20th Wedding Anniversary: What You Need to Know

With each anniversary there are traditional and modern gifts, as well as a flower and a color that represents it, and there is no better way to celebrate you and your loved ones 20th wedding anniversary than by using all of these special aspects to help show your significant other how much you love him or her.

When it comes to wedding anniversaries, the 20th is a very big one. There are so many ways you can celebrate this special occasion, from spending the time solely with your spouse, or by throwing a huge party for all of your family and friends to celebrate your journey together. Either way, you can theme either celebration, big or small, with the traditional or modern representations of the anniversary--or even combine them both!

Each anniversary has its own representations--the 20th anniversary is represented traditional by fine China and modernly by platinum. Colors and flowers are also used to represent each anniversary, emerald and lilies being your 20th. 

20th Wedding Anniversary Gift Ideas

Gifts are a great way to show each other how much we love one another, especially one special occasion like birthdays, holidays and, you guessed it, anniversaries. The 20th wedding anniversary is a particularly special one.

Two decades with the person you vowed to love and cherish forever--two decades is a long time! Celebrating this with traditional and modern gifts is a very clever idea to show how much you love the person, whether you’re family, friends or the spouse.

Traditional Versus Modern Gifts

Platinum is the modern gift for the 20th wedding anniversary

Each anniversary has had a special gift that has been a tradition for a long time. The 20th wedding anniversary traditional gift is fine China. Beautiful and timeless like your love for one another, China is a fantastic way to symbolize this love.

The gift does not have to be dishware either--it can be a vase, a picture frame with a photo of the two of you on your wedding day, or a little figurine that represents you as a couple. An ornament is also a wonderful idea as a gift too. Try personalizing the gift too. A decorative plate with your anniversary and a sweet message is a lovely idea that your wife would adore!

Modern gifts are a newer tradition. Platinum is the modern gift for the 20th wedding anniversary. Strong and elegant, it’s a lovely way to represent the never-ending love you have for your partner. Platinum often comes in the form of jewelry, whether it be rings, necklaces or bracelets. If you know your partner is not a huge fan of jewelry, you can try a platinum dipped rose. Roses are a timeless classic representing undying love and exquisite beauty.

Gemstones

Gemstones are a timeless classic, from diamonds to rubies to emeralds. They are shiny and beautiful and sparkle in the sun, just like your loved one’s eyes when you look at him or her. The 20th wedding anniversary gemstone is emerald.

Chromium is what gives an emerald the green color we see. Due to the iron in emerald, it gives the gem strength and represents what it takes to help keep the commitment of marriage together. Some people also believe the stone is near invincible and give it as a gift to keep hope for certain aspects in their life together alive, such as prosperity, endurance, cheer and strength.

Emeralds are often given as gifts in the form of jewelry. Rings, earrings, and necklaces are the most common. Customize this gift to be even more perfect for your 20th wedding anniversary by getting the emerald set in platinum, combining two representations of the anniversary together into one--just like the two of you become one 20 years ago!

Flowers: Daylilies for Your 20th Wedding Anniversary

the 20th wedding anniversary flower being daylilies

Flowers are a timeless classic when it comes to simple gifts for your loved one, whether it be on their birthday, Mother’s Day, your anniversary or just an any day gift to say “I love you. I was thinking about you.” Once again, each anniversary has a flower that represents it, the 20th wedding anniversary flower being daylilies.

Daylilies are strong and sturdy flowers that can withstand many forms of weather, grow in the sun or the shade and in almost any soil type and are tough against pests. They are also big and beautiful, full of color and lovely smells. They are perennials, so they will come back the next year after winter and are long lived while they are blooming, starting in midsummer and continuing into fall, with new flowers blooming each day.

These flowers are perfect for symbolizing 20 years of marriage. To make it that long together, you need to be strong and withstand the storms brought by hard times, and be tough against what life throws at the two of you. No matter the problem, you two always come back together even more in love than before, your love blossoming into a stronger bond day by day.

Gifting these flowers is a beautiful way to express your love for your spouse. Try getting a bouquet of 20 to represent the 20 years of life together and placing them in a China vase. Once again, combining two forms of representation for this special occasion really shows the bond between two souls becoming one.

Gifts From Family and Friends

We all love giving and receiving gifts--most of us love the feeling we get when giving a gift that holds meaning more than we love receiving gifts. Giving a gift to your friends or your daughter, son or in-laws on their anniversary is a lovely reminder of how much you care for them and love them and how proud you are of them for making it together for so long.

Some gifts might be too personal to give the couple--gifts that should be exchanged between the married two. However, there are still plenty of gifts to give the couple without it feeling as if you’re in the marriage as well. Remember, not all gifts need to be based around the representations of the anniversary.

