Traditional Wedding Gifts UK

Posted on December 10 2020

UK traditional wedding anniversary gifts by year - two rings

Image: @helainastoreyweddingdesign


Traditional Wedding Anniversary Gifts UK 

If you're a traditionalist at heart or just love the nostalgia factor, traditional wedding gifts are the perfect way to honour one of the biggest days of your lives.

However, when it comes to traditional wedding gifts in the UK vs the US, trust us, we've been just as confused as you are. There is so much conflicting information out there on what gift to give and when so we're here to set the record straight.

But first, a little history. It hasn't always been the way that each year of wedded bliss has been assigned a gift. Giving distinct gifts can be traced to medieval Europe where a silver wreath would be gifted to the wife on the 25th wedding anniversary, followed by a wreath of gold on the 50th. However, given the expense of silver and gold, it's likely that these gifts were only given by the wealthy.


Queen Victoria statue - traditional wedding gifts popularised in Victorian Britain

 Image: Unsplash

It wasn't until the Victorian era that more milestones were added. As Gretchen Sobel and Ann Field note in "The Meaning of Wedding Anniversaries", "the Victorians, so fond of cataloging and classifying, were likely first to adopt ancient customs into a prescribed list of gifts for each wedding anniversary."

The Victorian's certainly added wood for the fifth anniversary and diamond for the 75th. Following Queen Victoria's celebration of 60 years on the throne in 1897, dubbed the Diamond Jubilee, diamonds also became associated with the 60th wedding anniversary.


Jennie Kwon rings - traditional wedding anniversary gifts UK

 Image: Jennie Kwon

We see mentions of wedding gifts by year in the society reads like the 'Blue Book of Social Usage' by Emily Post, released in 1922, newspaper articles, magazines and even jewellery associations on both sides of the Atlantic weighing in (funny, that..!). It was the American Jeweller Association who came up with the now widely adopted traditions of giving gifts each year up until the 15th anniversary and then in 5 year increments following that.

But anyway, for me the traditional wedding anniversary gifts remind me of my grandparents and the mind-boggling, yet utterly romantic number of years they were able to celebrate together. I feel like it's my little homage to them and love in a different time.

Whatever your reason, let's get to the info you want to see. The Traditional Wedding Anniversary gift list.


UK traditional wedding gifts by year- gold Misa branch ring

Image @helainastoreyweddingdesign

UK Wedding Anniversary Gifts by Year:

  • 1st - Paper
  • 2nd - Cotton
  • 3rd - Leather
  • 4th - Linen
  • 5th - Wood
  • 6th - Iron
  • 7th - Copper
  • 8th - Bronze
  • 9th - Pottery
  • 10th - Tin
  • 11th - Steel
  • 12th - Silk & fine linen
  • 13th - Lace
  • 14th - Ivory
  • 15th - Crystal
  • 20th - China
  • 25th - Silver
  • 30th - Pearl
  • 35th  Coral
  • 40th - Ruby
  • 45th - Sapphire
  • 50th - Gold
  • 55th - Emerald
  • 60th - Diamond
  • 65th - Blue sapphire
  • 70th - Platinum
  • 75th  Diamond or gold
  • 80th - Oak
  • 85th - Wine
  • 90th - Stone


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