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Guide to Anniversary Gifts By Year

BY: Editors | Oct 30, 2017

Emily Post gets much of the credit for inventing the list of anniversary gifts by year in 1922, but the tradition of giving themed gifts for significant marriage milestones has actually been around, in some form or another, since the Middle Ages. Then, it was not uncommon for a husband to gift his wife a silver wreath crown on their 25th anniversary, or a gold crown if they made it to their 50th anniversary (which, given life expectancy in those days, was highly unlikely).

Below, we picked out some of our favorite anniversary gifts by year. You'll note we followed Post's example of listing gifts for every year of the first 10 years, then every 5 years from then on. While more comprehensive gift lists do exist, the gift themes for those missing years have a tendency to be ... well, a little wacky. (Sculptures for year 27? Come on!) And to give you more options, we made sure to include a modern and traditional gifts for each year.

1st Year

Traditional Gift: Paper

First-year anniversary gifts tend to be pretty low key, but that doesn't mean you can't find something special for your SO. Customized stationary is a personal choice that is both thoughtful and practical (especially if you still haven't sent out those wedding-gift thank yous).

Click here to buy this personalized stationary bundle starting at $34.99.

Modern Gift: Clocks

Sure ... an alarm clock could make a thoughtful gift. Just kidding, it wouldn't. Opt for this personalized wood clock instead, which comes carved with your names and a special date.

Click here to buy this custom wood clock for $49.99.

2nd Year

Traditional Gift: Cotton

It's year two of your marriage, and chances are you're still in a blissful honeymoon phase. A T-shirt is a great way to announce it to the world.

Click here to buy this shirt for $12.95.

Modern Gift: China

If you didn't register for nice china settings for your actual wedding, an anniversary is a good excuse to upgrade your everyday dinnerware, or just keep a nice set around for when company comes.

Click here to buy this Lenox 4-piece place setting for $120.

3rd Year

Traditional Gift: Leather

Proof that quality leather gifts don't have to break the bank: these adorable custom luggage tags. Looking for a gift with a bigger price tag? Book an awesome getaway as an excuse to take your new tags (and maybe some new luggage) for a spin.

Click here to buy these personalized aluminum and leather luggage tags for $7.99.

Modern Gift: Crystal

Plan a romantic dinner in and make this dazzling crystal ice bucket the centerpiece of your table, filled with ice and a bottle of your favorite bubbly. (Perhaps Cristal to keep things within the theme?)

Click here to buy this Mikasa crystal ice bucket for $31.73.

4th Year

Traditional Gift: Fruit/Flowers

Fruit or flowers? A fruit bouquet from Edible Arrangements checks both boxes. (And you don't even need a vase.)

Click here to find a deal for Edible Arrangements.

Modern Gift: Appliances

If your spouse's tastes are more practical, splurge on a new kitchen gadget, such as this Kitchenaid 5-quart stand mixer.

Click here to buy this Kitchenaid stand mixer for $249.99.

5th Year

Traditional Gift: Wood

Wood may not be the most inspiring theme for a 5 year anniversary gift, but it does make a unique, rustic canvas for one of your favorite wedding photos.

Click here to buy this custom wood print starting at $9.99.

Modern Gift: Silverware

If you upgraded your china on year 2, year 5 is the perfect time to upgrade your flatware, too. The pieces in this set are trimmed in gold, making them perfect for a special occasion (an anniversary dinner, perhaps?).

Click here to buy this 72-piece flatware set for $69.61.

6th Year

Traditional Gift: Iron

Your marriage is a lot like this dutch oven: beautiful on the surface, but with a foundation that's tough and built to last.

Click here to buy this enameled cast-iron dutch oven for $47.49.

Modern Gift: Wood

Wood? Again? Luckily, wood accessories are totally on trend, and this watch face feels even more special thanks to custom engraving and a genuine-leather strap.

Click here to buy this custom-engraved wood watch from $69.99.

7th Year

Traditional Gift: Copper

If it was up to us, we'd vote to make the 7th year of marriage the Moscow Mule year.

Click here to buy this hammered Moscow-mule copper-mug set for $19.99.

Modern Gift: Desk Sets

"Desk sets? Really?" That was our reaction when we learned about this modern year-7 gift. Anyway, if you go this route, we suggest you skip cheap plastic and invest in a nice leather set that will last for years to come.

Click here to buy an 8-piece leather desk set for $389.99.

8th Year

Traditional Gift: Bronze

Bronze is another one of those tough-to-shop-for anniversary themes (unless your spouse really, really, really likes birdbaths, that is). We think this wind chime is a lovely idea though, since he or she will think of you whenever they hear it ring.

Click here to buy this wind chime for $18.70.

