Anniversary Gift Guide Gifts For Every Wedding Anniversary

Comedian Brick Andrews observes that “anniversary inflation” can get newlyweds in trouble after only a few years. Drunk with love, you get your spouse that diamond necklace she’s always wanted for your first wedding anniversary… only to realize that you’re expected to outdo that gift on each subsequent anniversary celebration.

Andrews recommends a pair of athletic socks for a first anniversary gift, moving up to a paperback by the fifth. Although that’s not a reliable route to domestic bliss, wedding gift etiquette follows a similar pattern.

For each anniversary you and your spouse are together, there’s an option for both an old-fashioned and a modern traditional gift.

First Wedding Anniversary Gifts

If you’re a traditionalist, buy paper for your first anniversary–a hand-drawn picture or poem, perhaps a first edition of your spouse’s favorite book. Buy clocks or plastic for a modern approach on the traditional–consider an upgrade to your bedroom alarm clock.

Second Wedding Anniversary Gifts

Cotton is the traditional gift for this anniversary–for example new sheets or a “World’s Greatest Wife” t-shirt. Another traditional option is fine china, ranging from a simple flower vase to full service.

Third Wedding Anniversary Gifts

Traditional gifts for this anniversary are leather, while glass or crystal are the modern choices. Choose from leather jackets, desk sets, luggage and handbags, or wine glasses, beer pints, picture frames or stained glass.

Fourth Wedding Anniversary Gifts

On your fourth wedding anniversary, buy fruit and flowers if you’re feeling traditional, silk and nylon if you’re feeling modern. Traditional choices include bouquets, fruit baskets and live plants. Lingerie or clothing is the popular modern choice. Appliances are an alternative modern fourth wedding anniversary gift, giving you an excuse to replace that ailing washing machine.

Fifth Wedding Anniversary Gifts

Wood serves as both the modern and traditional gift for this anniversary. You can buy all manner of wood gifts for your spouse, including furniture, jewelry boxes, picture frames, live plants and wooden puzzles. Handy couples might opt for woodworking tools.

Sixth Wedding Anniversary Gifts

If you’re feeling traditional, buy candy for your sweetie on this anniversary. Decorative cast iron, or iron cookware, is the modern equivalent. You can double up with candy in a cast-iron decorative basket.

Seventh Wedding Anniversary Gifts

The traditional gift for this year is copper or wool. You can buy fine wool clothing and blankets, or decorative copper hangings, desk tools and cookware. Buy brass for the modern approach–often the same objects you might find in copper.

Eighth Wedding Anniversary Gifts

Bronze works for modern and traditional gifts when celebrating your eighth year together. Like other metals, look for decorations and tools made or worked in with bronze. Pottery is the traditional accompaniment–either genuine stoneware or simply replacing your now-aging dinner dishes. Buy another new appliance for the modern accompaniment, maybe in a bronze color scheme.

Ninth Wedding Anniversary Gifts

Buy pottery paired with willow–perhaps willow wands in a fine pottery vase–for the traditional anniversary gift, pottery on its own for the modern approach.

Tenth Wedding Anniversary Gifts

For your first decade together, the traditional choices are anticlimactic: tin for traditionalists, aluminum for the modern. Jewelry, storage, wall hangings and photo frames are all good choices…especially if you pair them with a sentimental memory.

Eleventh Wedding Anniversary Gifts

Steel is both the traditional and modern gift for your eleventh wedding anniversary. Though this may not feel very romantic, it’s an opportunity to celebrate your spouse’s hobby: Gardening tools, fishing gear, sewing equipment and scrapbooking scissors are all made out of steel.

Twelfth Wedding Anniversary Gifts

Whether you’re a traditionalist or a modernist, your twelfth anniversary is for silk and linen. This can mean replacing your bed sheets, but silk flowers and luxurious clothing are more decadent options.

Thirteenth Wedding Anniversary Gifts

Lace is your choice for this anniversary, which might mean lingerie or a new dress for your sweetie. If that’s not your thing, you can opt for curtains, placemats and other home d