? Choose a crystal watch or a crystal-studded pen to show your support for an ambitious partner.

16th Anniversary: Wax

You’ve made it to your sweet 16. The traditional anniversary present for this milestone is wax, so consider buying special candles (along with gorgeous candlesticks) or have a custom wax seal made using a family crest. For a modern take on the 16th anniversary, silverware is a popular choice, especially in contemporary styles like rose gold and onyx.

17th Anniversary: Furniture

After 17 years together, you can still find new ways to keep things exciting! Add a little pizazz to your abode with furniture like desk sets, sofas, and outdoor seating areas. Go furniture shopping or antiquing to pick a piece that speaks to you as a couple. Warm hues like red, yellow, and orange are also associated with this anniversary theme.

18th Anniversary: Porcelain

For 18 years together, celebrate elegance and delicate vibes with porcelain. Choose a lovely porcelain vase or an entire set of dishes to enjoy special evenings together. Traditionally, this anniversary year is also associated with cat’s eye gemstones that have bright bands of color through them.

19th Anniversary: Bronze

Bronze is far more than third place. Celebrate your 19 years of marriage with a material that’s known for standing up to the test of time. A wonderful 19th-year anniversary gift could include a sculpted piece of bronze jewelry or a trip to a fantastic museum, which will certainly have bronze statues and artwork.

20th Anniversary: China

After 20 years of marriage, your love is still going strong, just like the timelessness of fine china. Plan a special dinner and serve it on a new set of china or go for a modern take with platinum serveware.

25th Anniversary: Silver

Confetti Shimmer Invitation

Design: Claudia Owen

A 25th wedding anniversary is absolutely worthy of celebration. Whether you’re hosting a party or toasting with just the two of you, this milestone moment usually includes a gift list of sterling silver items, such as picture frames, pendants, bracelets, and earrings. You can also consider silver jewelry with gemstones like tourmaline, citrine, and topaz.

30th Anniversary: Pearl 

30 Milestone Heart Invitation

Design: Jen Montgomery

After 30 years of challenges and successes, you’re still thriving. Celebrate with a traditional anniversary gift of pearls. Choose from black pearls, white pearls, and colored pearls to bring a smile to your loved one’s face as you reminisce on three decades of commitment, growth, and love.

35th Anniversary: Coral

Coral symbolizes longevity and success, so what better way to honor your 35th wedding anniversary than with an experience that pays homage to this resilient marine life? Go on a trip to an aquarium, plan a dream vacation to a famous coral reef, or volunteer with any number of ocean charities to spread the love.

40th Anniversary: Ruby

Forty and fabulous! This traditional anniversary theme is all about deep red hues and ruby gemstones that symbolize the fire of love that keeps your relationship going. To celebrate four decades together, consider a ruby-themed party with red velvet cake, bouquets of red roses, and fine red wine.

45th Anniversary: Sapphire

Forty-five years and it keeps getting better and better. Often worn by royalty, sapphire symbolizes abundance and loyalty. Choose a fine piece of jewelry with sapphire gemstones or opt for a similar blue-hued stone like aquamarine or blue topaz. If you’re hosting a party, include sapphire hues in your anniversary party invitations.

50th Anniversary: Gold

Gold Frame Invitation

Design: Jessie Steury

All that glitters is not gold, but your relationship sure is! After 50 years together, you’ve reached your golden anniversary. Congratulations, you’ve built a love story your loved ones will remember for eternity. Honor the special occasion with gold jewelry or a golden sunset at a dream location.

55th Anniversary: Emerald

Fifty-five years as a couple is rare and beautiful, so it’s fitting that emeralds symbolize the occasion. This green gemstone represents love and devotion. While fine emerald green jewelry makes a perfect gift, you could also consider a monumental trip to Ireland, the “Emerald Isle.”

60th Anniversary: Diamond

Scrapbook Invitation

Design: Jen Montgomery

Your love has truly withstood the test of time! Congratulations on a timeless love story. To mark this special moment, shower your loved one in diamonds, the traditional wedding anniversary gift for 60 years together. Choose a stunning piece of diamond jewelry or look for diamond-encrusted champagne glasses to share a toast. 

Celebrate Love with Anniversary Themes by Year

Anniversary themes by year: couple happily holding a gift box

With these anniversary themes by year, you’ll find traditional and modern ways to honor your love story. From practical gifts to experiences of a lifetime, there’s a special gift for every year you spend together.

To celebrate these milestone anniversaries with loved ones, browse our collection of digital invitations for special occasions including 20th, 40th, and 60th anniversaries. Each design is customizable so you can ensure it reflects your unique love story.