What type of flowers should you send for a wedding anniversary?

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Everybody thinks of flowers when they imagine love and romance. So a beautiful bouquet of flowers is naturally a perfect anniversary gift. You may be wondering what type of flowers to send for an anniversary. Of course, you can’t go wrong with classic red roses. But there are thousands of other beautiful flowers to choose from, which can be combined in an arrangement that is both a feast for the eyes and a flame for the heart. Putting together a wedding anniversary bouquet is a job best left to a professional florist. But you can choose the flowers that you want to be the focus of the arrangement and select blooms that have real meaning as well as just looking pretty.

Choosing the right flowers to celebrate an anniversary

It’s important to take some care and time in choosing the right flowers for an anniversary gift. The flowers you choose to surprise your wife with on your first wedding anniversary will probably be very different from the bouquet you send to your parents to celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary. So how do you know where to start choosing flowers for this special occasion? There aren’t really any firm rules about what flowers to send for a wedding anniversary. Choose a selection of blooms and colours that you know your wife will love, or opt for an arrangement of anniversary flowers that have been specially selected to represent love and romance. You could also opt for a flower that has some special significance in your relationship. For example, if you proposed in a field of tulips or there was an arrangement of lilies in the restaurant where you had your first date, a little reminder of these moments is sure to be appreciated by your other half.

Which flowers should you send for each anniversary milestone?

You probably know that each year of marriage is represented by a material such as gold, silver, or diamond. What you may not know is that there’s also a flower associated with each wedding anniversary. Basing your arrangement around these flowers is the easiest way to create the perfect gift to celebrate the years you’ve spent in love and look forward to many more happy years together. If you have a milestone anniversary coming up, such as your 1st, 5th, 10th, 25th, or 50th wedding anniversary, it’s a good idea to opt for a particularly impressive bouquet to mark the occasion. These anniversaries don’t come around very often, so it’s important to recognise their significance.

1st Anniversary: Carnation

Carnations represent love, affection, and loyalty, making them the ideal flower for newlyweds. These flowers are available in many different colours and colour variations, so you can create a beautiful bouquet in your partner's favourite colour or choose colours based on their symbolic meanings. Deep red carnations are the most romantic colour, symbolic of love and passion. Pink carnations are a common gift to express thanks, as they represent appreciation. What better way to say thank you for an amazing first year together than a floral arrangement including pink carnations? White carnations are also a suitable choice for a first wedding anniversary. The white colour represents purity and luck at the start of a new adventure. As paper is the official symbol of a first wedding anniversary, simply wrapping your chosen flowers in decorative paper or presenting them in a Flowercard will make the perfect gift.

2nd Anniversary: Cosmos

The cheerful and vibrant cosmos flower is associated with second wedding anniversaries, representing harmony, peace, joy, and tranquillity. After the passion of the honeymoon period during the first year of marriage, a bouquet including cosmos flowers reflects your commitment to a harmonious and joyful union for many more years to come. Cotton is the material associated with second wedding anniversaries, so a simple posy tied with cotton string would make a meaningful symbol of your love.

3rd Anniversary: Sunflowers

Sunflowers are a flamboyant and cheerful flower that will brighten up anyone’s day. In the third year of marriage, they symbolise loyalty and adoration, as they always turn towards the sun. If you’re looking to add a special touch to your third-anniversary bouquet, consider using some leather ties or accents. Leather represents flexibility and durability – both important concepts in a successful marriage.

4th Anniversary: Geranium

You may be more familiar with geraniums as a houseplant rather than in a flower arrangement. But these colourful blooms are stunning in a bunch or as a bouquet and come in a rainbow of shades from the palest pink to peacock blue, deep fuchsia, and blood red. Geraniums represent happiness and the spiritual and physical union of two people. They’re traditionally given as a gift to show respect and appreciation. Fruits and flowers are the typical gifts given for a fourth wedding anniversary, so perhaps present your floral gift with a fruity wine or dessert.

5th Anniversary: Daisies

Daisies represent fidelity and eternal love, so they’re a perfect inclusion in any romantic flower gift, but traditional for the fifth anniversary. Daisies are typically white, which also represents innocence and purity, but they’re also available in blue or pink varieties. Wood is the traditional gift for the fifth wedding anniversary, so present your daisies in a beautiful wooden vase to represent the strong everlasting roots of your relationship.

6th Anniversary: Calla Lily

Calla lilies are commonly used in wedding bouquets due to their elegance and also because they symbolise beauty, love, and good luck for the forthcoming union. While white calla lilies, representing purity, are the most common, you could also choose purple to signify passion or pink as a symbol of your appreciation for the relationship. Iron is a traditional gift for this wedding anniversary, as it represents strength, but sugar also symbolises the sweetness of love. A gift of flowers and chocolates is sure to be appreciated by any woman, especially on your sixth wedding anniversary.

