Wedding Anniversary Meanings

Wedding Anniversary Meanings


The first year of marriage is like a clean sheet of paper.  This is a new beginning upon which to write your passage through time together.  Also like paper, it is still fragile and can easily rip.


The second year anniversary is represented by cotton.  Like the interwoven fibres of cotton, this second year has brought couples closer together and their lives have become increasingly intertwined.  Cotton is soft to the touch even though it is really strong.  The couple is still learning how to be flexible and to adapt to each others needs.


Year 3 is represented by leather which traditionally symbolises protection and cover.  We know that our ancestors used to cover and protect themselves from the elements with leather.  The bonds of marriage offer security and shelter as each partner takes care of the other.  Now in its third year, the growing relationship is becoming a source of stability for the married couple.

Fruit and Flowers

The fourth year of marriage is where the budding relationship begins to blossom like a flower and ripen like fruit. Just as fruit nourishes the body and flowers the soul, so the deepening commitment and nurturing love of the couple brings refreshment and renewal to the marriage.


By year five, the married couple is developing strong, deep roots like the great oak tree.  In ancient times tress symbolised strength and wisdom.  The couple is now gaining insight and understanding from the mistakes of the first five years. The pair has learned the most important lesson of all and the secret to a successful marriage: forgiveness.


The sixth year of marriage is celebrated with something sweet.  The sixth year offers a time to rekindle the flames of love and passion that brought the two of you together.  In older times, iron also symbolisd the sixth anniversary.  A strong and sturdy metal that brings good luck.


Copper & Wool

As you celebrate seven years of marriage, copper and wool represent the warmth, comfort, safety, and security that you as a couple have built up.  These are all necessary ingredients for a healthy and stable marriage.  Reflect on these traits as you celebrate seven years together.


In its eighth year of marriage, bronze is representative of the union of the two lives and the strength of combining time with perseverance.  The gifts for wedding anniversaries tend to increase in substance and value over time as marriage itself should grow and strengthen over time.

Pottery & Willow


Nine years of marriage is celebrated with a ceramic gift.  As a potter moulds a lump of clay, shaping it on the potter’s wheel, and then fires it in the oven, creating something both rich and beautiful, so too, the marriage of two people is moulded and shaped by choices and experiences, fired in the oven of adversity, and over time, something beautiful emerges.


The tenth anniversary should be celebrated with honour and splendour.  Tin symbolizes preservation and longevity.  At one time, food was stored in tin-plated iron cans.  The tin protected the iron from rust and corrosion, preserving the food inside, potentially forever.  A couple at the milestone anniversary of ten years has the ability to go the distance.


Eleven years of marriage is celebrated by one of the strongest, most durable metals in the world.  It is a fitting symbol for the eleventh anniversary.  The cord binding the marriage together can no longer be easily broken, if it ever could.  Strength and permanence define this milestone anniversary


A couple that reaches twelve years of marriage has, undoubtedly, sailed through many rough waters and overcome a great many obstacles in their relationship. Having been strengthened by enduring difficulties, they now eagerly anticipate that the road ahead will be smooth as silk. It is time to enjoy the finer things in life.  Celebrate this anniversary by taking  time to indulge in luxury and pleasure.


By year thirteen, as lace signifies refined beauty and elegance, so a marriage of thirteen years exemplifies polished and perfected love.  The passage of time has created a delicate but strong object of beauty.


Having reached year fourteen, we all know that ivory is a no-go zone.  However, Ivory symbolises purity and innocence. Rare and beautiful, this precious commodity signifies the integrity and fidelity of the marriage relationship and the extraordinary sense of commitment two people must have to make a marriage last fourteen years.  Loyalty and devotion are qualities worthy of commemoration.


Year fifteen is celebrated with crystal.  Crystal is the first truly expensive gift in the traditional anniversary list.  The costliness of crystal is representative of the sacrifice and investment the couple has made to the marriage over the past fifteen years.  Crystal also symbolises clarity and transparency, reflecting the state of the couple’s relationship.  They now know each other better than they know themselves.


We now jump to twenty years of marriage where China symbolises the beautiful, elegant, and fragile nature of love.  It is a reminder not to take your marriage for granted, but to continue to care for it so your love will flourish. In addition, just as China, although fragile, is also durable and long-lasting, so a twenty-year marriage has withstood the test of time.


On to twenty five years of marriage and silver, which is one of the most precious metals known to man, is the symbol. It has always been prized the world over and considered very valuable. It is therefore an appropriate symbol for the twenty-fifth wedding anniversary. Like silver, may your marriage continue to shine in splendor and radiance all of your days as you grow old together.


Thirty years of celebrating is represented by the Pearl.  Lying hidden deep inside the shell of an oyster is one of the most exquisite and treasured gems imaginable: the pearl.  Symbolising hidden beauty, the pearl reminds the maturing couple that true beauty comes from within and that what is most valuable is the shared experience of life with another.


Coral is symbolic of thirty five years of marriage.  It has often been called the “garden of the sea” because it covers the ocean floor.  In ancient times it was considered sacred and believed to contain magical properties of protection from sickness and harm.  It was also thought to represent the life-force due to its blood-red appearance.  Like coral, loyalty and commitment are the lifeblood of a good marriage and love the shield that protects the union.


Forty years into your marriage Ruby symbolises love and passion. The ruby is one of the most coveted gemstones of all.  Within the heart of this stone is thought to lie a flame of fire that grows brighter with each passing year, just like the flame of a forty-year marriage.


Celebrating forty five years of marriage is symbolised by the Saphire.  For long ages the stone of royalty, the sapphire is the perfect gem to honour a forty-five year marriage.  Two people together for this length of time are a shining example to all married couples.  Theirs is a union worthy of admiration and respect.


Fifty years and well done!  Only one gift can rightly capture the crowning achievement of lifelong love: gold.  Symbolising prosperity, strength, and wisdom, it represents the essence of what a fifty-year marriage should be.

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