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Anniversary Gifts Explained: What Should You Get For Your Partner?

by Martha Simmonds

For many couples, choosing an anniversary gift is a challenge. Each year, it gets more and more difficult to choose a gift that is perfect for them. It’s especially challenging if you feel your spouse is better at gift-giving than you!

But, there are some tips you can utilize to ensure that you get your partner the perfect gift each year.

Why Should I Give an Anniversary Gift?

Anniversary gifts might seem redundant, but they play a huge role in your relationship. Think of an anniversary gift as a way to remind your spouse that you’re committed to them and your marriage. An anniversary gift is a physical manifestation of your commitment and dedication.

Anniversary gifts don’t have to be lavish or expensive. What matters is that your anniversary gift is heartfelt or is something practical they will use and think of you whenever they use it, such as a silicone ring for them to wear while at work or a pad or personalized stationery.

Anniversary Gift Ideas by Year

There are some anniversary gift categories that are traditionally given each year of marriage. Of course, you don’t have to get your spouse these exact items, but something that either has one of these elements or represents the element is a great way to ensure you always have a gift to give your spouse each year.

First Year: The anniversary gift category for your first year of marriage is paper. Many couples opt to get each other pads of personalized stationery, and some even choose to give their partner a heartfelt love letter. It’s a sweet thing to do while digging into that top cake tier you froze a year ago!

Second Year: For couples in their second year of marriage, the gift category is Cotton. A set of cotton sheets, towels or even socks are all great options for the second year of marriage. Cotton is a lightweight, durable fabric that can withstand pretty much anything thrown at it.

Another thing you can consider gifting your partner on your second anniversary is a set of elegant personalized handkerchiefs. Handkerchiefs symbolize marital fidelity, and your second anniversary is as great a time as any to show that. When made of durable materials such as cotton, these can last for many years. And as long as you take good care of them, you can even pass them on as heirloom artifacts.

After two years of marriage, you might have faced some difficulties together as a couple. Cotton is a perfect symbol of your relationship — forgiving, but not breakable.

Third Year: The traditional gift category for the third year wedding anniversary is leather. From luggage to motorcycle jackets, there are lots of choices you have when it comes to leather gifts for your spouse.

Consider what they’ll use the most and how much time they have to take care of real leather items. If you think they might not have the time to dedicate toward keeping real leather maintained, then a faux leather item is always a great option!

Fourth Year: Traditionally, couples give each other fruit or flowers for their fourth year anniversary. If your partner is allergic to flowers, then fruit is the best choice here.

But, if they enjoy a bouquet of fresh flowers, then consider an arrangement filled with their favorite blooms or with flowers that say “I love you!” or “I’m so happy to be with you.”

Did you know that flowers have their own language? That’s right! Different flower species give different messages. Depending on what you want to tell your spouse, you’ll want to send them different types of flowers.

And, if their favorite blooms mean something negative or unlucky, it’s best to hold off on sending those and go for the fruit instead.

Fifth Year: A fifth year anniversary present is usually something made from wood. Whether you give them a burnt wood sign or something that mimics wood, it’s a great gift to give for the fifth year of marriage to your partner.

10th Year: For your 10-year anniversary, traditionally you’d get your spouse something made from aluminum or tin. A box of freshly baked cookies or a set of power tools are great options here.

Aluminum and tin don’t rust, which symbolizes how, after 10 years, your marriage hasn’t broken down like others’ might have. Instead, you’re stronger than ever.

15th Year: Your 15th year married is a pretty big milestone. You’ll typically give your partner crystal for your 15th anniversary, which is not only expensive but also a pretty durable type of glass.

Whether you choose bowls, plates, glassware or even decor, crystal is cherished by many and highly valuable, just like your marriage.

20th Year: Living for 20 years with someone is a huge accomplishment. That’s why the traditional gift to give is china. The delicacy needed to handle china is similar to the delicacy needed to make a marriage last for 20 years.

If you and your spouse haven’t already invested in a china set, consider using your 20th anniversary to buy yourselves a hand-painted or antique china set to add to your home decor.

25th Year: 25 years as a married couple definitely weren’t always rainbows and unicorns, right? That’s why the traditional gift to give your spouse after 25 years together is something silver.

Get them an anniversary band that’s personalized by learning what to engrave on a wedding band that will make it extra special.

30th Year: If your marriage lasts for 30 years, you honestly deserve more than the traditional gift of pearls. In fact, your close friends and family should be giving you and your spouse gifts instead of you and your spouse giving things to each other!

Consider hosting an anniversary party for your 30th anniversary. Theme the decor around pearls — an under-the-sea theme is such a fun idea!

Anniversary gifts can be challenging to get right every year. The longer you’re married to someone, the more difficult it gets to give them a gift that they’ll use every day or think of fondly.

Finding the right gift just takes a little patience — knowing some typical anniversary gift categories can help you out a lot as you narrow down your search for the perfect gift for the love of your life.

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