First comes love, then comes marriage, then comes … the sometimes stressful task of choosing the perfect anniversary gift. But according to Elaine Swann, one of the nation’s most well-recognized lifestyle and etiquette experts, finding the perfect present can be as simple as being a good listener.
“The best approach is choosing a gift based on what you know they will like and enjoy versus what you think they should have,” says Swann. “It helps to select a more meaningful gift which will, in essence, make you a better gift giver.”
Meet the Experts
Elaine Swann is a lifestyle and etiquette expert and the CEO of The Swann School of Protocol.
Need inspiration? Shop our traditional and modern picks for every wedding anniversary, from Year 1 to Year 10.
Year 1: Paper (Traditional)
Kick off your inaugural anniversary with this personalized city skyline print, which shines a spotlight on the happy couple, where you tied the knot, and your wedding date.
Year 1: Clocks (Modern)
The key to a happy marriage? Really good sleep. And this smart alarm clock from Hatch gets it done with a medley of calming pink noises and gradual sunrise light.
Year 2: Cotton (Traditional)
A very cozy reminder that #workingfrombed is a much more elevated version of #workingfromhome — especially if this 100% long-staple, 600 thread count cotton bedding is involved.
Year 2: China (Modern)
Pop the champs and gift your partner-in-life a porcelain champagne bucket to keep their drink of choice looking and feeling cool.
Year 3: Leather (Traditional)
Pair an impromptu romantic getaway (another great gift idea!) with this vegan weekender bag, designed to carry every type of travel essential.
Year 3: Glass (Modern)
Store delectable treats (or, really, anything your heart desires!) in this whimsical, ombré candy jar, expertly handcrafted in Denmark.
Year 4: Flowers (Traditional)
Let your love bloom. This bouquet from Unwilted features a premium faux-floral arrangement that’s hand-cut from Italian crepe paper and carefully constructed by hand. The best part: They last forever.
Year 4: Appliances (Modern)
Air Fryer? Check. Instant Pot? Check. Consider this your sign to add this highly rated blender to your home’s culinary collection.
Year 5: Wood (Traditional)
If practicality is your partner’s love language, this multi-use wooden bowl to celebrate Year 5 is a must-buy.
Year 5: Silverware (Modern)
A personalized spoon for your #1 spooning buddy. (No modern Year 5 gift is more on point.)
Year 6: Iron (Traditional)
Add a touch of warmth with Le Creuset’s best-selling enameled cast iron pots and pans, including the brand’s iconic Dutch oven and highly-rated signature skillet.
Year 6: Wood (Modern)
This unisex scent is “reminiscent of natural resin that grows in the jungles of Brazil.” One spritz promises peace of mind, focus, and balance — all while delivering notes of White Jungle flora, Brazil orange oil, pink pepper, and grapefruit zest.
Year 7: Copper (Traditional)
Display the lyrics of your first dance song, courtesy of this personalized lyrics foil print, which also features your names and wedding date. Choose between a framed or unframed print.
Year 7: Desk Set (Modern)
Help them clear their office space with this handy, wall-mounted organizer set, which includes a weekly calendar, hook, valet, and holder for their favorite writing utensils.
Year 8: Bronze (Traditional)
Give the gift of ultimate comfort with these metallic slip-ons, an everyday must-have.
Year 8: Lace (Modern)
Keep things sleek and classic during at-home happy hours with these lace tumblers. Cheers to cozying up with craft cocktails!
Year 9: Pottery (Traditional)
For the person who wants to keep it equal parts traditional and sweet: This breakfast set includes maple syrup from Vermont and a small pitcher to house everyone’s favorite pancake topping.
Year 9: Leather (Modern)
When in doubt on what to give for Year 3, go for this classic, Italian-made leather wallet.
Year 10: Aluminum (Traditional)
Light their fire with this structural candle, which features fragrances of amber, pepper, and resin.
Year 10: Diamond Jewelry (Modern)
A complementary pair of diamond jackets to elevate your partner’s earring game, effortlessly and stylishly.
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