Gift cards or prepaid passes to places are a gift that you really can’t go wrong with. The give the couple a gift so that later they can do something else together. Some great coupons or passes would be:

  • Restaurants. You can go as fancy as you want, just make sure it can cover the majority of their meal.
  • Movie passes. This way they can choose the movie they go to see. You can include popcorn and drink, too.
  • Art exhibit passes. This is a fun way the couple can still talk and spend the day together while enjoying the beauty of art. If there is a Chinese exhibit, go with that on to incorporate the China aspect of the 20th anniversary!
  • Couples massage. This is a great and relaxing thing a couple would love--especially if they have kids and/or a stressful job.
  • Any prepaid card. This gives the couple the freedom to do whatever they want, whether it be going out to eat or do something fun, or both depending on how much is on it! You can even gift them a “coupon” to watch their kids for a while so they can go enjoy an evening or a day out together without the kids, or take care of the kids if they want to go on a vacation together.

Gifts for Your Husband

Gifts for Your Husband

You know your husband better than anyone by now, and yet he’s still one of the hardest people to shop for. You want to give him a gift that is as special to him as he is to you, and that can be hard to accomplish, because how can you put your love for this man in a gift? After all, you married him now 20 years ago and through thick and thin he’s stuck by your side. What could possibly help showcase how much he means to you?

Remember to always base the gift on what you know about your husband. Don’t get him something just because you like it, so obviously he will too. If you’re having a hard time finding something that suits him in China or platinum, that’s okay. You don’t need to stick to traditions. You can get him something you know he likes, for example: if he can’t always afford his favorite cologne, get him a bottle of that, or a bottle of his favorite liquor.

You can play it a little risky, though, and get him something unique and heartfelt. Here are some good ideas that he’s sure to love:

  • Personalized watch. There are many places you can create your own watch. Make him one that you know he’ll love, and get a little message engraved on the back.
  • Personalized necklace/chain. Many men love wearing chains around their neck, and if it has a special message or feature from their loved ones, it makes it even better.
  •  Something fun. Many men enjoy fun gifts over meaningful gifts that usually end up sitting around, unusable. Try something like a Man Crate, or a subscription to something he loves, like beer or bacon.

Whatever you choose to get your husband, he will love it because it came from you.

Gifts for Your Wife

After two decades of being married to the women of your dreams, you should be a master at knowing just what to buy her. Maybe in a perfect world, but the 20th anniversary is a big deal and you want to get the perfect gift for her to show her how perfect she is for you. Remember, you don’t need to get her something China or platinum if she isn’t into that, however, most women, wouldn’t mind a beautiful platinum piece of jewelry.

There are so many options for gifts to get your wife. Here are some to spark some ideas:

  • Customized jewelry. Add in the emerald to a platinum base and you have the perfect gift for your wife. You can get it engraved with a sweet message, too.
  • China vase with 20 daylilies. Flowers are always a beautiful thing to get; they help brighten up the room and bring a smile to her face. Place them in a China vase and she has a gift that will last a lifetime.
  • A gift card to a spa. Include a massage, mani/pedi and a facial. Drop her off and pick her up so she can sip on a few drinks, too!

No matter what you choose to get her, your wife will love it.

20th Wedding Anniversary Parties

Some people love to throw parties, especially for special occasions like the 20th wedding anniversary. Others like to have a more intimate and close celebration between the two of them. Whatever you want, is what you should do. Don’t let anyone else convince you to have a party if you want to do something special with your spouse.

A Party For Everyone

A Party For Everyone

Food, desserts, decorations, family and friends, and drink all around! Some people just can’t pass up the opportunity to have a good party. If this is you, then make sure you plan accordingly! Once you pick your theme, it’s time to plan the decorations and food.

Themes are an important part of making a party as fun and as successful and memorable as possible. For your 20th wedding anniversary, try making China the theme, as it is a traditional gift given. You can hang up paper lanterns, paper fans, and cherry blossoms. 

Theme your food, too! Make homemade Chinese food or order take-out appetizers and meals and place in oriental style bowls for guests to take out of family style. Any sort of gift bags can be placed in clean take-out containers like you would get from a restaurant. Put some of the things that represent 20 years together or good luck in the box, like a paper daylily, new coins, and a small China figurine.

If you aren’t into the Chinese theme, try an emerald and platinum theme. Emerald green and silver decorations are incredibly elegant. Sparkling confetti, green and silver balloons, and elegant appetizers for food? There are even green daylilies, though they aren’t quite emerald, they would be a beautiful addition to a beautiful theme. A perfect and elegant way to celebrate your love!

Just the Two of You

Just the Two of You

There is nothing wrong with not wanting to have a huge party. I mean, it is YOUR anniversary, you don’t need to share it with anyone but your husband or wife. There are so many ways you can do this, too. You can choose to travel somewhere, which we will discuss below. You can also choose to go to a local town for a romantic night out. Picnics are always cute and romantic, and you can theme them some.

If you choose to opt for a night out on the town, make sure you consider booking a hotel room and taking a taxi or Uber to drive you around--that way you can have a couple of drinks and not put yourselves at risk. Going out to town can be very fun. Restaurants, bars, parks, museums--the activities are endless and you get to spend the entire time with the person you love the most.

