Gift Guides

The Essential Guide to Anniversary Gifts By Year

June 22, 2018

Whether it is the celebration of something fresh or the commemoration of an enduring bond, anniversary gifts by the year help acknowledge the most important moments in marriage.

Over the long history of giving, a number of themes have emerged that define the most suitable offerings for each passing year. Drawing inspiration from this well-spring ensures you get the sentiment right without losing a wink of sleep worrying what to get.

So do yourself a favor and scroll through our essential guide to help you evoke the most fitting symbolism at the appropriate stage of your loved ones life.

Anniversary Gifts by Year

A Year of Gratitude Anniversary box set
A Year of Gratitude – $30 Buy Now »

1ST YEAR Anniversary Gifts: Paper

 The concentric rings of an oak tree remind us of something elemental and enduring about life-and about your new relationship! Ancestor Tree Ring prints by Lisa Lewis give a little nod to the future while also highlighting how important the first year is for building trust in each other. Check out our 1st Year Anniversary Gift Guide for more paper-based ideas.

Why is paper the original 1st year anniversary gift?

In Victorian England (1830-1901), newlyweds began celebrating one year of marriage by gifting paper stationery products to each other. The exact reason why is shrouded in mystery, which leaves us to ponder the conceptual meaning of such a commonplace item being elevated to the ranks of a wedding anniversary present.

When you think about it, paper symbolizes so many of the refreshing elements of a young marriage. As a blank slate without blemishes, paper looks like a fresh opportunity to fill out the pages of life together. Pretty soon the pages will start to fill up with memories of a nurturing relationship you are building together. Sounds like your first year being married, does it not?

First year anniversary message inspiration

“One year ago you made me the happiest person in the world. I have not stopped smiling since! Happy one year anniversary, my love.”

First year anniversary date inspiration

Looking to mark 365 days of matrimony while honoring the ritual of all things paper? You’ve got a couple of exciting options on your plate, depending on what you and your better half enjoy doing. For the artfully inclined, a drawing class is a great way to get the creative juices flowing—dual portraits, anyone?—while keeping the mood spontaneous.

Personalized Family PillowPersonalized Family Pillow – $150 Buy Now »


2ND YEAR Anniversary Gifts: Cotton

Handcrafted by women artisans in India, the Kantha Chandelier earrings are made of beads wrapped in saris—the perfect way to surprise your wife with an alluring gift on a traditional theme. If you are looking for something more couple-y, our guide to 2nd year anniversary gifts in cotton has you covered.

Why is cotton the original 2nd year anniversary gift?

By year two, things are probably more familiar – more, dare we say – comfortable. That’s why cotton makes sense as a second year theme. And while it might fall into the category of ‘traditional’ anniversary gift giving, we carry a number of modern pieces so that you don’t have to go for bed sheets or towels.

2nd year anniversary message inspiration

 “After two years it makes me proud to say we are building a life together. The days have flown by so far, but here’s to many more years ahead in your loving arms!”

2nd year anniversary date inspiration

How much hippie do you have in you? One uncommon way to share your compassionate love for each other – and by extension, the world – is to enroll in a tie dye workshop. Cotton shirts, physical memories of your two year anniversary, and natural dyes like turmeric: it’s a winning combination.

3RD YEAR Anniversary Gifts: Leather

Here at UncommonGoods, we revel in our unconventional approach to tradition. In this case, it means selling only vegan leather products – like this reversible vegan leather flip bag that can be adjusted to varying waist sizes with ease. For other modern faux-leather items, consult our guide to 3rd year anniversary gifts and pay homage to the resilience of your love.

Why is leather the original 3rd year anniversary gift?

Approaching your third anniversary means passing the 1,000 day threshold in wedlock. This is a pretty substantial landmark – and you should be proud of the sturdy life you have built together. Tradition dictates a gift made of leather to exemplify the hardy love you share.

