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Anniversary Gifts by Year List: Ideas for Every Milestone

How will you commemorate your first, tenth or fiftieth year of marriage? Consider our suggestions for anniversary gifts by year so you can celebrate every major anniversary understanding the tradition behind the particular milestone.

Anniversary Gifts by Years Married: Traditions and Trends

Every anniversary is important and worthy of celebration, but there are certain milestones that traditionally carry more weight and deserve extra fanfare. It can be challenging enough to choose an appropriate present for your partner in any given year. Finding anniversary gifts by years married requires even more thought. Whether you’re celebrating your first year of marriage or your fiftieth (or any key year in between), our anniversary gifts by year list can help point you in the right direction.

It doesn’t matter how long you’ve been married. You won’t go wrong supplementing any of our suggested anniversary gifts by year with an American Express® Gift Card. Tin lunchboxes and silver keychains (see below) are fine. But an Anniversary Gift Card can give your husband or wife the freedom to pick out something he or she truly wants from virtually anywhere American Express Cards are accepted.

Major anniversaries have certain themes associated with them. The first anniversary, for example, is known as the paper anniversary (the tenth is tin, the twentieth is china, and so on). That means that anniversary gifts by years married typically center around their specific symbols. Our anniversary gifts by year list includes suggestions rooted in that tradition. We also have some ideas for how you can celebrate each milestone as a couple. Some of the best anniversary gifts by year are the ones you can share together. And many of the experiences we suggest can also be enhanced or made possible with an American Express Gift Card.

American Express Gift Cards: The Gifts that Stand Out
  • Can be used virtually anywhere in the U.S. where American Express Cards are accepted
  • Safer than cash because the funds can be replaced if lost or stolen*
  • Choose from a variety of designs appropriate for celebrating the special day


Paper: 1st Wedding Anniversary Gifts

Books are appropriate for the paper anniversary. Consider the classics or a vintage copy of your spouse’s childhood favorite. Personalized stationery, anniversary photo books and board games are also popular paper gifts.

On your first anniversary, present your spouse with an American Express Gift Card and an itinerary for how you’re going to spend the evening. Most newlyweds don’t get the chance to eat at their own wedding. Consider returning to your venue for dinner or hire your caterer to recreate the meal. See if you still remember your first dance. And if possible, spend the night at your wedding hotel.

Tin: 10th Wedding Anniversary Gifts

Tin toys, vintage lunchboxes and other tin antiques make nice gifts for the tin anniversary. You can also fill a tin keepsake box with favorite photos and other marriage mementos.

It’s been 10 years. Maybe it’s time to revisit your honeymoon destination. Stay at your hotel, find the same restaurants and enjoy the getaway that you both likely need.

China: 20th Wedding Anniversary Gifts

Traditionally, couples give china on their twentieth anniversary, which means you can enjoy an anniversary meal on your two new place settings. Some anniversary gifts by year, however, take on modern interpretations of their moniker. A piece of Chinese art or sculpture, or custom-made fortune cookies with personalized messages, can also work for your china anniversary.

Some couples plan trips to China for their twentieth anniversary. But here’s another idea. When you were deciding where to go for your honeymoon, did you choose one destination over another? If so, take your alternate honeymoon and finally explore that place you almost went 20 years ago.

Silver: 25th Wedding Anniversary Gifts

Anything silver is appropriate here. How about matching silver rings (or any other jewelry) or an engraved keychain, flask, or money clip? A silver picture frame with one of your spouse’s favorite photographs is a nice option as well.

Consider saving the frame for an image from your vow renewal ceremony. After all, it has been 25 years. It might be time to renew the contract. Invite friends and family, or keep the occasion more intimate. Whether it’s dinner for 200 or a special celebration just for the “newlyweds,” a redo of “I do” might be the perfect way to celebrate silver.

Pearl: 30th Wedding Anniversary Gifts

Pearl cufflinks or a tie tack for him or a pearl necklace or pendant for her make fitting gifts for a thirtieth anniversary. Anything made out of mother of pearl (like a mirror, picture frame or vase) can work as well.

This might be another year for nostalgia. Venture back to the place where you first met, had your first date, shared your first kiss or got engaged and recreate the moment that changed the course of your lives forever.

Gold: 50th Wedding Anniversary Gifts

Fifty years of marriage is quite an accomplishment, and anyone who makes it to that milestone deserves a medal. In this case, it’s gold. Present your loved one with a personalized gold medal (you’ve run quite a race together) or have your family tree engraved in gold (all those leaves on the tree are there because of the decision you made a half-century ago).

The gold anniversary is certainly worthy of celebration. The size and scope is up to you. Just make sure you stage a picture with your children and grandchildren, ideally while holding your favorite wedding photo from 50 years earlier.

Here’s to many more years together. Congratulations on your anniversary.

Gift Cards for Anniversaries

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