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Anniversary gifts by year

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Choosing the perfect anniversary gift for your spouse can be a daunting task. Choosing from the list of traditional gift materials for each year can help narrow your gift-giving options and provide some unique choices for presents. Here are some ideas for anniversary gifts by year to help you pick the perfect gift for your other half.

1 Year Anniversary Gifts

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The traditional gift for the first anniversary is paper. Your new marriage is like a blank sheet of paper on which to write your life together. Versatile paper also presents a lot of unique gift ideas.

On a budget: Fill a journal with all of your favorite things about your spouse. Or fill a calendar or planner with date ideas for the next year. You could get a high-quality print of a wedding photo and have it framed, or a book made of all of your wedding photos. And of course, don’t forget the card!

Looking to splurge: Buy them tickets to a concert they will love. Or, surprise them with plane tickets for a second honeymoon.

2 Year Anniversary Gifts

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For the second year, tradition dictates that you give a gift of cotton. Cotton is made up of interwoven fibers, just as you are weaving your lives closer together.

On a budget: Buy him a t-shirt with his favorite band or sports team on it, or a new shirt. Buy your wife a dress she’s been eyeing, or take her shopping for a new outfit. Or maybe some sexy lingerie?

Looking to splurge: For a high-end gift, get some quality, high thread-count sheets. Or make date of it and book a room at a fancy hotel, and enjoy the sheets and fluffy bathrobes there.

3 Year Anniversary Gifts

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Leather is the theme of the third year. This resilient, long-lasting material is a reminder of the strength of your relationship.

On a budget: Shine and buff their favorite shoes. If animal products aren’t your thing, make a donation in their honor to a wildlife charity, or plan a date to the local animal shelter.

Looking to splurge: For him, get a nice new belt or wallet. For her, get the leather purse or shoes she’s been eyeing for ages. If you’re really wanting to splash out, get a set of matching leather luggage.

4 Year Anniversary Gifts

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The traditional gift of the 4th anniversary is fruit and flowers, representing the blossoming and ripening of your relationship. The simple solution is a dozen roses and some chocolate dipped strawberries. But you can get creative here, too.

On a budget: Dip the fruit yourself, and design a bouquet to match your wedding flowers. For a spouse who has always wanted a garden but never finds the time, plant a flower box in the yard. Or, pack a picnic with fruit and cheese and wine and head out to a park filled with blooms.

Looking to splurge: Get her some rose gold jewelry, as a sly nod to the tradition. If your anniversary is in winter, fly them to someplace where the flowers are still in bloom.

5 Year Anniversary Gift

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Wood is the theme of the fifth anniversary, representing the strength and deep roots of a good marriage.

On a budget: The beauty of wood is that it easy, and fairly cheap, to customize. Check out Etsy for all kinds of unique personalized wooden gifts. A simple and cheap idea is to plant a small tree, which you can watch grow along with your marriage.

Looking to splurge: For something bigger to celebrate making it half a decade, get a new piece of furniture they’ve been wanting for your home. Or, surprise them with a romantic and outdoorsy camping trip.

10 Year Anniversary Gift

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For such a milestone year, the traditional gift for the 10th anniversary seems rather unexciting: tin or aluminum. But fear not, even this can be made romantic with some creativity! The pliable metals symbolize the ability to be flexible together in the ups and downs of life.

On a budget: Fill some tins with their favorite homemade treats, such as cookies or popcorn. Or buy a tin or aluminum cocktail shaker and some cocktail ingredients, and spend a night at home sipping your creations.

Looking to Splurge: Now is a good time to buy your sweetie a new phone or household appliance, as many of these are made with aluminum. Hard-shell aluminum luggage will be appreciated by any traveller, especially if you use it to go on a 10th anniversary getaway!

A full list of the traditional anniversary gifts by year can found here, along with their modern counterparts. Whatever you do, make sure your gift is from the heart and your spouse will be sure to love it.

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