Celebrate your twenty year anniversary with time-honored traditions or create a new tradition that is totally your own with our exclusive guide.
Twenty Year Anniversary Traditions
When your twenty year wedding anniversary comes around, it's almost hard to believe it's true. Twenty years? But that big wedding bash feels like it happened just yesterday! As the old saying goes: the days are long, but the years are short. Your twenty year anniversary offers the perfect opportunity to slow down (at least a little!) and stroll down memory lane, reminiscing about where you started, appreciating where you are, and looking forward to where you're headed next.
What is the twenty year anniversary gift?
Traditionally the twenty year wedding anniversary is celebrated with gifts of china, while the contemporary gift is platinum. Whether you prefer the old traditions or the new, your twenty year wedding anniversary is a milestone worth celebrating.
If you're looking for anniversary gift ideas that are furhter off the beaten path, there are also traditional anniversary gemstones, colors, and flowers to help inspire the perfect gift to commemorate your first twenty years and your commitment to the next twenty!
Traditional Twenty Year Anniversary Gift: China
China is the traditional gift for your twenty year anniversary. Symbolizing the delicate aspects of your marriage, it reflects the elegant and gentle familiarity that grows over time during your first twenty years.
China Anniversary Gift Ideas
While it used to be common for couples to register for their china pattern once they became engaged, this has become less common over the years. Whether because couples aren't settled in a home yet, don't have the space to store special occasion dishes, or simply haven't felt the need to invest, many couples don't have a complete china collection. If you're settled now and have been putting it off, starting your collection with a few place settings for your anniversary will get you off to a good start.
If you've been collecting pieces throughout the years, you might look to give a gift of china serving dishes, a china tea set, or even replacement pieces for those few cups and saucers that fell from the counter throughout the years.
For couples who have a complete china dish collection, or aren't interested in creating one, china gifts can also come in the form of frames, vases, figurines, or even jewelry.
Many couples use the traditional gifts as inspiration and interpret them in unique and exciting ways. A romantic weekend getaway to San Francisco with stops in Chinatown, for example, blends tradition with adventure and is ideal for a couple whose wanderlust leads the way.
There's an anniversary gift for every year--learn more with our Free Guide: Everything You Need to Know About Traditional Anniversary Gifts!
Modern Twenty Year Anniversary Gift: Platinum
Platinum is strong, and so is your marriage after twenty years together. Whether you've had children who are now in college or have kept it to you two, twenty years comes with plenty of lot of ups and downs, and couples who reach this milestone have a stronger bond because of it.
Platinum Presents? Yes, Please!
Traditionally, couples in the UK wait until their 70th anniversary to celebrate their Platinum Anniversary. For US couples, there is no traditionally celebrated Platinum Anniversary, though many have adopted the UK tradition to fill in the milestone anniversaries after Diamond.
Thanks to the contemporary gift list, begun in 1937 and filling in gift options for every year from 1-60, everyone can get a piece of the platinum pie, and since this material makes its appearance at twenty years, we get to enjoy it much sooner than we would have otherwise.
With a material as enduring and versatile as platinum, the only limitation on how you interpret this gift is your imagination. Platinum jewelry is an easy (and much loved) choice, and can serve as the foundation for unique anniversary rings or diamond anniversary bands.
Often, people think of wives when they think of anniversary jewelry. However, gender need not be a factor in the equation. Whether you're looking for a subtle and timeless platinum and gold ring, a platinum and diamond pendant, or a platinum eternity band, you're sure to find a piece of platinum jewelry to suit any partner's taste.
For a gift that blends the traditional and the modern, platinum rimmed china is a thoughtful gift. You can also use the material symbolically to inspire a gift that is unique to your spouse's specific interests, such as a bottle of Johnnie Walker Platinum for the scotch lover in your life, or a 20-year-old Riesling or Bordeaux along with platinum rimmed wine glasses. Some couples even purchase a bottle of wine that will age well to lay down (in the right conditions, of course) until their 20th anniversary!
Gemstones and Colors and Flowers, Oh My: Alternative Twenty Year Anniversary Gifts
Get creative with tradition by using the alternate anniversary gemstones, colors, and flowers as inspiration for unforgettable, one of a kind twenty year anniversary gifts. Whether planning a trip to the Emerald Isle or starting a perennial garden packed with lilies, you're sure to find inspiration for the perfect anniversary gift for even the pickiest partner.
20 year anniversary gemstone: Emerald or Platinum
There's no mistaking the stunning green flash of an emerald. Following the traditional list of anniversary gifts by year, emerald gifts wait until the 55th anniversary. Thankfully, the alternate gemstone for the twenty year anniversary is emeralds, so we can begin investing in emerald anniversary gifts much sooner. A bold pair of emerald earrings or a delicate diamond and emerald bracelet are both sure to turn heads.
20 year anniversary color: Emerald Green or White
The 20 year anniversary colors can do more than help you decorate your anniversary party; they can also help to inspire your gift. If you found the perfect ring only to find discover it wasn't platinum, you're in luck. Traditionally the twenty year anniversary is associated with emerald green or white, so a white gold and diamond anniversary ring will fit right in.
20 year anniversary flower: Aster or Day Lily
Depending on your region, asters or daylilies are considered the traditional twenty year anniversary flower. If you're not sure which is more common in your region, your partner is unlikely to fault you for choosing the one they like best (or both!). A bouquet of 20 flowers is a thoughtful option, or you could use the floral scents to inspire a gift basket filled with luxury bath and body products, perfume, and a scented candle.
For a wow-worthy gift she'll want to wear every day, consider a gift of floral-inspired jewelry, such as this white gold and diamond lily necklace.
Traditional Anniversary Gifts for Years 21-24
After the first fifteen years, the traditional list of anniversary gifts begins marking only fifth year with a customary material. For couples celebrating anniversaries 21-24, the contemporary list fills in the blanks, and offers a material or readymade gift for every anniversary between 1-60 years.
21 Year Anniversary
Traditional 21 year anniversary gift: N/A
Modern 21 Year anniversary gift: Brass or Nickel
22 Year Anniversary
Traditional 22 year anniversary gift: N/A
Modern 22 year anniversary gift: Copper23 Year Anniversary
Traditional 23 year anniversary gift: N/A
Modern 23 year anniversary gift: Silver Plate24 Year Anniversary
Traditional 24 year anniversary gift: N/A
Modern 24 year anniversary gifts: Musical Instruments
The 21-24 year anniversaries are also celebrated with alternate gemstones and traditional colors. For this, and more, make sure to check out our year by year anniversary guide.
Shopping for Twenty Year Anniversary Jewelry
If you don't yet have a relationship with a jeweler whose opinion and quality you trust, there's no better time to find one than when you're shopping for a milestone anniversary. After getting to know your style and preferences, they’ll be able to help you grow your collection coordinate future gifts. When you're investing in heirloom quality gifts that you hope to pass on to future generations, a trusted eye and expert opinion are not only helpful but essential.
If you're shopping for the perfect gift in San Francisco, we'd love to meet you and help you find exactly what you need. You can schedule a consultation by phone or online, or stop on by our Union Street shop. We can't wait to help!
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