A Year-by-Year Guide to Traditional Wedding Anniversary Gifts (2023)

sara sam italy wedding couple holding each other gazing at each other

A Year-by-Year Guide to Traditional Wedding Anniversary Gifts (1)

Whether you're celebrating one year of marital bliss or your first decade of matrimony, a thoughtful anniversary gift that shows how much you care is an absolute must. If you've done your research, you know that some couples choose to exchange presents based on their anniversary year. You might also know that there are two types of lists—traditional and modern. If you're sticking with the classics, your first married year calls for paper, the second for cotton, the third for leather, and so on. You know the drill!

Finding the perfect present that suits your spouse can be challenging enough and choosing one that also aligns with the traditional anniversary year gift can feel near impossible. That's where we come in. We've outlined the classic present categoriesfor the first 20 years of marriage and even added in a few gift ideas (for him and her) for each, too. With this handy guide, you won't just wonder which type of present you're supposed to exchange on year 13—you'll be ready with plenty of ideasto please your favorite person.

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Year 1: Paper

Calligraphed note

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Credit: Nirav Patel

In the grand scheme of this list, complete with more expensive themes like platinum and crystal, paper represents modest beginnings and the growth of a marriage. Start small and gift a calligraphed version of your wedding vows, or take it one step further and frame them and hang them above your bed as a surprise. If you and your spouse are trying to gift experiences over things, exchange concert or airlinetickets—they're your paper gift loophole!

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Year 2: Cotton


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Cotton Gifts for Your 2nd Wedding Anniversary

An embroidered cotton pajama set, a fresh set of his favorite sheets, a monogrammed throw blanket—your second, fabric-themed anniversary gift is all about giving comfort. A good rule of thumb? If it's cotton, makes you want to snuggle, and is conducive to cuddling, it passes the test.

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Year 3: Leather

Burgundy suit

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Leather symbolizes durability and longevity (it gets better with age!), an apt description of you and your love's marriage. A pair of rich, cognac-colored leather dress shoes will make an impression on him, as will a buttery weekender bag. For her, opt for that designer handbag she's had her eyes on forever, or a custom etched leather bracelet, complete with both your initials.

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Year 4: Linen

wedding napkins

(Video) Anniversary Gift Guide By Years: The First Decade (Years 1-10) | The Knot

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Linen Gifts for Your 4th Wedding Anniversary

On your fourth anniversary, revamp your tablescape with a new runner and napkin set, especially if your linens are looking a little worn for the weardue to all the family holidays you've been hosting. When it comes to linens, adding on a monogram is a surefire way to make the gift that more meaningful.

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Year 5: Wood

Wood may seem like an unlikely gift medium, but the material actually has a lot to offer, especially if you're working on crafting a wine and spirit cellar. Hire a professional to design a custom wine box or whiskey barrel, where you can store your most prized bottles (including your wedding wine!). For something a little more practical, opt for a butcher's block. This is an especially smart if you two spend most of your time together in the kitchen, whipping up one mid-week masterpiece after the next.

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Year 6: Iron


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Credit: Lennart Weibull

Like your marriage, iron is incredibly strong, which makes it a more-than-appropriate gift choice for your sixth wedding anniversary. Couples traditionally exchange designed-to-last kitchenware, like cast-iron skillets or Dutch ovens, but there's a way to make the sturdy, masculine medium a little bit more personal. Since this is (typically!) around the time when couples decide on a forever-home, a new set of iron house numbers signifies that you've officially established permanent residency together.

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Year 7: Wool

Chair Decor Mr. and Mrs. Blankets

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Wool Gifts for Your 7th Wedding Anniversary

Wool has long been a symbol of enduring marriage. In ancient times, Roman brides wore wool wedding dresses, since the fabric was considered lucky and repellant of evil spirits. Today, couples mark the comfort, security, and warmth of their relationships by exchanging wool on their seventh wedding anniversary. Gift each other cashmere scarves so you'll stay warm and cozy even when you're not together. Also options? Slipping new pillow covers onto the cushions on your sectional, sourcing the finest wool for the warmest winter blanket possible, or knitting a soft pair of socks (or a sweater, if you're really good!).

