35 Year Anniversary

Couples celebrating their 35 year anniversaries are often in the sweet spot of their relationship. The marriage has lived through children, empty nest syndrome, and other life changes.

Once you pass your 30 year anniversary, you’re easing into a life where it’s just the two of you again. You’re young enough to enjoy it and old enough to appreciate it. Now is the time to celebrate your enduring relationship by having fun, honoring each other, and preparing for another 35. So our 35 year anniversary guide should do the trick to get you started on your once-in-a-lifetime commemoration.

35 Year Anniversary Facts

  • Anniversary Stone/Material: Emerald – alternates are coral and jade
  • Anniversary Flower: No official 35 year anniversary flower
  • Modern U.S. Gift: Jade
  • Traditional U.S. Gift: Coral or Jade
  • Traditional U.K. Gift: Coral
Older Happy Couple Embracing

How Many People Reach their 35 Year Anniversary?

There aren’t as many people getting married these days.

Did you know that weddings have been declining in the United States since 2016? From 2018 to 2019 alone, the annual marriage rate dropped by more than 5%.

Reaching 35-year status isn’t as rare as you might think

These numbers might not be on your radar if you’re approaching your 35th anniversary as you’re in an entirely different category. But you and your spouse aren’t alone. You also might be surprised to find out that the last time the U.S. Census filed a comprehensive report on anniversaries, more than half of the couples celebrated their 35 year anniversary.

The Census report was released in 2009 and covered more than four decades. There was a lower number of marriages in the early 60s, but more than 55% of them reached coral anniversary status.

35 Year Anniversary Gifts

It’s fascinating to learn about marriage longevity. But you’ve probably arrived at this 35 year anniversary guide because you’re planning to reach the milestone. Or maybe you’re looking for some gift and party ideas for a loved one who’s approaching the coral celebration.

So, if you want to head directly to unique gift suggestions, you can visit our dedicated 35th anniversary gift guide. Before you go, though, why not stick around as we share the inspiration behind our recommendations?

Anniversary customs

If you follow traditions and social etiquette, you’re aware that every anniversary year has a theme, a flower, and a gemstone. That formula is relatively new, though. For thousands of years, marriage celebrations focused on the 25th and 50th anniversaries exclusively.

In her Etiquette: the Blue Book of Social Usage, famed etiquette guru Emily Post expanded customary gifts to include the one year anniversary, 5th, 10th, 15th, 20th, 25th, 50th, and 75th.

You might notice that the 35th anniversary is missing. Where Post’s list left off, though, the American National Retailer Jewelers Association picked up, filling in the gaps. Today’s traditions include specifics for every year to 25 and then every fifth year thereafter.

The Coral anniversary

Today’s 35 year anniversary is known as the coral anniversary, and the official gemstone is the emerald, creating a very colorful tribute.

Why coral for 35th anniversaries?

While there are different interpretations, coral best represents comfort, as well as the following attributes.

  • Peace of mind
  • Protection
  • Acceptance
  • Warmth

You can see how coral can apply to most marriage milestones, especially after passing the 25th silver celebration.

Going green

The emerald takes center stage as the theme for 55 year anniversaries. But 20 years earlier, it’s the official gemstone of the big 3-5.

Ancient Egyptians considered emeralds as symbols of fertility and rebirth. While you’re probably not planning on starting a new family for your 35th (or 55th), it’s a new stage in your relationship, a rebirth of a different sort.

Of course, you could always stick with the coral theme for your jewel of choice. Spiritual meanings of wearing coral include support through life changes or transformations in your relationship.

Go wild with flower choices

You’ve got a standard theme, gemstone, and various interpretations. The only thing missing from the 35 year anniversary line-up is the official flower.

Whereas the 30th is celebrated by the lily, and gladiolus is on the table for number 40, the 35th is left out of the picture. However, coral is diverse and can be used for a variety of gift ideas. You could select coral-colored roses, and daylilies, like the Congo Coral or Caribbean Coral.

You could also go with peonies, begonias, or take the easier route and just ask your local florist to put together something special.

How to Reach 35 Years of Marital Bliss

If you happen to be part of a union approaching your 35 year anniversary celebration, you could write this section with your first-hand knowledge. But for anyone else who’s curious and looking for tips so they get to the coral festivities as well, we’ve combed through some of the best marital advice we could find.

These are simple and proven pieces of advice for you and your partner to ride the ebbs and flows and keep going strong.

  • Cultivate independent interests, hobbies, and activities
  • Continue (or revisit) the things you enjoyed early in your relationship – traveling, dancing, wine tasting, bowling, etc.
  • Never talk about the other behind his or her back – confront situations head-on, keeping them between the two of you
  • You’re a team – always behave like one
  • Don’t forget to say thank you – it’s always appreciated whether you’re on your first date or your 75th year together
  • If you hit a rough patch, embrace counseling and get back on track
  • Mutual respect is everything – never take each other (or each other’s feelings) for granted

And the big one that you’ll find in any article about happy marriages is to communicate. It doesn’t always have to be immediate, but don’t wait too long either.

Expanding on the Coral Tradition

You might not have a party for your 35th anniversary. However, who says you can’t celebrate anyway (or even do both)?

If you want to go all-out with the coral theme, visit one of the top coral reefs in the world. You’ll find incredible coral-based vacation destinations in the Solomon Islands, Fiji, and the Red Sea.