Alternatives to Traditional Anniversary Gifts

the best alternatives to traditional anniversary gifts

Did you know that traditionally you’re not supposed to give your significant other diamonds until your 60th wedding anniversary?! Not only that, but you can count out silver too until you hit the big “25 year” mark.  (It might just be me, but that’s a long time for a girl to wait!)

According to tradition the 1st year anniversary gift is to give your loved one something made with paper.  Cotton, Leather, Fruits, Wood, Wool, and Tin are a few other items that are usually given up until the 10th year anniversary.

The origins of giving anniversary gifts to your spouse started during the days of the Roman Empire.  Husbands would grace their wives with a silver wreath on their 25th anniversary and they were upgraded to a gold piece on their big 50th anniversary.

Giving anniversary gifts tend to vary throughout different countries but more or less they all list a gift for each year leading up until the 25th year anniversary. After the twenty-fifth year mark, anniversary gift giving etiquette applies every 5 years.  While some people still follow the traditional guidelines for gift giving, many new traditions have formed all over the world.

These guidelines for giving gifts on your anniversary are exactly that, a guideline.  One which you can choose to follow or make up and change along the way.  Check out some of my favorite alternatives to traditional anniversary gift ideas.

1st Year Anniversary

Instead of giving the normal paper gift – switch it up and surprise your significant other with a modern paperweight.

rolex paperweight vintage

5th Year Anniversary

Wood is the traditional anniversary gift for year 5.  Try out gifts such as precious gemstones that have an earthy appeal, without the actual bark! (ha)

smokey quartz pendant in gold

10th Year Anniversary

David Yurman pieces are the first thing that come to mind when I think of Tin and Aluminum.  These sterling silver pieces offer an authentic look.

david yurman sterling silver bangle with black onyx

15th Year Anniversary

Who said you can’t wear your crystal?! Switch up a traditional crystal anniversary gift for your 15th anniversary with a piece you can wear!

canary crystal judith ripka earrings

20th Year Anniversary

Bring on the zen! Add a little Jade gemstone to your life instead of the traditional china route.

gold drop earrings with jade gemstones

25th Year Anniversary

Silver.  The 25th year is where things start to sound familiar again.

david yurman heart pendant silver necklace

30th Year Anniversary


pearl drop earrings in sterling silver


35th Year Anniversary


beautiful coral in yellow gold earrings

40th Year Anniversary


ruby and diamond tennis bracelets

45th Year Anniversary


ruby and sapphire ring in gold


50th Year Anniversary


cartier diamond huggie earrings

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