Find Cotton Wedding Anniversary Ideas for All Budgets

With every passing year, wedding anniversaries require an appropriate gift for the happy couple. This age-old tradition can be a bit of a headache, particularly when there don’t appear to be any suitable, and yet romantic, gifts. Take the second anniversary for example, and you might be disappointed to find that cotton is the expected gift. Not exactly awe-inspiring is it? However, there is always something appropriate for all tastes and budgets. Don’t forget, each anniversary also has its own particular flower and gemstone too, opening up a world of ideas. Here are some cotton wedding anniversary ideas for all budgets.

The History of Cotton

Unbelievably, archaeologists are finding pieces of cotton cloth in Mexico that are over 7000 years old. Research reveals that cotton was in use in India and Egypt 3000 years BC, but was not available in Europe until the arrival of Arabian traders with their goods. By around 1500, cotton was available throughout the world.

Cotton Wedding Anniversary

Cotton played a huge part in the Industrial Revolution In the United Kingdom, particularly with the invention of the “Spinning Jenny” by Richard Hargreaves. This machine was able to spin eighty threads at once, leading to increased productivity. The industry grew rapidly and by 1821, there were 66 cotton mills in the city of Manchester alone. Today, it is the most used fibre in the world.

Why Cotton is the Gift for a Second Anniversary

So, why is the second wedding anniversary represented by cotton? It has strength and longevity, and the giving of this gift symbolises the desire for the marriage to remain strong. Other suggestions include the fact that the threads of cotton have a tight weave, and therefore it represents an inner connection within the marriage. Cotton fibres are also very flexible, and their adaptability relates to being aware of another person’s needs.

Cotton Gifts

Low-Cost Cotton Gift Ideas

Cotton itself can be a low-cost material, with plenty of gift options available. Personalised bath towels are a nice idea and a little unusual, sure to be a talking point. Matching cotton bathrobes can be inexpensive, and again, can be personalised for a thoughtful touch. Cotton does have its own unique fragrance and is ideal for reed diffusers, adding a lovely scent to the home. For something unusual, a cotton macrame plant holder might fit the bill, ideal for green-fingered friends and relatives.

Wedding Anniversary Gift Ideas

Luxurious Gifts for a Cotton Anniversary

Egyptian cotton bedding is the ultimate in luxurious gifts for the home and a delightful idea for any couple. It has a unique softness, using only handpicked cotton, and is available in top-class hotels all over the world. A personalised cotton canvas makes a unique piece of art, perhaps printed with the couple’s wedding vows or the lyrics to their favourite song. It is also possible to choose any gift.

For something unusual and memorable, yet still sticking with the cotton theme, why not consider a hotel break? If it’s your anniversary, you could stay at the Charles Cotton Hotel in Derbyshire for two nights of luxury. Following a full cooked breakfast, you could explore the beautiful Peak District, England’s first national park. Vouchers are available if you wish to treat somebody else to this unique experience.

Which Flower Represents the Second Anniversary?

Sweetly scented lily of the valley is the flower of the second wedding anniversary.  My personal recommendation is a pair of stunning lily of the valley earrings and you can read my review here. When it comes to gifts, using lily of the valley is a common decor theme, making it easy to find something appropriate. For example, hand-painted glass, scented candles and home furnishings, such as cushions or throws, will be a welcome gift for a second anniversary.

Wedding Anniversary Gift Ideas

Lily of the Valley

The lily of the valley is a perennial plant which returns every year in May and June to the woodland floors of the United Kingdom. Its spike only has the white bell-shaped flowers on one side, which droop towards the floor. Strangely enough, this beautiful flower is highly poisonous, especially when the red berries appear, which is not terribly romantic, is it? It is often the subject of folklore tales, featuring nightingale birds and fairies. It signifies the return of happiness and was featured in the bridal bouquet carried by Princess Grace of Monaco.

Cotton Wedding Anniversary

The Lily of the Valley in Songs and Poetry

This pretty flower has been mentioned both in various song lyrics and in poetry. One of the most well-known is by the British rock band Queen and was featured on their album. The lead singer Freddie Mercury sang all the vocals and played the piano on the record. A song named Lily of the Valley was written in 1881 for the Salvation Army and was later covered by the Country and Western star, Johnny Cash.

The most famous poem featuring this iconic flower was written by Paul Laurence Dunbar who was from Ohio in the United States. He also wrote many books and even the lyrics for a musical that appeared on Broadway. The composer Tchaikovsky composed a poem about the lily of the valley while in Florence, Italy and declared that he was terribly proud of it.

What is the Gemstone for A Cotton Anniversary?

Garnets are the gemstone for a second wedding anniversary, and come in many colours, with deep red being the most popular. They were commonly used in the Late Roman era, often set in gold, which makes a striking contrast. Garnets can be expensive, but synthetic versions are now available, for those on a budget. Jewellery inset with this gemstone is the most obvious gift, easily found in necklaces, rings and cufflinks. I have some suggestions here for garnet gifts. Garnet crystals can be used as decor and are said to promote courage, creativity and joy.

