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.
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!
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.
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!Why I like it:
- A gift you can do together
- Sweet way to immortalize your favorite picture
- A gift that can be used multiple times
Even a man who has everything can never have enough snacks. And what goes great with snacks? Beer. A gift basket of edible items is the perfect way to show him your love without cluttering your home.Why I like it:
- Great option for minimalists
- A non-traditional option for non-traditional couples
- A gift you can both enjoy (if he shares!)
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.
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Despite her dreamy wedding blogger lifestyle, Meredith's day job is running ClassicVeils.com and a full-time mom to an active toddler. If she could, Meredith would spend her days taking cruises, helping animals in need, and watching Big Brother!