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While the first wedding anniversary often comes with a grandiose celebration—a big trip or a luxe staycation, and of course that top layer of wedding cake—the second is no less special and deserves to be celebrated. So, how do you mark year two in a way that feels fresh and new? Start by choosing a second anniversary gift that perfectly symbolizes your love and affection.
The traditional second anniversary gift is cotton, making this a prime time to splurge on upgraded bedding or a cozy throw you can use when snuggled up together on the couch. The modern gift is china–consider adding to your entertaining stash or finding a unique, one-of-a-kind piece. But by all means, feel free to think outside the box, and remember that going with a personalized, custom gift is always a surefire plan.
Laura Jennings, gifting expert and founder and CEO of Knack, recommends incorporating this theme into a cozy article of clothing. Another great option? “If you’re going to buy yourselves something together to celebrate your anniversary, it's great to splurge on luxurious sheets or bedding—it's something you’ll both appreciate for a long time,” she says.
To help you find the perfect gift for your favorite person, we researched and narrowed down the best second anniversary gifts, considering the theme, functionality, thoughtfulness, personalization, and overall value. To evaluate the quality of the overall product, as well as custom details, we tested out some of our top picks in our NYC lab.
For something sweet and cozy for two, we love the The Modish Home Personalized Couples Initials Throw. For something sentimental, the Indigo Rose Design Co. map and the Pretty and Shine Wedding Vows Calligraphy Print are foolproof picks.
Meet the Expert
Read on for the best second-anniversary gifts your spouse is sure to love.
Indigo Rose Co. Cotton String Art
Ready to hang
No color options (only stains)
A fun and unexpected take on the cotton theme, this piece of artwork uses cotton string to create the shape of any state, with a heart placed over the city of your choosing. Customize one with the special place where you met, got married, or currently live.
Associate Fashion Editor Erika Reals customized this artwork with the state of Kansas, where her family has a farm. "This would be a great gift for someone who appreciates a more rustic interior design style," she said. "It's nice that you can tell it's handmade." Reals appreciated the quality and noted that it was made of a hefty wood plank and was evenly stained.
She felt like the piece was a bit expensive for the simplicity of the materials (wood, string, and nails), but liked the creative approach to a traditional map. "It's a great value if you're looking for a super personalized gift that's specific to an important place," she said.
"I like that you can choose what city the heart will cover as well as add names, words or dates painted on the wood portion.. – Erika Reals, Associate Fashion Editor
The Modish Home Couples Initials Throw Blanket
Quality of the print
Limited font options
Material feels a little cheap
Incorporating both the cotton and personalization element, this oversized blanket is customized with your initials and wedding year. Toss it over your couch to have on hand for snuggling up during movie nights, or layer it over the bedding in your master bedroom. Also nice: It’s available in two different sizes.
"The graphic print on this blanket really stands out," said Senior Editor Kate Donovan. She felt that the execution of the design was crisp and clear, however the material felt a little cheap and synthetic. "The blanket is pretty affordable for the size, but I would have liked something with a softer and more plush touch."
Donovan found that the font and design options were limited, but that the throw would be a great choice for a couple with a traditional aesthetic. "Because this is a bold decor piece, I would recommend getting to know the couple's home style before committing to it," she said.
"This is a great gift for a couple who loves to spend time at home together—it's perfect for displaying on a sofa or at the end of a bed." — Kate Donovan, Senior Editor
INSIDEOUTGIFT Embroidered Anniversary Roman Date Hoodies
A non-cheesy way to rock matching outfits, these super cool hoodies are embroidered with your wedding date in roman numerals. There are eight soft colors to choose from, as well as crewnecks and t-shirt options available if you're looking for a different style.
Pretty and Shine Calligraphy Print
Hand drawn elements
The paper quality
The text quality
Have your wedding song, wedding vows, or even just a heartfelt message transformed into a gorgeous print. Each piece is custom printed onto a piece of handmade cotton paper (though FYI, the frame does come separately). Available in seven different sizes, this is also a choice budget-friendly pick.
