You made it, congrats on your first 365 days of marriage! Such a momentous occasion is cause for celebration. From the traditional first-year anniversary gift of paper to keepsakes with a modern twist, these gift ideas are sure to say, “I love you.”
Alternatively, if you’re a friend or family member looking to congratulate the newlyweds on their first year of marriage, we have a few gift ideas for you too.
What Is the First Year Anniversary Gift?
Traditionally couples exchange a symbolic gift for each year of marriage. A present is given every year up until the 20th anniversary when couples swap to gifting every five years instead.
The Traditional Gift
The traditional first-anniversary gift is paper. While it might sound kind of random, there’s a lot of symbolism behind this choice. Paper serves as a reminder that your life together is a blank slate. A couple writes their unique story together, page by page. The 1st wedding anniversary represents the completion of the first “chapter” in a marriage.
What’s more, paper is fragile, similar to a new marriage. This is a reminder that while your relationship is strong, it will require work to keep it that way.
The Modern Gift
The modern first-anniversary gift is a clock. Similar in sentiment, a clock represents the passage of time. Isn’t it funny how quickly that first year together flew by? With time comes good times and bad times, but most importantly, time together is time well spent.
First Anniversary Flower
We bet you didn’t know that each anniversary has its own flower. That’s right, the carnation is the official flower of the first anniversary representing youthful, passionate love.
First Anniversary Gemstone
Each anniversary can also be celebrated using a corresponding gemstone. Similar to the abovementioned traditions, years one through 10 of marriage are each represented by a gemstone or metal.
According to the Gemological Institute of America (GIA), gold - the metal - and golden-colored gemstones are used to symbolize the golden glow of your first year as a married couple. This includes stones like citrine, yellow topaz, golden South Sea cultured pearls, amber, zircon and yellow sapphire.
First Anniversary Tradition
If you froze a portion of your wedding cake now’s the time to enjoy it. Traditionally speaking, a preserved wedding cake is to be busted out in celebration of two occasions - your one-year anniversary or your first child’s christening.
If the thought of taking a bite from a year-old cake gives you the heebie-jeebies have no fear. Contact a local bakery instead for a personalized treat perfect for celebrating your special day.
One-Year Anniversary Gifts Ideas
Paper Anniversary Gifts
- Photo Book
Look back on the big day with a scrapbook or photo album that showcases your favorite wedding photos. This gift idea is simple yet sweet and your spouse will love reminiscing with you as you relive your wedding day.
- Wedding Vows
Make your partner swoon with a framed copy of your wedding vows. This memento will transport you back to the moment that you said, “I do,” every time you see it.
- Paper Flowers
A fresh take on the traditional bouquet, paper flowers will never wilt. Just like your love.
Impress your partner with the gift of origami. Are you lacking in the DIY department? No worries, check out sites like Etsy for creative takes on this beloved Japanese art style.
- Art Print
Speaking of Etsy, another great gift option is a custom art print. Search the site for an artist or shop that fits your style and ask if they’re open to commissions. Then surprise your other half with something creative like a custom star map, a one-of-a-kind portrait or a cutesy print.
- Love Letter
There’s no going wrong with a classic love letter. Sentimental and straight from the heart, let your partner know that you adore them today just as much as you did the day that you tied the knot.
Clock Anniversary Gifts
- Wall Clock
A fabulous gift for the happy homemaker, a stylish wall clock will both brighten your living space and remind you of your successful first year of marriage every time that you look at it.
A chic wristwatch is always in style. Alternatively, gift your other half a smartwatch so that they can be on top of the trends and always connected.
- Alarm Clock
If they need a little extra help getting started in the morning an alarm clock could make for the perfect first-anniversary gift. Stick with the traditional digital clock or opt for something a little more modern like a sunrise clock that gradually illuminates as the alarm draws nearer.
Non-Traditional Anniversary Gifts
- Custom Drinkware
What would an anniversary be with a celebratory drink or two? Whiskey, wine or beer, no matter your poison, there’s a set of customizable glasses waiting for you. Again, Etsy is a great resource for this.
Sometimes nothing can beat the gift of food. From chocolates and wine to hot sauce and beer, something snacky is always a good choice. For a foodie-inclined gift that keeps on giving sign your partner up for a monthly subscription box like Hello Fresh, SnackCrate or Bright Cellars.
Who says that you can’t have a second honeymoon? Celebrate your first year of marriage with a getaway to a destination that’s been on your bucket list. If a globetrotting adventure isn’t in the cards (or in your budget) that’s ok. Instead, plan a domestic voyage to a National Park, nearby state or somewhere local. The important thing is that you’re spending time together.
- Spa Day
Who doesn’t love a good spa day? Dedicate some time to relax with a couples massage. You’ll be surprised how amazing some deep tissue work feels paired with fluffy robes and zen music.
One-Year Anniversary Gifts for Them
- Toilet Paper
Cheeky, we know, but toilet paper is the perfect first wedding anniversary gift for the couple who loves a good laugh. It satisfies the traditional gift of paper and is rather practical. If grabbing a 12 pack of TP from your local supermarket doesn’t feel formal enough consider an embroidered roll from a shop like Can’t Sit Still Crafts on Etsy.
- The Gift of Experience
Time together is more valuable than anything money can buy. Bring the happy couple closer together with the gift of experience. Think cooking classes, salsa lessons or a paint night at a local art bar.
- Photo Printer
For the couple that’s always posting the cutest selfies, gift them a photo printer so that they can bring all of the great pictures that have been living on their phones to the real world. Bonus: Amazon’s Lifeprint photo printer is hooked up to a global printer network so they’ll be able to share their pictures with friends and family with the click of a button.