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Anniversaries are a time to celebrate, but we know they can also be stressful when it comes to the gift exchange. No matter how long you and your partner have been together, thinking up a perfect anniversary present is never an easy task. However, the great thing about dating anniversaries is that you don’t have to subscribe to any traditional gift ideas. So you can focus solely on your partner and your relationship to come up with a gift they'll cherish.
“I always like to start with something light and fun, and then layer in a more serious, bigger gift on top, if it’s a special occasion,” says Ann Cantrell, founder of Brooklyn-based Annie's Blue Ribbon General Store. “For instance, a little treat might be a special candle, book, or soaps or something that reminds you of them." When shopping for an anniversary gift for your girlfriend, look for thoughtful items that feel personal and that represent her or your relationship together. Think about her hobbies, interests, and passions or the many things you love to do together, then go from there.
Meet the Expert
To help you find the best anniversary gift for your partner, we researched various options, considering their customization, sentimentality, and overall quality. For something fun to do together as a couple, we recommend the Comrades In Life, Love & Adventure - Custom Trip Journal For Couples and Eat What You Watch: A Cookbook for Movie Lovers Hardcover. Looking for something totally sweet and sentimental? Your partner will adore the HENDOGDesignsGB 12 Mini Love Letters and the Wood Life Prints Night Sky When We Met Personalized Gift.
Read on to find the best anniversary gifts for your girlfriend.
VRAI Duo Lariat Bracelet
Diamonds really are a girl's best friend, at least when they come on a gorgeous accessory like this one. Selected from the VRAI x Brides Collection, this dainty and elegant bracelet features two petite round brilliant lab-grown diamonds displayed in a minimal setting that’s simple yet modern. With a customizable 14k solid yellow or white gold adjustable chain, your girlfriend will wear this for years to come.
Uncommon Goods Create Your Own Reel Viewer
Take a retro spin on the traditional photo album, and gift your partner this interactive reel viewer. Simply upload photos from a recent trip or highlights from your relationship, and Uncommon Goods will turn them into this fun childhood game. Aside from personalizing this gift with your pictures, you can also choose between a red, blue, black, or white reel viewer. We love how interactive this gift is, and you can even purchase an extra reel redemption card, so your partner can make one in the future.
Comrades In Life, Love & Adventure - Custom Trip Journal For Couples
Gift your partner this personalized journal to document your travels together. You can choose between four different color schemes for the front cover and customize it with your names. Measuring 6.25 x 8.25 inches, it's the ideal size to throw into a tote or duffle bag on a day trip or in a suitcase for longer vacations. We also love that it has a hardcover, so it should last through years of travel and re-reading. It has 80 college-ruled pages (160 pages if you write front and back) that are acid-free. The best part is that this gift will only get more special with time as you fill up pages with beautiful memories.
Knock Knock What I Love About You Book
Truly great gifts don’t have to cost a lot, and this fill-in-the-blank book is proof. Ringing in at $10, it’s a great budget piece that offers endless value, allowing you to pour out your heart to your partner. It's the perfect way to let them know just how amazing they are and why you love them. Each page has a prompt for you to fill in, such as “I love going to _____ with you.” Your partner will love this precious keepsake, and it's bound with a hardcover so it will last for years to come.
Lunya Washable Silk Pajama Set
Gift your partner a luxurious sleep experience with these washable silk pajamas. You can pick between six colors, and they're available in inclusive sizing, so there's an option for every body type. Each set includes a 100 percent mulberry silk tank top and matching shorts, and they are thermoregulating to keep your partner at a comfortable body temperature all night long. It's truly the gift of their dreams!
Kurafuchi Rose Gold Dainty Double Multicolor Necklace
If you’re nervous about nailing exactly what type of jewelry your partner loves, this simple gold strand is a crowd-pleaser. The tiny seed beads add a fun pop of color to any outfit, and your partner will be able to wear and layer this necklace with any of their favorite pieces. You can choose from three color palettes for the beads and several chain lengths to find the perfect fit. We recommend going for a longer chain if your partner already layers necklaces.