7th Anniversary: Freesias

Sweetly perfumed freesias are chosen to represent trust and unconditional love. In Victorian times, receiving a bunch of freesias from someone meant that they trusted you completely. These days, freesias are the floral symbol of the seventh wedding anniversary. If you’re feeling passionate, choose red freesias. This variety is also the most highly scented. However, pink freesias also symbolise love, yellow stand for positivity and optimism, and purple represent beauty. Wool or copper are the traditional gifts for this anniversary, so opt for a copper vase or tie your bouquet with a length of wool.

8th Anniversary: Clematis

Clematis is chosen to represent your eighth year of marriage, as it represents mental strength and the ability to climb above obstacles. These stunning blooms are also known as 'traveller’s joy', giving it an extra special meaning if you like to take trips together and travel as a married couple. Clematis is available in a rainbow of colours and often in two tones, which further represents the coming together of two minds with an unbreakable bond. Orange and yellow clematis is not only a treat for the eyes but also represents bronze – the traditional gift for this anniversary.

9th Anniversary: Poppy

Poppies are a symbol of remembrance and may seem an odd choice for an anniversary bouquet at first consideration. But what better time to look back at your marriage and all you’ve achieved together than on the celebration of nine years together? The vibrant red poppy also symbolises hope and imagination, so use them as a starting point to start planning the rest of your future as a married couple. Pottery is the traditional gift for this anniversary, making a hand-thrown vase the perfect complement to your poppy bouquet.

10th Anniversary: Daffodils

Even if you don’t gift flowers every year, make sure you don’t miss out on the huge milestone of the tenth wedding anniversary. Being married for a decade is certainly an achievement to celebrate, and the vibrant yellow splash of daffodils will symbolise fresh and new beginnings as you enter the next stage of your lives together. Tin or aluminium represents the tenth wedding anniversary, symbolising both strength and flexibility. If you’re looking for an extra gift to go with your flowers, consider adding a scented candle in a tin.

15th Anniversary: Roses

Most people consider red roses to be the most romantic flower, and nothing says romance like gifting a rose bouquet to celebrate 15 years of marriage. While red roses are traditionally associated with romantic love and passion, pink roses represent gratitude and appreciation, yellow roses are symbolic of happiness, and the meaning of purple roses is love at first sight. Team a bouquet of beautiful roses with a crystal vase – the traditional 15th wedding anniversary gift – and you’ll be onto a winning combination.

20th Anniversary: Asters

Asters are part of the daisy family, and their star-shaped blooms typically appear in shades of pink, white, and purple. The aster is the emblem of Venus, the goddess of love, and also symbolises wisdom and faith. While white asters represent purity, red asters are a symbol of devotion, and pink is synonymous with love. Once you’ve made it to two decades of marriage, china is the traditional gift of choice. So consider combining an aster bouquet with a beautiful china vase.

25th Anniversary: Iris

Irises are most commonly found in blue and purple varieties, although yellow and white irises also exist. The three blooms of the iris flower represent a trinity of hope, faith, and wisdom. As your 25th year of marriage is the silver wedding anniversary, jewellery is the most natural gift to give alongside flowers. Alternatively, you could opt for a bouquet of flowers in silver tones to celebrate a quarter of a century of love. In the days of the Roman Empire, husbands would give their wives a silver wreath to commemorate this anniversary.

30th Anniversary: Lilies

The elegant and highly-perfumed lily is the symbolic flower of the 30th wedding anniversary. Lilies symbolise devotion and rebirth – perfect for celebrating all the changes you have been through together. Pearls are the traditional gift for 30 years of marriage, as they represent beauty and maturity. Consider gifting a bunch of lilies with a mother-of-pearl vase or a pair of pearl earrings.

40th Anniversary: Gladioli

So few couples reach their 40th wedding anniversary these days, so it’s certainly an achievement to celebrate. The bold and glamourous gladiolus is the ideal flower to represent this striking occasion, and it grows in a flamboyant array of vibrant colours. Gladioli represent strength and integrity as well as faithfulness and never giving up. This wedding anniversary is also known as a ruby wedding, so a ruby wedding bouquet of jewel-toned flowers would also make the perfect gift to celebrate 40 years together.

50th Anniversary: Yellow Roses and Violets

If you’re lucky enough to be celebrating a golden wedding anniversary, it means you’ve spent half a century together. Yellow roses typically represent friendship, but in this case, a yellow and golden-toned flower arrangement is the perfect symbol of the strength of your love as you enter your golden years together. These two flowers represent two people coming together in perfect harmony, symbolising a prosperous marriage and rich life.

The perfect message to send alongside anniversary flowers

When you love someone, it’s easy to say it with flowers – even if you can’t quite find the right words. But adding a personal message to your anniversary bouquet will make it all the more meaningful. You don’t need to be a poet. A simple line or two to express your feelings will be something your partner will remember and hold in their heart for long after receiving your gift. If you need some help with what to write on the card that comes with your anniversary flowers, we’ve created a full guide with some example anniversary card messages you can use or adapt as you wish.