These 16-Year Wedding Anniversary Gifts Are Sweet and Symbolic (2023)

From luxury candles to silver servingware, there's something for everyone.

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We hear congratulations are in order! You (or your friends) have reached 16 years of marriage—and what better way to celebrate than with a thoughtful 16-year anniversary gift? After spending the last decade-plus coming up with the perfect present, you may find yourself stumped on what to get your spouse or the special couple celebrating this milestone. Don't worry, we're here to help. Whether you want a gift that fits the 16th anniversary's traditional theme (wax) or modern theme (silver holloware) or are looking for something totally out-of-the-box, we have all the inspiration you need to make it a celebration to remember.

In this article:

  • What Is the 16-Year Anniversary Gift?
  • Wax Anniversary Gifts
  • Silver Holloware Anniversary Gifts
  • Alternative 16-Year Anniversary Gifts

    What Is the 16-Year Anniversary Gift?

    Traditional 16th Anniversary Gift: Wax

    The traditional 16th anniversary gift is wax, which represents the passion and romance a couple shares (cue that steamy Bridgerton quote, "I burn for you"). After 16 years together, you've carefully kindled a flame that will only continue to grow. While candle anniversary gifts may be your first thought when you hear the phrase "wax," there are a lot of creative ways to nod to the wax theme.

    Modern 16th Anniversary Gift: Silver Holloware

    The modern 16-year anniversary gift is silver holloware. Don't let the word "holloware" scare you—it just refers to metal (in this case, silver) serveware that isn't flatware. Basically, bowls, trays and even teapots are all fair game. Silver holloware serves (see what we did there?) as a symbol of the unity you share in everyday life.

    Other Symbolic 16th Anniversary Themes

    Every wedding anniversary is also associated with a specific gemstone, color and flower, giving you even more symbolic gifts to choose from. The 16th anniversary's stone is the green-hued peridot, a gorgeous gemstone representing undying love and devotion (fitting, right?). Complementary to the gemstone and the modern gifting material, the 16-year anniversary has two official colors: emerald, which stands for harmony, and silver, which represents success. Last—but certainly not least—there's the milestone's official flower, the statice. Also known as sea lavender, these bitsy blooms come in a slew of colorful hues and symbolize remembrance, encouraging couples to spend some time reflecting on all the moments that led them to this milestone. Gift these flowers with a photo album for a sweet way to mark the last 16 years of wedded bliss.

    All that said, you definitely aren't required to keep with tradition for the 16th anniversary. In fact, we've included alternative gift ideas in our roundup to tempt you off the traditional path. At the end of the day, it's all about choosing something you know your S.O. (or the dynamic duo you're shopping for) will love.

    Wax Anniversary Gifts

    From candles (and candle-making classes) to a waxed jacket, these are the best wax-themed anniversary gift ideas for your wife, husband or favorite couple.

    Anniversary Map Candle

    These 16-Year Wedding Anniversary Gifts Are Sweet and Symbolic (1)

    Pop the bubbly—or, well, light the candle—it's time to celebrate your anniversary! This champagne-scented candle perfectly encapsulates the wax anniversary meaning. The lid says "Burning bright since [your wedding year]," with a custom label that depicts a location, date and your names. Even when the candle runs out, your spouse or the happy couple will want to keep the jar as a small memento of this milestone.

    Silver Glass Jar Candle

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    You may know Anthropologie as a clothing brand, but they also offer a ton of chic home decor items, including their popular Capri Blue Volcano candles (fun fact: this is basically the "official" store scent!). The formula features notes of tropical fruits, sugared oranges, lemons, limes and mountain greens for a fresh and sweet scent that will continue to fill the room even after you blow out the flame. Best of all, it comes in a captivating silver speckled glass jar to mix the traditional and modern 16-year anniversary gifts.

    Destination Candle

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    Did you know scent is strongly associated with memory? Gift your spouse a candle with a fragrance reminiscent of a special moment in your relationship for an extra touch of "aww" this anniversary. For example, if you honeymooned in the Bahamas, a soft blend of juicy pineapple and coconut will take them right back to relaxing on that sandy beach with you. Homesick makes candles designed to smell like a host of specific locations, so you can choose almost any city, state, country or even sports stadium that means a lot to you and your spouse.