Senior Editor Kate Donovan liked the organic, botanical style of the print: "I love the rustic, romantic feel that it has to it," she said. Donovan customized the print with her brother and sister-in-law's vows. She explained that they had a small backyard ceremony and then a larger party for extended family and friends. "Because many of the people at the reception weren't there for the ceremony, they displayed this print with their vows at the welcome table."
Donovan said that the print looked best when it was framed and seen from a bit of a distance. "When you step back, you get a sense of the delicate design," she said. "Up close and unframed, the paper seems a little cheap. "It would be much more expensive, but I would liked to have seen letterpress or hand drawn version versus a printed text."
"I love the the botanical details and delicate feel of this print. It looks especially elevated when it's displayed in a frame."— Kate Donovan, Senior Editor
Adventure Challenge Scratch-Off Date Book for Couples
Feel like you’re starting to fall into a bit of a date night rut by year two? Here’s the perfect way to spice things up. The mystery scratch-off book comes with 50 creative adventures…but you don’t know what they are until you scratch them off. There’s also a space to write down notes and even add photos after you complete each one. Commit to doing one together weekly or monthly, and this makes for the perfect gift that keeps on giving.
PaperAnniversaryLove Custom Tray Cotton Anniversary Gift
A lot of customization options
The cotton surface
These trays are a meaningful—and practical—gift for him or her. Choose from a variety of shapes and sizes, then add custom text on the inside. It can be something as simple as your wedding date, your vows, or a few lines highlighting what you love about your partner. The message is printed on organic cotton, in keeping with the second-anniversary theme.
"This product is a really unique gift for a second anniversary," said Senior Editor Maggie Kreienberg. "I like that it could be used by different genders and the text is completely customizable." While Kreinberg felt that the tray was sturdy, she was surprised by the size. "It's way larger than I expected and will take up a lot of room on a night stand. She explained that it's not really a ring dish, but instead a surface that can corral phones, glasses, and other bedside items.
Krienberg was also a little concerned that the cotton surface could get stained or ruined easily. "I wish the base was covered in a clear, more durable material," she said. "Accidents happen—I'm just imagining spilling a water glass on my nightstand and wondering how this would hold up." She felt that it would be an impressive gift overall, just maybe something the recipient would want to handle with care.
"I love that this Etsy designer can print anything you want on this tray—from your wedding vows or names to lyrics or a quote." – Maggie Kreienberg, Senior Editor
Artifact Uprising Signature Layflat Photo Album
Good photo quality
The linen cover
Lots of white space
At this point, you’ve probably already compiled your wedding album, so why not create another album capturing all the fun and memories that have ensued since? This elegantly bound book features high-quality pages and a choice of linen or leather covers. For a personal touch, have a custom title foil stamped on the front.
Production Manager Alyssa Kingham used the photos from her own wedding to test out this product. She was impressed with the luxe linen cover and the thick, superfine card stock pages. Kingham also felt that the quality of the photos was high: "The images are clear and have a matte finish to them," she said.
While Kingham liked the photos, she didn't always love the cropping. "There was a lot white space and some photos were too small for the page," she said. The album is also a bit pricey. "But given the heavy card stock interior and high-quality cover, I can definitely see where the value comes from."
Kingham mentioned that the extra white space and smooth pages would make for a great gift as a wedding guest book for close friends or family. "Add in engagement photos and have guests sign it with sweet notes at the wedding," she said.
"This high quality album shipped so quickly—much faster than the one from my professional wedding photographer!" – Alyssa Kingham, Production Manager
Dust and Things Personalized Keepsake Box
This charming, handcrafted box is made by a small family-run business in the United Kingdom. It's the perfect spot to store travel keepsakes, love notes, and special date night ephemera like ticket stubs and menus.
Canvas Vows First Dance Lyrics on Canvas
Range of sizes
Both a sweet and sentimental way to commemorate your wedding and a cool piece of artwork for your home, this custom canvas features the sheet music from your first dance song. With eight different sizes to choose from, this can either be a beautiful accent or a serious statement-maker.