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Year 8: Pottery

Wedding centerpiece

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Pottery Gifts for Your 8th Wedding Anniversary

Ceramic represents earthiness and simplicity, so keep it low-key while celebrating year eight. Take a pottery wheel class together, where you'll learn to craft your own ceramic vases, bowls, and plates—you just might also discover a new favorite hobby. If you want to exchange physical gifts, try his and hers mugs, a bespoke vase, a pretty catch-all, or natural dinnerware.

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(Video) Wedding Anniversary Gifts by Year - Names & Symbolic Meaning

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Year 9: Willow

Biodegradable Serveware

A Year-by-Year Guide to Traditional Wedding Anniversary Gifts (10)

Credit: Bryan Gardner

Willow Gifts for Your 9th Wedding Anniversary

Keep the same themes in mind for your ninth wedding anniversary. Perfect for budding gardeners, planting a willow tree outside of your home insures future shade and comfort in the next decade (or two!). A willow whicker picnic basket is the perfect companion gift—you'll be able to dine under the shade of your new tree spring after spring.

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Year 10: Aluminum

blue wedding getaway car

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Credit: Erich McVey

You've done it—one whole decade together. Celebrate your relationship's fortitude with a material that's (almost!) as solid: aluminum. Mark the landmark occasion with a luxe gift, like a set of new kitchen knivesor a pair of weather-resistant bikes, perfect for racing down your favorite trails. Planning on going even bigger? Aluminum is commonly found in cars, which means purchasing that joy-ride for your couples trip up the coast is totally justifiable.

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Year 11: Steel


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Credit: Sweet Monday Photography

Steel Gifts for Your 11th Wedding Anniversary

One more year together means your marriage is that much stronger, which is why steel follows aluminum (steel is a tougher medium than aluminum!) in the traditional gift chain. Come your 11th anniversary, look to your wrists for inspiration. A sleek stainless steel watch works for both him or her. Better yet, buy each other complementary time pieces you'll wear every day. Alternatively, replace dated household appliances—like dishwashers, refrigerators, or your washer-and-dryer combo—with steel options for a sleek, modern home refresh.

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Year 12: Silk

madelyn jon wedding brides green shoes

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Silk Gifts for Your 12th Wedding Anniversary

As the years go by, you'll notice that the traditional gifts get more and more luxe. Silk, a pricey fabric, definitely follows suit. Mediate the splurge by choosing a gift that you'll use frequently, like a pair of pretty statement pumps or a silk pillowcase for her, or a go-to work tie for him.

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(Video) A Complete Guide To Tenth Wedding Anniversary


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Year 13: Lace


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Lace Gifts for Your 13th Wedding Anniversary

Make your 13th year of marriage that much more special with this dainty fabric—or with objects inspired by the textile. Lace-inspired jewelry, like a Filigree lace cuff or drop earrings make an unconventional but appropriate choice for your wife. Since lace is so often associated with the feminine, finding the right gift for your guy might be trickier. Get creative and consider having a piece of your lace wedding dress sewed inside his favorite work blazer. This way, he'll have a piece of your wedding day with him every time he wears it.

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Year 14: Ivory

paris wedding white bouquet

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Credit: Greg Finck

Ivory Gifts for Your 14th Wedding Anniversary

Skip the real thing and opt for an ivory-colored gift instead. A sprawling all-white bouquet withher favorite blooms will surely earn you brownie points.For him, opt for a luxurious white-plated shaving set, complete with a razor and lather brush, to help him feel like he's getting a formal shave from the comfort of his own home.

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Year 15: Crystal

berry cocktail

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Crystal Gifts for Your 15th Wedding Anniversary

Sparkly, elevated, and decidedly expensive, crystal is definitely the way to go when celebrating the big 1-5. If you've become wine connoisseurs over the years, a set of crystal goblets is our go-to pick. A vintage vase, candy dish, or decorative object are also all tried-and-true choices.

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Year 16: Hollowware

kara bridal shower centerpiece

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This category refers to any type of hollow vessel, like a pitcher, vase, or planter. Since this recommendation is so broad, hone in on your spouse's interests. For example, if your husband or wife is a beer-lover, a new growler will make their visits to a favorite brewery even better.