Planning a picnic is also a great way to spend your anniversary with your husband or wife. If you have kids, send them off to their grandparents for the day (maybe even the night). You can plan to have your picnic in the backyard, or at a park. The pro to it being in the backyard is you can share some champagne to celebrate this special occasion!

Make this a fun event! Dress up but stay casual and comfortable. Bring some flowers and place them in a vase or scatter them around your picnic blanket or table (daylilies would be perfect for this!). You can even eat your meal off of China dishware. Having some calm music playing in the background would also add to the ambiance. Enjoy the sunshine and some good food with your spouse, kid-free and celebrating the two decades spent together!

Picnics don’t just have to be during the day. A nighttime picnic is an even more romantic way to celebrate this! Build a small fire for light, and maybe even have a few candles around (citronella candles will help keep bugs away) to add to the romance. Still place the daylilies all around for a pretty touch. Lay back after eating your meal and look at the stars and reminisce about all the good times you’ve had together throughout your 20 years of marriage.

Vacation Ideas for Your 20th Anniversary

Some people opt to go on vacation for their anniversaries, especially the big ones like number 20. It gives them a good reason to get out of town for a few days and it lets them escape the stress of life at home for a while while enjoying each other’s company to celebrate two decades of being married to one another.

There are a few options for going on vacation: you can travel somewhere, either in country or overseas, or you can have a staycation where you stay in town but maybe stay at a hotel nearby.

Traveling Away

beach

For your anniversary, you can really go anywhere you want. Whether you go to a different country or a different state, there are countless options. If you want to incorporate the traditional 20th wedding anniversary gift of China, plan a trip in advance to go to China, or a Chinatown somewhere. Most states have several local Chinatowns you can go to visit, or you can travel to a new state to visit their Chinatown.

San Francisco has the largest Chinatown outside of Asia and in North America. Planning a trip to visit that Chinatown is a great idea--you can go see way more than just the town. Book a nice hotel and go sightseeing. There are so many activities to do in San Francisco, check out this list of 15 Best Things to Do in San Francisco.

You can also plan an huge overseas vacation to China. You can go visit the Great Wall of China and then see the Forbidden City not to mention seeing the giant pandas (who doesn’t love pandas?). There are plenty of cities to visit too, so maybe a book a hotel in two of them so you can see a broader range of China and see more sights. Do some research and plan your trip to China today!

Staying in Town for a Staycation

There are plenty of things to do if you choose to stay in for your vacation, or staycation as people call it. You can either choose to send your kids off to their grandparents or another family member and stay home, or send them off and book a hotel. You can visit local places like museums, art galleries, shops and your local Chinatown if you have one.

Getting a hotel would be ideal if you plan to go out and visit places. You won’t have to worry about a long drive back or not being able to enjoy a few drinks. Plus, sometimes it’s nice to get get away from life for a little while, especially with the person you love most. Plan a few activities to do while you’re out, like visit museums and exhibits, or something fun like an arcade.

20th Wedding Anniversary Quotes

We use quotes every day for a number of reasons. Sometimes we need a quote to put in a card, because homemade cards are much better than store bought. If you’re having trouble finding the perfect quote for your card, here are some ideas.

Quotes for Husbands

Husbands are usually less heartfelt and more goofy. That’s not always the case, though. Use what you know about your husband to pick the perfect quote for his card. Here are a few examples:

  • “You’re the pop to my tart!”
  • “You’re the only one I want to annoy for the rest of my life!”
  • “Thank you for treating me just as special on days that are not our anniversary.”
  • “Loved you then, love you still. Always have, always will.”
  • “The very first moment I laid my eyes on you, I knew our hearts were meant to be. You are my courage, my angel, my soldier. You saved me. I love you.”

Find more great ideas here.

Quotes for Wives

More often than not, women like to get the mushy-gushy, makes her cry cards that appear to have had a lot of thought put into them. If you plan on making a card for her, you do need to put thought into it and finding the perfect quote is the way to go. Here are some great ideas that are sure to either make her laugh or make her cry:

  • “I’ll love you even when you’re all old and wrinkly!”
  • “There are not enough moments within one second to express how much I am in love with you. You are my strength and I never want to lose you.”
  • “Every love story is beautiful, but ours is my favorite.”
  • “I’ve fallen in love many times, but only with you.”

Click here for more ideas.

Related Questions

What is the 25th wedding anniversary called and what do I get my spouse? The 25th wedding anniversary is also called the silver lining. Traditionally, gifts of silver are given, and even more modern day gifts are made of silver, particularly sterling silver. There are many different forms of silver you can give as gifts from jewelry to engraved decorative spoons to picture frames. You can also special order silver plated flowers.

What should I get my wife for our 15th wedding anniversary? Traditionally, crystals are given on the 15th wedding anniversary, but modern day watches are given as gifts. Roses are the flower given most often on this anniversary, and rubies are the gemstone that represents it. Any of these will work perfectly as a gift for your wife. A bouquet of 15 roses and a necklace with a ruby or her birthstone would be sure to make her smile.

Amber Harrison

Amber Harrison

Inside the mind and life of a first time stay at home mom–recipes, DIY and adventures!

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