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Essay Example Year 4 Wedding

Whether you are in the first days of marriage or have already experienced a rich life together, it is important to celebrate milestones. Each year is linked with a gift idea. Below we will provide examples for anniversary gifts by year and briefly explain why each object represents the passage of varying amounts of time.

Traditional gifts became a symbolic metaphor to mark the years. As time passed, the gifts associated with each anniversary evolved alongside society. Modern gift ideas reflect items that have become more popular for couples today. Some of them offer practical alternatives to luxury items.

Click on a year below to learn more about each gift.

 

YearModernTraditional
1PaperClock
2CottonChina
3LeatherCrystal/Glass
4Fruit/FlowersAppliances
5WoodSilverware
6Candy/IronWood
7CopperDesk Set
8BronzeLinens/Lace
9PotteryLeather
10Tin/AluminiumDiamond Jewelry
11SteelFashion Jewelry
12Silk/LinenPearls
13LaceTextile/Furs
14Animal/Animal ItemsGold Jewelry
15CrystalsWatches
20ChinaPlatinum
25SilverSilver
30PearlPearl
35CoralCoral
40RubyRuby
45SapphireSapphire
50GoldGold
60DiamondDiamond
The first year of marriage is still considered to be a clean slate and a new beginning. Paper symbolizes the ability to write your own story.

Gifts for Her

A signed book, a love note, monogrammed stationery

Gifts for Him

Tickets to a concert or sporting event

Your marriage has just begun! A clock represent the eternal amount of time you have together.

Gifts for Her

A wristwatch

Gifts for Him

A small clock for his desk

Cotton, slightly more durable than paper, shows the couple’s lives becoming more intertwined.

Gifts for Her

A bathrobe, a cotton throw pillow

Gifts for Him

Monogrammed towel, a sweatshirt from his alma mater

China is elegant and beautiful like the first years of marriage.

Gifts for Her

A fine china vase, a vintage perfume bottle

Gifts for Him

An engraved mug

Leather covers and protects from the elements, much as a marriage should offer security.

Gifts for Her

A handbag, leather boots, a leather bound notebook

Gifts for Him

A leather belt, a wallet

Glass is a reminder of the fragility of love and the care it requires.

Gifts for Her

Crystal jewelry, crystal candle holders

Gifts for Him

A pair of sunglasses, personalized wine glasses

After four years, the relationship begins to blossom and ripen! Fruit or flowers represent the state of bliss after four years together.

Gifts for Her

Rose or fruit-scented perfume, an edible bouquet

Gifts for Him

Tickets to the Rose Bowl, an Apple iPad

Appliances have become popular gifts for decorating your new home together. With so much new technology, you can also opt for a fun gadget!

Gifts for Her

An espresso machine, a GoPro camera

Gifts for Him

An Apple iPad, portable speakers

Roots and strength are now established. Strength and wisdom will continue to grow and flourish just like a tree continues to grow.

Gifts for Her

A wooden serving tray (with breakfast in bed), a wooden vase

Gifts for Him

A wooden rocking chair

New silverware is a sensible gift idea as the original wedding set is likely to be worn or tarnished after five years of use.

Gifts for Her

A new set of silverware

Gifts for Him

An engraved flask

Candy is sweet and serves as a reminder to keep the romance alive. Iron symbolizes the strength of a marriage that is now well-established.

Gifts for Her

Decadent truffles, a candy bouquet, an iron jewelry holder

Gifts for Him

Customized candies, golf clubs

Wood is strong, long-lasting and continuously growing, much like a marriage.

Gifts for Her

A customised cutting board, a wooden framed photo

Gifts for Him

Barrel-aged whiskey, a wooden wall hanging

Cooper is a great conductor of heat which represents warmth, comfort and safety - all part of a strong foundation.

Gifts for Her

Artisan copper jewelry, fine art with copper detailing

Gifts for Him

Mule mugs, a copper desk set

Another practical gift, a desk set, is often combined with something useful for the office like pens or a desk organizer.

Gifts for Her

Engraved letterhead, a desk organizer

Gifts for Him

A copper desk set, an engraved fountain pen

Bronze is a blend of copper and tin and symbolizes the union of two lives.

Gifts for Her

A bronze vase, a bronze necklace

Gifts for Him

A bronze bottle opener

Linens serve as another replacement for old wedding gifts, like a nice set of sheets for your home. Alternatively, many opt for lace items like a new lace dress to make your wife feel beautiful.

Gifts for Her

A lace dress, fresh bed linens

Gifts for Him

A linen tie

Pottery is carefully molded from clay to create a piece of art, much as a marriage is shaped by experiences to create a life together.

Gifts for Her

A vase full of flowers, a customized coffee mug

Gifts for Him

A clay desk sculpture

Leather, on the other hand is durable, strong and flexible signifying the stability of a relationship.

