How to Choose an Anniversary Gift

One Methods:Traditional and Modern Anniversary Gift Guide

Choosing an anniversary gift doesn't have to be difficult. Once you know what anniversary year the couple will be celebrating, you're already half-way there!


  1. Image titled Choose an Anniversary Gift Step 1
    Find out what year the couple is celebrating (i.e. 3rd anniversary, 20th anniversary, etc.)
  2. Image titled Choose an Anniversary Gift Step 2
    Refer to the list of modern and traditional anniversary gifts below (in the Tips section of this article). This is an easy way to narrow down your gift search. Some couples may not even know, for example, that their 7th anniversary is traditionally thought of as the wool or copper anniversary. This is your chance to show them how thoughtful you are because of the research you've done to find this out, or the effort you spent to find something fitting.
  3. Image titled Choose an Anniversary Gift Step 3
    Be creative when selecting a gift within the category. Using the example above (7th anniversary), you could give a classic set of copper pots to enhance their kitchen. Or, if they live in a cold climate, you could get a pair of thick, warm wool sweaters, or a cozy wool blanket (or even wool socks if you're on a tight budget). Be creative and use your imagination.
  4. Image titled Choose an Anniversary Gift Step 4
    Don't feel like you have to limit your choices to the modern or traditional list below. After all, giving an anniversary gift isn't about following a list - it's about celebrating their marriage. If a category from the 20th anniversary sparks an idea for a couple's 15th anniversary, go for it!
  5. Image titled Choose an Anniversary Gift Step 5
    Consider sending the couple on a short break or holiday. You could send them to the place where the proposal took place, or where they went for Honeymoon. Provide a romantic weekend in the city with theater tickets. Send them somewhere they have never been. Send them them to China for the 20th Wedding Anniversary! This type of gift can be particularly suitable for the later anniversaries and you may decide to allow the whole family to help and make this a really special gift.
  6. Image titled Choose an Anniversary Gift Step 6
    If you're still having trouble selecting an anniversary gift, consider this option that applies to most anniversary years: Give a bonsai tree that is as old as their marriage (i.e. a 12 year old tree for their 12th year anniversary). The bonsai tree is symbolic in that it represents the time that has passed, and the love, caring, and patience that it requires to grow strong and healthy - just like a marriage. You can even find bonsai trees that are over 50 years old!
  7. Image titled Choose an Anniversary Gift Step 7
    Another anniversary gift standby is the gift of flowers. But not cut flowers, a bouquet or a floral arrangement. Instead, a perennial plant or bush of carnations, roses, tulips, or lilies can be extremely thoughtful when the appropriate sentiment is sent with it. For example, give the gift of a white carnation plant (not cut carnations) that the couple can plant in their flower garden at home. Write a card that explains that the white carnation represents pure and sweet love, which will bloom every year as a symbol of the love upon which their marriage is based. Other options include the sunflower, which symbolizes devotion, or pink and white roses that represent love, desire, and respect. Again, be creative - flowers have many meanings that are relevant to a marriage - friendship, faith, and loyalty are just a few to consider.

Traditional and Modern Anniversary Gift Guide

  • Year: 1st
    • Traditional Gift(s): Paper
    • Modern Gift(s): Clocks
    • Gemstone: Gold Jewelry
  • Year: 2nd
    • Traditional Gift(s): Cotton
    • Modern Gift(s): China
    • Gemstone: Garnet
  • Year: 3rd
    • Traditional Gift(s): Leather
    • Modern Gift(s): Crystal, Glass
    • Gemstone: Pearl
  • Year: 4th
    • Traditional Gift(s): Fruit, Flowers
    • Modern Gift(s): Appliances
    • Gemstone: Topaz
  • Year: 5th
    • Traditional Gift(s): Wood
    • Modern Gift(s): Silverware
    • Gemstone: Sapphire
  • Year: 6th
    • Traditional Gift(s): Candy, Iron
    • Modern Gift(s): Candy, Iron
    • Gemstone: Amethyst
  • Year: 7th
    • Traditional Gift(s): Wool, Copper
    • Modern Gift(s): Desk Sets
    • Onyx
  • Year: 8th
    • Traditional Gift(s): Bronze, Pottery
    • Modern Gift(s): Bronze, Pottery
    • Gemstone: Tourmaline
  • Year: 9th
    • Traditional Gift(s): Pottery, Willow
    • Modern Gift(s): Linen, Lace
    • Gemstone: Lapis Lazuli
  • Year: 10th
    • Traditional Gift(s): Tin, Aluminum
    • Modern Gift(s): Leather
    • Gemstone: Diamonds
  • Year: 11th
    • Traditional Gift(s): Steel
    • Modern Gift(s): Jewelry
    • Gemstone: Turquoise
  • Year: 12th
    • Traditional Gift(s): Silk, Linen
    • Modern Gift(s): Pearls
    • Gemstone: Jade
  • Year: 13th
    • Traditional Gift(s): Lace
    • Modern Gift(s): Textiles, Furs
    • Gemstone: Citrine
  • Year: 14th
    • Traditional Gift(s): Ivory
    • Modern Gift(s): Gold Jewelry
    • Gemstone: Opal
  • Year: 15th
    • Traditional Gift(s): Crystal
    • Modern Gift(s): Watches
    • Gemstone: Ruby
  • Year: 20th
    • Traditional Gift(s): China
    • Modern Gift(s): Platinum
    • Gemstone: Emerald
  • Year: 25th
    • Traditional Gift(s): Silver
    • Modern Gift(s): Silver
    • Gemstone: Silver
  • Year: 30th
    • Traditional Gift(s): Pearl
    • Modern Gift(s): Diamond
    • Gemstone: Pearl
  • Year: 35th
    • Traditional Gift(s): Coral
    • Modern Gift(s): Jade
    • Gemstone: Emerald
  • Year: 40th
    • Traditional Gift(s): Ruby
    • Modern Gift(s): Ruby
    • Gemstone: Ruby
  • Year: 45th
    • Traditional Gift(s): Sapphire
    • Modern Gift(s): Sapphire
    • Gemstone: Sapphire
  • Year: 50th
    • Traditional Gift(s): Gold
    • Modern Gift(s): Gold
    • Gemstone: Gold
  • Year: 55th
    • Traditional Gift(s): Emerald
    • Modern Gift(s): Emerald
    • Gemstone: Alexandrite
  • Year: 60th
    • Traditional Gift(s): Diamond
    • Modern Gift(s): Diamond
    • Gemstone: Diamonds


  • Send 2-3 wedding photos to a business that turns photos into sketches. Tell them them your favorite part of the gown and tux, even a bouquet. Have them turn it into a sketch and mail it back to you. Frame it; it makes a great gift for any anniversary.


  • Be careful to choose something suitable for a couple, not for only one of them.

Article Info

Categories: Wedding Anniversaries