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What is Each Wedding Anniversary’s Flower?

July 6, 2020

Our series “Celebration Inspiration” is all about bringing you top-notch advice and creative ideas to make the most of life’s special moments. In this article, floral design expert Julie Mulligan shares how to make your own DIY summer garland at your next family reunion.

While you’ve probably heard that the symbol for 25 years of marriage is silver, or that 50 years is celebrated with gold, did you know that most anniversaries are also honored with their own flower? If you’re about to celebrate an anniversary, commemorate your blooming relationship with its corresponding flower.

Mrs. and Mr. chairs

1st Anniversary: Carnation

Because of their youthful and vibrant full bloom, carnations have long been used to represent young, passionate love. And nothing says young, passionate love like newlyweds! The first year of marriage is one of the most exciting times in a couple’s life, hence why it’s usually referred to as, “the honeymoon phase.”

Carnations and roses

2nd Anniversary: Cosmos

By the second year of marriage, couples have a deeper understanding of what marriage really entails. The “honeymoon” phase is likely over and it’s a time of great growth (both together and individually) and understanding. Cosmos’ intense beauty perfectly captures the love of a young marriage.

Cosmos flowers

3rd Anniversary: Sunflower

Just like the sturdy stem of a sunflower, a marriage in its third year has a strong foundation. The sunflower, which always faces the sun, represents the challenges they have already overcome and the bright, cheerful times that lie ahead.

Sunflower bouquet

4th Anniversary: Geranium

Geraniums represent the coming together of two people in mind, body, and spirit. By the fourth wedding anniversary, couples have truly become comfortable in their new roles as husband and wife.

Geranium flowers

5th Anniversary: Daisy

Though daisies may at first glance look like a simple flower, their structure and texture is incredibly unique and exciting. After five years of marriage, a couple’s life may begin to seem routine or mundane, however just like a daisy, there are still plenty of surprises left to discover. The daisy is also used to represent fidelity and “forever love.”

Colored daisies

10th Anniversary: Daffodil

Daffodils are the perfect way to represent your first decade of marriage. Individually, a daffodil is small. However, when you arrange them in a bouquet, they seem to come alive in a massive bloom. These flowers wonderfully symbolize the coming together of all of your little memories and combining to make one extraordinary life.

15th Anniversary: Rose

No flower symbolizes intense passion, lust, and love more than the rose. So it may come as a surprise to find it’s the 15th anniversary flower. After 15 years together, most couples have been through it all, the good, the bad, and the ugly. Roses are the perfect way to show that no matter what has happen, your love is still just as strong and passionate as it was on your first anniversary.

Two dozen red roses

20th Anniversary: Aster

In ancient times, it was believed that asters had magical properties that gave you knowledge and wisdom. So what better way to celebrate all that you have learned about each other, and yourselves, during two decades of marriage?

Purple aster

25th Anniversary: Iris

Believed to embody the spirit, love, and aura of Paris, the iris wonderfully honors your quarter of a century together. Standing tall and vibrant, the iris represents the strength and futility of your relationship. No matter what happens, you both are standing tall and bright.

Iris flower

30th Anniversary: Lily

Lilies often represent motherhood, a transition from one stage of life to another, and remembrance. The 30th anniversary is often a time of big changes and reflection — children are moving out and couples may be considering retiring. The lily is the perfect flower to remind you to take a step back and look at all you two have accomplished over the past 30 years.

Pink lily

40th Anniversary: Gladiolas

Derived from the Latin word, gladius, meaning “sword,” the gladiolas flower tells the person you love that no matter how much time has passed, he or she still “pierces your heart.”

50th Anniversary: Yellow Roses and Violets

Fifty years of marriage is an amazing accomplishment. To honor this feat, this anniversary is the only one celebrated with two different flowers. As complementary colors, these flowers represent the long life of two people who have come together to support and complement one another.

Yellow roses

So now that you know each anniversary’s flower, make sure you’re properly prepared for your special day! After all, it only comes once a year, so make sure each one is more special than the last!

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