Top 10 Best Anniversary Gifts

Updated on December 30, 2017

It's that time of year again, time to buy your loved one an anniversary gift. One more time, you can reflect on the vows you made to each other, celebrate your love for each other, remember all the epic experiences you had, and plan for some more. Or celebrate the anniversary of parents, grandparents, neighbors, or friends by giving them a gift.

For a month or so before the anniversary, start thinking about what might be the perfect gift. Keep your ears peeled for hints or clues. When you think of something, write it down. After several days you should have a nice gift list of things they might want.

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Some couples have an anniversary tradition of getting all dressed up to go out for an meal. But an overpriced meal can be a disappointment, and you don’t need to stick to a routine that has become boring. Mix things up a little and have a great time.

Whichever direction you choose to go, just remember that most couples are not concerned with the particular gifts they get for their wedding anniversary. They care about friends and family being together and having a good time. Unique anniversary gift ideas are everywhere, a little creativity and fun go a long way.

Traditional Anniversary Gifts by Year

Here are the materials suggested by tradition for gifts for the first 15 anniversaries and then the big milestone anniversaries.

While this list may be traditional, it is in no way a rigid requirement. Most of these ideas are not ancient, but were proposed by the American National Retail Jeweler Association in 1937. It can be fun to get creative with the list rather than following it literally. For instance, year 14 is the year of ivory. For a cute joke, buy them something nice along with a bar of Ivory soap for a funny twist.

Year 1: Paper

Year 2: Cotton

Year 3: Leather

Year 4: Fruit/Flowers

Year 5: Wood

Year 6: Candy/Iron

Year 7: Wool/Copper

Year 8: Bronze/Pottery

Year 9: Pottery/Willow

Year 10: Tin/Aluminum

Year 11: Steel

Year 12: Silk/Linen

Year 13: Lace

Year 14: Ivory

Year 15: Crystal

Year 20: China

Year 25: Silver

Year 30: Pearl

Year 35: Coral

Year 40: Ruby

Year 45: Sapphire

Year 50: Gold

Year 55: Emerald

Year 60: Diamond

Some Tricky Anniversary Years

If you do want to play the game, and get a gift that's on the list, some years might be tricky.

First Anniversary: Paper

First wedding anniversary gifts are traditionally supposed to be something made of or inspired by paper. Some ideas:

  • A pair of blank journals
  • An art print or movie poster
  • A decorative string of papel picado for their patio.
  • A pretty coffee-table book, with scenery, animals, art, architecture, or whatever appeals to your couple’s interests. In used-book stores, or on Amazon, big books like these can often be had for a song.

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Tenth Anniversary: Aluminum or Tin

Wow, aluminum or tin? With a stretch, depending on your couple’s preferences, you may be able to comply with this demanding requirement:

  • Wind chimes
  • Cookie cutters
  • An ice cream scoop
  • A garlic press; or a tortilla press
  • A desktop picture frame
  • Snack trays or platters
  • Yard furniture or portable sports chairs
  • Decorative yard ornaments: a sunburst or sign for the wooden fence, fake flowers
  • A Christmas-tree ornament, possibly personalized

Or just wrap your gift in aluminum-foil paper!

Twenty-Fifth Anniversary: Silver

Twenty five years, where did the time go? Kids, jobs, the rat race. That kind of commitment deserves a thoughtful present.

A 25th Anniversary is known as a Silver Anniversary. Some ideas:

  • silver jewelry
  • silver photo frames
  • Any photographs! The black areas on a photo are made of a chemical compound of silver. An old family photo in some attractive frame or holder is surely precious silver.
  • Any good gift wrapped up in silver ribbons or a silver box

The 50th wedding anniversary is a gigantic milestone in a couple's lives. By this point, they have spent a half of a century with the one they love, respect and enjoy. This milestone is represented by gold, one of the most precious metals in the universe.

  • Gold or gold-plated jewelry: earrings, cuff links, lockets, and even watches
  • A favorite photograph, framed in a golden or gold-leaf frame
  • Or any simple gift—candy, flowers, food--that both parties will enjoy, with a gold ribbon on it!

