Ideas for a Second Anniversary Celebration


The traditional symbol used to celebrate a couple completing their second year of marriage is cotton, a representation of durability, or straw. To modernize things, people give fine china, which symbolizes elegance and beauty, as a second anniversary gift instead. There are a number of things you can do to highlight the second year of marriage and tie in both traditional and modern customs of celebrating this milestone in a couple's life.

All About "2"

  • Plan a date for you and your spouse that centers on the number two. You're two people who have been together for two years, so take some time to focus on this fact and celebrate it. Have a double-feature movie night of your favorite films or visit your two favorite restaurants for dinner then dessert. To tie in traditional elements, go on a hay ride and stargaze afterward, or pick out two new bathrobes to wear; one for each of you. If you're up for it, plan a double-date as part of your celebration.

Traditional Theme Party

  • Plan a second anniversary party with a traditional gift theme. Since the two traditional gifts include cotton and straw, you can combine the two elements or select one. For example, throw a "straw hat" party where all the guests come in a straw hat. If the couple are accepting gifts, tell the guests to bring things involving cotton or straw that will be useful around their home. If there's a large guest list, some people will have to get creative with their gifting so the couple don't end up with 10 sets of new bedsheets.

Relive the Year

  • Relive the significant moments of your second year of marriage together. If you've found a restaurant you both really enjoy or a new favorite movie to watch as a couple, start there. Do things that signify getting a new job, moving to a new place, gaining new friends or having a child, or revisit locations where you've shared simple yet special moments together over the past year. Plan this ahead of time with your spouse to make sure you don't leave anything out.

Cotton Crazy

  • Even though cotton is a traditional, old-fashioned gift, it's still a material that is incredibly useful around modern homes. For your second anniversary, go on a shopping date to update the cotton items in your bedroom. For example, find a set of high thread count cotton sheets, bathrobes, funny personalized cotton clothing, and underwear or lingerie. If you don't want to focus as much on your bedroom, buy window trimmings, throw blankets or new bath towels.


  • Photo Credit anniversary image by Arpad Nagy-Bagoly from
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