Anniversary Gifts for Her: The only Guide You'll Ever Need


Anniversary gifts that will take her breath away: an anniversary gift guide that brings a fresh perspective and puts a new twist on traditional anniversary gifts.

Anniversary gift shopping got you down? You're not alone. We talk to spouses every day who are trying to find a traditional anniversary gift for their partner but keep seeing the same old antiquated advice. What if we told you that there's another way?

We wrote this guide to help you shop for your partner in a new way, one that is guided but not bound by tradition. If you would never dream of giving the woman you love a "Mrs. Always Right" coffee mug or a decorative plate; this guide is for you.

Shopping for the man in your life? Read our guide Traditional Gifts for the Modern Man, for tons of gifts he'll want (and use!)

Anniversary Gift Traditions

Some well-meaning modern interpretations of traditional anniversary gifts fall short of being thoughtful or romantic. For a couple's first anniversary, traditionally marked with gifts of paper, you might see advice suggesting that cash or a check is an appropriate gift. While those sharing this suggestion might have the best of intentions, cash from a shared bank account can hardly be considered a gift. The old saying is true: it's the thought behind the gift that matters. The reverse is also true, however: if you don't put any thought into your gift, your gift reveals your thoughtlessness.

When our customers ask us to help them make heads or tails of wedding anniversary gift traditions, we suggest an approach that puts their partner's personality and lifestyle in the foreground and incorporates traditional elements into the gifts they choose. If you read our last post, you'll even recall that we have a simple question to ask before you start shopping: What does my partner want more than anything right now, and how can I incorporate tradition into that gift?

Read our Year by Year Guide to Anniversary Gifts to get the complete list of traditional and modern anniversary gifts by year.

Thoughtful Wedding Anniversary Gifts for Her

For the first fifteen years of marriage and every fifth anniversary thereafter, the traditional anniversary gift list offers a material that is meant to serve as the basis for the gift. These materials are commonly believed to grow in strength with each year of marriage. The contemporary anniversary gift list offers readymade gifts for years 1-60 and aligns with the traditional materials in milestone years. A link to both lists in their entirety can be found at the end of this section.

Traditional Wedding Anniversary Gifts for Her

Milestone anniversaries, beginning with the 25th anniversary gift of silver, are typically the easiest to translate into a modern and relevant anniversary gift, as the materials are commonly found in jewelry. Aided by the question "What does my partner want, and how can I integrate this material into that gift?" you can arrive at relevant, thoughtful, and memorable gift ideas for her for any year, such as those that follow each of these possible answers:

My partner wants more time to relax:

2nd anniversary, Cotton: A warm blanket, comfortable loungewear, fuzzy socks, a new book, and a cup of tea may be the recipe for relaxation for your partner. If this sounds like your wife, a gift basket that you create just for her is a thoughtful way to incorporate cotton into your wholly personalized gift.

My partner wants to have fun:

35th anniversary, Coral: The decline of coral reefs has reached a critical stage, and experts believe they could be gone entirely in thirty years. Many jewelers will not make coral jewelry, and many people are not comfortable wearing even vintage coral jewelry, as a result. Your 35th anniversary can still incorporate this material, however, with a trip to any of the remaining coral reefs for snorkeling and scuba diving. It's important to note that there are necessary precautions to take when swimming at or near coral reefs, so make sure you do your research and hire a professional for any excursions that might bring you into intentional or accidental contact with them.

My partner wants to update her wardrobe:

50th anniversary, Gold: Unless you know of a specific item and the exact size your partner wants, and it is an item that she otherwise would not buy for herself, don't buy your wife clothes for an anniversary. Especially when the anniversary is a milestone anniversary, such as your Golden Anniversary, which can be marked instead with gifts of gold jewelry. Pay attention to the jewelry she wears to determine if you should buy her white gold, rose gold, or yellow gold.