3rd year anniversary message inspiration

“The contours of our love are what make us so solid. You are my rock and foundation. Here’s to broadening the contours of our love together :)”

3rd year anniversary date inspiration

As part of our uncommon relationship with leather, we recommend making fruit leather together, in your own kitchen, on the eve of your 3rd anniversary. After spending so much time improving kitchen decor, any excuse to spend quality time in there is a good excuse!

4TH YEAR Anniversary Gifts: Fruit & Flowers

A pair of pineapple tumblers is a great way to set the scene for summer – but our guide to 4th year anniversary gifts is packed with so many uncommon items you will have a tough time deciding on just one!

Why is fruit and flowers the original 4th year anniversary gift?

On the eve of your fourth anniversary, you might be scratching your head wondering: “Has it really been that long?” The creators of this gifting custom got it right by choosing fruit and flowers as the fourth year theme. Both naturally occurring substances flourish in the warmer months and symbolize the renewing energy of life and love.

4th year anniversary message inspiration

“We’ve done a lot together, but there’s so much more to do. My love for you is like a garden of hyacinths – it grows more colorful every year.”

4th year anniversary date inspiration

Rather than fall in line with tradition and go apple picking (or something like it), we recommend buying a wine making kit, and actually making it together, to be enjoyed for the first time on the night of the anniversary.

Customizable Anniversary Wine BoxAnniversary Wine Box – $150Buy Now »


5TH YEAR Anniversary Gifts: Wood Anniversary Gifts

A personalized cutting board makes a great fifth year anniversary gift, a year devoted to nature’s most adaptable entity – wood. The fantastic thing about wood is that it can be formed into so many beautiful (and useful) items for around the house. Check out our five year anniversary guide on wood-based gifts to see what we mean.

Why is wood the original 5th anniversary gift?

After five years of marriage, you two are as sturdy as a 500-year-old maple tree. Okay, maybe not that reliable – but you get the idea. A wooden gift is the perfect way to convey a message of trust and steadfast commitment

5th year anniversary message inspiration

 “If our love was a river birch tree, it would have grown to be 15 feet high. I’m so happy to have spent a half-decade with you. I love you!”

5th year anniversary date inspiration

Spend the day out in nature, among the trees. Under natures canopy you two can spend some much-needed time together, away from distractions and self-imposed commitments, at least for a day.

6TH YEAR Anniversary Gifts: Iron / Candy

Who can argue with a cast iron cooking set as the perfect anniversary gift? But if you already have one, shoot for something more playful from our guide to sixth year anniversary gifting ideas.

Why is iron and candy the original 6th year anniversary gift?

Iron is the traditional gift of choice for your sixth anniversary. We can imagine how many tools were bought for handyman husbands in years gone by. But sugar is the modern theme, providing those who don’t want to be slaves to tradition a sweet alternative.

6th year anniversary message inspiration

“What was once a playful relationship has become to define me in ways I could never imagine. I don’t know where the line between your life and mine is anymore, and I would never have it any other way. Happy sixth year anniversary, my dearest.”

6th year anniversary date inspiration

A box of chocolates is never a bad choice – but leave it as a last-ditch option. Why not go over the top and head into the woods for some maple tree tapping? It’s a chance to see where the sugary deliciousness you spread on your pancakes actually comes from – and yes, after six years of marriage you both probably want to do something exciting in nature (since you know everything about each other already). 

7TH YEAR Anniversary Gifts: Wool/ Copper

 Embrace your modernist predilection for simplicity and efficiency with a custom map and pen that commemorates the location of your choice (maybe your partner’s hometown). For more modernist fare, or for something warm and fuzzy, browse our guide to 7th year anniversary gifting.

Why is wool and copper the original 7th year anniversary gift?

Year seven continues the combination of the traditional mixed with the modern. This year it’s wool and copper, materials both known for the immense potential for generating heat. Modernists will love the variety of copper goodies they can find for their darlings, while traditionalists are always on the lookout for a new wool blanket.