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Year 17: Furniture

Magenta and Gold Color Palette

A Year-by-Year Guide to Traditional Wedding Anniversary Gifts (18)

In the 17 years since you first registered for or bought furniture, trends and your personal style have likely changed. Take advantage of this classic gift type and redesign your living room (or bedroom, or bathroom!) together. If family wants to know what they can get you this year, ask for interior design services—an expert will help both your visions come to life cohesively, no matter how different they are.

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(Video) The Modern And Traditional Anniversary Gift List

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Year 18: Porcelain

hannah steve wedding california china macarons

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Porcelain Gifts for Your 18th Wedding Anniversary

You've mastered the art of hostessing, which means your dinnerware likely has a few chips here and there. Upgrade your set with something you love just as much. If you went classic years ago, try something bolder this time around. A chinoiserie set, like this one, feels traditional, but brings a welcome splash of color to your tabletop.

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Year 19: Bronze

eleanor jacques wedding table place setting

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Bronze Gifts for Your 19th Wedding Anniversary

Since bronze is created by combining copper and tin, it acts as a symbol of the marriage pact—two people pledging to live (and potentially raise a family!) as one. As you approach two decades of marriage, a metaphor like this one feels more poignant. Reaffirm your bond with a bronze gift that represents it. Reframe a favorite wedding photo in bronze, pick out a vintage metallic vase together, or peruse the work of a local artist for a garden sculpture you both love.

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Year 20: Platinum

ring ring box

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Platinum Gifts for Your 20th Wedding Anniversary

You've loved and remained committed to each other for twenty years, which means it's definitely time to celebrate. You'll likely do a lot of reflecting on this anniversary, which makes finding a gift that represents your beginnings a good place to start. Plan a vow renewal, where you'll exchange an upgraded engagement ring or wedding rings, as a couple. Placing that new-and-improved band on your hand will simultaneously bring the memories of your engagement period and wedding day rushing back and get you excited for the next 20 years to come.

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What is the item for each anniversary? ›

Celebration and gifts

These gifts vary in different countries, but some anniversary years now have well-established connections common to most nations: 5th Wood, 10th Tin, 15th Crystal, 20th China, 25th Silver, 30th Pearl, 35th Jade, 40th Ruby, 45th Sapphire, 50th Gold, 60th Diamond, and 70th Platinum.

What are the traditional modern anniversary gifts by year? ›

  • 1st Anniversary: Paper. Paper is the traditional gift for celebrating your first year of marriage. ...
  • 2nd Anniversary: Fiber. ...
  • 4th Anniversary: Flowers. ...
  • 6th Anniversary: Candy. ...
  • 7th Anniversary: Copper or Wool. ...
  • 8th Anniversary: Bronze or Pottery. ...
  • 10th Anniversary: Aluminum. ...
  • 11th Anniversary: Steel.
28 Oct 2022

What is the theme of each wedding anniversary? ›

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Wedding Anniversary OccasionTraditional ThemeColour
1st YearPaperGold; Yellow
2nd YearCottonRed
3rd YearLeatherJade; White
4th YearLinen; Silk (UK) Fruit/Flowers (US)Blue; Green
32 more rows

What is the rule of thumb for wedding gifts? ›

An easy rule of thumb is to stay within the average range of $75 to $200, but you can adjust the exact amount based on your personal finances, as well as your relationship with the couple.

Do spouses get each other wedding gifts? ›

It has become customary for brides and grooms to exchange gifts and vows and rings when they get married. While it is considered an "optional tradition", this type of sentimental gift exchange between couples on their wedding day is becoming increasingly popular.

Which anniversary is most important? ›

The first anniversary is one of the most important milestones you will achieve as a married couple. Traditionally, the first anniversary is represented by paper. Paper is symbolic in that it represents a new beginning.

What are the most important anniversaries? ›

The first few years of your marriage up to 10 years are all considered major anniversary landmarks. After that, the big celebrations usually come every 5 and 10 years. The anniversary where the traditional gift starts becoming more precious is your 25th, when silver is the traditional material.

