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Anniversaries are a time to celebrate, but we know they can also become a time to stress about gifts. No matter how long you and your girlfriend have been together, thinking up a perfect anniversary present is never an easy task. After all, what kind of tangible gift measures up when you’re thinking about a woman who’s such a huge part of your life? Anniversaries are special, and you want your gift to feel that way too.
The great thing about dating anniversaries is that you don’t have to subscribe to any traditional gift ideas. No paper gifts for one year of dating or wood presents for five years. You can focus solely on your partner and your relationship and come up with a gift that she’ll adore.
“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."
Meet the Expert
Ann Cantrell is the Founder and CEO of Annie’s Blue Ribbon General Store, a modern gifting shop in Brooklyn, NY.
Read on to find the best gifts for your girlfriend.
Uncommon Goods Create Your Own Reel Viewer
It's a blast to the past! This retro-style reel viewer is more than just a nod to childhood games—it's also a clever way to show off your favorite pics from a recent trip or highlights from your relationship. It's an interactive gift that blows a traditional album out of the water.
Journo Travel Goods Custom Trip Journal for Couples
Oh, the places you’ll go! Use this personalized journal to document your travels together. The best part is that this gift will only get more special with time as you fill up pages with beautiful memories.
Uncommon Goods What I Love About You by Me Book
Truly great gifts don’t have to cost a lot, and this book is proof. It’s a great budget price that offers endless value, allowing you to pour out your heart to her—letting her know just how amazing she is and why you love her. If the thought of that is a bit overwhelming, don’t fear. Each page has a prompt for you to fill in like “I love going to _____ with you.”
Kurafuchi Rose Gold Dainty Double Multicolor Necklace
Even if you’re nervous about nailing exactly what type of jewelry she loves, this simple gold strand is a crowd-pleaser. The tiny seed beads add a fun pop of color to any outfit and she’ll be able to wear and layer them with any of her favorite pieces.
Urban Stems The Morado Bouquet
Can you ever really go wrong with flowers? They’re a classic anniversary gift that speaks to the beauty of your relationship. This pretty arrangement is filled with a lush mixture of garden roses, ranunculus solomio to, and ruscus.
Eat What You Watch Cookbook: A Cookbook for Movie Lovers
The couple that binge-watches together stays together, right? Take your next date night up a level by not only watching your favorite show but also making a thematic meal. 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.
Wood Life Prints Night Sky When We Met Map
You may not be able to fully capture that magical feeling of the night you met, but you can get pretty close! 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 wood that she can hang on her wall or keep out on her nightstand.
Losaron Custom Wooden Jigsaw Puzzle
After spending so much time at home the last few years, nostalgic activities like board games and puzzles are more popular than ever. You two fit just like a puzzle, so she’ll love this personalized one made from a favorite photo of the two of you. Add to the fun by keeping the image a surprise until you’ve assembled the whole thing.
Chocolate Covered Company Love 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.” Overnight shipping is included!
The Crystal Shoppe Personalized Copper Wine Glasses
We’ll drink to this gift! A happy hour cocktail at home just seems cooler when you’re sipping from personalized glasses. This copper set can be engraved on both sides to include your names and anniversary date. We recommend serving a Moscow mule.
Kate Spade New York Garden Drive Hinged Pocket Frame
Anniversaries are a great time to get a little cheesy, and she’ll appreciate the love and care you put into your gift. For this one, find two of your favorite couple's photos and put them in this cute pocket-sized frame—she'll want to carry with her everywhere.
Leatherology Medium Jewelry Organizer
If she’s always on the run, but loves jewelry, she’ll appreciate a bespoke holder. This full-grain leather case has ring band attachments and snap-on earring flaps to keep everything completely safe. Have it monogrammed or hand-painted for an extra-special touch.
Love Note Fragrances Love Letter Lux Gift Set
Treat your girlfriend to a spa-like experience at home with a 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, three bath soaks, and a cute notecard. The whole thing comes beautifully packaged, so no need to wrap!
Delight Custom Message Shortbread Cookies
Make a sweet message even sweeter by saying it in shortbread. 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. Plus, there’s no need to wrap them—they come in a pretty floral gift box.
Vinebox Peaks and Valleys Wine Tasting Set
Bring the winery home with this wine tasting set. It contains everything you need for a delicious date night, including nine 100 ml bottles of wine (five red, three white, and one rose) plus tasting notes. If you have more specific preferences, you can also grab sets that feature exclusively red, rose, white wines.
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 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.
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— by candlelight! 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?
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 the 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 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.