A Complete Guide to Your 2nd Anniversary
(History, Symbolism, Traditions, and Gift Ideas)

The History of the Second Anniversary Gift

The second anniversary gift tradition dates all the way back to 1937. This was the year the American National Retail Jewelers Association published a list of gemstones and other materials that could be given as gifts on anniversaries that fall between the major milestones.

Source: The Complete History of Wedding Anniversaries

Second Wedding Anniversary Gift Symbolism

The symbolic token given as a gift on a second wedding anniversary represents one or more traits of your relationship at that time. The traditional gift for the second anniversary is cotton. Cotton symbolizes the modest prosperity, durability, and comfort of a two-year marriage.

Traditional Gift (Cotton)

Why is cotton the traditional second anniversary gift?

Historically, cotton has been recognized as a sign of prosperity. Cotton is also a durable material that can be used in a variety of ways. Each of these qualities speaks well to a relationship that has held strong for two years. A couple typically has more in the way of possessions and wealth by their second anniversary. Their relationship is also stronger and more versatile than it was during the first year of marriage.

Cotton Anniversary Gift Ideas

  1. Cotton Pajamas – Surprise your spouse just before bedtime with a pair of cotton pajamas in their favorite color.
  2. Cozy Cotton Bathrobes –Matching cotton bathrobes make romantic second anniversary gifts. To make your gift all the more thoughtful, order the bathrobes in red–the traditional second anniversary color.
  3. Matching Cotton Undies –Have fun on your second anniversary with a pair of matching boxers or sexy his and her undies made from cotton.
  4. Egyptian Cotton Sheets – Switch your old bedsheets out for a new set of Egyptian cotton bedsheets. Come bedtime, slip under them wearing nothing but your spouse’s favorite cologne or perfume.
  5. A Love T-Shirt – Have matching t-shirts made with the words “I Love My Awesome Wife” and “I Love My Awesome Husband” or some other phrase of adoration. Wear them everywhere you go on your second anniversary.

A complete list of cotton gift ideas: Cotton Anniversary Gifts
A complete list of cotton gifts for him: Cotton Anniversary Gifts for Him
A complete list of cotton gifts for her: Cotton Anniversary Gifts for Her

Modern Gift (China)

In December 2000, a list of modern gifts for wedding anniversaries was released by the Chicago Public Library. The modern gift for the second anniversary is china. Today gifts of china go beyond dishes. Candle holders, figurines, wine decanters, pitchers, and other tableware all fall within this modern gift idea.

China Gift Ideas

  • Chinaware – Buy your first formal chinaware dish set together, or serve up a romantic dinner for two with a new china bowl or serving platter.
  • Wine Decanter – A wine decanter makes a beautiful addition to china tableware, and a wonderful gift for wine enthusiasts.
  • China Figurine – Is your spouse a collector? Find the perfect china figurine to add to their collection.
  • China Jewelry – Give your spouse a unique piece of china jewelry that can be worn on your second anniversary date.
  • China Coffee Mug or Teacup – If your spouse is a coffee or tea lover, a whimsical china coffee mug or traditional china teacup with saucer is sure to get lots of use.

Second Anniversary Flower

The red cosmos is the traditional flower to give your spouse on a second anniversary. The symbolic meaning of the cosmos flower is modesty. Giving your spouse a bouquet of cosmos shows your ability to celebrate your relationship within your means.

Cosmos Gift Ideas

  • Cosmos Flower Arrangement – With red being the traditional color theme for a second anniversary, a bouquet of deep red cosmos will be greatly appreciated by your spouse. If you can’t find fresh cosmos, a silk arrangement will do.
  • Cosmos Garden – A gift basket with cosmos seeds, cotton gardening gloves, and planting tools makes for a thoughtful second anniversary gift for spouses who share a love for gardening.
  • Cosmos Jewelry – Jewelry designed around the cosmos flower always makes for a beautiful second anniversary gift. If possible, have it engraved with the date of your second wedding anniversary and/or a loving message.

Second Anniversary Gemstone

The traditional second anniversary gemstone is the garnet. Garnets are natural gemstones that can found in various colors. However, it’s the dark red garnet that is recognized by the American Gem Society as the celebratory gemstone for a second anniversary.

Garnet Gift Ideas

  • Garnet Jewelry – Jewelry made with deep red garnet gemstones make romantic second anniversary gifts..
  • Garnet-Colored Clothing – A tie, a blouse, a hat, a scarf–if it’s garnet red in color, you’ve got yourself a nifty gift.
  • Garnet Vase – What do you get when you cross a bouquet of red cosmos with a garnet-red vase? An eye-catching display of love and appreciation.
  • Anything Deep Red in Color – Think of something your spouse needs and see if you can find it in a deep red color–just one more way to express your thoughtfulness and honor the second anniversary tradition.