What are thoughtful anniversary gifts? ›

Whether you're shopping for an S.O. or buying for a happy couple, personalized presents with an engraving or embroidered detail like a wedding date, vow, or monogram, always show thoughtfulness. Jewelry, watches, linen sets, or decorative accessories are some of the best in this instance, both for men and women.

What are some timeless gifts? ›

26 timeless gifts that work for any occasion:
  • A durable water bottle. Hydro Flask. ...
  • A nice pair of headphones. Hollis Johnson/Business Insider. ...
  • A bath set to encourage self-care. Maude. ...
  • A minimalist watch. ...
  • A classic leather wallet. ...
  • A sleek serving platter with their name. ...
  • A portable e-reader. ...
  • A sleek, customizable luggage tag.
26 Oct 2022

Are there traditional anniversary gifts? ›

Each wedding anniversary has traditional and modern gifts, as well as traditional flowers, colors, and gemstones.

What is the 6 year anniversary gift traditional and modern? ›

These are the traditional gifts associated with the sixth anniversary: Traditional Gift: Candy (for sweetness) or iron (for strength) Contemporary/Modern Gift: Wood, which signifies a long-lasting and solid marriage. Gemstone: Amethyst or turquoise.

What color is best for anniversary? ›

A Breakdown of Traditional Anniversary Colors
  • 1st Anniversary: Gold or Yellow.
  • 2nd Anniversary: Red or Linen White.
  • 3rd Anniversary: White or Jade Green.
  • 4th Anniversary: Blue or Green.
  • 5th Anniversary: Blue, Pink, or Turquoise.
  • 6th Anniversary: Purple, Turquoise, or White.
  • 7th Anniversary: Onyx, Yellow, or Off White.
19 Jun 2022

Should a wife buy her husband an anniversary gift? ›

Absolutely! In fact, that might be an even better fit for your husband–bonus points if it's something you can do together to celebrate your anniversary. Especially if you both have busy schedules and don't often get much time alone, an experiential gift for just the two of you is an excellent choice.

What should you not give as a wedding gift? ›

Unless the couple has specifically told you otherwise, you'll want to avoid these 18 bad wedding gifts.
  • Off-registry linens. Credit: Stone & Beam. ...
  • Regifted items. ...
  • A half-gift… ...
  • Or an item for half the couple. ...
  • Artwork and other home decor. ...
  • Any kind of baby-related items. ...
  • Gag gifts. ...
  • Self-help or relationship books.
17 Mar 2021

How much money do you give at a wedding 2022? ›

On average, guests in 2022 are spending around $150 per person on a wedding gift. When considering an appropriate amount to spend on the wedding gift, the main factors are your relationship with the couple, how fancy is the reception, and how many pre-wedding activities are you invited to.

How much money do you give a couple for 2022 wedding gift? ›

How much should a cash wedding gift be? The average wedding gift is around $100 (per guest), and this baseline is a great place to start. If you're bringing a plus-one, then you can give $200 as a couple.

Who gives the bride something blue? ›

Grandmothers often gift the bride a piece of vintage jewelry for the “something old” segment, and “blue” can be interpreted in many ways— from ribbons to shoes to bridesmaids dresses and so on. Some brides choose to give themselves the objects, but this is less common than receiving small gifts that fit the old rhyme.

What is a respectable amount of money to give as a wedding gift? ›

The average wedding gift amount hovers right around $100, which is a great place to start, and you can increase or decrease that based on how close you are. If you're very close or related to the couple (and have the wiggle room in your budget), you may choose to spend more—about $150 per guest (or $200 from a couple).

Can you spend too much on a wedding gift? ›

While there's technically no maximum amount, be sure to stay within your budget and weigh your relationship with the couple. Even if you aren't very close with the couple, consider the cost of putting on a wedding and look at your gift as a way to thank them for the invite.

What is the longest marriage ever? ›

The longest marriage ever was enjoyed by Herbert Fisher (USA, b. 1905) and Zelmyra Fisher (USA, b. 1907). The couple had been married for 86 years 290 days as of 27 February 2011, when Mr Fisher passed away.

