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On the day I married my husband, my Uncle gave me some good advice – ‘you have to work at a marriage to make it successful’. I suppose I didn’t quite know what he meant that day, but it has become more apparent  and important to me every year and as my marriage turns 26 this year and my Uncle’s marriage turns 59, we’ve both proved it is certainly something worth working at!

After the excitement of the wedding day and honeymoon a marriage becomes the day to day companionship, a chaotic keeping everything going, building on each other’s strengths, it is compromise and trying to understand each other’s needs, accepting (and ignoring) each other’s failings by embracing them as they make your spouse unique.

So every anniversary isn’t just a celebration and remembrance of your special wedding day, but a celebration of getting through all the ups and downs with that same love and looking forward to your future together.  To celebrate we have some really great Traditional Anniversary Gifts at Totally Irish Gifts and we know people like to give a gift according to their Anniversary year, here is a guide:

 
 Anniversary
Gifts by Year
 Traditional
Anniversary Gifts
 Modern
Anniversary Gifts
 Anniversary
Gift Ideas
 1st Anniversary  Paper  Clock  1st Anniversary Gifts
 2nd Anniversary  Cotton  Cotton  2nd Anniversary Gifts
 3rd Anniversary  Leather  Leather  3rd Anniversary Gifts
 4th Anniversary  Fruit or Flowers  Linen or Silk  4th Anniversary Gifts
 5th Anniversary  Wood  Wood 5th Anniversary Gifts
 6th Anniversary  Sweets  Iron 6th Anniversary Gifts
 7th Anniversary  Cooper or Wool  Brass  7th Anniversary Gifts
 8th Anniversary  Bronze  Pottery  8th Anniversary Gifts
 9th Anniversary  Pottery  Willow  9th Anniversary Gifts
 10th Anniversary  Tin  Aluminum  10th Anniversary Gifts
 11th Anniversary  Steel  Steel 11th Anniversary Gifts
 12th Anniversary  Silk  Linen  12th Anniversary Gifts
 13th Anniversary  Lace  Lace  13th Anniversary Gifts
 14th Anniversary  Ivory  Ivory  14th Anniversary Gifts
 15th Anniversary  Crystal  Glass  15th Anniversary Gifts
 16th Anniversary  Wax  Silver Holloware  16th Anniversary Gifts
 17th Anniversary  Shells  Furniture  17th Anniversary Gifts
 18th Anniversary  Feathers  Porcelain  18th Anniversary Gifts
 19th Anniversary  Bronze  Bronze  19th Anniversary Gifts
 20th Anniversary  China  Emerald  20th Anniversary Gifts
 21st Anniversary  None  Brass or Nickle  21st Anniversary Gifts
 22nd Anniversary  None  Copper 22nd Anniversary Gifts
 23rd Anniversary  None  Silver Plate  23rd Anniversary Gifts
 24th Anniversary  None  Musical Instruments 24th Anniversary Gifts
 25th Anniversary  Silver  Silver  25th Anniversary Gifts
 30th Anniversary  Pearl  Pearl  30th Anniversary Gifts
 35th Anniversary  Coral  Coral or Jade  35th Anniversary Gifts
 40th Anniversary  Ruby  Garnet 40th Anniversary Gifts
 45th Anniversary  Sapphire  Sapphire  45th Anniversary Gifts
 50th Anniversary  Gold  Gold 50th Anniversary Gifts

 

 

But what do all these traditional symbols of the years of marriage mean?

 

Ireland Journal

Ireland Journal

1st Anniversary Gift – Paper
The traditional gift for a first wedding anniversary is paper, strange type of gift, no romance in that, I hear you say! The meaning of paper as a gift is that the first year of your marriage is like a ‘clean sheet of paper’, representing the new beginning of the couple.  Also like paper, a new marriage can be fragile, do not to rip that paper (your marriage) while in this fragile state.  Paper gifts often include journals or writing sets; prints and photos also qualify.  The modern gift for a first wedding anniversary is a clock, it is said the tick-tock of a clock symbolises the good times in your marital relationship!

 

Cotton & Beaded Heart

Cotton & Beaded Heart

2nd Anniversary Gift – Cotton
The traditional and modern gift for a second wedding anniversary is cotton. The fibers of cotton are interwoven to make the fabric, representing the couple coming closer as their lives intertwine. Although soft, cotton is strong as the couple become flexible to each other.  Examples of cotton gifts include cotton clothing or cotton embroideries.

