Picking a wedding anniversary gift for parents comes with its own set of challenges. You want it to be meaningful, but also something that they’ll both enjoy and appreciate. Something that not only makes them smile, but also lets them reflect on their relationship and the years they’ve spent growing together.
Whether you’ve got a relatively measly budget or hundreds of dollars to spend, we’ve compiled some of our favorite ideas and tidbits of advice to consider when you’re purchasing (or creating!) a perfect gift for two of the most important people in your life.
One of the trickiest parts of shared gifts is that no two people are the same. Your mom may adore cooking, while your dad may prefer to be out in the garden. Or maybe one is a sports lover, while the other is more of a bibliophile. No matter how long your parents have been together, they still have their independent interests. When shopping for a thoughtful gift for the two of them, go for something that you know they both will enjoy.
Do they love hosting parties together? A beautiful serving platter or a copper mixology set are great bets, especially when paired with a bottle of one of their favorite spirits. For the gardener and the cook, look for a cookbook that only uses grown or foraged ingredients. Keep an open mind, and don’t be afraid to get creative.
Encouraging your parents to reflect on the time they’ve spent together is one of the most thoughtful ways you can help them celebrate their ongoing commitment to one another on their wedding anniversary. This could come in many forms, whether it be buying a bottle of wine from the year they got married or helping organize an intimate, vow renewal ceremony. You could even purchase a coffee table book on one of their favorite topics and adorn the inside pages with sweet notes from friends and family.
Though it may not be quite as exciting, if there’s something your parents have been wanting (or needing) for a long time, there’s no reason you can’t be the one to give it to them. Maybe their coffee maker is causing them trouble or they’ve been talking about repainting the kitchen for years. Imagine their reactions when they come home to a fresh coat of paint or cappuccinos from their new espresso machine. This is an easy way to not only demonstrate your love and respect, but also show that you’re paying attention to their needs.
There’s nothing better than a gift that seems like it was made for your parents. Did your parents meet at a concert? Consider a signed vinyl from that specific artist (or the vintage record player they’ve wanted for years). You can also keep it simple by giving them something more traditional—like a cutting board or pair of watches—and have them engraved with their names or wedding date. This little touch of thoughtfulness will make them cherish even the simplest gifts for years to come.
Though there’s a fine line between charming and cheesy, couples of all ages are often appreciative of symbolic gestures, both big and small. This could be something as simple as a Roman wall clock to represent the time they’ve spent together or a potted plant that symbolizes longevity.
Alternatively, you can go the traditional route and stick to annual milestone themes by giving them a beautiful piece of art on their 50th wedding anniversary or a fun game for their 46th. Every couple is different, so only you will know what your parents will appreciate the most.
With modern technology, it’s so easy to translate some of your parents’ favorite photos and memories into a beautiful keepsake. This could mean giving them a beautifully-framed version of one of their favorite pictures or purchasing a professional photo book that they can admire for years to come. If you want to go all out, consider hiring a photographer and surprising them with a photoshoot of their own. Not only is it something they’re unlikely to buy for themselves, but it’s also a way of capturing new memories in real time.
One of the simplest ways to ensure your parents enjoy their special day is to organize a date just for them. Whether you book them a cooking class or hire a chef to make a gourmet meal at home, they’ll be thankful for the initiative and the minimal planning required on their part.
You can even forego the traditional date and instead organize an activity that you know they’d both enjoy. For outdoorsy types, consider booking a whale watching tour or an overnight stay in an upscale yurt. For the more cosmopolitan duo, theatre tickets or a day of wine tasting might be more their style.
If you have the time, embracing a DIY project is sometimes even more special than a pricey gift. Instead of a professional-grade photo book, break out those old scrapbooking skills and fill an album with photos, love notes, and other meaningful mementos from your parents’ time together. Instead of hiring a chef, consider preparing and serving a beautiful meal for them yourself. No matter the budget, there’s only one rule: Have fun with it.