7th year anniversary message inspiration

“Happy seven years together, baby. Though we have each faced hardships, I can say with confidence that your support makes all the difference in keeping me happy and healthy. I hope I can be the same pillar of strength to you as you are to me.”

7th anniversary date inspiration

Although visiting a sheep farm is a traditional thing to do, it is totally worth it. Besides, it’s probably the only time you would ever make a point of visiting the fluffy white cuties. Don’t forget to buy some sheep’s milk while you’re there!

Love You Always sculptureLove You Always Sculpture – $88Buy Now »


8th YEAR Anniversary Gifts : Bronze

Well gosh how time flies. Can you believe you tied the knot eight years already? By the eighth year of marriage, you and your loved one have probably shared so many experiences that, like the patina of a bronze statue, color life in a richer hue.

Why is bronze the original 8th anniversary gift?

Bronze is the result of copper and tin coming together. The end product is something stronger and more resilient than either metal is on its own, which makes for quite fitting symbolism on the eve of an eight year anniversary. Only two more years till a decade!

8th anniversary message inspiration

“I love you more each day, and though life gets busy and hectic sometimes, I always know you will be by my side. Happy eight years in love, life, and marriage.”

8th anniversary date inspiration

When was the last time you poked your head in a museum? Chances are you’ve been to the dentist more times in the past five years. So treat yourselves to a relaxing day wondering the halls of an ancient history museum and try to count all the bronze artifacts on display.

9TH YEAR Anniversary Gifts: Pottery

Pottery is the chosen gift to commemorate nine years of marriage. Much like a long-term relationship that looks great on the surface, making a bowl actually takes hours of painstaking preparation.

Why is pottery the original 9th year anniversary gift?

Pottery gifts symbolize this crystallization of various forces into something unmistakably unique, complete, and beautiful. Although you might not be able to afford a Ming vase for your partner, gifting pottery is akin to saying: “Thank you for working on this marriage with me, and look at how beautiful our life is as a result.”

9th anniversary message inspiration

“Of all the moments we’ve shared these past nine years, I think my favorite was last night cuddling up next to you in bed!”

9th anniversary date inspiration

The funny thing about pottery is that, while one pot looks great just one its own, a collection of pots, bowls, cups and vases is almost indescribably gorgeous. Take a trip to a pottery fair and marvel at the expert craftsmanship on show.

Our Nest personalized artOur Nest Pesonalized Art – $84 Buy Now »


10TH YEAR Anniversary Gifts: Tin/ Aluminum

Perhaps there is no more uncommon example of agile fortitude than Jerry Moran’s airplane necklace, cast from bits of real aircraft aluminum. For this, and many other alloy-inspired gifts, consult our 10 year anniversary gift guide for creative ideas.

Why is Tin/Aluminum the original 10th year anniversary gift?

So many couples falter before the ten year stage, but not you two. You are both resilient in commitment, devoted to living in a marriage that can endure the sands of time. Tin and aluminum happen to share a knack for resilience – which explains why they are the 10 year anniversary gift theme. But if all you can think of are those old tin cigarette containers you find in junk shops – fret no longer. Uncommon applications of these resilient metals are not hard to find, offering pleasing anniversary gifts for the traditionalist and modernist alike.

10 year anniversary message inspiration

“I am lost for words in describing how much our love has blossomed these past ten years. Learning through our mistakes has made our successes that much more rewarding. Here’s to another decade going after our dreams!”

10 year anniversary date inspiration

Bikes are made of aluminum. Try taking them for a spin in the country and wind up sipping wine with a lavish dinner on a patio, overlooking a river. Yeah, we know it sounds too good to be true. But this place does exist, you’ve just got to find it.

11TH YEAR Anniversary Gifts: Steel

Eleven years in married bliss means you two should be solid as a steel bridge. And on most days you probably are!

Why is steel the original 11th year anniversary gift?

Aluminum and tin are refined metals. Steel, on the other hand, is much more solid; much more utilitarian. It is what they use to build bridges, trucks, ships, pipelines, and skyscrapers. As such, it makes a fitting theme for your eleven year anniversary gift, as it symbolizes the reliable structure needed for any long-term relationship.

