The symbolic meanings behind wedding anniversary names


Choosing the perfect anniversary gift for a couple is thought to be just as stressful as finding a wedding present, however the former doesn’t tend to come with a pre-prepared suggestion list! To add to the chaos, every fifth year that a married couple has been together tends to denote a particular gem or material that is meant to influence the type of gift that they are given. Read on as we go over the symbolic meaning of these anniversary names and why traditional gifts are being replaced by modern alternatives…

Wood, Tin, Crystal, China, Silver

As a durable material, wood represents the 5th wedding anniversary and is said to reference the solidification of a marriage and its ability to rise above hardship. On the 10th anniversary, the metal tin is used in order to indicate the continued strength of a relationship but also the flexibility that is required to sustain a lifelong bond. Following on from this, the crystal gem represents the 15th year of marriage in order to remind couples how fragile a partnership is and how carefully it must be nurtured, and the 20th anniversary is defined by china for similar reasons. Finally, the quarter of a century milestone (25th) is denoted by silver for both historical reference and to symbolise the radiance and value of a long and happy marriage.

Pearl, Coral, Ruby, Sapphire, Gold

Couples that reach their 30th anniversary are thought to be rare which is why pearl is the representation of this milestone. On the other hand, coral is often associated with magic and protection and it is thought to symbolise the 35th anniversary as a protection against sterility. Since the ruby gemstone is thought to possess an inner flame, it represents the 40th anniversary and the passion that remains after so long whereas the sapphire gemstone signifies royalty. Its deep blue colour is supposed to represent the deep love that couples share after 45 happy years together. Finally, the 50th anniversary is represented by gold, the most timeless and treasured material of all time, with the intention of symbolising the achievement that is 50 years of marriage.

Emerald, Diamond, Blue Sapphire, Platinum, Oak

Just like a couple that manages to make it to their 55th wedding anniversary, an emerald is quite a rare find. The Egyptians regarded this gemstone as a symbol of life and it is thought to promote domestic bliss and longevity. As the most valuable gem, diamond represents the 60th anniversary in order to denote how precious a marriage that lasts so long is and how it should be cherished. The 65th anniversary is represented by a blue sapphire, a rare and exotic gem that symbolises the loyalty that a partnership needs to survive for so long, whereas the 70th milestone is denoted by platinum, one of the world’s most celebrated materials, in order to signify the enormous bond of such a long partnership. Finally, the 80th wedding anniversary takes it back to basics and is represented by oak, symbolising the strength and endurance of 80 years of marriage.

Traditionally, celebrating marriage anniversaries began in the Middle Ages when members of the Bourgeois would gift their wives silver crowns after 25 years and golden crowns after 50 years respectively. Over time, these customs have taken on a meaning of their own, and each 5th anniversary now has its own commemorative material. With this said, very few modern couples expect these specific items, and this gives friends and family some wiggle room when finding the perfect gifts for couples. Our ‘A Year of Dates: Anniversary Editions’ can be personalised for Silver, Pearl, Ruby, and Golden milestones and are the perfect way to shake things up. To find out more information about our anniversary gifts, get in contact with a member of the A Year of Dates team today!


Subscribe to our newsletter and get 10% off your first order!

We use cookies to give the best experience. Click More Info to view our privacy policy.