Marital Bliss: My Anniversary Gift Guide

Last week, Dean and I celebrated 6 amazing years together, and while each day with your soul mate is a joyful one, it’s important to mark each momentous year with a special something to remember and celebrate the day that two became one forever. While you can get as creative as you want, I’m a traditional girl at heart. I love that each year of marriage has a symbol as a gift to give. So, each year I look up what the traditional gift is and then put my twist on it as a gift for Dean. I’m sharing some great ideas for the first six years of wedded bliss…



For your first anniversary, the traditional gift is paper – this can sound boring but don’t be fooled. Play it up by giving two paper tickets to your favorite band’s concert, or put together a collage of your favorite photos in a nice frame –both are meaningful gift ideas that celebrate your time together! For Dean, I wrote a love note for him and rolled it up in an antique bottle corked with sand and shells (we got married on the beach in Fiji). I then drew a romantic bubble bath for two, complete with champagne and floated it in the tub :)

On your second anniversary, cotton is traditionally the name of the game, and it’s a great opportunity to splurge on an indulgence like high thread count bedding (light candles in the room and top the freshly-sheeted bed with little love notes or DIY love gift certificates – or get all Fifty Shades of Grey on your partner and sprinkle some fun sex toys. Won’t he be surprised when you pull back the duvet!). Also, his-and-hers monogrammed bath towels get big smiles if you promise to soap his back in an anniversary shower built for two!

For your third anniversary, you’ll want to give some leather. An idea I love for this is to give leather luggage to take on a trip – the vacation is the real gift, of course, but the leather suitcase or duffel is a great way to package the present. To be budget-friendly, shop for a vintage suitcase/duffel. Flea markets have amazing ones that come with memories of their own as you two are sure to make new ones. For our third anniversary, I made Dean a leather cuff with our initials embossed in it. It was inexpensive and very personal!

For celebrating your fourth year, linen and silk are the traditional presents as are flowers or fruits. You could go for a silk robe or pajamas (maybe a matching pair for the two of you). And, a monogram always adds that personal touch. For our 4th year anniversary, I went for a version of the traditional flower gift for Dean. We renewed our vows so I got him an antique engraved wedding band in rose gold. It’s not exactly a flower, but it was my personal nod at the floral tradition by going with rose gold.

When celebrating your fifth year of marriage (it’s a big one!) wood is the tradition, and a beautiful gift is to plant a tree. If there is a fruit that you both love, like lemon or avocado, plant one of those trees – it will bear fruit for years. If you do this, I’d make a homemade wood sign to put in the ground that says something like, “We planted this with our love!” and then put your fifth anniversary date. It’s such a great representation of love and life together. For our fifth anniversary, I built Dean a wood bench. I had little construction experience but lots of determination. I went and got reclaimed wood from a lumberyard and built a very simple bench from plans I found online. Then I painted on it “Grow Old With Me…” with our names and our kids’ names on the back. It sits outside our house under a tree and I picture us 80 years old sitting on that bench, holding hands!

For the sixth year (which we just celebrated), the theme is iron. At first I was thrown off but as it turns out iron is a great gift. If he likes to cook (hello Dean!) iron-handled pots/pans can be amazing for your hunky chef. But, if he’s a sports guy then no-brainer, go for golf clubs. Not only will you hit the nail on the head, but it’s also a great gift that will most definitely be appreciated over the years. A cute small token is a lucky antique Iron horseshoe that can be wrapped up on top of your gift with a note saying, “I got LUCKY when I met you!” I’m a sap for the cute factor.

Now that we’ve discussed all the anniversary gifts you can get for your hubby, I can’t forget to mention how thoughtful my husband is when picking out anniversary gifts for me. He started this amazing tradition on our first anniversary: every year he gives me a new band and slips it on my finger and expresses his love and vows as if it were our wedding day.

It’s so unbelievably thoughtful and intimate, not to mention I get to constantly change up my wedding band! While you might love the thought behind that sentiment, you also might be thinking that gifts like that can get pricey. But, it’s not about the cost of the band, it’s about the meaning behind it. He always goes for antique because he knows that’s my passion. In fact, we found my original wedding band at a small antique store for $300, and there are incredible antique bands/rings for even under that price.

I just love that in 50 years I’ll have the most amazing wedding band collection to pass on to my girls!

So that’s the first 6 years! I can’t wait to think of inventive and romantic gifts for the love of my life as our journey continues throughout the years.

What’s the best anniversary gift you ever gave your better half? What’s the best you’ve received? Tell me how you celebrate in the comments below.

Related Stories:
10 Inspiring Quotes on Love
Love Ever After
He Said, She Said: Bedroom Boundaries
Bring it Back: Handwritten Letters

Photo Credit: Olatz, west elm, Pinterest, 1stdibs,,

  • Jenny

    We are celebrating year 9 in two weeks, pottery & willow? Eeeeee, no ideas.

    Last year I tied love notes to balloons for each year we’ve been married. It was awesome. Hubs said it was the BEST gift he’s ever gotten. How do I top that?!!!

    Anyone have ideas for pottery & willow?

  • Mama J Joseph

    Love when you do these type of posts Tori! I am celebrating my 6th anniversary in October and I love this idea…my husband and I have been saying we want to get new bands and Im a huge vintage lover as well.

    Hmmmmm iron is a tough one…but he is in law enforcement so it shouldnt be hard to find something for him.