11 year anniversary message inspiration

“Ten years was magical, but eleven years is even better. Happy anniversary my precious one!”

11 year anniversary date inspiration

We recommend going out for a Thali, a traditional Indian meal served on a flat steel dinner plate.

 12TH YEAR Anniversary Gifts: Linen

Linen is our modern gift theme for your 12th anniversary celebration. A popular material in textiles, we carry a number of gorgeous items crafted from this natural fiber.

Why is linen the modern 12th year anniversary gift of choice?

The original 12th year anniversary gift is actually silk, which is extracted in a harmful way from moth caterpillars and silk worms. Linen is the modern counterpart, and we could not be happier about it.

Linen is a ubiquitous symbol of versatility and freshness. It is the material of choice for breathable summer shirts and gowns, effortlessly carrying you from one summer to the next with your spouse. Before you know it it’s been twelve whole years!

12th year anniversary message inspiration

“Yes, it is true. We have been together twelve years now. I remember how unsure we were in those first years together, when neither of us could really tell which way life was going to turn. Well, after twelve years I can say for certain that I feel calm with you in the driver’s seat. Happy anniversary, my love.”

12th year anniversary date inspiration

Linen is a natural textile made from fibers of the flax plant. It is commonly used in fiber art projects, quilting, and the manufacture of clothing. Why not do a little research in your area and check out a gallery show or art fair? You will not be disappointed.

Gold-Dipped Lace Butterfly NecklaceGold-Dipped Lace Butterfly Necklace – $60 Buy Now »


13TH YEAR Anniversary Gifts: Lace

Coming into the thirteenth year, it’s time to get a little decadent. We’re not suggesting that the physical attraction is waning – we just think it’s important to indulge in the finer things once and a while. And that means going for some lace.

Why is lace is the original 13th year anniversary gift?

Giving the gift of lace for your thirteenth anniversary is the right gesture at this point in your marriage. Lace can come in the form of a traditional or modern gift – but either way it will set the tone by riffing on the cute and sensual aspects of your relationship.

13th anniversary message inspiration

“The love of my life keeps on shining brighter every year. Thank you for being you, because it has made being me that much more bearable. With all my love, on this thirteenth anniversary of our marriage.”

13th anniversary date inspiration

One thing people don’t do enough is rent a hotel room and treat each other to a full night off. Heck, through in a spa treatment while you’re at it. And at the end of the night, maybe a new lace dress will make an appearance.

14TH YEAR Anniversary Gifts: Bloodstone

Bloodstone is the modern anniversary gift theme for your 14th anniversary. If, by now, you two have not gifted personal ornaments (we’re mostly looking at you there hubby), then now is the ideal opportunity.

Why is bloodstone the modern 14th year anniversary gift of choice?

Ivory is the traditional 14th year anniversary gift of choice, but apparently, as we learn time and again, animal cruelty wasn’t always a concern to our ancestors. Obviously it means a great deal to a lot of people, which is why bloodstone jewelry was introduced as a modern, humanitarian alternative.

14th anniversary message inspiration

“Yes, it’s true, I am still in love with you. When times are good or bad, happy or sad, I remain deeply in love with the person I married fourteen years ago today. Happy anniversary to my shooting star.”

14th anniversary date inspiration

Plan a weekend away and make sure the kids (if you have any cuties!) are taken care of. Where to? Somewhere you can show off your jewelry and live in dreamland for a minute!

15TH YEAR Anniversary Gifts: Crystal

Rather than going for something personal in the year of the crystal, we suggest toasting your collective achievement with a glass of bubbly in a set of constant bubbling champagne flutes. Of course, if you would prefer to go the personal route, our 15th year anniversary gift guide offers some crystal clear inspiration.

Why is crystal the original 15th year anniversary gift?