Senior Editor Kate Donovan found that this print looked very different from what she ordered. "Maybe something was lost in translation—I was expecting musical notes, but the canvas contained text with a faded background instead." She liked the smaller size of the stretched canvas (it also comes in a range of larger sizes, as well). "The quality seems to be a bit flimsy, but it's pretty close to what I expected for something in this price range," she said.
"If the style of this print is in alignment with the the couple's decor, this could be a great anniversary gift option" – Kate Donovan, Senior Editor
It's Your Turn Socks Cotton Anniversary Socks
Fun and whimsical, these matching socks are a sweet option for anyone looking for a smaller gift or a little something extra to pair with a larger present. Choose from four different colors and add your wedding date and names for a personalized touch.
Rose Gold Rebel Men’s Duffel Bag
Any type of luggage is always a super practical (and welcome) gift. This weekender bag is made from 100% cotton canvas, so it’s totally on theme and can be customized with either your spouse’s name or a monogram on the front.
Casper Snoozewear Blanket Robe
This may be called a robe, but it’s truly more of a robe-blanket hybrid. The puffy, duvet-like design makes you feel like you’re wrapped up in your favorite comforter, but with the convenience of having armholes and pockets.
Mirage Engraving Personalized Compass
This beautiful compass can be engraved with pretty much any type of photo or text in the font of your choosing, including in your handwriting, making this feel extra personal. The leather case is an optional add-on, though one that’s well worth it.
Mark & Graham Turkish Hydrocotton Bath Robe
Channel those ‘we’re relaxing in a five-star hotel’ vibes every day by slipping on this extra-soft, organic Turkish cotton robe. Make sure to pick up one for both you and your partner; you can even have them monogrammed with your initials for a personal touch.
Uncommon Goods Personalized Anniversary Pushpin World Map
Oh, the places you’ll go. This beautiful keepsake comes with a vintage-inspired world map plus 100 pushpins. Use them to mark (and reminisce about) all of the places you’ve traveled together—from your hometowns to wedding destination to honeymoon spot—and/or to plot all the locations on your bucket list and plan future adventures to come.
Coyuchi Pismo Organic Blanket
When it comes to upgrading your bedding, this blanket is the perfect accent piece. Available in four, sun-washed colors, each with the same geometric print, it’s an easy way to add a fun visual touch to any neutral bedding. Made of organic Portuguese cotton, the blanket is stonewashed to make it extra soft, and the perfect weight to add extra warmth in the winter or use solo in the summer.
Uncommon Goods New York Times Custom Front Page Puzzle
A unique way to celebrate your wedding day, this puzzle features the front page of the New York Times from that exact day. Plus, putting the puzzle together doubles as a fun date night activity.
YaYa & Co. Brooklyn Knit Throw
If you could take your favorite, coziest, most worn winter sweater and turn it into a blanket, this is what you’d get. Made of 100 percent, sustainable cotton, the black knitted throw boasts a unique wash that gives it a dimensional and even more textured look; it’s just as chic as it is cozy. Not to mention that for every purchase, the brand plants trees in the Amazon rainforest.
The Citizenry Imabari Waffle Towels
These towels aren’t made out of just any old cotton. The brand partners with local artisans across the globe to create gorgeous wares in a fair-trade environment.
In this case, it’s a Pima cotton from a family-run mill in Japan that’s been making towels for over a century. The end result is these stunning, waffle weave towels that feel as good as they look.
Big Blanket XL Weighted Blanket
The only thing cozier and more comforting than a weighted blanket is an oversized one that you can easily share with your husband or wife…without one of you complaining that the other is hogging the covers. This one fits the bill, coming in at 100 by 120 inches, and in 30 or 40-pound options.
New Horizons By KK Custom Ceramic Photo Coasters
A riff on the theme of china with these ceramic coasters. Customize the set of four with any photos of your choosing; we like the idea of some favorite wedding pics or honeymoon highlights.
On The Edge Creations Custom Pet Portrait
For the spouse who’s obsessed with their pet, there’s truly no better gift. Simply send in a photo of your pet and receive this custom-made whimsical print. Trust us, it’s guaranteed to please.
