You did it. You’re officially a marriage pro. A year ago you were just little newlywed babies, but now? Two years pushes you past entry-level and into professional territory. You’ve got it all figured out, right?
Ok, it might take a little bit longer than two years. But your second wedding anniversary is still an important benchmark to celebrate. At Kudoboard, we’re all about finding great ways to mark special occasions and show gratitude for the people in our lives. Today we’re sharing some great ideas we’ve found for celebrating your second wedding anniversary (as well as explaining the symbolism and tradition behind the cotton anniversary).
It’s a thoughtful and heartfelt way to show a loved one how much they’re cared about and appreciated on a special day! Learn more about our anniversary cards.
Cotton: Second Year Anniversary Gifts
For the second anniversary, it is traditional to give cotton. It might seem simple, boring, and every day. Surely we’d be better off with something grander? A traditional gift that’s more inherently romantic? Actually, the symbolism behind cotton anniversary gifts might make you think again.
Woven together: Cotton is made from threads that are carefully woven together to create a finished product. Individual elements become one, much like two individuals become one in a marriage. You are bound and intertwined together, two becoming one.
Better together: Cotton fabric is known for being particularly strong, flexible, and breathable, making it a fabric of choice for the materials we surround ourselves with every day. As the single threads of cotton come together, they’re stronger and better together. Your marriage should bring out the best in each of you and help you become more.
Process: Cotton begins as a plant that needs careful growth and picking. The cotton is then processed to create threads, which are then expertly woven into fabric. Skilled artisans are then able to dye, print, sew, and soften that fabric to create incredible finished products. Your marriage is also a process that will take work and finesse to create something unique and beautiful.
When you understand the symbolism behind cotton anniversary gifts, you can think more romantically about your relationship and the gifts you might give to honor it. A thoughtful cotton anniversary gift can provide a soft, comforting reminder of your love to your spouse each and every day. Let’s find the right cotton gift for your anniversary.
10 cotton anniversary gifts
When you think cotton you probably think soft, comforting fabrics. Imagine the way you feel about your spouse, and then use cotton to wrap it around them. Ok, that’s a little cheesy but we’re trying to say that cotton gifts are excellent for marking your second wedding anniversary and the comforting, strong bond you’re weaving together.
We’ve broken down our gift idea list into his and hers, but don’t let that stop you from considering each gift for a spouse of either gender. They’re just great gift ideas, any way you slice it.
Cotton wedding anniversary gifts for him
Quality cotton sheets
We’ll start with our most favorite cotton anniversary gift idea. (Don’t worry. The rest are great too! We just REALLY love our beds.) Close your eyes and think of the fanciest hotel bed you can imagine. Those crisp, clean sheets. Fluffy, soft pillows. Mmmmmmmm. What if you could recreate that every single day?
You spend ⅓ of your life in bed. From Netflix and chill to sleeping till noon, you rely on your bed to be a safe and comfortable landing place. Not to mention your bed is the place you come together after a long day apart. It’s well worth the investment to choose the highest quality bedding you can afford. We LOVE quality cotton sheets as a wedding anniversary gift because everyone (except monsters) use sheets every single day and can use a little taste of luxury in their lives.
Pure cotton sleepwear
We actually want to go on the record and say that we love matching spouses. You might call it “cheesy” or “weird” or “totally creepy,” but to each their own. Tasteful, neutral cotton pajamas are some of the most luxurious and practical gifts you give anyone (tuck this away for your next secret santa or birthday gift for that someone who has everything). Matching couple pajamas? #adorbs.
Tell your husband it's time to ditch the ratty sports tee and boxer shorts. Quality cotton sleepwear is breathable and classic. You don’t even have to match (although we recommend it). Simply pick a nice set of cotton pajamas or a monogrammed bathrobe to give your evening routine the star treatment.
Luxe bathroom accessories
Do you know who loves a soft, fluffy towel? Everyone, that’s who. We often use our bath towels until they’re unraveling on our bodies. They grow faded and stop absorbing over time. Yuck. But imagine stepping out of the shower to thick, soft, fluffy cotton towels. Happy anniversary is right! It’s the perfect gift.
You might also consider the aforementioned cotton bathrobes, cotton and memory-foam bath mats, or luxurious cotton pads for facial cleansing (good for your face AND the environment).
Is your spouse a gourmet chef? Or maybe you’d just like them to get motivated to cook a little more. Either way, there are plenty of practical second anniversary gift ideas for the kitchen. It’s not only a place to prepare your frequent meals—it’s also a gathering zone for your home. Gift your spouse something that will make your time in the kitchen together more effective, with a nice dash of thoughtfulness. Some good ideas include:
- Cotton dishcloths (hint: choose colors and patterns your spouse will love)
- Produce bags for a weekly trip to the farmer’s market
- Custom apron, but seriously it’s 2021. Don’t get a Kiss the Cook.