Despite what the crystal ball may have predicted a decade and a half ago, you have made it to your fifteenth anniversary. Congrats!

Crystal is the material of choice for all your modern anniversary giving needs. Believed to be a spiritual force that supports both individual and collective self-development, it is the ideal tonic to any instability in your relationship.

15th anniversary message inspiration

“I never play the lottery because being with you means I already won the life lottery!”

 15th anniversary date inspiration

One fun idea for the adventurous type is too actually mine for your own crystals. But if that’s going a couple steps too far, feel free to simplify matters by drinking champagne at home in the bathtub, with chocolate fondue, bubbles, and Sade on the speakers.

20TH YEAR Anniversary Gifts: China

A porcelain faux bois dishware collection evokes the best of modernist industrial design, while a glance through our 20th anniversary gift guide will give you more ideas than you can shake a stick at.

Why is china the original 20th year anniversary gift?

Twenty years in and everything is alright. The anniversary gift theme for the big 2-0 is china, which might be a blessing or curse (depending on whether you still have young kids wreaking havoc around the house). Diving in for some fine china might seem like boring traditionalism all over again. But it’s not. Modern designers have found innovative ways to breathe new life into what was once a symbol of stuffy high society.

20th anniversary message inspiration

“Let’s take some time this year to think back on all the wonderful memories we share. I love you more each passing day.”

20th anniversary date inspiration

Your best bet for maximum enjoyment: Ignore any museums or wheel throwing classes and have a fancy dinner at a restaurant known for its traditional use of fine china instead. It’s appropriate to nod your head in the direction of tradition once and a while.

Mixed Metals Textured Spinning RingMixed Metals Textured Spinning Ring – $68 Buy Now »


25TH YEAR Anniversary Gifts: Silver

A Milestone bracelet an ideal gift because it gives a nod to the past while sticking one foot in the door of the future. For other sentimental ideas that come with a ‘silver lining’ – pun intended – peruse our 25th anniversary gift guide!

Why is silver the original 25th year anniversary gift?

A quarter century in marriage is the most impressive landmark you have achieved yet! To honor the occasion, it is customary to give the gift of silver (along with your everlasting love, of course). The color silver is associated with high-tech efficiency, while also carrying with it a measure of sophistication and glamour.

25th anniversary message inspiration

“With you by my side, I have the confidence to move mountains. I feel stronger now than I did when I first met you. I love you baby, and happy anniversary.”

25th anniversary date inspiration

We suggest pulling out all the stops and flying to Vegas on the cheap for a weekend of fun. Sure, it has almost nothing to do with the theme…except for Silver Sevens, the popular hotel and casino on the strip.

Mother of Pearl Stoneware Serving DishMother of Pearl Stoneware Serving Dish – $120 Buy Now »


30TH YEAR Anniversary Gifts: Pearl/Diamonds

As the anniversary year continues to rise, and you enter the rarefied heights of lifelong commitment, the quality of the gift theme increases in turn. Thus, a thirty year anniversary calls for the gift of pearls (if you’re going traditional this year) or diamonds (if you’re into the modernist thing).

Why is pearl the original 30th year anniversary gift?

Pearls are the traditional gift of choice because they are incredibly rare, and the evoke a certain mystical quality about the natural world with, after 30 years together, is probably reflected in your marriage. However, since pearls are living creatures, we do not source pearl products in our shop.

Diamonds, on the other hand, diamonds we do have. These heat resistant gems are a marvel to the eye and are just about the most timeless item in the modernists gift jar.

30th anniversary message inspiration

“The first 30 years of marriage are always the hardest!”

30th anniversary date inspiration

Diamonds are mined from deep below the surface of the earth. We’re not trying to sound like psychologists, but in a way our minds are full of memories that need to be recalled on a regular basis if we want to keep them. For our 30th anniversary date night inspiration, we recommend you take out the photo albums and mine your past for nuggets of joy that you and your partner have shared.

