You and your partner are celebrating your wedding anniversary, but we know, they are so hard to buy for. We know what to get them.
There are plenty of people or occasions in life that are really hard to buy for. Wedding anniversaries are one such occasion, after all, what do you buy to commemorate the day your other half got lucky enough to marry you? Then there’s those partners that say they ‘don’t want anything’, but you know that you have to get them something. Your spouse who gets you ‘a little something’ because their love language is gifts, and you’re over there thinking a nice hug would be enough.
We’ve come up with a bunch of ideas, from the fabulously free to the luxe, that we think you might like. Marriage should be a confetti of great things that you do for each other; so have fun and keep the love alive for another year.
1st Anniversary Gifts: Paper
This is arguably the easiest year to buy, because you can print out vouchers for a movie, theatre, concert, plane tickets, or an experience like jumping out of an aeroplane, rally driving, hot air ballooning, or anything else imaginable. An art print is a lovely way to inject personality into your home. Or, maybe get a photo shoot (or, for the budget option, user the timer on your phone camera) and print out the photos.
2nd Anniversary Gifts: Cotton
A new t-shirt, shirt, sheets, pillowcases, towels…. The list is endless. If you buy a lovely cotton tablecloth, cook a meal (or throw together a bacon-and-egg pie for a picnic) to share together on it.
3rd Anniversary Gifts: Leather
A new handbag, satchel, card sleeves, laptop bag, tool belts, belt, or shoes would be a traditional leather gift, or you could also find vegan leather options too. There are also leather jewellery options, like cuffs and necklaces. You could buy a cow (the precursor to leather) for a needy family overseas too.
4th Anniversary Gift: Flowers (or Linen)
While cut flowers could be the easiest thing to do, get them a lovely variegated Monstera (there’s the luxe option), or go the cheap-and-cheerful route with a packet of gorgeous wildflower seeds that you can throw everywhere with abandon. Take a cutting and grow them a plant (free!) or buy them something useful like a lemon tree in a pot- great for all those future G&T’s on the deck.
5th Anniversary Gift: Wood
Buy a lovely piece of artwork like these two love-birds gaze adoring at each other. You could splurge on some nice new timber furniture, or perhaps embark on a project building or renovating something together. Go for a trip to the beach and have a bonfire if it’s permitted, take some of the driftwood home to create art together.
6th Anniversary Gift: Iron (US) or Sugar (UK)
A cheap but sure-fire winner is making your favourite sweet or dessert. Maybe make cookies or gingerbread people and then decorate them together.
If your other half is one of those people who enjoys cooking, Le Creuset cast iron cookware is an amazing gift. If they like exercise, a kettlebell could be a useful addition to their home gym.
If you want to get a divorce, maybe buy your spouse an actual iron, sure to be the most un-romantic gift in the world.
7th Anniversary Gift: Copper or Wool
Copper can be found in cookware, drink bottles, and a range of trays and table servings. There’s also jewellery, artwork, and cufflinks. Maybe dress up as a policeperson (copper?) and live out a fantasy.
If you opt for a ‘wool’ there’s the usual range of clothes and socks, but consider llama wool slippers, maybe a cute home-made love-ship bracelet (like friendship, but with more cuddles), or a home-made knitted or crocheted scarf. If you know a shearer or rousey, a pile of loose wool is a sweet gift—put it on a bird feeder and the birds take bits to line their nests.
8th Anniversary Gift: Bronze or Salt
Bronze is amazing when used in art, decorative items, and sculptures. You could get a bronze keyring engraved with ‘8 years’ or your anniversary date.
Salt could be in the form of a Himalayan salt lamp, salted caramel anything, or a salt scrub. If you love holidays, you could plan a trip to float in the Dead Sea, or maybe visit the Bonneville salt flats. Or, just a trip to your local beach and eat salty fish and chips and salt-rimmed margaritas while the sun sets.
9th Anniversary Gift: Pottery or Copper
A mug that says ‘After 9 years, I still want to touch your butt’. Take a pottery class together. Buy new pottery planters as an excuse to buy more plants. Consider a Kintsugi pendant—the Japanese concept that we should cherish what is broken, and cracks in pottery items are filled with gold in order to be made beautiful again.
10th Anniversary Gift: Aluminium or Tin
A box of a favourite beer (with a picnic). There’s also jewellery, laser cut anything, or get some tins customised with your names.
11th Anniversary Gift: Steel
These NZ native Metalbirds are easy to install, super cute. Watch Blue Steel together. Engrave a spoon with ‘Spooning since [marriage date]’. There’s also useful things like a BBQ set, pots, and cutlery (nice cutlery is very under-rated in life).
12th Anniversary Gift: Silk
Silk is beautiful, but it’s not exactly ethical—live silkworms are boiled alive in order to extract their silk. So, knowing that, think about ‘silk’ products that aren’t silk. Sheets, pyjamas, a scarf, eye mask, an art print on silk, a tie, handkerchief, glove liners, sleeping bag liner, ‘Silk & Steel’ guitar strings, or even action figurines of ‘Silk’, the Marvel character.
13th Anniversary Gift: Lace
Lace is not for everyone; it’s beautiful, but doilies can spring to mind. If you’re not wanting lacy lingerie, maybe some new shoelaces? The word ‘lace’ also means to fasten or entwine, very apt for marriage. Maybe a sculpture of you both holding hands, or a lover’s knot piece of jewellery.
14th Anniversary Gift: Ivory
You can’t really go out and wrest ivory from elephants these days; but luckily, there are other ways of making this anniversary gift work. Ivory could be gifting a piano, or maybe attending a concert where there’s a pianist tinkling the ivories (Jazz or classical, alongside any number of modern acts). There’s the colour ivory, which lends itself to a number of different gifts. Or, you could revert to ‘elephant’, and get something elephant-y. Whether it’s a trip to the zoo, a safari in Kenya, or a range of elephant gifts, there’s something super cute for every relationship.
15th Anniversary Gift: Crystal
You can buy a cute crystal figurine, or Swarovski jewellery, or maybe buy some healing crystals that help with stress (you need it, or they do maybe). There’s vases, coasters, and decanters (including some amazing retro/ antique ones).
If you have broken crystal, maybe spend an afternoon making a mosaic. Using clear epoxy on top of a mirror, this could look very cool.
20th Anniversary Gift: Porcelain
Porcelain is one of those things, either you’re into it, or… you’re not. If you’re not, go to a local market, find the ‘junk’ table, and choose the coolest/ ugliest porcelain item together.
- 25th Anniversary: Silver
- 30th Anniversary: Pearl
- 35th Anniversary: Coral
- 40th Anniversary: Ruby
- 45th Anniversary: Sapphire
- 50th Anniversary: Gold
- 55th Anniversary: Emerald
- 60th Anniversary: Diamond
Of course, remember that you don’t have to stick to what ‘should’ be given; you can buy a cotton t-shirt, ceramic mug, or book any time, any year. There’s also the cute idea of creating a piece of artwork yourself. Each year, you record what happened that year and add an item (in iron, paper, whatever) to the shadow box. It’s cute, a way of commemorating, and a beautiful reminder of your love story.