    Flannel-Lined Waxed Jacket

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    Traditional 16th anniversary gifts aren't limited to just candles. If you're not sure your spouse would like a wax candle, how about a wax jacket instead? This flannel-lined waxed canvas jacket will quickly become your partner's favorite outerwear, thanks to its versatile and timeless style. The exterior is designed to lighten over time in the creases to make a truly personal piece you'll have to beg to borrow.

    Wax Seal Stamp Kit

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    If your spouse is constantly running to the craft store to undertake a new hobby, they'll revel at the chance to try their hand at creating wax seals. The heirloom-worthy touch actually dates back to some of the earliest known civilizations like Indus Valley and Mesopotamia (that's 330 BCE and 150 BCE respectively). All leading to today where it has become a staple on bespoke wedding (or anniversary party) invites. This kit comes with a stamp, wax warmer, tweezers, tea candles, two metallic pens and hundreds of wax beads so they can seal envelopes in style. Maybe they'll write you a love letter fastened with a custom wax seal to say thanks for this creative 16th anniversary gift.

    Custom Candle Set

    These hand-poured Parisian candles from the popular brand Diptyque are made of high-quality paraffin wax and synthetic-free fragrances for a luxurious 16th wedding anniversary gift. Choose from upwards of 50 iconic scents to build your spouse (or the deserving couple) a box set of three small candles you know they'll love. Take it from us, you can't go wrong with Diptyque's signature floral Baies scent, as well as their Fig Tree and Roses Candle.

    Wine-Scented Candles

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    What's more romantic than a candlelit dinner with a bottle of wine? Whether your partner loves reds, whites or champagne, there's an eco-friendly candle to match their drink of choice. Discarded wine bottles are cleaned, cut down by hand and filled with long-lasting soy wax. Each scent is a nod to the different wine varieties: cabernet, champagne, chardonnay, rosé and pinot grigio. Light it as a toast to 16 years together—paired with their favorite vino, of course.

    Candle Care Set

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    If there's already a candle on every tabletop in your home, bend the wax theme a smidge to ensure proper care of their existing collection of flames. This care set comes with a wick trimmer, a snuffer, a wick dipper and a convenient tray so their candles will last longer and burn safely. Plus, it's available in four chic colors: matte black, rose gold, yellow gold and silver (aka the 16-year anniversary's color).

    Candle Making Class

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    Looking for a creative date idea to celebrate your 16th wedding anniversary? Try your hand at candle making. This kit doesn't just come with all the tools you need for three homemade lavender-scented candles—it also comes with access to a virtual class that will walk you through the whole process.

    Wax Museum Tickets

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    This 16-year anniversary gift takes the wax anniversary theme all the way with tickets to Madame Tussauds wax museum. It's located in seven major cities around the country, so you can even plan an anniversary trip around the experience. Once there, you can marvel at the lifelike statues throughout the exhibit, which include iconic singers (selfie with Taylor Swift, anyone?), popular sports figures and even Marvel superheroes. Plus, you can snap a pic with your favorite celeb in the most glamorous settings: on a television talk show set, the red carpet or the Oval Office. How fun is that?

    Hidden Message Candle

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    Looking for a candle anniversary gift with an extra touch of romance? Wish fulfilled. This candle reveals a custom message (like "I love you") once it's been burned for about an hour. From the font to the scent, it can be fully personalized for a 16th wedding anniversary gift unique to your one-of-a-kind spouse.

    $25 | Etsy

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    Lip Care Gift Set

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    If you thought makeup wouldn't fit the wax theme, think again. Burt's Bees lip balm is made from natural, responsibly sourced beeswax for a moisturizing cosmetic that may just lead to extra smooches. This gift set pairs the brand's classic chapstick with a tinted balm and a lip shimmer for a nourishing and beautiful lip care routine. Plan an anniversary dinner date for them to flaunt their new lipstick.

    Waxed Canvas Briefcase

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    Is it time for your spouse to head back to the office? Outfit them with a stylish leather and waxed canvas briefcase in one of the 16-year anniversary colors: emerald green. This bag is deceivingly spacious, with an expandable interior that boasts a laptop pocket as well as two exterior zippered pockets. It's waterproof and has a padded shoulder strap, so it's even a practical option if they walk to work.

