I have to say a big congrats on your upcoming first wedding anniversary together! If you’re reading this paper anniversary gift article then it likely means a whole year has flown by since tying the knot. Yay!
For some of you it’s been a series of firsts and adjustments as a newlywed couple, while for others business as usual. Either way, your 1st wedding anniversary (also known as the paper anniversary) marks a milestone in your new married life and deserves a special gift to mark the occasion.
You don’t need me to tell you what to do for your first anniversary celebration … a romantic candle lit dinner and some bubbly come readily to mind. As does exchanging a nice card like the one above.
1st Anniversary Gift Ideas
Giving each other a gift is an obvious way to recognize this special day. A day that will be a little more quiet than this time last year, but a wonderful day nonetheless. Anniversaries mean something different for everyone. Always a good time for a couple to sit back and remember their wedding day as well as take stock of the past 365 days together.
Finding that special gift is usually the hard part.
Hence why you’ve stumbled across this page on your hunt for that perfect gift. We’ve rounded up eleven 1st year anniversary gifts ideas for both him and her that will make your better half feel extra special. Let that honeymoon period last a little longer!
As with most traditions around weddings, there is usually a bit of history and protocol. We’ll let you decide whether or not to follow such traditions. If you are the traditional type (and before you go buying just any old gift), we quickly delve into the traditional theme for the 1st year wedding anniversary gift.
What’s the Traditional First Year Anniversary Gift?
Glad you asked.
Numerous sources tell us that the first year of marriage is symbolically marked with a gift of paper — a material that has been the traditional 1st anniversary gift for over a 100 years.
Well, think about the good old days when paper was handmade and more expensive than today. Instead of going to your local office supply store and buying 500 sheets for nearly nothing, paper was a prized commodity. Sure, it was abundant, but you wouldn’t just go wasting it willy-nilly.
The early years of a marriage (like paper) are fragile yet withstanding. If you handle paper with love and care, that sheet of paper will maintain its written words for a lifetime; handle the paper negligently and it may tear, fade, or break apart into nothing.
Moreso, the metaphor of paper symbolizing a bond and union of a new marriage can be seen in the strength that comes from the interlaced connection of the paper’s individual threads.
Modern First Anniversary Gift
While the traditional first anniversary gift is paper, there’s also a modern option — that of a clock!
Its not a stretch to see why a clock is a suitable symbolic gift: time is precious, just like your relationship. Remember to spend time nurturing your most precious relationship.
We stick with paper in this article and won’t get into any modern anniversary ideas.
Symbolic Flower: Carnation
Vibrant carnations have long been a symbol of young and passionate love. As such, the carnation is a wonderful metaphor for the young, passionate first year together as a married couple. Choose red as a symbol of love and admiration, white for good luck or a combination of different carnation blooms with other accents in a bouquet. While others can wilt quickly, carnations stand the test of time in a vase. They can be enjoyed and admired for up to several weeks.
Symbolic gem: Mother of Pearl
Mother of Pearl is a symbol of protection and traditionally the gem of the first anniversary celebration. It is said to have properties of deepening love and is a very calming, soothing gemstone. Not only is it symbolic of the first year of your marriage, it is also an exquisite stone to look at with its iridescent shine.
Paper Anniversary Gifts for Her
The obvious choice for a first anniversary gift is a nice notebook or a romantic love letter, but we’ve taken it a step further and found some first wedding anniversary gift ideas that offer plenty of playful and romantic fun.
A few of the gifts below can really be considered unisex, so no worries if they’re in the wrong category!
1) Origami Vow Art
Our first gift suggestion calls attention to your vows. Most people who create their own vows never look at them again. They’re meaningful to you and you likely spent a lot of time writing them. Don’t let them hide away in a file on your laptop. Turn them into something special and beautiful like an origami bird, which you can request as a custom order by this Etsy seller.
2) Customized Map
Does the city you got married in mean something to the both of you?
This is a fun idea. Minted lets you create your very own personalized map, which is available in foil-pressed, letterpressed, or in standard printing in a variety of vibrant colors. This would definitely be a great idea for a couple who traveled to their favorite city to get married.