Top Ten All Time Anniversary Gifts

Here is a list of ten gifts that might be great for any anniversary. Flowers and candy are specific to the 4th and 6th anniversaries respectively, but are too good to pass up on other occasions.

  1. Edible gift basket
  2. Flowers
  3. Candy
  4. Cheesecake or pie
  5. Event tickets
  6. Music or entertainment from old times
  7. Romantic coupon book
  8. Anything personalized
  9. Couple portrait (or caricature)
  10. Photo album or scrapbook

1. Gift Basket Filed With Goodies

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No matter which anniversary is involved, gift baskets are a fun way to say "happy anniversary" to your spouse or that special couple in your life. They range from small, simple, and sweet, to big expensive gourmet foodie and wine-lover’s gift baskets. A couple may enjoy dividing up the tidbits between them, or sharing the basket’s contents with people who drop in.

A basket can appeal to many tastes or themes; be inspired by the general interests of the folks involved. Baskets can focus on tasty fruits, chocolate, cookies, smoked meats, cheeses, spices, sauces, dips, coffees, teas, wines, or craft beers. There are many wonderful ways to go here.

Line a basket with pretty tissue paper or greenery, fill it up at a gourmet or ethnic store, and stuff its corners with compatible snacks, and maybe utensils, like a pair of little plates or cups. Or, especially if you live far away, choose a premade basket, personalize it with a bow, card or greeting, and have it delivered to the couple’s doorstep.

2. Flowers: For Her, for Them, for Him

Romance and flowers are inseparable. The magic of flowers can put a smile on anyone’s face. Either one of them, or both, will enjoy looking at a generous bouquet of pretty things, and being reminded of the success of the relationship.

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3. Candy

Get good candy: fresh candy made with butter, not palm oil or partially hydrogenated shortening with butylated hydroxyanisole. You don't need a lot--a little bit of good candy is way better than a lot of bad candy. Pretty candy is nice; candy that smells as well as looks good is better. Again, this gift is not just for ladies. Obviously men like candy, and a couple may like to share their goodies with people who drop in, or then again, they may not.

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4. Cheesecake

Ladies, we all know just how difficult it can be to find the perfect anniversary gift ideas for him! Maybe your man has everything, or has difficulty giving you a clue as to what he might lack. So skip the wallet, tie, or cuff links this year and give your husband a cheesecake. Men love cheesecakes. Pie, of course, is also a possibility.

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5. Event Tickets

This gift can be from one member of a couple to the other, or from a friend or relative. Just make sure it's something they genuinely both like. If one of them honestly won't enjoy the Green Bay Packers or chamber music, find something else that they will enjoy once they are away from work, kids, and other distractions. (If there are kids--the gift giver might want to arrange childcare as part of the package.) Here are some event ideas:

  • Museums
  • Concerts
  • Nightclub Performances
  • Movies
  • Plays
  • Comedy

6. Time Travel

You can't really time travel, of course, no matter how big your budget is. However, an anniversary is a great time to get nostalgic. Where was your first date? What music was in style when you first kissed? What park did you hang out in, what were you doing for fun before you two got hitched?

It can be lots of fun recreating that retro feeling. Burn a CD or load your iPod with music from the time when you were dating and listen to that on the way to go bowling, or catch a movie at a drive-in theater. Eat at your favorite roadside cafe or burger joint. Go camping at the national park you had an adventure at.

Or, if you are feeling particularly ancient, check out whether your city has a dance club for “adults” or “grown folks” or the “over 30 crowd.” If you haven’t been out dancing for ten or fifteen years, you may find that dancing—especially to live music—is more fun than you remembered, and more romantic than you expected.

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7. Romantic Coupon Book

This is a gift one partner gives another. You can find examples on Amazon or on the Web, but better yet, write up and illustrate your own coupons. Make some coupons that your sweetheart can redeem during the next year, things that your partner will really like: going out for a nice dinner, a massage, breakfast in bed, or, of course, other things that might be fun to do in or near a bed.

8. Anything Personalized

So many online businesses will personalize gifts by engraving names on them. For example, you can get a couple’s name engraved on a pair of little pendants or charms, or a pair of wineglasses.