What are the golden years of marriage? ›

Traditional names exist for some of them: for instance, 50 years of marriage is called a "golden wedding anniversary" or simply a "golden anniversary" or "golden wedding".

What are golden anniversaries? ›

Known as the Golden Anniversary, the 50th year of a marriage is traditionally associated with gold. Like what the gold colour symbolises, the 50th year mines a wealth of the couple's experiences in their marriage, and with the refining, carries an optimism of the 51st year and beyond with each other.

Do our bodies remember anniversaries? ›

Yes. Our bodies have memories. And they are important to listen to. The anniversary effect, or anniversary reaction, is a set of unsettling feelings, thoughts or memories that occur on the anniversary of a significant experience.

How soon do couples move in together? ›

How long do most couples date before living together? “Same gender couples, on average, move in together within 6 months. For all other couples, it seems to be on average about 2 years,” says Dr.

When to know when to say I love you? ›

Signs it's the right time to say "I love you":

You know your partner extremely well. You recognize your partner's flaws—but you still feel like you love them. You've had significant or meaningful experiences together. Statements like "I like you a lot" don't feel like they're enough anymore.

What is an unforgettable gift? ›

A 'memorable gift' or 'unforgettable gift' is something that hasn't been thought of before; it's innovative, relevant, thoughtful, and “is all about YOU”. In other words, it's a gift that “totally nails your personality”.

What is the best marriage gift? ›

Flowers, cakes, chocolates, and personalized photo frame or lampshades sum up to be the best kind of gifts on a wedding day of someone as close as a brother.

What is the most priceless gift? ›

Spending time with loved ones and reflecting on all that has gone right is a precious gift. Too many people feel afraid, unloved and alone, especially during the holidays. One of the most priceless gifts you can give someone is that of your time.

What is the most precious gift? ›

Life is the most Precious Gift.

What is life's most precious gift? ›

Love: The Most Precious Gift of Life shows us that we must live with love, because that is the only way to really live.

Do husbands receive anniversary gifts? ›

If you're married or in a partnership, you'll be happy to know that you're most likely going to get an anniversary gift from your beloved. Nearly three quarters (74.2%) of married people buy their partner anniversary gifts, 20% only sometimes, and 6% not at all.

Are anniversary gifts necessary? ›

While the short answer is that no, gifts aren't strictly necessary, there's more to it. Making your significant other feel special is never a bad idea. Here are our thoughts on when you should and shouldn't give anniversary gifts, and how to pick out the right one.

What are the anniversary rules? ›

Milestone anniversaries occur every five years in the beginning, starting with five years of marriage and followed by the 10th, 15th, 20th, 25th and 30th anniversaries. After your three-decade milestone, it typically switches to every 10 years (40th, 50th, 60th anniversary and so on).

What is the traditional gift for 8 years of marriage? ›

Traditional: Bronze and Pottery

The traditional eighth anniversary gifts are bronze and pottery. Bronze is formed by combining copper and tin, which are stronger when paired together—just like a loving couple.

What is the 7th year anniversary gift? ›

The traditional gifts for a seventh anniversary are copper and wool. Copper is durable and represents love and protection. A practical gift like a copper growler can be greatly appreciated. In contrast, wool is symbolic of warmth and comfort.

What is each anniversary called? ›

1st Anniversary - Paper. 2nd Anniversary - Cotton. 3rd Anniversary - Leather. 4th Anniversary - Fruit or Flowers.

What is the most romantic color? ›

If red and pink are considered the two most romantic colors, purple probably snags third place. And like red, purple makes a bold statement. However, purple hues aren't as stimulating as red shades. Violets and plums are calming like darker blues, with some added warmth and intrigue.

What flower is for anniversary? ›

What is the official flower for the first anniversary? It is believed that carnation is the official flower for the first anniversary. This is because carnations symbolize affection, the same affection you have for your better half. Carnations come in many shades, ranging from light yellow to bright blue.

What color is good luck for marriage? ›

Royal and vivid hues such as gold, yellow, orange and red are considered to be lucky for the Life Path 1 bride. Gold and yellow represents creativity, joy, glamorous and sophistication. Orange represents confidence being a woman, while red indicates power.