Gifts for Her

A monogrammed leather wallet

Gifts for Him

A leather-banded watch

Tin was once used to protect iron from rust and corrosion. After 10 years together, a couple has proven their ability to protect each other and fight life’s battles together.

Gifts for Her

New cookware

Gifts for Him

Grilling tools, a tin of his favorite treats

Diamonds reflect beauty and symbolize how precious a relationship is.

Gifts for Her

Simple diamond bracelet, diamond earrings

Gifts for Him

Diamond studded cufflinks

Steel is a super strong substance, marking the durability of a relationship after 11 years together.

Gifts for Her

Stainless steel pots and pans, steel bottle opener

Gifts for Him

A Swiss army knife, steel cigar holder

Fashion jewelry, on the other hand, is a way to flash your affection with a trendy item.

Gifts for Her

A trendy necklace

Gifts for Him

A fitness tracking bracelet

Many difficulties have been faced together after 12 years. Now it’s time for some smooth sailing and enjoying the finer things in life.

Gifts for Her

A silk slip, matching monogrammed silk robes

Gifts for Him

A silk tie, silk boxers, matching monogrammed silk robe

A pearl is a rare treasure which symbolizes the value of your relationship and the 12 years you've spent together.

Gifts for Her

A pearl necklace

Gifts for Him

Dinner at an oyster bar

Lace is both beautiful and elegant and symbolizes the perfection of a long-lasting relationship.

Gifts for Her

A lace shawl, a lace dress

Gifts for Him

New tennis shoes with bright laces

If you opt for the modern 13th anniversary gifts, we recommend faux furs or textiles. There are fabulous faux fur coats, throws and shawls.

Gifts for Her

A faux fur jacket

Gifts for Him

A new suit, fur-lined gloves

Originally, ivory was the traditional gift for 14th wedding anniversaries but was modified to animals once the cruelty of the ivory industry was exposed.

Gifts for Her

A donation to a local animal shelter, horseback riding

Gifts for Him

A safari, a puppy

As such a valuable metal, gold jewelry shows your spouse how much they are worth to you.

Gifts for Her

A gold bracelet

Gifts for Him

A gold tie clip

Crystal is the first costly gift of the traditional items. The investment of time deserves the investment of money!

Gifts for Her

Crystal champagne flutes, crystal frame with a photo of you together

Gifts for Him

A crystal decanter

The investment of time deserves the investment of money. This gift celebrates your years together - and to many more!
China is fragile just like love. It requires care and serves as a reminder to not take a marriage for granted.

Gifts for Her

An updated set of China

Gifts for Him

A trip to China

Platinum is a strong metal that endures just as a 20 year marriage has endured the test of time.

Gifts for Her

A platinum ring with your wedding date

Gifts for Him

An engraved platinum flask

Silver

For year 25, the anniversary gift is the same for both traditional and modern.

Silver

For year 25, the anniversary gift is the same for both traditional and modern.

Silver is a precious metal and is prized the world over. Remember to value marriage and allow the relationship to shine like the surface of this metal.

Gifts for Her

Engraved silver jewelry, silver flatware, a silver frame

Gifts for Him

Silver cufflinks, silver money clip

Silver is a precious metal and is prized the world over. Remember to value marriage and allow the relationship to shine like the surface of this metal.

Gifts for Her

Engraved silver jewelry, silver flatware, a silver frame

Gifts for Him

Silver cufflinks, silver money clip

A pearl is a treasured gem, hidden in the shell of an oyster. The pearl represents peace and beauty. Another valuable gem, diamonds, also symbolize great beauty.

Gifts for Her

A pearl necklace, a mother-of-pearl vase

Gifts for Him

A seafood dinner, a snorkelling adventure to find your own pearls

Another valuable gem, the diamond, also symbolize great beauty.

Gifts for Her

Dazzling diamond earrings

Gifts for Him

Tickets to see Neil Diamond

In ancient societies, coral was said to protect from sickness and harm. May this gift bring you health and safety!

Gifts for Her

A coral necklace, nautical themed gifts

Gifts for Him

A trip to the Great Barrier Reef

Jade was once used as a form currency in Chinese culture and is now considered a symbol of luck.

Gifts for Her

A jade bracelet, a jade vase

Gifts for Him

A jade tie clip, a mini jade desk statue

Ruby

For year 40, the anniversary gift is the same for both traditional and modern.

Ruby

For year 40, the anniversary gift is the same for both traditional and modern.

The red ruby symbolizes love and passion. Keep the flames of marriage burning.

Gifts for Her

Ruby red roses, ruby earrings, a red scarf

Gifts for Him

A case of his favorite red wine, a visit to the ruby mines in North Carolina

The red ruby symbolizes love and passion. Keep the flames of marriage burning.