Other personally inscribed, engraved, or embroidered gift possibilities are almost endless: afghans, platters, little statues, M&Ms (really). You can order rocks or coins with loving messages.

The New York Times can sell you a gift that is not personalized, exactly, but tied to a date. Send them the date of your wedding, and they can make you an Anniversary Book that includes a facsimile front page for almost every day between then and the day you place the order. To have the book begin and end with your anniversaries, you'll to place your order after the anniversary.

9. Portrait or Caricature

—You may know a great artist or photographer; if so, you can commission a photo or portrait of the couple that you know will be beautiful. Or you can take your chance on a quick caricature; even if the cartoon is not beautiful, it will be a conversation piece, even an heirloom.

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10. Album or Scrapbook

If you have been together a while, you may have more wonderful photos and little paper souvenirs than you know what to do with. You can put a few of them together in a book with plastic sleeves for your partner; even if you aren't "crafty" and artistic, you can make these memories easier for you both to find.

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Vote for Your Favorite

What Is Your Favorite Anniversary Gift?

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Thanks for leaving such nice comments, I really like hearing from you, and I appreciate your feedback. If you have a new gift idea, share it with us so we can share it with others.

Happy Anniversary!

Guestbook & Comments - I love reading your comments...

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    • profile image

      Andrea 

      29 hours ago

      Thanks for posting

      Guys just sharing, I've found this interesting! Check it out!

      https://www.papelpicadodecoramec.com/

    • profile image

      Paul 

      10 months ago

      An anniversary sundial is a good idea, it is a clock that uses the movement of the sun to tell time. There is one that you can find online, made of beveled glass, that sits indoors on the window sill and makes rainbows in the room when the sun shines. It is handmade and can be personalized with a date line for the special day that the sun shadow will follow every year on that date, and you can even get a special mark on that line that the sun shadow will touch at the exact moment of the ceremony every year. I don't remember exactly what it is called but you can find it online with a search for rainbow sundial or anniversary sundial. They have gift certificates that you can buy and get the same day via email that will allow your wife to pick which window in the home to have it custom made for and we give them for wedding gifts especially when we have to travel to the wedding. Have a look, it is a really good idea for a special anniversary or wedding gift, especially at the last minute.

    • profile image

      Greg 

      10 months ago

      Have you heard about buying a real star? There is a project Kingdom of Universe which allows you to buy a real part of the cosmos! Last month I bought my girlfriend a real star. She loves it a lot! She said I was so romantic :D

    • profile image

      Peter Morgon 

      3 years ago

      Anniversary gifts... I seem to have the feeling that people waste money on material goods just because they are expensive. Diamonds are for one, the worst gift. I have always gone with a lovely bunch of flowers/roses. Have them ordered and delivered via http://flowermerchant.co.uk

      Works everytime and is something special. I don't think I will change my ways anytime soon. That is my two cents worth. :D

    • profile image

      Rooney 

      3 years ago

      Great ideas you've got here. Thanks for sharing them. http://homefitnessequipmenthowto.org/

    • profile image

      Jessica 

      3 years ago

      Thanks for posting, useful for me. Love it! http://www.thepromocodecoupon.com/

    • profile image

      Ann 

      3 years ago

      Great ideas and nice advice, thanks for sharing this tips with me. http://thebestcouponcode.biz/

    • Claudiu Slat profile image

      AlexaMedia Solutions 

      3 years ago from Romania

      Major thankies for the wedding article.Really thank you! Really Great.

      http://cocarde-nunta.ro

    • profile image

      http://tulta.org/ 

      3 years ago

      I've found my answer here http://tulta.org/

    • profile image

      badhaee 

      4 years ago

      i think all ideas are very creatives,among all i like most is gifting flowers which makes lot of sense.https://www.badhaee.com

    • profile image

      badhaee 

      4 years ago

      i think all ideas are very creatives,among all i like most is gifting flowers which makes lot of sense.https//www.badhaee.com

    • profile image

      Ruby 

      4 years ago

      Great ideas and nice advice, thanks for sharing this tips with us.