Eat What You Watch: A Cookbook for Movie Lovers Hardcover
The couple that binge-watches together stays together, right? Level up your date nights by watching your favorite show and making a thematic meal with this cookbook. Enjoy "Goodfellas" with pasta and gravy or "Kramer vs. Kramer" with vanilla bourbon French toast sticks courtesy of Andrew Rea, the man behind Youtube’s "Binging with Babish." It has over 40 recipes and comes in a durable hardcover book. Cook the recipes together before you unwind with your show or film for some precious time spent at home.
Wood Life Prints Night Sky When We Met Personalized Gift
You may not be able to fully capture that magical feeling of the night you met, but you can get pretty close with this custom star map. This artist prints a custom star map of the special night along with the date, location, or any text you wish. The finished piece comes on a rustic block of baltic birch plywood, and it includes keyholes for easy hanging or a kickstand to display on a shelf or table–it'll look gorgeous on your partner's nightstand. You can choose between four sizes and three different color options for the backing of the map.
LOSARON Custom Wooden Jigsaw Puzzle
You two fit just like a puzzle, so your partner will love this personalized one made from a favorite photo together. The custom puzzle comes in a few different sizes, and if you choose to do a 1,000-piece puzzle, the backs of the pieces have alphabet-labeled sections to make assembling it a bit easier. The photo is printed directly on the durable wood pieces, so it won't chip or fade over time. Add to the fun by keeping the image a surprise until you’ve assembled the whole thing.
HENDOGDesignsGB 12 Mini Love Letters
You won’t find a more romantic way to express your feelings than with these vintage-looking mini love letters. Use each little card to tell your paramour all of the reasons you love them, then gift the messages to them in a cute airmail design gift box. The box comes in two different themes—Happy Anniversary and Reasons I Love You—and you can pick between pink and blue for its overall color. While this gift is on the smaller side, it packs a large dose of sentimentality that your partner will adore. Feel free to pair it with a bigger gift if you're planning on creating an extra special occasion.
Chocolate Covered Company Love Belgian Chocolate Covered Berry-Grams
Nothing says romance quite like chocolate-covered strawberries, and this is not your average box of chocolates. Each of the 12 strawberries is hand-dipped in Belgian milk and dark chocolate, then coated in a red chocolate drizzle or white chocolate letters that spell “LOVE.” Even better, overnight shipping is included. This gift will make your favorite person feel appreciated, and it easily pairs with other gifts if you're planning something big.
Kate Spade New York Garden Drive Hinged Pocket Frame
Find two of your favorite couple photos and immortalize them in this cute pocket frame from Kate Spade. Your partner can carry it around with them or display it on a table or shelf. We love the gold-plating detailing, and you can choose between pink, turquoise, and a polka dot pattern for the enameled top.
Leatherology Medium Jewelry Organizer
If your partner is always on the run but loves jewelry, they’ll appreciate this bespoke holder. This full-grain leather case has ring band attachments and snap-on earring flaps to keep everything completely safe. It's available in over 10 colors, so you can find an option that suits their personal tastes. Plus, you can also have it monogrammed or hand-painted for an extra-special touch.
Love Note Fragrances Love Letter Lux Gift Set
Treat your significant other to a spa-like experience at home with this scented set of candles and a bubble bath. This set, appropriately called “Love Letter,” comes with an eight-ounce candle, a four-ounce travel candle, a bath soak, and a cute notecard. The signature scent has notes of rose, ginger, Ylang Ylang, and white tea–the brand notes that it's not overwhelming and makes for a great year-round scent. The whole thing comes beautifully packaged, so there's no need to wrap it.
