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Traditional and Modern Wedding Anniversary Gifts Ideas

Wedding anniversary gifts are one of the most challenging, and yet fun gifts to give. You want to find something for your spouse that shows them you'd do it all over again.

The table below shows the traditional anniversary gifts and today's modern equivalent.

After you peruse the list, scroll down to read some great tips from the Sunfyre.

Traditional Gift

Modern Anniversary Gift

1st

Paper

Clocks

2nd

Cotton

China

3rd

Leather

Crystal, Glass

4th

Linen (Silk)

Appliances

5th

Wood

Silverware

6th

Iron

Wood objects

7th

Wool (Copper)

Desk sets

8th

Bronze

Linens, Lace

9th

Pottery (China)

Leather goods

10th

Tin, Aluminum

Diamond

11th

Steel

Fashion jewelry

12th

Silk

Pearls, Colored gems

13th

Lace

Textiles, Furs

14th

Ivory

Gold jewelry

15th

Crystal

Watches

16th

Silver holloware

17th

Furniture

18th

Porcelain

19th

Bronze

20th

China

Platinum

21st

Brass, Nickel

22nd

Copper

23rd

Silver plate

24th

Musical instruments

25th

Silver

Sterling silver

26th

Original pictures

27th

Sculpture

28th

Orchids

29th

New furniture

30th

Pearl

Diamond

31st

Timepieces

32nd

Conveyances (e.g., automobiles)

33rd

Amethyst

34th

Opal

35th

Coral (Jade)

Jade

36th

Bone china

37th

Alabaster

38th

Beryl, Tourmaline

39th

Lace

40th

Ruby

Ruby

41st

Land

42nd

Improved real estate

43rd

Travel

44th

Groceries

45th

Sapphire

Sapphire

46th

Original poetry tribute

47th

Books

48th

Optical goods (e.g., telescope, microscope)

49th

Luxuries, any kind

50th

Gold

Gold

55th

Emerald

Emerald

60th

Diamond

Diamond

75th

Diamonds, Gold

Diamonds, Gold

80th

Diamond, Pearl

85th

Diamond, Sapphire

90th

Diamond, Emerald

95th

Diamond, Ruby

100th

10-carat Diamond

Gift ideas for traditional anniversary gifts.

Paper Anniversary -- For our first anniversary, the paper anniversary, I got Kristen tickets to The Lion King on Broadway. At that time, they were very difficult to get. I had to get them nearly 6 months early. Tickets are a great gift. Concert tickets, show tickets, airline tickets or cruise tickets not only are a great gift, but make great memories.

Cotton Anniversary -- By year two, many couples haven't taken a vacation since there honeymoon. Take a vacation together, but before you give the vacation to your spouse, call ahead and order cotton T-shirts from a shop in your destination city. If you buy airline tickets or cruise tickets, wrap them in the shirts.

Leather Anniversary -- By our third year of marriage I'd bought my wife leather coats or jackets three times, all three were returned or exchanged. Obviously our taste in leathers varied, so me picking out a leather bustier was completely out of the question. I decided on a safer bet. I bought her a high quality leather wallet, and she opened it with a cordial smile. Then she looked through the wallet and I'd filled every pocket and compartment with $20 bills. It had over $300 total. I told her it was money for a leather coat or any other decadence she wouldn't normally treat herself to. Looking for an extravagant gift, buy him leather bucket seats (which come with a free Mustang.)

Linen or Silk Anniversary -- We bought our first house shortly before our fourth anniversary. I took Kristen shopping for window treatments. We bought bedroom treatments made of linen. She liked the gesture of participating in decorating. One thing to keep in mind, linen is a fabric, linens are bed sheets or towels. It isn't appropriate to buy sheets or towels on the linen anniversary. (Unless they are made of linen, which wouldn't be comfortable at all.) Once you've been married four years, the romantic life can sometimes use a boost. Silk boxer shorts or silk sheets can also be fun gifts.

Wood Anniversary: The fifth anniversary is wood. A long tradition in Wales is to give a wooden spoon as a symbol of love and fertility. You can order Welsh Love Spoons from several companies online, or create your own. Start with a wooden spoon, and decorate it or add an inscription. The traditional love spoon should be hung in the family kitchen.

Iron Anniversary -- My wife loves candles, especially those big fat smelly ones. For our sixth anniversary I got wrought iron candle sconces. I got six of them for six years. Two taper holders for our dining room, two tea light holders for our bedroom, and two large canister holders for our deck. Those two large outdoor candles are beautiful, and keep the bugs away.

Wool or Copper Anniversary -- Wool used to be far more important in our daily lives. Today it's pretty limited to blankets and sweaters, and if you have a June anniversary like us, it's a challenge to find these items mid-summer. Many people purchase something of copper. Copper decorative items are quite popular and readily available year-round.

However, if you are up for a challenge, I tried a very unique idea. I found a farm with baby lambs for sale. They are quite expensive compared to other livestock, because of their value as chops. I ordered my wife a baby lamb to be delivered on our anniversary. I also ordered a small copper bell to tie around the lamb's collar.

The idea is that Kristen would enjoy watching our two-year-old twins playing with the baby sheep, then she could keep the bell along with photos of the lamb. We live in the suburbs, where ordinances prevent us from owning "farm or zoo animals" (I had to return the elephant too.) The lamb, rather than returning to the farm for butchering, would be sent to a friend's farm who would raise it for wool. While my wife isn't a big animal lover, she still appreciates saving the lamb from the dinner table.

Bronze Anniversary: One of my favorite anniversary gifts is the eighth. Bronze baby shoes used to be very popular. There are still people around who can bronze items. Find something unique and important to your spouse, and get it bronzed; maybe an old toy, fuzzy dice, or that set of Star Wars figures.

Silver Anniversary: The silver anniversary is 25 years. Unfortunately, it's hard to find quality silver jewelry worthy of such an occasion. Perhaps a silver jewelry box to hold 25 years of treasures.

Counting by Fives: My father got re-married several years ago. They decided as their second anniversary approached that they didn't want to wait 50 or 60 years to give gold and diamonds. They are giving traditional gifts, however they are counting by five. They've been married eight years, and are celebrating their Ruby Anniversary (40th). What a terrific idea for people married later in life.

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