    Autumn-Scented Candles

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    Meet the internet's latest obsession: Otherland candles. Their artsy designs, poignant fragrances and toxin-free wax have made them skyrocket in popularity. Pick a bundle of three—we're obsessed with the autumn-scented set of Berkshire Granola, Woodlands and Spice It Up—or give a gift card so the recipient can take their unique scent quiz to find out what Otherland candles are best for them.

    Silver Holloware Anniversary Gifts

    The modern 16th anniversary gift might not sound familiar, but you'll love all the gifting possibilities. Upgrade your partner or favorite couple's tableware so they'll be inspired to plan a food-focused anniversary celebration.

    Heart-Shaped Bowl

    Heart motifs will never go out of style as a way to show your love for someone. The subtle shape of this silver alloy serving bowl is a lovely tribute to this special anniversary and will surely be the star of their table centerpieces.

    Brushed Silver Turntable

    These 16-Year Wedding Anniversary Gifts Are Sweet and Symbolic (16)

    Of all the silver holloware gift ideas, this is by far the most practical—no more knocking over the salt and pepper as you reach for side dishes! This turntable will let your recipients store, serve and pass food, spices or condiments with ease. The brushed stainless steel finish is simple yet sleek and will go with any table setting.

    Stainless Steel Cheese Knives

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    While silver holloware excludes flatware, serving utensils are totally on theme. Give their charcuterie spread an upgrade with this sleek stainless steel cheese knife set. The silver color commemorates the important relationship milestone and will remind them of this special day every time they use it. A cheesy sentiment? Maybe—but we're ok with that.

    Monogrammed Wine Cooler

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    Help the couple of honor cheers to their anniversary with this chic wine chiller. Crafted from stainless steel with an ultra-shiny silver finish, this slim design will keep their bottles cold for hours. Our favorite part? You can get it monogrammed with their initials for a thoughtful touch. Pair it with their favorite bottle of pinot so they can get to toasting right away.

    Olive Oil Dispenser

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    Anniversaries are a great time to gift your spouse something they wouldn't buy themselves, but will certainly love—like this silver olive oil dispenser. The handy pour cap will measure the flow of oil as it's poured so they'll never waste a drop. They can keep it by the stovetop while they're cooking, then move it to the table to impress guests with their serveware and pro-worthy Italian cooking. Bonus: The stainless steel container means their fancy EVOO won't oxidize even if it's left on the counter.

    Whistling Kettle

    These 16-Year Wedding Anniversary Gifts Are Sweet and Symbolic (20)

    We consider anything chic enough to be left out on the counter silver holloware—so pretty much anything stainless steel from Le Creuset. This contemporary tea kettle will quickly become their favorite way to prepare their morning brew. It has a wide base for quick heating, a locking handle with a comfortable grip and a fixed whistle cap that easily flips open when pouring. Plus, the lustrous silver color is perfectly on-theme to the modern 16th anniversary gift.

    Personalized Serving Platter

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    Couples who entertain should never be short on serving trays—and this one will really impress guests. Handcrafted from recycled sandcastle aluminum, this polished silver tray can be personalized with any initial, name or line of text. Just make sure they know to hand-wash it so it stays clean and shiny for another 16 years.

    Hugging Salt and Pepper Shakers

    These 16-Year Wedding Anniversary Gifts Are Sweet and Symbolic (22)

    This two-piece salt and pepper shaker set is literally named "Hug" because the hourglass-shaped bottles fit together in a sweet embrace—how perfect for a wedding anniversary gift? The silver alloy material only makes it that much more fitting of a present for the 16th anniversary.

    Silver Cake Knife and Server

    These 16-Year Wedding Anniversary Gifts Are Sweet and Symbolic (23)

    Pro tip: Gift this cake serving set with a decadent anniversary cake to really wow your spouse or friends. This elegant knife duo is made from hand-forged stainless steel for a silver tableware essential that feels at home at any celebration.