Delight Customize Your Own Message (Vanilla Shortbread Cookies)
Show your partner how much you appreciate them with these sweet customized shortbread cookies. Baker Celine Zhou can put up to three lines of text (think inside jokes, song lyrics, or just “Happy Anniversary!") onto this buttery set of 24 cookies. It comes in a stunning floral gift box, so you don't even have to worry about wrapping it.
Covet Amore Necklace
This lovely necklace is the ideal gift for romantic jewelry lovers. Small block letters read “AMORE,” and hang on an 18-inch gold-filled chain. It’s dainty enough to be worn every day and layered with other necklaces, and there’s no doubt your partner will think of you each time they put it on.
Jungalow Like A Lion Sol Throw Blanket
Make your movie nights—or cuddle time—even cozier with this chic cotton throw. Available in four different rich colors, this blanket has fun and chunky tassels adorning the edges for a bold and trendy look. Crafted in India of 100 percent sustainable cotton, the brand is passionate about paying fair wages to the local artisans who create this blanket. If your partner is all about sustainability and fair trade, this throw will delight them even more.
What to Look for in a Gift for Your Girlfriend
The important part here is the feeling you want to express, more than the gift itself. Go into your shopping knowing exactly what you’re trying to say—is it that you have loved your year(s) together? Is it that you’re looking forward to all of the fun things to come in the future? Is it just to say you love and appreciate her? Maybe, all three! Whether you chose something custom or not, the present should feel personal to your relationship. You want her to feel special when she opens it and whenever she puts it to use.
It's also a good idea to consider your partner's hobbies, interests, and passions. This can help you narrow down your gift options while also finding something they'll love and actually use. Do they love the outdoors? A new pair of hiking boots might be the perfect gift! If you're both classic movie connoisseurs, a new cookbook like the Eat What You Watch: A Cookbook for Movie Lovers Hardcover is a foolproof pick.
What are some other gift Ideas for a girlfriend?
Giving your girlfriend something that shows how much you care is what’s important—and it doesn’t have to come in a box. Some of the most meaningful gifts can’t be bought at the store. They’re sentimental gestures that come from the heart.
For example, give her a hand-drawn map of meaningful places in your relationship and then go on an excursion, revisiting each spot along the way. Or surprise her by cooking her favorite meal at home—bonus points for a candle-lit setup! Feeling like you want to pamper her? Draw her a bubble bath and dim the lights—she’ll be in heaven. Don’t be afraid to think outside of the box and let your heart lead the way.
Do I need to follow traditional and modern gift Ideas for a girlfriend?
It’s not customary or expected to follow traditional or modern gift themes when you’re dating, leaving the occasion wide open in terms of gifting. However, symbolism can add meaning to your gift. For example, giving your girlfriend five small photo albums, each representing a year of your time together, is a sweet way to celebrate the fifth anniversary.
What else should I keep in mind when shopping for a gift for a girlfriend?
You may want to consider giving a small, sentimental gift along with a bigger one. If it’s a bigger occasion, you could add a throw blanket to stay cozy on the couch together or a gift card to your favorite local restaurant. For example, Cantrell suggests gifting a cute cookbook with a popcorn popper to create a full experience.
What makes a great anniversary gift?
There are two routes you can take here—the first is a sentimental gift. Think about your relationship the great memories or inside jokes. You might just be able to turn those into a gift like a custom jigsaw puzzle (the LOSARON Custom Wooden Jigsaw Puzzle mentioned above is a great option). The other route is simple, think about the things that will make her feel appreciated. A bouquet of gorgeous flowers or chocolate-covered strawberries will do just that.
“Overall the main key is to think about what will surprise and delight your partner,” Cantrell says. “Then go up a notch or two for special occasions to help celebrate your time together.”
Why Trust Brides
Contributing writer Erica Finamore is an expert in the world of entertaining and home decor. She has shared her knowledge and market skills in published pieces at Food Network Magazine, HGTV Magazine, Real Simple, Refinery29, and others.