- Cheesecloth and a cheesemaking book
Don’t roll your eyes. Maybe socks were the lame Christmas present or the expected gift from your grandma each year. But now you’re an adult, and adults need nice socks. Socks are literally what Dumbledore saw in the Mirror of Erised (allegedly). And you’re not better than Dumbledore.
Quality socks are an excellent gift—especially if you put some thought into this anniversary gift. Fun patterns and designs, such as their favorite sports team or animal, can become a frequent reminder of your love for them. Functional socks for your partner’s preferred exercise routine or work wardrobe are a great choice for the more practical-minded spouse. And the best part? Socks make the perfect cotton anniversary gift for couples on a budget.
Cotton wedding anniversary gifts for her
Canvas or cotton paper
We’ve already shared lots of ideas for paper gifts for your first wedding anniversary. And we’re not too proud to recycle many of them. As it turns out, many paper-centric anniversary presents can also be used for the second anniversary cotton gift with just a small adjustment. Canvas is constructed from cotton, and cotton paper isn’t hard to find (and it’s absolutely gorgeous to boot).
By switching out traditional paper for cotton or canvas, you can choose a thoughtful gift for your spouse that might even bring them to tears. Some of our best ideas for a romantic cotton anniversary gift are:
- Love notes on heavy cotton parchment paper (spritz with your personal scent of choice)
- Your wedding vows on cotton paper or canvas
- Framed wedding photos on wrapped canvas
- A favorite poem or map of your newlywed city on canvas
Tablecloth + napkins
In the 1900s, wedding registries contained everything you might need for a traditional home. Today you might register for plates and utensils, but might skip the “old school” features. Who needs china? Get us an espresso machine. This can be especially true as today’s couples are more likely to rent and move around frequently in their early years of marriage, rather than owning a home of their own. They don’t need fancy place settings—they need a bedroom set.
By year two, most married couples are settling into a rhythm and identity. An anniversary present that benefits your home with a mature and hospitable touch can be perfect—and useful. A gorgeous cotton tablecloth can become a family heirloom, whether you pull it out for special occasions or use it daily. Pair it with cotton napkins, which will upgrade your dinner parties when used in lieu of paper napkins. Use your cotton anniversary to choose a lifelong gift set.
Soft home textiles
Your taste as a couple is taking shape by year two, so why not celebrate that with cotton home textiles? Hunting down a cotton piece for your home can be the perfect nod to your years together, and the options are limitless. Here are some ideas to get you started:
- The perfect blanket or throw (you can never have too many)
- A personalized pillow (a great quirky cotton anniversary gift)
- A fun rug
- Blackout curtains for your late rising spouse
- A cotton hammock for the backyard (a unique cotton gift they'll love)
Cotton clothing is a HUGE range of gifts. It’s so easy. Especially if you’re looking for a particularly quirky cotton anniversary gift for your second year. Get them a super soft tee in their favorite color, or a fun graphic tee with an inside reference from their favorite book or show. The best tip ever? Go through your spouse’s closet and write down the sizes of their most worn shirt, pants, and shoes. Keep this list of sizes in your phone so you’re always ready to buy them that perfect gift of clothing or cotton print when you come across it.
Cottonseed actually produces some calming and hydrating ingredients for a wide range of beauty products. If your spouse loves smart products that make their skin and hair feel amazing, a beauty product using cotton TOTALLY counts for this second wedding anniversary gift, and it’ll be a huge hit. Check out these cleansers, moisturizers, and even dry shampoo that will make your second anniversary super soft. Everyone needs a good moisturizer. Everyone.
Tips for celebrating your second wedding anniversary
Expectations can run high for anniversaries. Ask any couple over the age of 40 and they’re likely to have an anniversary horror story. She tried to book the honeymoon suite and didn’t realize it was the wedding banquet room. He forgot the anniversary altogether. You may not be able to avoid some anniversary hi-jinks, but you can improve your anniversary experience by communicating clearly beforehand.
The second wedding anniversary isn’t one you can just ignore, but you also need to mitigate your expectations.
- Communicate: See what your spouse has in mind BEFORE the anniversary has arrived. Waiting for a big gesture or surprise (or assuming your spouse is going to handle it) is a recipe for disaster.
- Calibrate: Just because you pulled out all the stops for your first wedding anniversary doesn’t mean you have to do that every single time. Maybe it makes more sense to just get a nice dinner rather than a huge trip to revisit your honeymoon location.
- Budget: Decide together what your budget will be for this anniversary—and stick to it.
We hope you find ways to make each anniversary a special reminder of your wedding day and the promises you’ve made. Kudoboard congratulates you and stands ready to help you make every day a little more special.
Check out more of our anniversary articles:
- Paper Anniversary Gifts (First Anniversary)
- Cotton Anniversary Gifts (Second Anniversary)
- Leather Anniversary Gifts (Third Anniversary)
- Fruit or Flower Anniversary Gifts (Fourth Anniversary)
- Wood Anniversary Gifts (Fifth Anniversary)