 

 

 

Celtic Door Harp

Celtic Door Harp

3rd Anniversary Gift – Leather
The traditional and modern gift for a third wedding anniversary is leather.  Leather has traditionally been used as a protection against the elements, as the marriage grows and becomes stable it is the fundamental shelter and security as the couple protect each other.  Suggestions for leather gifts are leather wristbands, leather journals and notebooks.

 

 

Natural Irish Candles

Natural Irish Candles

4th Anniversary Gift – Fruit or Flowers
The traditional gift for a fourth wedding anniversary is flowers or fruit (or a combination). Flowers and fruit represent the blossoming and ripening of the marriage. The nourishment of the fruit and the fragrance of the flowers are akin to the refreshing commitment and nurturing of the couple.  Gifts for this anniversary often include hampers of fruit, bouquets of flowers, paintings and drawings of fruit or flowers, potpourri and fragrances of fruit or flowers such as candles or oils.  The modern gift for a fourth wedding anniversary is linen or silk.

 

 

Irish Harp

Irish Wooden Harp

5th Anniversary Gift – Wood
The traditional and modern gift for a fifth wedding anniversary is wood.  The fifth wedding anniversary is actually a very important milestone in the married couple’s psyche, by now the couple have gone through quite a bit together, gaining wisdom and overcoming things together gaining strength.  Mirroring the ancient symbol of trees being strength and wisdom, a strong deep rooted bond has now formed between the couple, hence the celebration is marked by wood.  Suggestions for wooden gifts include pens and letter-openers, wooden sculptures, bowls, candle holders and wooden jewellery.

 

Cup Cake Jigsaw

Cup Cake Jigsaw

6th Anniversary Gift – Sugary Sweets or Iron
The sixth wedding anniversary gift is something sweet such as candy. Candy represents the sweetness of the love of the marriage and as an encouragement for the couple to embrace their original love and romance.  While the modern gift for a sixth wedding anniversary is Iron, representing the strength of the marriage and is also thought to bring good luck.

 

 

Wool Celtic Scarf

Wool Celtic Scarf

7th Anniversary Gift – Copper or Wool
The seventh wedding anniversary gift is copper or wool.  Both copper and wool generate heat and they represent the warmth and comfort of a 7 year marriage, by which stage the couple feel completely safe and secure with each other.  However, there is the saying of the ‘seven year itch’ – caution is required not to get so comfortable together that the marriage is taken for granted – so generate some romance!  The modern gift for a seventh wedding anniversary is brass.

 

 

Claddagh Heart Crown

Claddagh Heart Crown

8th Anniversary – Bronze
The traditional eighth wedding anniversary gift is bronze.  Bronze is a strong metal mixture of copper and tin. It represents the combined strength of the couple and that their marriage has grown stronger over the years.  Gifts can include bronze wall plaques or ornaments. The modern gift for an eighth wedding anniversary is pottery (which is actually also the traditional gift for a 9th Anniversary – just in case you were thinking of building on a theme for a gift!).

 

 

Pottery Mug Set

Pottery Mug Set

9th Anniversary Gift – Pottery
The traditional ninth wedding anniversary gift is pottery. As a potter molds clay to make something beautiful, so too pottery represents the molding of the beautiful relationship of the couple from the experiences of their marriage.  Pottery gifts can include homeware such as mugs or teacups, bowls and vases and also ceramic wall art.  The modern gift for a ninth wedding anniversary is willow.

 

 

Claddagh Jewellery Box

Claddagh Jewellery Box

10th Anniversary Gift –  Tin
The traditional tenth wedding anniversary gift is tin.  The 10th wedding anniversary is particularly celebrated – now into double digits and a proven longevity, tin, which is the metal used to preserve food for a long time, represents the couple’s preservation and the longevity of the marriage. Pewter is 90% made of tin (with a small amount of copper and antimony) and can be used as a 10th wedding anniversary gift and examples of gifts are whiskey flasks and jewellery boxes.  The modern gift for a tenth wedding anniversary is aluminum.

 

 

Cheese Plane and Knife Set

Cheese Plane and Knife Set

11th Anniversary Gift – Steel
The traditional and modern eleventh wedding anniversary gift is steel. Steel being one of the most durable metals represents the ongoing strengthening of the 11 year old marriage.  Steel gifts can include stainless steel cutlery, such as our Connemara Marble Range and also some products from our Mullingar Pewter range contain some stainless steel.