Modern Gift: Linen

We chose to interpret "linen" as "linens" in order to include this Egyptian-cotton sheet set. Once you feel what 1,000-thread-count sheets feel like against your skin, we think you'll understand why.

Click here to buy an 1000-TC Egyptian-cotton sheet set for $89.99.

9th Year

Traditional Gift: Pottery

Sometimes, the best gift is time to spend together. And we can think of no better activity on a 9th wedding anniversary than a paint-your-own pottery class. Bonus: they're often BYOB.

Click here to find pottery-painting classes near you.

Modern Gift: Leather

Custom leather luggage tags may have made the grade in year 3, but you're about to hit a decade of marriage. Up your gifting game with this Prada leather handbag and get ready to own the title of "Best Hubby Ever" (at least till next year).

Click here to buy this Prada leather handbag for $1,679.99.

10th Year

Traditional Gift: Tin/Aluminum

Tin feels a little ... unremarkable for a 10 year anniversary gift, but a photo of the two of you printed on metal (You can hang it next to the wood one!) delivers the "awww" factor.

Click here to buy this personalized metal photo print for $5.

Modern Gift: Diamond Jewelry

Now THIS is a gift befitting of a 10-year anniversary.

Click here to buy this diamond tennis bracelet for $3,399.

15th Year

 

Traditional Gift: Crystal

Modern Gift: Watches

Crystal or watches? Why choose? Opt for these matching his and hers Bulova watches instead, which come adorned with dazzling crystal details.

Buy this men's Bulova watch from $99.99.

Buy this women's Bulova watch from $67.99.

20th Year

Traditional Gift: China

Plates and cups are nice and all, but we're in favor of taking a little creative license with this year's theme and booking a whirlwind trip to China instead.

Click here to buy this 10-day trip to China with airfare from $649.

Modern Gift: Platinum

A 20-year anniversary calls for a special gift that reaffirms your commitment to one another, and this upgraded wedding band fits the bill nicely.

Click here to buy this men's platinum and diamond wedding band for $1,408.99.

25th Year

Traditional & Modern Gift: Silver

With a lot of jewelry-centric anniversaries in your future, why not save the necklaces and earrings for the gemstone years and instead gift each other matching sets of chic, monogrammed, sterling silver cufflinks.

Click her to buy these silver initial cufflinks for $29.99.

30th Year

Traditional Gift: Pearl

A single strand of pearls is timeless, but also cliché. Opt for this 7-strand bracelet instead, which closes with a polished sterling silver clasp.

Click here to buy this 7-strand freshwater pearl bracelet for $180.99.

Modern Gift: Diamond

If your 30th anniversary celebration calls for something slightly more extravagant, a pair of princess-cut diamond earrings is guaranteed to wow.

Click here to buy these 1CTTW diamond earrings for $1,459.

35th Year

Traditional Gift: Coral

Coral is another one of the most unusual anniversary-gift categories, and while we like the color, we think seeing the real stuff up close is even better. This all-inclusive vacation in Cozumel, Mexico includes an opportunity to snorkel around the Paradise and Las Palmas reefs.

Click here to buy this all-inclusive stay at EL Cid La Ceiba Beach Hotel from $150 a night.

Modern Gift: Jade

If jewelry is more your style, this jade and 14K gold pendant is a showy gift from the heart.

Click here to buy a jade and gold heart pendant for $284.

40th Year

Traditional & Modern Gift: Ruby

These ruby and sterling silver earrings are a steal, so you can still splurge on an expensive dinner or a night at the opera, giving your spouse the perfect opportunity to wear them out.

Click here to buy these sterling silver and ruby earrings for $34.99.

45th Year

Traditional & Modern Gift: Sapphire

The sapphire stone in this white-gold necklace is stunning all on its own, but the jewelers threw in a border of round-cut diamonds just in case you thought the look was too understated.

Click here to buy this sapphire and diamond necklace for $550.99.

50th Year

Traditional & Modern Gift: Gold

By now, you and your spouse have accumulated quite the collection of anniversary jewelry. If you feel like continuing the tradition on your golden anniversary, fine. But if you're looking for something a little more non-traditional, this pen features 23K gold plating and will come in handy when it's time to pen thank yous to all who attended your big anniversary bash. (You're having one, right?)

Click here to buy this gold-plated pen for $58.99.

55th Year

Traditional & Modern Gift: Emerald

Emerald jewelry is a safe choice for this anniversary, but if you and your spouse are feeling the itch to travel, might we suggest a vacation to the Emerald Isle instead?

Click here to book this Ireland vacation—with air, hotel, and car included—starting at $699.

60th Year

Traditional & Modern Gift: Diamond

Let's not beat around the bush: if you made it 60 years together, someone deserves an upgrade on their ring. They've earned it.

Click here to buy this diamond solitaire engagement ring for $4,749.99.