Gifting: Decoded…1st Wedding Anniversary

Every once in a while I give a gift and can see that the recipient is truly thrilled to have gotten it.  It’s one of the best feelings ever – like, “I won!”  It’s not always easy to buy the perfect present so I’ve assembled some themed gift guides to help you out.

365 days of wedded bliss merits a great gift.  I hope you enjoy this guide for first wedding anniversary gifts!

My beau is a reeeeally good gift giver.  Honestly, next to him, my gifts always look super lame.  I’m pretty sure I’ve only gotten him one gift that he really liked, and that was on our wedding day.  Since my record isn’t stellar, I really wanted to get him something good for our first anniversary.  I typically prefer to celebrate anniversaries without traditional gifts – simply sharing an experience like a nice meal always seemed best.  That said, one year of marriage is a pretty big milestone, and I thought it deserved to be celebrated with a proper gift so that my husband could know just how happy I am that we have taken this journey together.

first anniversary gift

I’m a sucker for traditions, so I wanted to build this gift around the traditional first anniversary gift: paper.  Immediately, my mind went towards an album.  I’ve mentioned my love for Artifact Uprising before (here and here) so I naturally went straight there to build an album of our first year of marriage.  I was pretty sure Albert would like this gift because he always mentions how cool it is that his cousin gets a photo book from his wife every year for Christmas.  But that got me thinking…how great would it be to document each year of our marriage?!  Rather than a book for each calendar year, we can have an album for each year of married life, running April through March.  I loved the idea of one day having this annual collection to look back at.  But if I do it every year, it’s not really special to this anniversary, is it?  I had to do more, something unique to anni numero uno.

first anniversary gift1
I can’t believe how perfectly she captured us!

The main paper-based gift I decided to give was a watercolor rendition of one of our wedding photos.  It’s painted on paper so it fits in with the theme and is something that we can pass by everyday in our home.  After ordering it, I found out it would be coming from Italy, a special bonus as it can be a reminder of our honeymoon there.

I did throw one last paper gift into the card: a few lottery tickets since we’re so lucky in love!

first anniversary gift2
I loved receiving progress reports from the artist so I could see how the piece was coming along

So there you have it: THREE paper gift ideas for your first wedding anniversary.  You don’t have to give all of them at once like I did; I just got a little overzealous.  These are also pretty gender-neutral so any one of them would be perfect for either a husband or a wife.  BUT just in case none of these feel quite right, some other paper ideas are:

  • Tickets: to a concert, an exhibition, a Broadway show, football game, or a flight
  • Memento: Frame something paper-related from your wedding day, whether it’s the invitation, the front page of that day’s newspaper, or sheet music from your first dance song
  • Artwork: If a watercolor version of your wedding photo isn’t exactly your style, you can still get a piece of artwork, maybe a custom map with special locations highlighted or a custom bridal bouquet painting (this is a great wedding gift for a friend, too)
  • Menu: Print out a menu from a nice restaurant to let your spouse know where you’ll be going for a fancy anniversary dinner
  • Books: Books are great for any occasion, IMO.  You can go with decorative ones like these or simply gift a bunch of books you know your spouse would enjoy.  You could also make your own collection of books with significant, romantic titles like Modern Romance, Modern Lovers, The Opposite of Lonliness, and Luckiest Girl Alive.