How can I make my husband feel special on our anniversary? ›

Want to plan the perfect anniversary? Keep reading for 20 romantic ideas that are sure to impress your partner.
  1. Take a Walk Down Memory Lane. ...
  2. Plan a Thoughtful Scavenger Hunt. ...
  3. Cook a Perfect Meal. ...
  4. Surprise Them with Hearts Everywhere. ...
  5. Recreate Your First Date. ...
  6. Watch a Movie Under the Stars. ...
  7. Book a Night in a Romantic Hotel.
6 May 2021

What is the wedding color for 2022? ›

Blush, grey, mauve, beige and even a pastel blue are just some of the many hues when aiming for this palette. If your heart is begging for more color, try taking a brighter shade and looking at the softer, or subdued version such as a dusty rose for a touch of pink or light sage from the green family.

What do most brides walk down the aisle to? ›

Top 10 Most Popular Entrance Songs
  • Canon in D - Pachelbel. Play.
  • At Last - Etta James. Play.
  • Songbird - Fleetwood Mac. Play.
  • Here Comes The Sun - The Beatles. Play.
  • A Thousand Years - Christina Perri. Play.
  • Somwhere Over The Rainbow - Israel Kamakawiwo'Ole. Play.
  • Make You Feel My Love - Adele. Play.
  • Isn't She Lovely - Stevie Wonder.

What are the 3 things every bride should have on their wedding day? ›

There is so much to do and think about, little things can get missed.
The bridge should make a checklist and make sure the following items are on the list.
  • A comfortable robe. ...
  • Bottled water. ...
  • Water facial spray bottle. ...
  • Travel mouthwash. ...
  • Cell phone charger.

What is the 12 year traditional gift for marriage? ›

The traditional 12-year anniversary gifts are silk and fine linen—two classic home decor materials that represent the life a couple has built together. These luxurious fabrics symbolize the security and comfort felt after 12 years of wedded bliss.

What are the traditional gifts? ›

Traditional list by anniversary year:
  • 1st: Paper.
  • 2nd: Cotton.
  • 3rd: Leather.
  • 4th: Linen.
  • 5th: Wood.
  • 6th: Iron.
  • 7th: Wool.
  • 8th: Bronze.

What is the list of gifts for a wedding called? ›

A wedding registry is a curated list of gifts that's created by the engaged couple and made available to the wedding guests prior to the event.

What is the 13th wedding gift? ›

Traditionally, the 13th wedding anniversary is celebrated with a gift of lace, while the more modern iterations are (faux) fur and other textiles. While these luxe materials give plenty of gift ideas to choose from, know that you're not limited to just these themes.

What are the classy gifts? ›

Gifts for the Classy
  • Flowers & Cakes.
  • Personalized.
  • Home & Living.
  • Jewellery.
  • Fashion & Lifestyle.
  • Gourmet.
  • Toys & Games.

What is the 13th wedding anniversary called? ›


A: The 13th wedding anniversary is known as the Lace Anniversary.

What is the five gift rule? ›

In the 5 Gift Rule, the first four gifts are the same - something they want, something they need, something to wear and something to read. But the 5th? The 5th is the real winner. It's something they need or want but don't really know it.

What is the 3 gift rule? ›

One popular tactic is to have your kids narrow their gift lists to just three categories: something they want (say, a new video game), something they need (like a puffer coat) and something to read (the Ramona series has been calling their name).

What is the 4 gift rule? ›

A trend which has gained traction over the past few years on social media is the "four gift rule". Parents pledge to give their offspring just four presents: Something they want, something they need, something to wear and something to read.

What is the average dollar amount to give at a wedding? ›

The average wedding gift amount hovers right around $100, which is a great place to start, and you can increase or decrease that based on how close you are. If you're very close or related to the couple (and have the wiggle room in your budget), you may choose to spend more—about $150 per guest (or $200 from a couple).

How much money should you give at a wedding? ›

She offers these guidelines to wedding-goers wherever they might be: A distant relative or co-worker should give $75-$100; a friend or relative, $100-$125; a closer relative, up to $150.


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