Paper Anniversary the House We Made a Home
A gift that will equally become a life-long keepsake, this features a rendering of your home, carved into mahogany wood. And because the whole set is set into 100% cotton background, it’s still on-brand for a second anniversary.
Heirloom Custom Video Book
Rather than a standard greeting card, record your anniversary message for your spouse with this unique video book. A customization website makes it easy to upload up to 20 minutes of video into the book, which can also be personalized with a recorded greeting and printed note on the front cover.
R. Chiara Diamond Center Stackable Ring
This delicate, 14K gold band features five inlaid round diamonds; it’s beautiful worn on its own, though also works beautifully amidst the rest of your bridal stack.
Fifth & Cherry The 14 Cutting Board
This wooden cutting board is so stunning it could easily double as a work of art. Handmade from cherry wood, the board comes with a lifetime warranty and free refinishing for life. The fact that you can engrave the side with your name, wedding date, or any other text of your choosing makes it completely gift-worthy.
The Art of Etiquette Anniversary Book
Think of this keepsake book as a living time capsule, with plenty of pages to house love letters and display photos and mementos. It’s sure to quickly become a family heirloom. (There’s also a list of traditional and modern anniversary gifts for each year, always helpful.)
Tabletopics Date Night Game
A great way to keep things fun and exciting on date night, these cards pose unique and thought-provoking questions to help you reconnect and truly focus on one another.
Cheurlin Thomas Célibrité Champagne
Any kind of anniversary (heck, any kind of celebration) calls for some bubbly. Toast to two years with a bottle of this special-occasion-worthy champagne considered one of the best there is. This exclusive varietal is produced in limited quantities, making it all the more special.
Confete Cloud Nine Blue Tie-Dye Loungewear Set
This super-soft set is the perfect balance of cozy and chic. Whether she's wearing it to the beach or to bed, it's guaranteed to become her new favorite outfit.
Parachute Percale Sheet Set
If you don’t need to completely revamp all of your bedding, but do want to upgrade your sheets, go with this set. Made of already-soft percale cotton, the fabric only gets better and softer with time and has the added benefit of being nice and cool to the touch, a boon for hot sleepers. While it comes in six neutral shades, you can’t go wrong with the crisp and clean pure white.
Brooklinen Move-In Luxe Bedding Bundle
If you didn’t register for (or receive) new bedding for your wedding, consider this the perfect time to upgrade your sleeping situation. This complete set has everything you need, including a comforter, sheet bundle, and even pillows.
Made of 100 percent long-staple cotton, it also totally fits this anniversary's theme, not to mention it's one gift you’re both guaranteed to get plenty of use out of.
What To Look For in a 2nd-Anniversary Gift
The Traditional Theme, Cotton
From crisp white sheets and cozy throws to handmade paper gifts, it's easy to find something that will fit this theme. It's also a great time to refresh some household items like towels and kitchen linens that you may have received from your registry two years ago.
The Modern Theme, China
If you're looking for something a little different, think beyond dishes and platters. And a little customization goes a long way. Add a personalized touch by monogramming a bedside table tray or ring dish, suggests Jennings.
What are some creative gift ideas for a two-year anniversary?
“A second anniversary is a fun time to revisit someplace important to your relationship, such as the site of your rehearsal dinner or wedding proposal. Or consider recreating the events—and excitement—of your first date,” suggests Jennings.
Do I have to follow the anniversary theme?
“The traditional gift list is simply a helpful tool for inspiration, especially for ‘minor’ anniversaries, those after the first but not divisible by five,” says Jennings. Above all, focus on a gift that’s personalized or an item that reinforces the story of your relationship, she suggests.
How to celebrate an anniversary
You might want to go out for a fancy dinner or choose to cook 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. Something as simple as breakfast in bed or a hike through nature can also make the day feel special.
Why Trust Brides
Brides contributor Melanie Rud has nearly 15 years of journalism experience covering the beauty and lifestyle space for some of the biggest magazines and websites out there. She also recently planned her own wedding.
For this story, we researched and tested a wide range of products that would be standout choices for a 2nd anniversary gift. We tried out several of our top picks in our New York City-based lab, evaluating items based on quality, functionality, gifting theme, and more.