Anniversary Gifts – What to Give and When?

How To Choose an Anniversary Gift

If you’re asking about what to give your spouse, it’s up to you, more often than not an anniversary gift in the list below is given from an outside party to the married couple.

However, adherence to this list as gift ideas really stems from the relationship you have with the individual and what each of you value. Both of which cannot be answered with a blog from an outsider so best of luck!

How we are constructing our Article

So there are basic rules that go all the way into +60 years of being married, but we are going to focus on the ones that we think are the most significant and include the other ones in between, if you have a favorite anniversary present, comment or let us know and we’d love to feature it on social media.

Average Duration of Marriage

One note that I like to include here is the average duration in America is often cited as ~8 years, so I think it’s a nice note to have when you’re looking at the gifts as they get to the higher years and they seem to shuck away the material value and embrace the thematic.


1st Anniversary – Paper

The year one anniversary gift is paper-oriented. Of course, we love to focus on this as a greeting card company, but I love the challenge that comes with it. No matter how hard you try, you won’t be able to find an extremely valuable piece of paper save for a license or whatever. Often we see things like portraits, pictures, and drawings count as major gifts.

5Th Anniversary – Wood

I enjoy the versatility of wood as an anniversary gift more than arguably anything in this list. Additionally, this marks the fifth year in the marriage, often wood can symbolize the blossom and growth of the next stage of their life. Anything from furniture to sculptures is generally acceptable, we’ve seen instances of wood burned photos as ornaments given as gifts as well.

10th anniversary – Tin Aluminum

I’m sure there’s a married set of chemists who hate making this decision but typically, tin and aluminum are grouped together. This also symbolizes that a decade has passed since they were married, so I do believe some additional budget and fanfare should be attached to this but at the same time, feel free to do something like a tin of cookies.

20th Anniversary – China

A whole decade has gone by, now is the time for China. Now the general idea is that after 20 years a few children have been produced. Now, the idea of serving and dinner is a much more important aspect in the life of the family, so china will be a wonderful decor or dining object. However, you want to perceive the gift is up to you and feel free to get tongue in cheek since everything is produced in China anyway.

21st Anniversary – Fire The beginning of the Themes

Fire is excellent because it’s an insane gift idea. Thematically you can have it reference things like the next kindling of the relationship since effectively the marriage has lasted the duration of a generation. Alternatively, you can look at it in the same vein as china by fire being a place to tell stories or bring people together, so I’ve seen fire pits as gifts which are a little extravagant. Don’t shy away from candles in case you’re shopping on a budget.

29th Anniversary – Tools

At 29 years as a couple, utility has undoubtedly been burned into your head, and you could very well be grandparents at this point. So tools are typically brought in, and while I can’t give any great insights into what someone would need without knowing their hobbies, I will recommend consulting places like Quora or Reddit if you’re really scratching your head.

34th Anniversary – Food

Now this one I think is particularly special because of who would most benefit from it. Ideally, the amount of gifts should give the couple respite from cooking for a week, and from my research the gift is suppose to symbolize a bounty. But my favorite thing about this involves the childrens involvement. At this rate, if the couple has had kids, they should be in their twenties or at least adult age, and I think it’s a wonderfully emotional thing to bake your favorite food for your parents since it probably came from them.

42nd Anniversary – Clocks

We included this on the list because I think it’s oddly perplexing. I understand clocks as a reference point to mark the duration with which something has happened by why 42 instead of the rounder numbers like 40 or 45? Who knows? Maybe Douglas Adams can give us some insight.

46th Anniversary – Games

At this point I feel the couple has gotten over many historic bumps. 5, 10, and two generations of being together. It’s time to have some games, and I love the fact that the gifts become much more fun and festive and less symbolic overall. Puzzles, board games, or depending on their age, maybe something crazy like a VR headset or something like that to bring the newest stuff to them.

51st Anniversary – Photos or Cameras

I think this might be the most difficult option on the entire list. So if it’s their 51st anniversary and you are just now finding this list, then you are probably in a world of hurt because they probably have all the photos, and any kind of planning revolving around taking and capturing photos is insanely hard to keep in mind. So I will always opt for something personal like a slideshow story or if you’re in a bind, a digital picture frame.

54th Anniversary – Glass

This and the final entry in the list, I’m certain, are supposed to be paired together. I have no basis for this sentiment, but I believe that glass is a gift because of how hard it must be to reach 54 years together. I believe the gift should represent their relationship’s fragility if only to be mirrored by our next and final entry.

60th Anniversary – Diamonds.

Diamonds are forever; diamonds are also much tougher than glass despite having similar physical properties. I can find very few gift ideas for that past this year, and few of them coordinate together so I would say this is the year to go all out and get something extravagant because you’re basically off the hook for every anniversary past this.

The couples who reach this point have made it together for what will most likely be more than half their lifetime. Even if they divorced now and lived to be 120, there would be half their lives spent together, and that only becomes more significant based on how much longer they have left.

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We hope you’ve enjoyed our list and found it insightful. We provide opportunities for people to never forget a major event through our subscription program, so consider checking out our products while you’re here and if yours is approaching: Happy Anniversary!


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