Modern Wedding Anniversary Gift List

Amy Hoover
man and woman exchanging gifts

Skip the traditional anniversary gift list and instead use a list that's been updated for today's couples. Whether you're looking for something for a spouse, family member, or friend, these contemporary anniversary gift ideas are sure to offer plenty of opportunities to showcase the personality of the one(s) you love.

First Anniversary: Clocks

Time sure flies when you're having fun, so commemerate your modern anniversary with the updated idea of a clock for the first anniversary. Ideas include:

  • Time capsule with sand clock to countdown when you can open it
  • Collage wall clock that highlights a photo from each month of your first year together
  • Minimalist wall clock that won't distract from any décor scheme

Second Anniversary: China

In the traditional list, china comes in at your 20th anniversary. Today, though, consider this little luxury a few years earlier with these ideas:

Third Anniversary: Glass/Crystal

Glass/Crystal jewelry

Crystal and glass can add an air of elegance and glamour to a third anniversary. Select from:

Fourth Anniversary: Appliances

Make life easier with these upgraded appliances for a fourth anniversary gift.

Fifth Anniversary: Silverware

New silverware doesn't have to be boring. Instead, look for these gifts:

  • Matching spoon bracelets (homemade or purchased)
  • Oversized kitchen fork and spoon for wall decoration
  • Modern set of flatware, from iridescent to copper picks

Sixth Anniversary: Wood

attic living room interior

Put wood to work as a sixth anniversary gift with these fabulously modern ideas:

  • Anniversary wood ring set
  • Wood meat and cheese serving trays
  • Reclaimed wood pallet project, such as coffee tables, chairs, and planter boxes

Seventh Anniversary: Desk Sets

Modern couples often have home offices as well as their workplace office. Help them get into the work groove with a few helpful ideas for the seventh anniversary:

Eighth Anniversary: Linen/Lace

Try picking out a few items that have a touch of romance for an eighth anniversary. For example:

  • Cake decorated with powdered sugar dusted over a lace stencil
  • Lace wine bottle craft that turns a favorite vino into a lamp
  • New linen suit and dress for warm weather festivals

Ninth Anniversary: Leather

If you object to real leather, look for faux to keep the anniversary love flowing. Consider:

  • Upgrading your den furniture with a leather couch and recliner
  • Monogrammed leather luggage tags
  • Leather map connecting your/the couple's hometowns

Tenth Anniversary: Diamond Jewelry

In the modern anniversary gift list, diamonds are for milestone anniversaries, not just ones after many decades together. Pick out:

  • Diamond anniversary ring wraps and enhancers
  • Necklace with a diamond for each child you have
  • Matching diamond lapel pins for dress coats

Eleventh Anniversary: Costume or Fashion Jewelry

Fashion jewelry, also known as costume jewelry, is an inexpensive option after springing for diamonds the previous year. Consider:

  • Charm bracelet that features meaningful and personal charms
  • Brightly colored tie clips or beaded jewelry strands for layering
  • Costume jewelry passed down from family members that has sentimental value

Twelfth Anniversary: Pearls

Pearls don't have to be for classic, traditional couples. Instead, look for modern ways to incorporate pearls into the anniversary present:

  • Motorcycle with a pearl paint finish
  • Trip to the beach to look for oysters
  • Pearl bowling balls for the couple who graces the lanes

Thirteenth Anniversary: Textiles/Furs

Bring some texture into your life ­and add a little interest with a 13th anniversary gift that includes a variety of textiles and/or fur. Ideas include:

  • Adding a variety of Steampunk decorations to your home that include different materials
  • Adopting a cat or dog from an animal shelter
  • Repainting your living room with a textured paint and fabric border

Fourteenth Anniversary: Gold Jewelry

While gold jewelry may not be the most inventive of gifts, it is one that will bring a smile to anyone's anniversary. Look for:

  • Gold lockets with sepia-printed images of the couple on each side
  • Essential oil pendant necklaces made from gold
  • Gold jewelry for body piercings

Fifteenth Anniversary: Watches

Senior woman giving watch to husband

Look for a watch to help you count the minutes until you're together again. Watch anniversary gifts include:

Twentieth Anniversary: Platinum

Platinum is a sturdy metal that stands the test of time, just like a couple who has made it to their 20th anniversary. Pick out a gift such as:

Thirtieth Anniversary: Diamond

Diamonds, or "ice" in slang terms, come up again at the 30th anniversary (and another time in the traditional and modern lists at 60 as well). For more diamond-studded ideas, consider:

Thirty-Fifth Anniversary: Jade

Put together a festive 35th anniversary gift with jade. Said to bring luck, it's a great way to wish the couple well. Present suggestions include:

  • Jade gemstones in jewelry or money frogs for luck
  • Potted jade plant for indoor or outdoor gardening
  • Photo album in jade green to display anniversary party pictures

Modern Memories Made Together

The anniversary gift you select is one that should help your spouse or the couple remember their years together and want to move forward to make more. No matter what the anniversary year, select a gift that reflects their memories and you're sure to pick the right item.

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Modern Wedding Anniversary Gift List