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Gift Guide

The 9 Best 40th Wedding Anniversary Gifts

Find the perfect memento for your loved one.

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I remember my 40th wedding anniversary like it was yesterday. Forty years of love, humor, and friendship … and 40 years of navigating hardships and challenges as a team with my partner. Creating a life together has been one of my greatest joys, and it was very much worth celebrating. If you and your partner are approaching this monumental milestone, you may be wondering how to pick out a thoughtful gift that pays sufficient due to all those years of marriage. Well, here’s a quick list of 40th anniversary gift ideas to help you find the perfect gift for your partner, your parents, or your celebrating friends. 

What should I give my partner for our 40th anniversary?

Wedding anniversaries are often associated with themes like leather, flowers, or iron. While it’s nearly impossible to pinpoint the origin of these themes, the general idea is that each year’s theme is associated with the state of the relationship and its possibilities for growth. 

The first year anniversary gift, for example, is paper. Paper symbolizes a new beginning and the story you and your partner are going to write together as you build your shared future. As the years progress, the themes become more valuable and durable. The tenth-anniversary gift is tin, the 20th is China, and the 30th is pearl. A 40-year wedding anniversary is celebrated with ruby, a cardinal gem with a rich red hue that symbolizes passion, love, and the fire that has long burned between you. Here are some gifts for the perfect ruby wedding anniversary. 

1. Gemstone Gifts

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Rubies are beautiful and beloved, and these gemstones make for incredible necklaces, rings, earrings, and bracelets that are sure to be cherished for years to come. If you’re looking for the perfect ruby jewelry for your male partner, consider a pair of ruby-inlaid monogram cufflinks for special occasions (like your 41st-anniversary celebration). 

2. Keepsake

Gold and diamond heart shape bracelet.
Getty Images

You don’t need to spend a lot of money on a ruby wedding anniversary gift for it to be meaningful. That’s where a special keepsake comes in. A keepsake may be a thoughtful gift that is handed down through the family for generations, or it may be a unique token of the love you’ve both cherished for years. Giving a keepsake to your partner shows how much you care about the time you spend together. If you like baseball, consider framing the ticket stubs from a ballgame you attended together; a bottle of hard-to-find wine from that vineyard you visited years ago; or a beloved book you’ve both read. Any piece of history from the life you’ve created as a happy couple will do. There’s no better way to say, “I love you.”

3. Wine Glasses or Champagne Flutes

purewine by andrea le
PureWine

A 40th anniversary is worth celebrating with friends and loved ones, and stemware is a wonderful and functional modern gift. Pair high-quality stemware with a nice champagne for a special night in. To make it more sentimental, purchase a bottle that was corked the year you were married or the year you met. Add a thoughtful anniversary card and you have the makings of a great gift.

4. Wall Art and Home Decor

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Pay homage to the life you’ve built together and the space you’ve shared by personalized wall art or another piece of home décor to your nest. You can DIY your own piece or you can hire an Etsy artist to craft something inspired by a shared memory. Consider an illustration of the restaurant where you went for your first date or a painting of your family. Not only will this be a heartfelt and personalized gift, but you’ll be able to add a little more love to the home that you’ve created together.

5. Red Roses

Roses

Roses are a classic anniversary present, and they’re one of the best 40th anniversary gifts for her if you’re looking for a more traditional gift. In flower language, red roses symbolize love, beauty, and courage, all of which contribute to a lifelong romance. Red roses also have the added benefit of being ruby red, which means they tie into the theme of your 40th-anniversary celebration well. If you really want to make this gift special, consider a bouquet of eternal roses or forever roses. They’ve been preserved for freshness, which means you’ll be able to decorate your home with them for a long time to come.

6. Sundial

sundial outside
Gary Riegel/Shutterstock

Sundials are used to measure the passing of time throughout the day, but a gifted anniversary sundial can say so much more. You can have a sundial customized with your wedding date as a reminder that your love will continue to hold true and strong throughout the years. Place the sundial in the garden or on the wall, and let it remind you that years feel like minutes when in the company of someone you love.

7. Gift Box

festive guest party favor box for friendsgiving
Lines+Angles

If you just can’t settle on one perfect present for the person you love, consider creating a gift box or gift basket instead. A gift box can be personalized in many ways, and you can even use it to create more special memories with your love. If your partner has recently taken up a new hobby, consider creating a box of supplies to help them pursue their new passion. This shows that you listen to their interests and that you want to create something truly unique and special for them. 
You can also put together a gift box that allows you to experience something together. That may mean an at-home spa night, a wine and olive oil tasting, or an evening with a little spice. Gift boxes are a way to create a truly memorable and unique anniversary present that won’t break the bank while remaining heartfelt tokens of your love.

8. An Experience

woman taking a selfie in front of the eiffel tower
Getty Images

A gift doesn’t need to be wrapped in a bow to be special. One way to create lasting anniversary memories is through shared experiences, which can be a wonderful gift and celebration together. Consider what kind of events and activities the gift recipient(s) likes best, from hiking to visiting museums to swimming in the sea, and plan a day of activities you know they’ll enjoy. A personalized and special experience will show them that you care about the things that bring them joy. 

9. Love Story

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This is a love story worth celebrating — and it should be written down so it’s never forgotten. On this anniversary, consider collaborating with an artist or team to get a love book made. A love book can include photos, funny anecdotes, images of shared love letters, and more. It’s a way to preserve special memories so that the happy couple can look back on them fondly and pass them down to future generations. Love books are deeply personal, so pick out the most important and special artifacts and souvenirs. 

It’s the thought that counts.

Wedding anniversaries are opportunities to celebrate love, and love truly is what makes the world go ‘round. Give thanks and share the joy of a 40th anniversary with a gift you know they’ll never forget. Whether that means sticking to the ruby theme or gifting something more personal, like a keepsake, wall painting, or love story of wonderful years spent together, extra special gifts are easy to create. However you plan to celebrate the happy anniversary, make sure it reflects the happy couple. Here’s to 40 more wonderful years of love!

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