The Complete Guide to Wedding Anniversary Traditions and Gifts Around the World


Wedding celebrations hold an extremely deep meaning across different cultures, which is why every country has its own set of traditions when it comes to commemorating this special day with gifts. For example, bridal shower gifts are a must everywhere; however, bringing gifts for a bachelor party is mostly considered optional.  

Wedding anniversaries are celebrated to mark milestones in relationships, allowing the partners to reflect how far they’ve come and to reminisce about the times and memories they’ve shared. Expressing your innermost feelings towards a person can be challenging even after years of living together, which is why anniversary presents are a great way to make our significant others feel loved and appreciated.

When it comes to anniversary gifts, going the extra mile to ensure that the gift is completely tailored to your partner can make all the difference. The thoughtfulness and effort put into a custom-made gift add a layer of care and appreciation, making the present even more special. That’s why personalized wedding anniversary gifts are so useful – they allow you to create an item that speaks only to you and your spouse.

Traditional Gifts Per Year

Traditional and contemporary anniversary presents vary from year to year, each one symbolizing a unique stage in your relationship. The second anniversary gift will obviously be completely different from the 15th year, each one holding its own special meaning. 

As your relationship progresses, the gifts become more precious,. However, you can still see some themes repeating, with diamond jewelry being the traditional gift for both the 10th and 30th anniversary. Let’s review the largest milestones and discuss the traditional and modern present ideas for them.

Paper (1st)

Symbolizing the start of the story written together, gifts made out of paper were the traditional option for the very first wedding anniversary. Whether it’s hand-written love letters, concert tickets, or a personalized journal filled with pictures and love notes, such presents are a thoughtful way of celebrating the journey you’ve just begun.

The modern equivalent of paper gifts is clocks. Elegant wristwatches, stylish wall clocks, and other custom-made timepieces are perfect for symbolizing eternal love you’ll be sharing with your spouse for the rest of your life.

Tin (10th)

Making it to double digits is definitely not a small milestone, so if you’re here to choose a 10th-anniversary gift, congratulations! A decade of marriage is usually marked with tin items, symbolic of the resilience, flexibility, and adaptability it takes to make a relationship work for so long. Tin keepsake boxes full of special items or aluminium wedding picture frames are traditional choices for the 10th anniversary, while diamond jewelry is typically the go-to present in the modern day.

Silver (25th)

Modern times haven’t influenced the tradition of the 25th anniversary, which has been celebrated with silver for centuries. It’s believed that silver represents the love, warmth, and stability that the couple has developed over the past quarter century. Silver personalized jewelry is a popular gift idea for the 25th anniversary – engraving the wedding date, your initials, or a special message creates a truly unique item that will surely speak to your spouse’s heart. 

Gold (50th)

What could be better than half a century shared with the one you love the most? Often referred to as the “Golden Anniversary,” 50 years of marriage is a huge milestone to celebrate with family, loved ones, and beautiful gifts. Regardless of the times, this anniversary was always marked with golden jewelry, symbolising strength, wisdom, and prosperity.

Unique Customs Around the World

Wedding anniversaries are celebrated worldwide; however, each country has its unique traditions for marking this milestone. Let’s quickly travel through different parts of the world and see how spouses commemorate their love and commitment. in some countries bridsmaids

The United States

Americans usually follow the year-by-year guide that we’ve discussed above, with gifts designed with specific materials that are customary for each year of marriage. For example, the first anniversary is always marked with paper, whereas gold is the most common present for the fiftieth. However, it’s not uncommon to see spouses celebrating their love with more unusual activities – for example, some Americans tend to renew their vows for special milestones to show that they’re still as much in love with each other as on the day of their marriage. 

The United Kingdom

British culture is almost synonymous with tradition, so it’s no surprise that they usually follow the usual gift customs year by year. Like almost anywhere else, the fifth year is marked by wood, which symbolizes strength, and the tenth anniversary is celebrated with tin or aluminium items. Couples that reach several decades of marriage receive a congratulatory message from the Queen, marking the 60th, 65th, and 70th anniversaries in a truly special way. 


Romantic personalized presents are the most prominent in France. For the first anniversary, paper gifts like love letters or custom artwork are cherished, while silver and gold gifts are reserved for the twenty-fifth and fiftieth anniversaries, respectively. French couples often choose gifts that reflect their love story and shared experiences, making each anniversary celebration unique and memorable. It’s also quite common for friends and family to join the couple during celebrations, so they can share the joy and love.


In Japan, wedding anniversaries are celebrated with a mix of traditional and modern gifts. The first anniversary, known as “Ichikawa,” is often marked by gifts of paper, symbolizing new beginnings. The tenth anniversary, or “Tokkan,” is celebrated with tin or aluminium gifts. 

What makes this country stand out, though, is the art of Origami, which holds a large place in anniversary celebrations. The couple folds 1,000 paper cranes together, which is considered a labour of love and a testament to good luck and longevity. This particular tradition, referred to as “senbazuru”, symbolizes the patience and dedication it takes to build a lasting marriage, and the completion of folding cranes signifies that the couple’s life will be happy and harmonious. 


In Canada, personalized wedding gifts and anniversary presents hold a very special place. They do follow the traditional list; for example, the 30th wedding anniversary gift is still diamonds. However, they tend to go out of their way to make the present completely tailored to their significant others, which makes the gift-giving tradition much more sentimental and memorable. 

Final Notes

The expression of love and deep devotion transcends all borders and is equally meaningful in all corners of the world. It’s the specific traditions that vary from one culture to another, adding different layers and meanings to each passing year of marriage. Couples find creative ways to celebrate their life together, whether it’s personalized and practical items or symbolic gifts that signify the strength and commitment it takes to create a loving family. 


How do Canadians typically celebrate wedding anniversaries?

While they usually follow the traditional anniversary gift guide, Canadians still value personalized presents the most. They try to add their own touch to customary gifts to make them uniquely tailored to their significant other. to demonstrate their love and thoughtfulness.

How important is it to follow the traditional anniversary gift list?

While some people might prefer having a specific guide advise them on what to get for an anniversary gift, following the traditional list is not mandatory. It is more important to choose a gift that is meaningful and special to your relationship.

Are flowers an appropriate gift for wedding anniversaries?

Yes, flowers are a timeless and thoughtful anniversary gift. Besides, customized flower arrangements can easily make this present even more special and sentimental. Visit Burkitt’s Floral for the most exquisite anniversary flowers in Prince Albert.

What can I give my parents on their 25th wedding anniversary?

25th wedding anniversaries are usually celebrated with silver gifts that you can personalize to match your parents’ preferences. Consider gifting them engraved silver items and keepsakes that symbolize love, warmth, and stability.