Shop white gold anniversary jewelry:

White gold and diamond anniversary band with rose gold accents

Vintage-inspired 18K hand-engraved filigree diamond eternity band

Gemini 18k white gold necklace with bezel-set diamonds

Shop yellow gold anniversary jewelry:

Gwyneth eternity band, boasting nearly 1.5ct worth of diamonds set in 18k yellow gold

Sunset Sky 18k yellow gold necklace with stunning 5-carat carnelian and diamond pendant

Solar Eclipse 18k yellow gold and diamond bangle

Shop rose gold anniversary jewelry:

Reeve rose gold and diamond anniversary band

18K rose gold eternity band with three-row pave setting carrying 99 round diamonds

Avicenna 18k rose gold necklace with natural rose quartz and diamond pendant

Modern Wedding Anniversary Gifts for Her

Even with the more specific gifts provided by the contemporary list of anniversary gifts, many couples find that they're not always relevant to their needs or lifestyle. A couple whose home is equipped with new appliances, or whose rented home doesn't have space for them, might not find the four-year anniversary gift of appliances useful, for example. Using the criteria above, you can still incorporate the modern gift traditions by identifying first what your partner wants or needs, and second on how to include the gift material either physically or symbolically.

My partner wants more time to relax:

8th anniversary, Linen: Whether she's a skilled artist or she can't draw a stick figure, there's nothing more relaxing than Bob Ross's voice over the sounds of his paintbrush on canvas. With a bottle of wine and a Bob Ross DVD (or an episode on your streaming service of choice), start a relaxing and fun new tradition that begins with a gift of two linen canvases (one for each of you), an array of oil paints and brushes, and a few necessary drop cloths to protect your floors.

My partner wants to have fun:

6th anniversary, Wood: Like it or not, adult life comes with lots of responsibilities and limited time for the things she loved to do when she was younger. To celebrate your sixth anniversary, stock up on her favorite old board games and a few new ones you think she'll enjoy (don't forget Jenga or another wooden game!) to start a weekly game night tradition.

My partner wants to update her wardrobe:

30th anniversary, Diamond: Traditionally, the 60th anniversary is the diamond anniversary. Facts are facts, however, and when the contemporary list of anniversary gifts was created in 1937, the fact that jewelry is always a welcome anniversary gift brought jewelry into the mix earlier and with more frequency than the traditional list, starting with diamond jewelry on the 10th anniversary. This is the perfect time to invest in a diamond anniversary ring or to start building on your other diamond jewelry investments.

Shop diamond anniversary bands and diamond anniversary rings:

Brigitte diamond anniversary band in 18k yellow gold flushed channel setting

Black diamond anniversary band with 52 pave-set black diamonds

2.70-carat natural cognac diamond anniversary ring

Apollonia intricate diamond anniversary band with 66 round diamonds set in 18k white gold

Shop diamond anniversary jewelry:

Brussels delicate and chic black diamond bangle

Lucky Diamonds elliptical hoop earrings with 1.5 carats of round diamonds set in 18k white gold

Uniquely unforgettable 4.17ct ammolite and diamond pendant

Gemelline twin gold chain necklace with 33 natural fancy colored diamonds

Looking for more anniversary gift inspiration? Don't miss our Essential Guide to Wedding Anniversary Gifts, with gift ideas for every year, plus alternative lists including the traditional anniversary gemstones, colors, and flowers.

Partner With a Professional

Whether you're planning an anniversary trip or purchasing anniversary jewelry, it can be tempting to do all of the work on your own. Professional advice and guidance, however, can save you time and money, and help you avoid some common pitfalls.

While our showroom is full of jewelry, it's our friendly, expertly-trained staff that have made us the family jewelers whom our San Francisco customers return to time and time again. We don't believe in high-pressure sales techniques or upselling you on more than you want or need: we believe in helping everyone who comes through our door find precisely what they need, even if what they need can only be found outside our doors. Call to schedule a free consultation or stop by our Union Street showroom, and let's see how we can make your next anniversary one of your life's most treasured moments.

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