Gifts for Her

Ruby red roses, ruby earrings, a red scarf

Gifts for Him

A case of his favorite red wine, a visit to the ruby mines in North Carolina

Sapphire

For year 45, the anniversary gift is the same for both traditional and modern.

Sapphire

For year 45, the anniversary gift is the same for both traditional and modern.

As the stone of royalty, sapphire is a worthy way of celebrating a monumental anniversary!

Gifts for Her

A sapphire necklace, a deep blue crystal bowl, a sapphire bracelet

Gifts for Him

An exotic cruise, a sapphire blue cashmere sweater

As the stone of royalty, sapphire is a worthy way of celebrating a monumental anniversary!

Gifts for Her

A sapphire necklace, a deep blue crystal bowl, a sapphire bracelet

Gifts for Him

An exotic cruise, a sapphire blue cashmere sweater

Gold

For year 50, the anniversary gift is the same for both traditional and modern.

Gold

For year 50, the anniversary gift is the same for both traditional and modern.

Gold is the most prized metal and 50 years together should be celebrated with a most prized possession.

Gifts for Her

A gold necklace, a heart-shaped pendant

Gifts for Him

A gold tie clip, a gold nugget, a gold watch

Gold is the most prized metal and 50 years together should be celebrated with a most prized possession.

Gifts for Her

A gold necklace, a heart-shaped pendant

Gifts for Him

A gold tie clip, a gold nugget, a gold watch

Diamond

For year 60, the anniversary gift is the same for both traditional and modern.

Diamond

For year 60, the anniversary gift is the same for both traditional and modern.

In Greek, the word diamond means unconquerable. After 60 years together you have proven your relationship is unconquerable which deserves the most magnificent jem.

Gifts for Her

A diamond ring to celebrate your life together, a diamond brooch

Gifts for Him

Diamond cufflinks, a trip to Washington, D.C. to see the Hope Diamond

In Greek, the word diamond means unconquerable. After 60 years together you have proven your relationship is unconquerable which deserves the most magnificent jem.

Gifts for Her

A diamond ring to celebrate your life together, a diamond brooch

Gifts for Him

Diamond cufflinks, a trip to Washington, D.C. to see the Hope Diamond

If you are looking for even more anniversary ideas, check out all of our personalized anniversary gifts. You can also get a little inspiration from our gift guide that offers suggestion based on personality type.

To see both traditional and modern gifts for each decade of celebration, click the button to download a simplified visual.

Do you have a question about history? Send us your question at history@time. com and you might find your answer in a future edition of Now You Know.

Married couples may choose to celebrate their anniversaries in any number of ways, whether between themselves or among family and friends, but many couples may feel that when it comes to gifts the “rules” are a bit more defined. Paper for the first year, crystal for the 15th, silver for the 25th and so on — but where’d that tradition get its start?

The idea of giving a gift to mark a wedding anniversary has been traced by various sources to Ancient Rome or medieval Germany, but it’s hard to come up with actual instances of anniversary presents exchanged by married couples from either society that far back. By the 18th century, however, the evidence of gift-giving in German culture is more solid. A couple’s friends might give the wife a wreath made out of silver to commemorate 25 years of marriage (the silberne hochzeit) and, should the couple reach 50 years together, a gold one later.

Among English-language regions, however, mentions of those traditions only start showing up in the 1800s. And that timing is fitting.

“[This idea] originated in the late 19th century, during the Victorian era — it makes total sense. This was a period when it became an exchange of gifts or gifts from other people, because this was the period when the love match was triumphing,” says Stephanie Coontz, Director of Research and Public Education for the Council on Contemporary Families and author of Marriage, a History. “When the love match was first invented it was very destabilizing and traditional conservatives were horrified by the idea… What in the world will we do to get people married and keep them married if love is the main reason? And so there began to be this emphasis on building a love and commitment.”

As the century progressed, media mentions of silver and gold weddings or anniversaries increased accordingly. In the earlier years, a “silver wedding” or “golden wedding” was often described as a German or Dutch tradition with which English-speaking readers would not be familiar. In 1811, for example, London’s Literary Panoramathought its readers would “hardly comprehend” the idea. When German author Marie Nathusius’ novel was translated to English in 1860, the translator added a note on a chapter about silver wedding celebrations to explain that all classes in Germany celebrated silver and golden weddings with “great festivities and rejoicings.”

