Traditional Anniversary Gifts By Year

When we first got married and were buying our first anniversary gifts, we made a deal that we would choose gifts that align with the traditional anniversary gifts, year by year. I don’t know why, exactly, but something about giving gifts that have been given for hundreds of years appealed to us.

When the end of our first year of marriage rolled around, I discovered that we had a brand new holiday: our anniversary. And unlike so many other holidays or observances, it felt extra special, because it’s something we earned. And now, more than a decade into this project of marriage, I still feel the same way. My birthday? As much as I love a day celebrating me, I wasn’t the one in labor. Thanksgiving? Again, love me some pumpkin pie, but I didn’t do anything to earn that day off. But each year of marriage includes 365 days of continuing to choose each other (and I can guarantee you that is not an easy decision all 365 times.) So that makes the anniversary presents that we give to each other every year extra special. And the great thing about giving traditional anniversary gifts by year is that it helps give you a way to mark time. (Not to mention making the process of picking a gift a little easier.) Plus, this next year we’re going to hit lace, so I predict I’ll get something really good, and quite possibly sexy.

So if you want to join us in our game of giving traditional anniversary gifts year by year, we have ideas, but also a refresher. To review, here are the traditional wedding anniversary gifts:

Anniversary Gifts By Year:

1ST YEAR: Paper
2ND YEAR: Cotton
3RD YEAR: Leather
4TH YEAR: Fruit & Flowers, or Linen & Silk
5TH YEAR: Wood
6TH YEAR: Iron / Candy
7TH YEAR: Wool/ Copper
8TH YEAR: Bronze
9TH YEAR: Pottery
10TH YEAR: Tin/ Aluminum
11TH YEAR: Steel
12TH YEAR: Silk
13TH YEAR: Lace
14TH YEAR: Ivory
15TH YEAR: Crystal
20TH YEAR: China
25TH YEAR: Silver
30TH YEAR: Pearl
35TH YEAR: Coral
40TH YEAR: Ruby
45TH YEAR: Sapphire
50TH YEAR: Gold
55TH YEAR: Emerald
60TH YEAR: Diamond

Since next up is anniversary number thirteen (how is that?), I thought it would be super fun to round up a bunch of our favorite ideas for each year of the first ten years of marriage, to put a modern spin on the traditional anniversary gifts, year by year:

Traditional Anniversary Gifts YEAR ONE: PAPER

1. What says first wedding anniversary better than your favorite song (first dance, possibly), framed, and foil-printed (on luxurious paper)? Nothing we can think of.

pink and red floral stationery set

2. A custom notebook and notecards for the stationery lover in your life that likes to jot things down in style.

newlywed cookbook is a perfect year one anniversary gift

3. For those of us who are still learning to cook The Newlywed Cookbook. Or if you’ve got the cooking thing on lock, fancy hardcover versions of your favorite books anyone? Or maybe fancy cocktails?

paper necklace

4. For this anniversary gift, wear your art in the form of recycled paper jewelry.

desktop calendar

5. Still haven’t printed any wedding photos? This desktop calendar is a cool (and cheap) alternative to albums or frames.

Pink Line

YEAR TWO Anniversary gift: COTTON

love is art print is a perfect anniversary gift

6. Nothing says, “We made it to year two!” like rolling around in paint naked and then hanging the resulting artwork in your living room. Love Is Art Kit.

custom cotton dog pillow

7. Because you’re those people and you’re not ashamed (and you shouldn’t be), a Custom Reserved Dog Pillow ($95).

Artistic Los Angeles map printed on a bandana

8. Represent your stomping ground with this LA and Sister Cities scarf. And for the non-Angelinos: a super soft cotton scarf. Because the basics are still important.

colorful hammock hanging on a porch

9. Know what your (read: every) marriage needs? A hammock.

canvas weekender bag

10. For when you want to get away together, try this best selling canvas weekender bag. Adventures await.

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YEAR THREE: LEATHER

leather scented candle

11. You don’t have to get literal with things. Make your house (or body) smell like leather with the leather scent collection from Malin+Goetz.

Pile of colorful zip wallets emblazoned with monograms in gold are a perfect anniversary gift

12. Nothing says “congratulations on being adults together” like a wallet with space for everything. Bonus: make it custom with your love’s initials!

Brown, White, and Silver Leather ottomans in front of pink walls

13. Make extra room for guests with Moroccan leather poufs—in metallic silver, obviously.

For the perfect leather anniversary gift: Black Leather lace up boots

14. Because a great pair of leather boots never goes out of style!

brown leather homebrew journal with beer

15. What’s a home-brew hobby if you can’t remember which recipes were awesome and which ones exploded in your fridge? Home-brew journal.

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YEAR FOUR anniversary gift: FRUIT/FLOWERS

hand holding a bouquet of farmgirl flowers as an anniversary gift

16. It’s totally cool to go with the obvious. Farmgirl Flowers is a staff favorite, because the arrangements are huge (and cheap for their size), plus the flowers are locally sourced (and they ship nationwide). Want to have some forever flowers in your home? Grab one of these limited edition floral fine art prints… guaranteed not to wilt.