Cotton Wedding Anniversary

The End of Another Year

The first two years will have flown by for the happy couple, and they will now have established their own domestic and work routines and settled way of life. With many more years of marriage to come, we rapidly approach the third anniversary. Whether you choose to buy them a gift of cotton, lily of the valley or a garnet item, you can help them celebrate with this selection of cotton wedding anniversary ideas for all budgets.

26 thoughts on “Find Cotton Wedding Anniversary Ideas for All Budgets”

  1. I’ve heard that the first one to two years are the hardest years of marriage. I suspect it has to do with what you had said: “The first two years will have flown by for the happy couple, and they will now have established their own domestic and work routines and settled way of life.”

    Establishing domestic and work routines and settling into a way of life that enables each one in the marriage finds the right balance between these two is, as I’m sure you know, a process that takes work. And lots of it.

    This is why I believe that this anniversary is probably the marriage’s most important milestone; it’s actually a benchmark, one that sets the pace and the tone for the rest of the marriage. As a result, this is the anniversary that deserves the most celebrating. At this point, so much has gone on behind the scenes to make this marriage work, to ensure that each one safeguards the relationship, that the couple’s friends and family are actually congratulating them for creating a firm, life-long foundation for the future.

    All that said–I appreciate the ideas you’ve given me help with friends who will soon be coming upon their second anniversary. Thanks!

    • Hi – thanks for leaving these thoughtful comments. You are right in what you say, the second year has gone beyond the honeymoon period and then the hard work begins. I hope you found some inspiration from my gift ideas. All the best, Diane

  2. Hello Diane,

    Thank you for providing these amazing cotton wedding anniversary gifts! I have not been married yet, but I have a bunch of friends who are newlyweds that could use the info and advise. I’ll go ahead and refer them to your site when I get a chance. I was not aware of many of these gifts or that cotton was such an important anniversary gift.

    I like that you provided the history of cotton and why it has become an important part of our culture. It didn’t know it symbolized strength, adaptability, and longevity for a marriage. These are great reasons to keep cotton in mind and make more people aware. 

    The Lily of the valley is also intriguing, especially if used by Freddy Mercury. I’m looking forward to the new movie based on his life as well. I am very impressed with this list of gift ideas for a wedding anniversary. I will let some of my friends know. Keep up the great work.

    • Hi – thank you for your comments, and for referring your friends to my site. The Bohemian Rhapsody movie is great, I hope you get to see it! All the best, Diane 

  3. Hello, Diane…

    I was intrigued by the title of your article while doing a search on Google, so I had to check it out! Let alone not having an idea of what kind of a gift to give for a Cotton Wedding Anniversary, I had no idea there was such a special anniversary!

    You did provide a lot of new information to me and now I know that this is a thing for some people. Two years seems like a long time for a newlywed couple, I know it did for me (although it passed by FAST since we also had two kids in that time!). 

    The Lily of the Valley flower that is representative of the anniversary is a bit ironic. Poison indeed. They look beautiful, but be careful! I have seen these in England during my travels but never tried to mess with them. I guess I was lucky based on your info!

    I think I would stick to the garnet gemstone as a gift outside cotton for the lucky couple celebrating their second anniversary. In my world these days, my children are working on their 20th anniversaries already, and myself, it is 42 years (so far)…Time flies, and denoting the passing of years in some manner is always nice, whether 2 years or 50….

    The ideas that you provide will serve readers well, I am not only better informed, but ready for the next cotton anniversary that I might run across. Thanks to you, of course! Appreciated and enjoyed… 

  4. Wow, this is an awesome article. I don’t really pay much attention to an article based on an anniversary, but my friend is about to have his second wedding anniversary and I decided to check out anniversary articles to know a perfect gift to present to him, and have gone through some articles which are not helpful. Am about to give up on reading other articles before I decided to read this article and to my surprise, this is really amazing. This article has really enlightened me and has really met my need. I never had any idea on which flower represents the second anniversary but now I know what gift am going to present to my friend and I will forward this article to my other friends so as to enable them to choose the right gift to present to our other friend who is having is the second anniversary. Thanks for this enlightenment.

    • Hi – thanks for your nice comments and I hope you learnt something new. I am sure your friend will be delighted with your choice of gift. All the best, Diane

  5. Hi Diane, 

    You are never disappointing, always armed with unique and fascinating ideas of perfect gifts for different wedding anniversaries and occasions. 

    The four-piece customized towels remain my favourite. I also love your flower recommendation for each anniversary and what they represent. 

    The second wedding anniversary provides bonding for the couple and an opportunity to renew their marital vows and recommitment.

  6. Hi Diane thank you for this great information.

    My anniversary is getting close and I been looking for ideas to make it special, after reading your post I think my wife, she will love the gemstone jewellery as a gift and I looking to personalize the cotton Canva I think she will love it.

    thank you for this ideas my anniversary will be special.

