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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 can sometimes seem less monumental by comparison. But this occasion is no less special and deserves to be celebrated. So, how do you mark year two in a way that feels fresh and new? Well, for starters, champagne is always a good idea.
Choosing a present that perfectly symbolizes your love and affection is also a must. The traditional second anniversary gift is cotton, making this the 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, too, and remember that going with a personalized, custom gift is always foolproof.
Read on for the best 2nd-anniversary gifts your spouse is sure to love.
The Modish Home Couples Initials Throw Blanket
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.
Pretty and Shine Calligraphy Print
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.
Wendy Gould Personalized Anniversary Pushpin Map
Oh, the places you’ll go. This beautiful keepsake comes 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.
Mark and Graham Organic Hydrocotton Classic Bathrobe
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.
Paper Anniversary Love Custom Tray
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 about what you love about your partner. The message is printed on organic cotton, in keeping with the second-anniversary theme.
Canvas Vows First Dance Lyrics on Canvas
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.
The Citizenry Imabari Waffle Towel Set
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.
On The Edge Creations Custom Pet Portrait
For the spouse who’s obsessed with your 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.
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% 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.
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%, 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 rain forest.
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, it’s stonewashed to make it extra soft, and the perfect weight to add extra warmth in the winter or use solo in the summer.
Saban Glass Hand Blown Twisty Wine Glass
Every single one of the handblown glasses is completely unique—no two are alike—and they come in an array of gorgeous solid colors as well as metallic-flecked options. Plus, for each item purchased, the brand makes a donation to support children living in poverty. And who doesn’t love gifts that give back?
Artifact Uprising Signature Layflat Photo Album
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.
Our testers say
"These books are the best. I made my own wedding album and I order a book each year for my two kid's birthdays. I've tried a few other photo album services and this is by far the most impressive." —Dwyer Frame, VP, Commerce
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 an 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.
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.
What to look for in a 2nd-anniversary gift
The traditional theme, cotton
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, splurging on luxurious sheets or bedding is a great choice and one you’ll both appreciate for a long time,” she says.
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?
Think beyond products and consider planning a shared experience. “ 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?
Definitely not. “ 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. “These suggestions were driven by commercial objectives in the 19th & 20th centuries and are not really about ‘tradition’ anyway,” she points out. 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
Anniversaries are special occasions—so don't be afraid to go over the top! That can mean different things for each couple. 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.
Meet the Expert
Laura Jennings is the founder and CEO of Knack, a custom gift-giving company specializing in personalized gifts and curated boxes.
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’s also a bride-to-be, currently planning her own wedding.