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Every wedding anniversary has a traditional or modern theme for gifting, but that doesn’t mean you have to abide by it. Sometimes, if you want to get something special or unexpected, it’s best to go the non-traditional route. For your wife, that can look like a lot of things.
Jewelry—especially if it’s glittering with diamonds—is a no-fail option. So is a new leather tote or pair of luxury pajamas, all items that will make a woman feel spoiled. But if you want to treat her to something more heartfelt, look for a personalized item. Consider a scrapbook, a professional art collage of your favorite pictures together, or a constellation map that depicts the sky the night you met.
Don’t feel confined to tangible gifts, though! Experiences like a spa day or trip together are things that will make her feel seen and appreciated (and something you’ll both remember forever!).
Read on for the best anniversary gift ideas for your wife.
What to look for in an anniversary gift for your wife
Something she might not buy herself
When it comes to choosing an anniversary gift for the leading lady in your life, the more personal the gift, the better. While traditional anniversary gifts are associated with specific materials to commemorate each year, modern etiquette allows for gifting something thoughtful that has sentimental meaning or shows your partner how much you appreciate them. While it may sound corny, your mother was right—it truly is the thought that counts!
Etiquette expert Jodi RR Smith said the secret to a great anniversary gift is something your wife would like, but probably wouldn’t purchase for herself.
“Remember, gifts are a reflection of your relationship,” she said, adding that you shouldn’t feel obligated to adhere to the traditional or modern gift rules. “Your gift should revolve around your spouse, not ‘paper’ or ‘tin.’”
And not all gifts have to be tangible—don’t forget about experiences. Smith suggests treating her to a solo experience like a spa day or a couples activity like a cooking class where you learn how to make Pad Thai or a chocolate souffle together. “Choose a gift that will bring a smile to her face and remind her of why she said yes,” she said.
Buying a gift that celebrates the number of years you’ve been married is one thoughtful way of giving your gift significance. For example, if you’re celebrating 10 years of marriage, a bouquet of a dozen roses is romantic, thoughtful, and meaningful. Another way to choose a thoughtful gift is to show your partner how well you know them by giving them something aligned with their interests. If your wife loves wine, a wine club subscription will fill her cup.
For an anniversary, anything that commemorates the day you married or your memories as a couple is a sweet and sentimental way to honor your relationship. And, of course, letting the romantic in you take the lead when choosing a gift is sure to make her swoon!
While a gift that corresponds to the anniversary year can add some fun to the celebration, it’s not necessary. This is especially true if you question whether your spouse may not like whatever the theme—some anniversary themes, like paper or wood, are easier to find gifts for than others. Instead, focus on a gift that’s personalized, something that highlights the story of your relationship, or a just an item that you know she’s been coveting.
Beyond gifting a unique present, think about how you can make the day feel special. It could be something as simple as breakfast in bed or a hike through nature.
Consider making reservations for a fancy dinner at that new place she’s been wanting to try or surprise her by cooking a romantic meal at home. It’s also a great idea to plan a getaway together, even if it’s just for a few days.
Meet the Expert
As an etiquette expert, Jodi RR Smith opened Mannersmith, a company that specializes in social and professional conduct.
Why Trust Brides
Brides contributor Hillary Hoffower has over six years of experience writing for the wedding industry, covering everything from bridal fashion trends to wedding decor. She has an eye for design and quality that she takes into consideration when selecting gifts. She loves a good experiential gift and thinks you can’t go wrong gifting a spa day or wine club.