3) A Best Seller Book
Did your bookworm spouse hint that their favorite author just came out with a new thriller? Something hot off the press is definitely in order as a gift.
4) Personal Sketch on Paper
Gift a personal sketch on paper of her wedding dress and your suit. Unique artwork is always appreciated as a gift.
5) Paper Flower Bouquet
The best types of flowers are the ones that don’t need to be watered and that never die.
Paper flowers have been massively popular the last couple years. Buy her a pretty paper flower bouquet that she can display for a long time to come. You could also use it as a centerpiece for your anniversary dinner.
6) The Big Activity Book For Couples
This might be a token gift, but hey, it’s made out of paper!
It’s also chock full of games, puzzles, and quizzes that will entertain and get you a little closer by working through activities together.
7) Tickets to the Theater
Sometime the best gifts given are the ones that can be experienced. Wrap the tickets up in nice paper and take your better half to see a show or concert they’ve been wanting to see for a while.
8) Bouquet of Carnations
by The Bouqs Co
Carnations are one of the longest lasting flowers, so you can be confident she’ll enjoy these flowers over two or three weeks. As a symbol of love, luck, and admiration, a carnation bouquet is a wonderful way to celebrate the mark of your first year as a couple.
9) Mother of Pearl Clover Necklace
She will cherish this delicate mother of pearl necklace as a symbol of love, prosperity, and luck. Want to save time for future anniversaries or special occasions? Purchase a complimentary necklace in a different metal color for that layered style that has been steadily trending in jewelry looks.
Paper Anniversary Gifts for Him
There could’ve been a few more anniversary gifts for him on this list — the type that satisfy as only an anniversary can. See number two on this list and you can imagine that this list would be a mile long! We’ll let you come up with some additional ones on your own.
1) Make a Photobook
It’s been a year with some pretty big moments. Make a personal photobook keepsake of your fist year together — starting with your wedding and honeymoon, and completing the photobook with all the moments over the last year.
2) Love Coupons
Let your imagination run wild with ideas, and bring your sexy fantasies to reality with a book of Sexy Adult Love Coupons. Perhaps the ultimate gift that keeps on giving. 😉
3) Wedding Sounds Art
by Canvas Vows
Chances are your wedding night first dance song is a favorite for both of you. We love this idea of taking the song you played as your first dance and turning it into a sound wave. Visually appealing, it will bring back wonderful memories everything time you look at it.
4) Magazine Subscription
Okay, this one may not top the romance meter, but sometimes a practical gift is just as meaningful.
If your husband is anything like mine, he would be thrilled to receive a year long subscription to Wine Spectator accompanied by a bottle of fine wine!
5) Piece of Art
You may find yourself in a position as newlyweds of paying off the wedding. Which means that your interior decorating budget may be a bit lacking.
Why not save up and mark the occasion by giving a beautiful piece of art to make your house feel like a home.
6) Boudoir Photo Box
What man wouldn’t want a beautiful linen box that features his wife in a boudoir photo shoot?
If you’re comfortable with the idea of a boudoir shoot, consider this option to elegantly showcase your sexy photos.
Ideas to Celebrate Your 1st Anniversary
Stumped for ideas on how to spend your 1st anniversary day? In this last section we’ve got a quick roundup of ideas to celebrate:
- Eat the top tier of your wedding cake in a romantic spot
- Relive the day by viewing your wedding video or looking through your wedding album
- Plan a dinner at the same venue that you held your wedding reception
- Go for a picnic with paper plates and cups
- Create paper love notes to lead your spouse around the house on a special treasure hunt
- Find a photographer and plan an anniversary photo shoot. Check out how these creative couples celebrated their first year anniversary
We hope this article has inspired you to find the perfect 1st year anniversary gift for your partner.
You don’t have to spend a fortune on a gift to make it meaningful. Many of the gift ideas above are both budget friendly and allow for customization. When in doubt, get creative: grab some paper and write a beautiful love letter. Trust me, it will be as meaningful as any gift you buy!
Your marriage is in its infancy and the groundwork lay now will help solidify a happy and successful union. Three hundred and sixty five days down, and a lifetime of happiness to go!
Until next year (hint: it’s Cotton), thanks for checking out our list of paper anniversary gift ideas.