  7. Hey, Diane! A really awesome article. I learned a lot. And it’s very timely for me. 🙂

    An old friend of mine literally yesterday asked me for ideas on gifts for his and his wife’s anniversary. I believe it’s the second one, but I might be wrong. I’ll have to re-ask him. I’ll probably forward this to him. I bet he had no idea that each anniversary has a designated gemstone.

    In this regard, I believe any jewellery related to the actual gemstone of the anniversary should be an awesome gift. I mean, is there a girl in existence that does not like jewellery? 🙂

    Well, it’s definitely not the wife of his. She likes absolutely everything that’s shiny (well, almost), haha. 🙂

    Thank you! Have a Wonderful Day!


    • Hi Rasa – thanks for dropping by. I am glad you enjoyed the article and now know about gemstones relating to each anniversary. Keep reading for more ideas. All the best, Diane

  8. Wow, I had absolutely no idea of the concepts of this kind. My second anniversary is right around the corner, so this is some really useful information to know. I bet my wife will be so surprised that I’m up to date in regards to this kind of stuff. I had no idea about the gemstone and the flower, the insights are definitely appreciated.

    Loved the explanation on why the second anniversary is regarded as a cotton one. As for the gifts – does the Egyptian cotton bedding come with a heavy price tag? Or is it rather not considered too expensive? I’ve been wanting to set up a really awesome gift, but costing a fortune isn’t something where I’m at right now. 

    All in all a sincere thank you for all the information provided! This helped me a lot.

    Cheers and have a Great One!


    • Hi Matiss – thank you for your comments. I am glad you found it just in time for your second anniversary! I have to say that Egyptian cotton bedding is quite expensive, but I am sure your wife would be delighted with any of the other gifts I have suggested. Enjoy your special day. All the best, Diane

  9. Diane! You wrote  a gift post elegantly, beautifully and festively. When I read it becomes at heart light and joyful. 

    All your ideas are so artistically presented that I do not notice their utilitarian everyday significance. I will not forget also your ideas about the fragrance of the lily of the valley and the garnet bracelet for the young lady when I wait for the marriage of my granddaughters. 

    Thanks for the beauty. Mark

  10. Hello,

    I really loved your very unique, thoughtful and informative article. I had no idea that different years of marriage has more signification outside of the obvious ones (silver and golden). The wedding gift of cotton were great ideas and was endless, which is a testament to them appealing to anyone and to their budgets. In Ancient Egyptian times over 3000 years ago, they really lived a luxurious lifestyle and I felt your article had that feel to it as well, despite some of the gift ideas being in budget range.

    Well written!

    Thank you for the insight and the education!

    All the best,


    • Hi Dwilli – thank you for your kind comments. I am pleased you enjoyed reading all about the traditions of wedding anniversary gifts. All the best, Diane

  11. This is a very interesting read.  I have never paid any attention to what was an appropriate gift for a second wedding anniversary or any anniversary for that matter.  If I had, shopping for wedding anniversary presents would have been much easier.  I especially like the idea of a personalized cotton canvas.  Since I don’t know anyone with an up and coming second anniversary I may just have to purchase for myself. Are you going to go through all of the anniversaries?  I am coming up to my 25th so curious to see what you have to say about that one.

    • Hi Maureen – thank you for your nice comments. Yes, I will be writing about all the anniversaries, with their traditions and appropriate gift suggestions, so keep reading. Congratulations on your upcoming 25th. All the best, Diane

  12. I have been married for 4 years, not even that long and I ran out of ideas! Lol to my defence, we have been together for 9 but married for 4 years is that acceptable? Even though I missed   the cotton gist on the second year, which I have never heard of, maybe I can give him something cotton next year and add a story to it makes it a nice personable thoughtful gift. Wola! Thanks for the rescue.

    Happy holidays 

    • Hi Nuttanee – thank you for dropping by. Hopefully you have found some great gift ideas. I will be adding articles for all the anniversaries, so keep reading and you might find something suitable for your 5th year celebration. All the best, Diane

  13. You have got some great ideas for presents for a Cotton Anniversary, some of them really unusual, and I really like the fact that you have included some really inexpensive ones too. Anyone who is really on a budget, or who maybe do not want to create too much of a precedent for Anniversary gifts, could simply send some beautiful lily of the valley flowers – totally appropriate and with a lovely fragrance. I know that I would be very happy to receive those! I had not realised that there was a flower connected with each anniversary – I am really happy to know that.

    And I love your idea for a reed diffuser which contains cotton, maybe that could be used with some lily of the valley perfume too.

    I am sure you would agree that a simple gift shows that you have remembered the couple, which is probably the most important thing of all.

    Will you in the future be telling us about all the flowers etc which are connected to the various anniversaries? I hope so.

    Many thanks.

    Chrissie 🙂

    • Thank you, Chrissie! I am pleased that you enjoyed reading about the anniversary flowers. And yes, I will be adding posts that explore the other anniversaries and their respective flowers and gemstones. All the best, Diane


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