The Significance of Wedding Anniversaries

4:50 PM

Every year of marriage is celebrated or should be celebrated. The symbolism associated with every year is related to increased durability and value. Of what significance therefore does each additional year brings?

Traditional and Modern Wedding Anniversary Symbols

  • 1st anniversary: Paper
  • 2nd anniversary: Cotton
  • 3rd anniversary: Leather
  • 4th anniversary: Linen or Fruits and Flowers
  • 5th anniversary: Wood
  • 6th anniversary: Candy or Iron
  • 7th anniversary: Copper or Wool
  • 8th anniversary: Bronze or pottery
  • 9th anniversary: Pottery or Willow
  • 10th anniversary: Tin or Aluminum
  • 11th anniversary: Steel
  • 12th anniversary: Silk or Linen
  • 13th anniversary: Lace
  • 14th anniversary: Ivory
  • 15th anniversary: Crystal
  • 16th anniversary: Silver
  • 17th anniversary: Furniture
  • 18th anniversary: Porcelain
  • 19th anniversary: Bronze
  • 20th anniversary: China
  • 25th anniversary: Silver
  • 30th anniversary: Pearl
  • 35th anniversary: Coral
  • 40th anniversary: Ruby
  • 45th anniversary: Sapphire
  • 50th anniversary: Gold
  • 55th anniversary: Emerald
  • 60th anniversary: Diamond (yellow)
  • 65th anniversary: Blue Sapphire
  • 70th anniversary: Platinum
  • 75th anniversary: Diamond (gold)
  • 80th anniversary: Diamond, oak
  • 85th anniversary: Moonstone or Wife's birthstone
  • 90th anniversary: Stone or Engraved Marble


There are actually varying meanings when taking into account the US and UK versions. No matter, it is quite clear that every passing year or every fifth year after the 20th anniversary is symbolized by more durable and lasting physical materials. This is in direct relation to the expected increased durability as marriage ages.

As couples spend more time together, there is an expectation that their relationship will develop towards the end goal of having unity between two entirely different people. This unity will  form the very foundation of the strength of the marriage. Length of time is usually associated with endurance and permanence.

My Say

As my husband and I celebrated our 16th wedding anniversary yesterday, we are thankful for the years that have been given us and are looking forward to spending many more years together. Although our marriage is far from perfect , we are grateful for the increasing clarity of our real goals as a married couple with every year that passes. The past year has been extraordinarily special due to our mutual decision to cultivate the spiritual dimension of our relationship with God.

That said, here's a toast to couples who continually struggle to make their marriages work in spite of the odds, including us.

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