 

 

Handpainted Silk Scarf

Handpainted Silk Scarf

12th Anniversary Gift – Silk or Linen
The traditional twelfth wedding anniversary gift is silk.  By the 12th Anniversary the couple have been through such a lot together and may be now have learned how to overcome difficulties with more ease – representing a plain sailing as ‘smooth as silk’, ready to relax slightly and enjoy some luxury.  Silk gifts can include silk scarves, silk lingerie or bed linen. The modern twelfth wedding anniversary gift is linen.

 

 

Vine Leaf Lace Necklace & Earrings

Vine Leaf Lace Jewellery

13th Anniversary Gift – Lace
The traditional and modern 13th wedding anniversary gift is lace.  At the 13th Wedding Anniversary the couple are near to perfection and have grown into a beautiful couple, as represented by beautiful lace, but still the intricacies of the delicate lace warn not to take each other for granted and that a successful marriage needs to be continuously worked on.  Lace gifts can include lace clothing, tablecloths, lace wall hangings or lace jewellery.

 

 

Celtic Legends Chess Set

Celtic Legends Chess Set

14th Anniversary – Ivory
The traditional and modern fourteenth wedding anniversary gift is ivory.  Ivory represents the purity of the couple’s love and commitment to make their marriage great. Note: endangered elephants make ivory an unethical choice of gift and the sale of real ivory is illegal in many countries, instead consider a gift with the colour ivory, elephant theme or even a gift to an elephant sanctuary.

 

 

Hematite & Crystal Jewellery

Hematite & Crystal Jewellery

15th Anniversary Gift – Crystal
The traditional fifteenth wedding anniversary gift is crystal.  Crystal represents the transparency and clarity of the couple’s relationship as they grow to know each other so well.  Crystal gifts can include tumblers, drinking glasses, bowls, lamps and crystal jewellery.  The modern fifteenth wedding anniversary gift is glass.

 

 

 

Round Tower Candles

Heritage Shaped Candles

16th Anniversary Gift – Wax
The traditional sixteenth wedding anniversary gift is wax. A wax gift for a 16th wedding anniversary is often given in the form of candles, representing the burning love for each other, the warmth for each other and the light showing the way forward for the continuance of a happy and successful marriage.  The modern gift for a sixteenth wedding anniversary is silver holloware.

 

 

Shell Necklace

Shell Necklace

17th Anniversary Gift – Shells
The traditional seventeenth wedding anniversary gift is shells. Shells are a protection and represent the protection and comfort a marriage can bring to a couple, who are happy in the stability and security of their 17 married years together. Shells also symbolises good fortune.  Shell gifts can include wall art made from shell, shell prints and shell jewellery.   The modern gift for a seventeenth wedding anniversary is furniture.

 

 

Porcelain Jewellery

Porcelain Jewellery

18th Anniversary Gift – Feathers
The traditional eighteenth wedding anniversary gift is feathers. Feathers are light and float without a care, but they are essential to the survival of a bird, so to at 18 years of marriage the feathers represent an easiness within your relationship, a smooth and carefree time, yet symbolising the importance of the survival of your marriage and again the constant need to work on your relationship.  Gifts can include wall art, prints of birds, feather jewellery and feather bags. The modern gift for a eighteenth wedding anniversary is porcelain.

 

 

Claddagh Heart Crown

Bronze Claddagh Heart Crown

19th Anniversary – Bronze
The traditional and modern nineteenth wedding anniversary gift is bronze. Bronze is an enduring metal and it is said to possess natural healing powers. A 19th wedding anniversary gift of bronze symbolises the endurance and health of the marriage.  Gift suggestions include ornaments and bronze wall art.

 

20th Anniversary Gift – China
The traditional twentieth wedding anniversary is china. Another big Wedding Anniversary – now two decades, something to definitely celebrate. China represents your marriage as beautiful, elegant, durable and long-lasting, yet fragile without care. Again it is a reminder that you must work at your marriage, continue to care and love your spouse to keep your marriage happy and successful. Your marriage has lasted two decards, now is not the time to become complacent but to continue to nourish each other.  China gifts can include china tea-sets, poreclain jewellery, ornaments.  The modern gift for a 20th wedding anniversary is Emerald.

