Traditional And Modern Anniversary Gift Ideas By Year

October 21, 2021
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Wedding anniversaries mark an important event in a couple’s life. It is a reminder that another year has passed with the love of your life. Whether it is your first or fiftieth anniversary, its importance, the time you spend together, and the struggle to get the perfect anniversary gift do not change. That is right, your marriage may have been a piece of cake, but getting your spouse a gift that suits the anniversary setting is a lifelong challenge. Wives specifically prefer to receive a symbolic gift that pays homage to their years together. So, before you go on and buy another pair of scented candles for this year’s anniversary, let us dive into the following mix of traditional and modern gift ideas that you can give by the year. 

1st Anniversary Gifts

The first-year marks the end of the honeymoon period, hypothetically. The expectations are high, and both partners are expecting a grand gesture from one another. So, whatever you will give each other in the first year should top everything that you have done in the past as an unmarried couple. 


For a 1st wedding anniversary gift, we would recommend going completely traditional with paper gifts. By paper, it means that you can go for things like hand-written love letters, favorite books, or any memorable piece of paper beautifully framed. The loveliest choice is to give a calligraphed version of your wedding vows or a personalized love letter. 


For a modern twist, jewelry or watches always do the trick. You can skip gold or diamond and try something trendy. On a budget this anniversary? Checking out Wholesale Sparkle Silver Jewelry will definitely be worth your time if you are looking for something unique. And if you want a modern twist on the traditional gift for a first anniversary, then you can go for a DIY – ‘365 Things I Love About You’ or ‘365 Reasons Why I Love You. Write 365 one-liners or notes, each with a unique quality/action you adore about your partner and pack all of those in a decorated jar or box to present to your spouse.

2nd Anniversary Gifts

The second-year is all about comfort and ease in a relationship. For this year, you can go for more comfortable choices which represent durability and versatility.  


The marriage that is into its second year is best represented by a fabric that holds qualities like comfort and versatility. You can go for an interwoven and intertwined fabric like cotton. Ideas can include a custom-made t-shirt or hoodies with meaningful symbols or quotes. A luxury pajama set, plush bathrobes, and handmade quilts are great as well. 


As cotton symbolizes comfort in your relationship, china symbolizes the strengths and weaknesses of your marriage. A delicate china anniversary plate, matching mugs or a delicate keepsake will remind you to take care of your marriage. For an alternate choice, go for a red garnet as it symbolizes passion. 

3rd Anniversary Gifts

Three years is a big deal, which means that your love is nourishing, and things are going strong. Your 3rd Anniversary gift should reflect security, familiarity, and strength. Success and celebration are the themes to aim for your third year. 


Leather is a graceful, luxurious, and durable choice for representing three years of togetherness. It is a perfect occasion for designer bags, wallets, cases, shoes, and even customized leather jewelry cases. The choices are endless, and you can personalize as much as you want. Give her the bag she has been obsessing about, or get him a leather wallet with the couple’s initials.  


What is better than crystal or glass to give a little clarity on your three years of togetherness? Surprise your spouse with a personalized glassware set, modern wine set, or vintage glass jewelry box with a small surprise inside. Glass represents delicacy and transparency, so go all-in with your unique touches, such as displaying your favorite song or movie quote on a romantic glass plaque or etching your wedding photo onto the crystal. 

4th Anniversary Gifts

It is all about maturity and understanding in the fourth year of marriage, which is worth celebrating with a thoughtful gift. The gift should align with the theme of what you have been through the past year as a couple. 


The best take on a traditional 4th Anniversary gift is either fruit and flower or linen. And we are not talking about a simple fruit basket or a bouquet of red roses. You should make it grand, like an edible fruit arrangement that is too cute to resist. If your spouse is more in love with flowers, go for something as unique as a preserved replica of your wedding bouquet. They are minimalist, meaningful, and can last up to years. For a garden-fanatic spouse, a smart indoor mini garden is a perfect gift. (Add a monthly plant subscription as a bonus). 


With a pair of gorgeous, dried blooms, throw in an expensive home appliance to make your partner’s life easy. Fancy, intelligent appliances are trending these days, such as touch-screen toasters, AI assistants for smart home management, robot vacuum cleaner, smart coffee maker and more. 

5th Anniversary Gifts

The fifth year of marriage is a milestone worth celebrating in style. It is the perfect opportunity to put your crafting skills to the test and make something memorable. 


There are many gifts that can commemorate the special occasion, and the best gift element for it is wood. Go for unique and personal ideas like a custom-made wooden keepsake or a handmade romantic pendant. Engraved wooden pieces are a staple for wedding gifts such as pens, unique cufflinks, bracelets, etc.  Go all out and hire a professional to build a custom wine cellar or whiskey barrel. 


What’s better than silverware to complement traditional wooden pieces? Yes, silverware is a perfect modern touch to your five-year marriage, and vintage-styled engraved silverware is the way to go. Go for sleek and colorful cutlery while topping off everything with silver jewelry. Go for something unique as engraved chopsticks, ornate cheese knives, engraved bracelets, spoon sets and more. 

A Bonus Idea For Ten Years Of Togetherness

A decade speaks volumes about a marriage. It is like the gold standard of matrimonial achievement and deserves to be celebrated with something luxurious, classy, yet memorable. The traditional elements for the decade mark are tin/aluminum. It is a flexible metal that can be given in the form of a car, favorite bike, vintage handmade decorated jars, and more. Want other ideas? Then diamond is the way to go on your 10-year haul. We have diamond cufflinks and rings as the most sparkling gesture of love. An even more elegant touch is to go for a white space diamond continuity ring or luxe diamond bracelet watch. 


Anniversaries are a reminder of all the love, struggle, happiness, hardships, and the time a couple has spent together. Each year marks a different theme and offers something worthy to celebrate. Even though every couple has a unique marriage, certain traditional and modern elements are a standard for anniversary gifts. Couples who would love to make their wedding anniversaries memorable can take inspiration and add their own creativity to the above five-year celebration gift ideas. We hope that your spouse loves the grand gesture! Happy gifting! 

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Andi Perullo de Ledesma

I am Andi Perullo de Ledesma, a Chinese Medicine Doctor and Travel Photojournalist in Charlotte, NC. I am also wife to Lucas and mother to Joaquín. Follow us as we explore life and the world one beautiful adventure at a time.

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