    Silver Floral Trivet Tray

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    Coming in hot! This beautiful metal trivet (aka a buffer between hot dishes and your tabletop or counter) comes from Michael Aram's White Orchid collection of tableware. It is stunningly detailed with orchids for a tray that's, quite frankly, almost too beautiful to be covered with a hot plate.

    Alternative 16-Year Anniversary Gifts

    If neither the traditional- nor the modern-themed gifts feel right for your loved ones, try something else for this special occasion. We rounded up almost a dozen unique gifts to celebrate your 16th anniversary.

    Cotton Bathrobe

    Snuggle like you mean it with a set (that's right, we recommend you buy two) of cotton bathrobes. This super-soft style from Parachute is made of 100% Turkish cotton for a lightweight and cozy feel. It comes in a variety of chic colors, like cream, mulberry and amber, so you can each distinctively have your own.

    Twisted Chain Bracelet

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    If you're looking for a silver anniversary gift that isn't holloware to honor the 16th anniversary's color, you can't go wrong with jewelry. This delicate sterling silver twisted chain bracelet is simple yet classic and easy to layer alongside other favorite pieces. If silver isn't their metal of choice, it also comes in 18K gold or rose gold-plated vermeil.

    Plush Blanket

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    ICYMI, UGGs are trendy again. If you liked them on your feet in the mid-2000s, you'll love them as a cozy blanket. Gift the happy couple this ultra-plush, ultra-cozy throw to make their couch or bed much more inviting after a long day.

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    Emerald and Copper Wall Clock

    These 16-Year Wedding Anniversary Gifts Are Sweet and Symbolic (28)

    They won't want to add a Zoom background on video calls when they have this stunning emerald green clock hanging in their home office. It's the perfect way to tell them you love them, even after all this time. Plus, it's a clever means of incorporating the emerald tones of the 16-year anniversary's traditional color.

    Heavy Duty Apron

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    If your partner takes cooking very seriously, this is the ultimate 16-year anniversary gift for him or her. Hedley & Bennett aprons are trusted by the top chefs around the world, so your love will look (and feel) just like a professional in their own kitchen. The thick canvas fabric comes in a range of neutral colors, but this golden brown fabric with navy straps is a bestseller.

    Essential Spices Collection

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    Speaking of cooking, experienced and beginner chefs alike will love to receive this dynamic set of 24 essential spices. From Sweet California Basil to Saigon Vietnamese Cassia Cinnamon and Hungarian Paprika, this do-it-all (or should we say cook-it-all?) collection of high-quality, fragrant spices will instantly upgrade any home-cooked dish. Our suggestion? Gift this set early in the day on your anniversary to inspire the night's dinner plans.

    Statice Petal Resin Ring

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    How about honoring a lesser-known—but still special—anniversary theme: the 16th wedding anniversary flower, statice. This gorgeous resin ring is made with pink and purple dried statice petals (plus silver or gold flakes for some sparkle) for a unique and feminine piece of jewelry. (FYI: The seller makes lots of other statice flower jewelry, including earrings and necklaces.)

    Shea Butter Soap Set

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    Pamper your spouse with this nourishing shea butter bath soap set. It comes with four 100% vegan bars of soap in various earthy scents like Sandalwood & Cedar and Fern & Moss. You can even add a custom message to the gift box so you don't need a card or wrapping paper.

    Photo Book

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    Here's a sentimental 16-year anniversary gift idea: Secretly take photos off your spouse's phone and print them in a hardcover book. The fabric binding on this design is custom stamped with a foiled title like "The last 16 years." They'll definitely put this front and center on the bookshelf.

    Peridot Stud Earrings

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    Dazzle your spouse with a pair of peridot (the 16th anniversary gemstone!) stud earrings in a four-prong silver setting. Considering the stone is a symbol of devotion, there's no doubt your spouse will be reminded of your love every time they wear them. Plan a special outing for them to dazzle in these gorgeous earrings.

    Wooden Reading Valet

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    Married to a book lover? This wooden valet will save their spot (without breaking the book's spine) as well as hold their glasses, beverage and phone. They can carry it around the house with them or leave it on the bedside table to organize all their reading essentials.