35TH YEAR Anniversary Gifts: Coral

We’re going deep sea diving for your 50th anniversary gift theme. But you don’t need to have seen it in person to know that coral is something special to behold.

Why is coral the original 35th year anniversary gift?

Coral embodies the whimsical beauty that can form over years of incremental growth. But don’t go thinking you only have plastic coral reefs perched on a stand through which to show your love. Modern makers have found countless ways to re-purpose coral as an anniversary gift of choice, while still highlighting its symbolic significance.

35th year anniversary message inspiration

“Thirty-five years and still going strong. For all the times you have been there for me, this anniversary is dedicated to you. Thank you a million times over, and happy anniversary.”

35th year date inspiration

Take inspiration from the Greeks, but give it a vegetarian twist. We’re talking tempeh burgers, heaping portions of Greek salad, a bit of Ouzo to wash it all down, and of course baklava for desert. Wondering what the connection is? Coral grows in abundance in the warm waters off the Mediterranean coast.

Ruby Sea Star StudsRuby Sea Star Studs – $117 Buy Now »


40TH YEAR Anniversary Gifts: Ruby

If bold jewelry sets your darlings heart aflame, go with a Crimson Heart Bracelet made by South American artisans. For a slightly more subdued variation on the theme, take a gander at our 40th anniversary gift guide, full of modern and traditional pieces.

Why is ruby the original 40th year anniversary gift?

Ruby is the modern anniversary gift theme at play for your fortieth anniversary, and it demands attention. For a long time ruby was considered the stone of love and passion. It was also believed that, if rubbed on the skin, ruby could bring back youth and vitality.

40th anniversary message inspiration

“Yes, it’s true, it’s been forty short years already. All I know is that my love is as strong as ever. My heart stiff flutters when I wake up next to you, and I get bored the minute we’re apart. You are my true love, my everything.”

40th anniversary date inspiration

Take a wine tasting tour through parts of the world where the red wine is the most robust and flavorful.

45TH YEAR Anniversary Gifts: Sapphire

To celebrate your 45th anniversary, the authors of custom say that sapphire is the most suitable theme. We could not agree more.

Why is sapphire the original 45th year anniversary gift?

As a precious gemstone, sapphire blue evokes a deep longing in our hearts that only true love can match. It is love as deep as the ocean, a bond of understanding as impenetrable as sapphire itself (which is renowned for its durability).

45th anniversary message inspiration

“To my wonderful partner, there is little I could ever say to encapsulate these many years of togetherness. It all comes down to a feeling I have when I am around you – a feeling that does not wane as the days go by. Such is the power of love, and you have shown my so much love since we first met. Happy 45th anniversary, my love.”

45th anniversary date inspiration

To celebrate the special day, we recommend taking a trip down memory lane. Eat a cozy meal at a restaurant that means a lot to you both, and let the stories flow from your mental library of shared experiences.

Personalized Gold LP Record
Personalized Gold Record – $175 Buy Now »


50TH YEAR Anniversary Gifts: Gold

Whether you want to go traditional or modern – like this 22k “I’ll Be There” necklace – the selection of pieces in our 50th anniversary gift guide is sure to pique your (and your sweetheart’s) fancy.

Why is gold the original 50th year anniversary gift?

It’s almost your 50th anniversary, which means you are entering the golden years of marriage. The most precious of materials has of course been reserved for the most unique life event – and a 50th anniversary fits that description to a T.

50th anniversary message inspiration

“Words cannot convey how much this milestone means to me. You have been a beacon of light when times were tough, and an exuberant companion when things were going our way. Thanks to you, I was able to wake up every morning and feel fulfilled in life. For that enduring feeling, I thank you from the bottom of my toes. Happy 50th anniversary, my one true love.”

50th anniversary date inspiration

It’s time to pull out all the stops and do something totally out of the ordinary to celebrate a half century of your love. Like … going out dancing at a club that plays the music of your youth!

However you choose to reminisce about the day you made it official, we hope these fun facts inspire love and joy for years to come.

Anniversary Gifts

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