Box and bottles of Winc wine on front porch

17. Guess what used to be a fruit? Wine. If you and your partner aren’t regular connoisseurs, you basically can’t swing a dead cat on the Internet without hitting at least four new monthly wine clubs. But first, check out an APW fave, Winc Wine Club.

gold flower ring

18. Gilded flowers are for lovers. Get yours in the form of a stunning custom Secret Garden Ring with the flowers of your choosing!

pomegranate necklace

19. Did you know pomegranates are considered the fruit of love? Gift this charm necklace to your love for your 4th wedding anniversary!

blue marble orchid flower shaped earrings with rhinestone centers

20.  Fresh flowers won’t last forever but these stunning floral earrings by Lele Sadoughi will!

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YEAR FIVE: WOOD

wooden wine goblets with white stem

21. Glass is so passé. Wooden wine glasses.

Wood open top box hanging on wall with slot to hang bicycle

22. Functional art that keeps your ride in one place? Yes and yes.

cutout map wood print

23. This framed and ready for hanging custom map art is the perfect sentimental piece to add to your collection.

Wood and black bluetooth speaker in fluted shape of vintage music speaker

24. Replay your wedding song in style on this Victrola Bluetooth gramophone.

Multicolor pattern wood geometric wall art

25. Who doesn’t want a magical wood portal in their home? Sign us up!

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YEAR SIX Anniversary Gift: IRON/CANDY

Blue accented cast iron skillet is a perfect anniversary gift

26. For anniversary breakfasts with a little extra flavor, a colorful cast iron skillet sure to please any home chef.

iron and wood shelf

27. It’s totally legit to use that anniversary gifts thing as an excuse to buy that thing you both have been eyeballing—this iron bookshelf, (or the smaller version,) for example.

cast iron black wall hangings holding white pillar candles

28. These iron candle holders are rustic, chic, and romantic. What else could you ask for?

box of candy

29. Say thanks for all the memories with all the artisanal candy you could possibly dream of.

Round metal table top lantern with glass candle holder in the middle

30. Workman’s lantern. A light in the storm. And because they’re kind of awesome.

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YEAR SEVEN: WOOL/COPPER

monogrammed copper mugs make for great anniversary gifts

31. Complete your bar set (and then pour yourself a celebratory drink) with a Moscow Mule copper mug, or four.

woman holding scarf knitting pattern with white yarn in basket

32. Give the anniversary gift of a project that you can wear when you’re done, with an infinity scarf kit, complete with yarn and needles.

geometric copper mirror

33. A copper wall mirror, for straight-up pretty. Pair it with a few of these copper art shelves and wedding photos for a fresh bedroom vibe.

Anniversary gift for your stylish partner, a wool fedora

34. Because your partner is Indiana Jones, a wool fedora.

for an extra cozy anniversary gift consider this chunky grey knit blanket

35. Merino wool roving chunky blanket. Because one of you is always cold. Always.

YEAR EIGHT Anniversary Gift: BRONZE

For a more traditional anniversary gift try a custom embossed bronze fishing lure in shape of a heart

36. Make this bronze fishing lure extra special with your anniversary stamped in it. Trust us, this lure will be a tackle box treasure for years to come!

Custom embossed bronze belt buckle is a custom anniversary gift

37. Customized bronze belt buckles for the win!

this bronze steam punk pocket watch is a one-of-a-kind anniversary gift

38. Make it personal with a custom engraved bronze pocket watch.

bronze fire pit

39. A fire pit is the gift that keeps on giving. Hello backyard summers.

bronze the thinker statue reproduction

40. Eight years deserves a celebratory trip, no? How about Tickets to Paris to see The Thinker in person at the Musée Rodin?

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YEAR NINE: POTTERY

this white ceramic paper bag flower vase is the ideal anniversary gift for your art-loving partner

41. It’s a bag? It’s a vase. It’s both.

Multicolor ceramic beer steins make the ideal anniversary gift for the craft beer fan in your life

42. For the partners who appreciate historical accuracy, here are these legitimate beer steins.

white and blue patterned ceramic drink coasters

43. Complete the cocktail-themed gifts coming with ceramic coasters.

rainbow striped serving platters

44. Food can be fun, duh: Retro Serving Dishes.

Hands pouring copper watering pot into small hanging plant

45. For your backyard update: Ceramic Wall Pocket.

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YEAR TEN Anniversary Gifts: TIN/ALUMINUM

chai tea kit in a tin

46. For the casual tea enthusiast: Chai Tea Kit makes the perfect anniversary gift.

Silver citrus press a classic anniversary gift

47. Add this countertop citrus press to the list of things that will take your weekend brunch to the next level.

Silver metal barbeque tool set in a silver case

48. BBQ briefcase. For getting work done.

Silver countertop pasta maker is the perfect anniversary gift for the home chef

49. Pasta maker, also for getting work done (or for the perfect date night at home!)

the sarcastic anniversary gift: a custom engraved flask with words

50. Because this really says it all.