    FAQs

    What symbolizes 16th anniversary? ›

    The 16th anniversary's stone is the green-hued peridot, a gorgeous gemstone representing undying love and devotion (fitting, right?). Complementary to the gemstone and the modern gifting material, the 16-year anniversary has two official colors: emerald, which stands for harmony, and silver, which represents success.

    What gift do you give for 16 years of marriage? ›

    The traditional gift is wax (think candles, wax seals, and more) and the modern gift is silver holloware. (metal serving pieces like bowls, serving trays, or teapots).

    What is 16 years of marriage called? ›

    Traditionally, the 16th year of marriage is the wax anniversary. That likely ignites thoughts of candles and other fiery accessories, which all make for great gifts. If you want to go a more modern route, you can choose silver holloware, which is a term that refers to almost any silver tableware except flatware.

    Why is 16 years special? ›

    For many American youths, 16 is probably the most important birthday they'll celebrate before they reach legal adulthood. At 16, a young person can get a driver's license and a job—and, more importantly, they can enjoy the freedom and be expected to cope with the responsibilities that come with both.

    What does a sweet sixteen symbolize? ›

    Sweet 16 represents a period in a teenager's life when she inevitably shifts into young adulthood. Previously known as a debutante party that originated in the Victorian era, a Sweet 16 party was a way to present a young woman to society in hopes of finding a suitable husband.

    What kind of gift do you give for a Sweet 16? ›

    Common Questions About Sweet 16 Gifts

    Traditionally, the 16th birthday honoree receives jewelry as a gift. The item could be a birthday tiara, bracelet, necklace, or ring. As there are more and more shops offering personalization services, you can buy custom jewelry for a more personal present.

    What are sweet 16 gifts? ›

    The following sweet 16 gift ideas make excellent gifts for a teenage niece, no matter her interests or style.
    • Personalized Candles.
    • Travel Mug.
    • Customized Journal or Notebook.
    • Custom iPhone (or Android) Case.
    • Keepsake Box.
    • Personalized Laptop Case.
    • Custom Keychain with Surprise.
    • Pencil Case Gift Holder.
    25 Feb 2022

    What is a typical sweet 16 gift? ›

    The sweet 16 is a time when the birthday honoree often receives jewelry as a gift. In some circles, a birthday tiara is a traditional sweet 16 gift, and it may be made of real jewels or faux stones, depending on the gift budget. Family members often bestow other jewelry such as a bracelet or specially designed ring.

    What Stone is 16 years of marriage? ›

    16th Wedding Anniversary Gemstone: Peridot

    Today, the United States, China, Vietnam, Finland, Pakistan and Myanmar are important peridot sources. Peridot is usually yellowish green to greenish yellow. Yellowish green is the most common color seen in jewelry.

    What is the color for 16th wedding anniversary? ›

    16th Anniversary: Emerald Green, Red, or Silver. 17th Anniversary: Yellow.

    What is the best message for anniversary? ›

    Anniversary Messages For A Couple
    • Congratulations on another year spent together. ...
    • Cheers to two imperfect pieces that fit perfectly together.
    • You two weirdos are perfect for each other.
    • Sending love to our favorite couple on their anniversary!
    • Wishing you an anniversary as special as the love you two share.
    23 Sept 2022

    What is age 16 called? ›

    Adolescence (15-17 years old) | CDC.

    What do the candles mean for a Sweet 16? ›

    The candles represent 16 people or groups of people who are important to the girl celebrating her 16th birthday. A 17th candle is optional and represents good luck.

    When did Sweet 16 become a thing? ›

    Sweet Sixteens have been around since the 1970s, when they began to replace debutante balls in many areas, but they've had a resurgence in recent years. Most American teenagers are familiar with the Sweet Sixteen party, or at least some version of it.

    What Stone is 16 years of marriage? ›

    16th Wedding Anniversary Gemstone: Peridot

    Today, the United States, China, Vietnam, Finland, Pakistan and Myanmar are important peridot sources. Peridot is usually yellowish green to greenish yellow. Yellowish green is the most common color seen in jewelry.

    What flower is for 16 year anniversary? ›

    Flower: The 16th anniversary flower is the statice, a beautiful blossom that represents enduring beauty and success. It reminds the happy pair to continue to be thoughtful and considerate of each other to preserve the success of their marriage.

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