      You may want to visit this site too! http://www.gemsforsale.org/

      thanks for sharing this helpful article!

    • Entrance Mats profile image

      Entrance Mats 

      4 years ago

      Great ideas, I like #1 the most.

    • profile image

      bigtolis 

      4 years ago

      yeah great post thnks for sharing

      International daily news about jewels

    • profile image

      rawaha 

      4 years ago

      Great post

    • smine27 profile image

      Shinichi Mine 

      4 years ago from Tokyo, Japan

      I'd take that chocolate basket anyday.

    • profile image

      GrammieOlivia 

      4 years ago

      Lots of really nice ideas in this post! Thanks, will have to bookmark it!

    • williamslaw profile image

      williamslaw 

      4 years ago

      Such wonderful ideas!

    • profile image

      Seablaque 

      4 years ago

      Great post!! Another great gift idea to consider

    • profile image

      pubpromo 

      4 years ago

      Some great ideas for printed gifts, thanks!

    • profile image

      FunPhotos 

      4 years ago

      good ideas

    • claudiax3 profile image

      claudiax3 

      4 years ago

      I would love to get any one of these great gift ideas!

    • profile image

      joehann 

      4 years ago

      Thanks for posting, I always forget what i am sposed to give!

      Joe

    • profile image

      joehann 

      4 years ago

      Thanks for posting, I always forget what i am sposed to give!

      Joe

    • profile image

      hajar74 

      4 years ago

      very nice ideas. Thank you for sharing

    • cjbmeb14 lm profile image

      cjbmeb14 lm 

      5 years ago

      We are on our 16th anniversary this year which I believe is silver holloware and the gemstone is peridot.

      Great lens.

    • profile image

      WineGuru 

      5 years ago

      You've got some remarkable gift ideas here. I recently gave a wine lover a rechargeable cordless electric wine bottle opener that was very well received :)

    • EndsInDotCom profile image

      EndsInDotCom 

      5 years ago

      The Ice Cream Bucket has me sold. What better choice for someone with the sweetest possible tooth?

    • GypsyOwl profile image

      Deb Bryan 

      5 years ago from Chico California

      For my Daughter and Son-In-Law's 10th Anniversary I was wondering what would be a great gift for them. I am so happy to find your anniversary Gift ideas page here! Thank you for helping me to find the best gift for them. It is such an important milestone anniversary and I'm so proud of them and happy for them. Your page of Gift Ideas is a great help and I especially enjoyed reading the year by year traditional gifts for anniversary suggestions (which has been very helpful). Thanks again!!!

    • profile image

      anonymous 

      5 years ago

      Great List - gave me some ideas.

    • profile image

      anonymous 

      5 years ago

      If you use iTunes to manage your podcast addiction, its annoying when a show isn't listed in iTunes Store. If you know the podcasts RSS subscription link, its easy to add to iTunes.

    • mrdata profile image

      mrdata 

      5 years ago

      Very nice lens! Thanks for sharing it with us!

    • Glenda Motsavage profile image

      Glenda Motsavage 

      5 years ago from The Sunshine State

      Just celebrated our 25th - some great ideas here! Love the "That was Then, This is Now" plaque. Thanks for sharing!

    • chezchazz profile image

      Chazz 

      5 years ago from New York

      Found this lens just in time - we've got a milestone anniversary coming up in October (2013) and you've given me some ideas to think about. Thank you.

    • profile image

      thebestofme 

      5 years ago

      Great lens! Squidlike

    • profile image

      anonymous 

      5 years ago

      this is a very good idea to be shared

    • BelleBanks profile image

      BelleBanks 

      6 years ago

      Thanks for sharing these gift ideas. Anniversary presents for my husband always give me the hardest time.

    • profile image

      getmoreinfo 

      6 years ago

      These Top 10 Best Anniversary Gifts are wonderful, I love the selection too.

    • SecondSally profile image

      SecondSally 

      6 years ago

      Great ideas you've got here. Thanks for sharing them.

    • Onemargaret LM profile image

      Onemargaret LM 

      6 years ago

      Wonderful ideas!

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