 

Coat of Arms Plaque

Coat of Arms Brass Plaque

21st Anniversary Gift – Nickel or Brass
There is no traditional twenty-first wedding anniversary gift, however the modern gift is brass or nickel. There’s something special about the number 21 and a 21st Wedding Anniversary is very special. Nickel represents quantity, tendency and consequence.  Nickel is resistant to corrosion, showing the strength of the marriage and as a bright metal it represents the future ahead for the couple. Brass is a softer metal, decorative, low friction and musical. Brass represents the beauty, natural goodness and soft nature of a 21 year old marriage.  Brass gifts could include ornaments or wall plaques.

 

22nd Anniversary Gift – Copper

Copper-Anniversary-Gifts

Copper Roses

There is no traditional gift for a twenty-second wedding anniversary, however the modern gift is copper. Copper represents prosperity, perfection and good fortune as all bowls well for a couple who have stayed married for 22 years.  Copper gifts could include jewellery, ornaments or wall art.

 

Tara Brooch

Tara Brooch

23rd Anniversary Gift – Silver Plate
There is no traditional gift for a twenty-third wedding anniversary, however the modern gift is silver plate. The colour silver symbolises beauty, silver plate can mean either silver plated or an actual silver plate – for the meals you have shared and the continuance of sharing of meals and your lives together.

 

 

 

Irish Harp Brooch

Irish Harp Brooch

24th Anniversary – Musical Instruments
There is no traditional gift for a twenty-fourth wedding anniversary, however the modern gift is musical instruments. Music touches the heart, soul and mind, often couples share the same taste in music and certain songs will bring back loving memories and evoke emotions. Gifts can include actual musical instruments or music, photos of favourite musicians, musical box, ornament or jewellery.

 

 

Voyage Silver Pendant

Voyage Silver Pendant

25th Anniversary Gift – Silver
The traditional and modern gift for a twenty-fifth wedding anniversary is silver. The 25th wedding anniversary, known as the ‘Silver Wedding Anniversary’, is a huge milestone and was the first of the anniversaries to be ever celebrated, originating as a custom in medieval Germany, the husband would give his wife a silver wreath in the presence of family and friends. Silver represents the harmony required for a marriage to survive a quarter of a century. Silver being one of the most precious metals also represents the high esteem each hold the other in. However, silver easily tarnishes and is yet another warning to keep working on your marriage to keep the years together ahead bright.

 

 

Cloicin Freshwater Pearls

Cloicin Freshwater Pearls

30th Anniversary Gift – Pearl
The traditional and modern gift for a thirtieth wedding anniversary is pearl. The 30th wedding anniversary is known as the ‘Pearl Wedding Anniversary’ or more unusually as the ‘Tricentennial Anniversary’. Pearls are one of the most exquisite gems, symbolising hidden beauty, purity, wisdom, honesty and integrity – the hidden beauty within the shell, as of a mature marriage and from all the shared experiences, the couple know so well that real beauty comes from within and recognise the hidden beauty of each other.

 

 

Silver & Garnet Cufflinks

Silver & Garnet Cufflinks

40th Anniversary Gift – Ruby
The traditional fortieth wedding anniversary gift is ruby. Ruby red symbolises the love and passion, like the eternal flame of the heart of a ruby stone, the love of a 40 year old marriage still burns as brightly and deeply as ever.  The modern gift for a fortieth wedding anniversary is garnet.

 

 

45th Anniversary Gift – Sapphire
The traditional and modern forty-fifth wedding anniversary is sapphire. The Sapphire represents wisdom, virtue, good fortune, faithfulness and sincerity, it is a fitting symbol to celebrate a 45 year marriage as all these are good descriptions of all that is required to sustain a couple for 45 years together.

 

Luck Child Pendant

Luck Child Pendant

50th Anniversary Gift – Gold
The traditional and modern fiftieth wedding anniversary gift is gold. As with the 25th Silver Wedding Anniversary, the 50th Golden Wedding Anniversary was one of the original wedding anniversaries to be celebrated. Dating back to medieval Germany, same as a wreath of silver was presented to a wife on her 25th wedding anniversary, so a wreath of gold was presented to her on her 50th wedding anniversary.  Gold symbolises prosperity, strength and wisdom and a golden wedding anniversary is such an achievement to a couple who have prospered, who have had the strength to look after one another and exceed in all sorts of circumstances and who have had the wisdom to overcome challenges – indeed this couple had the wisdom 50 years previous to choose each other and their marriage is testimony to this.

 

To all those couples who are celebrating their wedding anniversary, we wish you a very happy anniversary and many more years of wedded bliss!

 

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