    Thanks so much for sharing and remember the next time your in New Jersey, stop by my shop Lucky 7 Design.



    Lucky 7 Design

  • Stacie Jensen

    For Crossing the Bugger-Dixon Line….How about aother love note that says “Willow You Marry Me all over again?” : )!!!

  • carolyn stertz

    Ive been married 12 years, my hubbys birthday is next week so I have a great suprise for him, I am taking him to see Evil Deal the musical, a live play on the movie! It looks really cool beacuse you get splattered with fake blood in the audience (if you choose the splatter zone which I did!) My husband loves zombies so I know he will just love this! And it will be our first date in years, we just had our baby 3 weeks ago so this will be a nice outing for us!

  • hurlbyLOVES31

    Tori thank you for this piece<3 Tomorrow is my 10-year wedding anniversary, although we have been together for 15 years!it......pretty big deal, no big goes by quick.

  • hurlbyLOVES31

    I forgot to ask Tori, so what is an idea for low-budget 10-year gift?

  • Stacy G

    For our 15th anniversary, my husband planned and surprised me with a vow renewal service. He was even able to invite my family from out of town and have them there without me finding out.

  • Jeanne Tutt

    I love your ideas! I wish you’d post pix of the ones you did! they sound so neat! Since my husbands step grandmother gave him his grandfathers wedding band for his band I added to it inside with an inscription of our initials seperated by a heart and our wedding date so he can never forget :)

    we are coming up on our 11th anniversary next month. a few years ago we did a cruise for 22 days from Vancouver, B.C. to Beijing that was all of our special occasion gifts for a year or two. It was a once in a lifetime cruise and we went all out on it and are STILL paying for it 3 years later! It was an amazing trip though.

  • Keira-jane Rizk

    First year anniversary (paper) I got hubby a caricature drawing from our wedding day with drawings of sites from our honeymoon in europe and our interests e.g. cooking, football etc. Second year (cotton) was personalised pillow cases with Mr and Mrs and our surname. Third year (leather) which was just celebrated I bought a personaled leather photo album that I then stuck photos in the order of years we’ve been together, starting from our first “real” date until our wedding. This was my favourite gift as it showed how far we’ve come as a couple and it something we can add to when we have a family.

  • Amy Bishop Cole

    My husband and I will be celebrating out 6th anniversary as well next month! Congrats to you both! My favorite gift was the one I gave last year for our 5th. As you mentioned 5 year traditionally is wood. So, I had a custom made wood puzzle from Elm puzzles which was hand carved. I made a collage from all the places and countries we had traveled to and wrote: We have traveled around the world and I would do it all over again with you. They then used that collage as the picture for the puzzle. It’s pretty cool because depending on the size, they will custom carve a few pieces. So, I had them carve out a giraffe because we have been to Africa as well as our I initials and the state of Hawaii for our trip there. He loved it!

  • jo

    We celebrated our 27th anniversary last week! He gave me flowers and thanked me for sticking it out with him for so many years. We had some tough rides along the way, but most important is to be best friends and stay laughing. There is a Dutch saying that says; a day without laughing is a day not lived. Happy anniversary and birthday Tori, ENJOY!

  • annemarie58

    You always have of tres good idea. That goes m a lot to help for my wedding anniversary. Thank you

  • Victoria Sutherlen

    You are so thoughtful and so creative!! What great gift ideas. I’m not married yet but I love to add a new spin to traditions so I’m storing these ideas in my memory bank for when the time is right. I especially like the paper concert tickets and the planting of a tree for wood!!

  • Ashley Taylor

    Those are all really great ideas! :) We are having our 13th wedding anniversary this summer, so I am off to Google right now what the suggested gift is so I will have plenty of time to plan an exciting twist! ;)

  • Jenel W

    This came just in time for my 1st anniversary (May 27th)! Thanks for the great ideas!

  • Malin Clapper

    Great ideas! We just had our sixth as well and here in Sweden the sixth aniversary is SUGAR! Kind of an easy one with my husband… :)

  • Katie

    Hi Tori and others! This is so great information here! I am soon 5 years married to my husband and last year we bought a house with a big yard. So what better and well-timed than planting our own tree this fall!

    So far I cant name the best present, since we are married just for so little years so far.

  • Alexa Flowers

    All I can say is .. beautiful!

  • Laura Napoli

    I loved all your presents! :)



  • Diana Siebels

    My husband travels a lot so out of 23 anniversaries, we’ve only been together for three of them. It’s sad but it also makes it extra special.

  • Cheryl22

    For our first anniversary my husband got me a paper gift certificate for an anniversary sundial – a cool clock that uses the sun to tell time. When we got our dream home later in the year we cashed in our certificate and had the designer make us one of his sundials for the windowsill in our new family room. It makes rainbows in the room whenever the sun shines and also has a special date line that the sun shadow follows on our anniversary day each year…how cool is that!

  • Emma Johansson

    Thank you so much for the inspiration!

    XO, Emma

  • Belinda

    The MOST special anniversary for my husband & myself was our 10th anniversary. After trying for 6 years to get pregnant, we spent our 10th anniversary in Russia adopting our daughter (6 1/2 months old). Jenna is now a happy, healthy 9 years old. I don’t know how we can top that, but every year since is a remembrance celebration of the strength our love.

  • delilahhen3

    There are a lot of great ideas here! I’m actually arranging for my parents to go on wine tours in Charlottesville. They are celebrating their 45th anniversary and I know they would love it!