Though both sides of a couple would celebrate these anniversaries — according to an 1850s travel book on Peasant life in Germany, the wife wore a silver wreath and the husband a silver buckle for the 25th anniversary — presents given to the wife were commonly emphasized. For example, the German composer Richard Wagner noted that his wife Minna’s friends presented her with a silver-spangled wreath as a souvenir of their 25th anniversary in 1861, from which she sent him a few silver leaves. And an 1843 account of a silver wedding ceremony in Germany tells of a husband giving his wife a silver crown as part of the festivities. The writer observed that, “I could not help reflecting how much such a ceremony as I have just described, contributed to keep alive the warm feelings and pure affections of youth; how genial was its influence even upon the care-worn and worldly heart.”

As Coontz explains, as the idea of the love marriage proliferated but traditional gender roles remained, celebrants began to believe that the wife’s achievement in reaching the milestone was the one worth celebrating. “There’s still not the idea that [marriage] takes work from the husband, but there’s more recognition that it takes work from the wife,” says Coontz.

Presents were one way to acknowledge that work, and indeed when the Inter Ocean Curiosity Shop for the Year 1886answered a reader’s question about the origin of such anniversaries, the publication noted that such gifts were given not only “in congratulation of the good fortune that had prolonged the lives of the couple so many years,” but also “in recognition of the fact that the pair must have known a fairly harmonious existence” to make it so far, and that “[in] agreement with the old idea that the harmony of the household depended mainly upon the wife she received the reward.”

As the silver and gold traditions spread, celebrants — and shopkeepers — looked for parallel ways to mark earlier anniversaries too.

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By 1859 edition, The (Old) Farmer’s Almanaccounted off “one month from marriage makes a sugar wedding; one year makes a paper wedding” then wood at five, tin for ten, silver for 25, golden at 50, and diamond at 75. Other sources describe a “copper wedding” at twelve and a half years. By 1877, a book titledPerfect Etiquette, or, How to Behave in Society singled out eight occasions on which a specific present was appropriate. Such lists began to show up in dictionaries as well and Webster’sComplete Dictionary of the English Language, published in the 1880s, declared that gifts in the appropriate material — wooden wedding for five years, tin for 10, china at 20, the classic silver and golden for 25th and 50th, and diamond at the 60th anniversary — were given to the husband and wife on the occasion in some places. Ebenezer Cobham Brewer’s Dictionary of Phrase and Fableincluded the same list in 1895. (Whether diamonds were given on the 60th year or the 75th remained unsettled, perhaps because 75 years of marriage required remarkable longevity, as a mention of such a celebration noted in 1862.)

It wasn’t until the 20th century that an exhaustive yearly list was invented, and even then it’s been subject to change.

“As you begin to get that sentimentalization of marriage and the nuclear family, which really comes to the fore in 19th century England and America far more than continental Europe, of course the emerging market begins to take note of it,” says Coontz. “So you’ve got Hallmark by the 1920s getting in on the act and the jewelers going ‘oh yum’ in the ’30s.”

By 1910, The Standard Home Reference Library provided a longer list of suggested names “commonly given to such anniversaries,” with yearly gifts for the first five years (paper, straw, candy, leather, wood) as well as special presents for years seven (floral), ten (tin), 12 (linen), 15 (crystal) and 20 (china). Gifts of pearl, coral, emerald and ruby filled in the roster for years 30 to 45. The diamond anniversary was acceptable either at 60 or 75 years. Emily Post’s 1922 Etiquette: in Society, in Business, in Politics and at Home, her bestselling first etiquette book, includes eight specific occasions and explained how they ought to be marked, noting that — while celebrations were often larger in Germany — in the U.S. was “not very good form” to have a big anniversary party, on the idea that such a party would seem like a gift grab. (Anniversary presents were clearly a well-accepted fact between the couple by that point.) An exception was made for the major anniversaries, as “the golden wedding [is] a quite sacred event.”

That hesitance about public celebration, however, would not last.

In fact, the very same year Post’s guide was published, the American National Retail Jewelers Association discussed supplementing the common anniversaries at their 1922 meeting.

One attendee, according to the Jewelers’ Circular, called “attention to the fact that wooden and tin anniversaries came far ahead of golden anniversaries and diamond anniversaries, and that the jeweler surely derived very little profit until after he had waited 50 or 75 years for a golden or diamond anniversary.” Over the next decade or so, the organization worked to create a uniform list for jewelers to use all over the U.S. It wasn’t all jewelry — the association considered electrical merchandise for the fifth anniversary — but there was a heavy emphasis on precious stones and and metals.

“All the marketing people and droves of sentimentalizers started figuring out reasons for symbolism and trying to make people see it as a very important symbolic step to take that brings them closer as a couple,” says Coontz.

Today such lists lists proliferate, with slight regional differences as well as modern variants on the traditional gifts — but the effort to find a suitable gift for every single year up to 50 has sometimes resulted in less obviously thrilling presents: According to the Chicago Public Library’s list, for example, the best way to celebrate 44 years of marriage was with the gift of groceries.

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