inspiration, living

First Wedding Anniversary Gift Ideas

May 26, 2014

first anniversary gift ideas

The tradition of offering a specific, symbolic gift for each wedding anniversary has been around for centuries. The order of these gifts represents the strengthening of a marriage relationship and celebrates a couple’s investment of time and commitment.

A twenty-fifth wedding anniversary calls for silver, while couples fortunate enough to make it to their fiftieth year, receive gold. But what’s in store for newlyweds marking their first year of marriage? The traditional gift is paper, which signifies ideas and symbols.

My first wedding anniversary has arrived and my husband and I will be putting together an album with some of our favorite images from the big day such as the one above, as well as more of our most beloved moments like those seen here on Style Me Pretty!

It was hard to nail down a single paper gift because there are so many imaginative ways to interpret the custom. In case you happen to be celebrating that first, sweet year as husband and wife and are stumped by the paper gift, here are some inspired ideas to get you started.

*Update: You can now read the second installment of this post here: Second Wedding Anniversary Gift Ideas.

1. Tickets to an event.
2. A plane ticket or a printed itinerary for a vacation or trip.
3. An extra large print of a meaningful image.
4. A book that’s significant to your spouse. An e-reader is a fun twist to this gift.
5. A handwritten letter.
6. An album of your wedding images.
7. A tree or plant that can grow in your garden.
8. A map that you can mark with your future travel aspirations.
9. A scrapbook that you can make together.
10. Gift certificates.
11. A framed printed version of your wedding vows.
12. A painting.
13. A license, pass, or membership such as a fishing license or gym membership.
14. Do a photo-shoot together and get the images printed or make an album. Or, do a boudoir photo shoot for your significant other’s eyes only.
15. A journal. Keep a journal of your first year of marriage and then present it to your spouse for your anniversary.
16. A card. Handwritten sentiments are always the best.
17. A subscription to your spouse’s favorite publication.
18. New stationary.
19. A craft that you can do together like a paper mosaic or a collage.
20. A thoughtful poem.
21. A sketch made from a scene of your wedding.
22. Handmade paper flowers.
23. Paper goods for the home. Many companies make very unique items out of recycled materials.
24. A printed music sheet of your first dance song—this is great for those who play an instrument.
25. The deed to a house or another purchase you’ve made together.

Anniversaries are a time for reflection, sharing memories, and strengthening relationships. But, giving a small token of appreciation to your loved one is a fun way to commemorate the years gone by. Happy anniversary to all the couples out there!

You Might Also Like


  • Reply Xandra ★ May 27, 2014 at 3:38 pm

    Such creative ideas! You can go so many ways with paper.

  • Reply Larry June 8, 2014 at 3:01 pm

    Great ideas, thanks! I will stow this away for a day that I may have need.

  • Reply Anu September 29, 2014 at 2:15 pm

    My girlfriend in India got a paper gift certificate for an anniversary sundial from her husband. I thought it was a clever way to give a gift from both the modern and traditional first anniversary lists in one gift. They had their sundial made for Chennai and it now sits on their window sill and makes rainbow colors in their room whenever the sun shines. Brilliant!

    • Reply Valerie Sarron October 5, 2014 at 10:22 pm

      That sounds like a great gift idea, thanks for sharing!

      • Reply Anu Prakash February 17, 2015 at 9:04 pm

        Valerie, after hearing me tell some friends about my girlfriend’s anniversary gift, my husband got me one of the rainbow sundials for our anniversary. Now we have one too, and it is awesome…it is making a big rainbow on our floor as I am writing this!

  • Reply Brent Kozlowski October 10, 2014 at 9:52 pm

    Valerie, I love your list of first anniversary gift ideas! You forgot about us though and I know your readers will love us 🙂 allows you to dedicate a special day (Anniversary) to your love and is a super sentimental first anniversary gift that blends the traditional (paper) with the modern (clock). You can visit us at 🙂

    • Reply Bonnie C. December 26, 2014 at 12:28 pm

      I got one of these rainbow anniversary sundials from my husband for our anniversary a few years ago. We had them add a special line to it that the time shadow follows on our special day each year, and it is fun to visually be able to see the shadow get closer and closer each day as our anniversary approaches. It was a great idea!

  • Reply Michael Newhall October 20, 2014 at 3:31 am

    Such a Great and Creative Anniversary gift ideas. Thanks for sharing! On my first anniversary I have gifted her the beautiful and lovely memories of our relationship in the photo collage!

  • Reply Tanya October 26, 2014 at 8:33 pm

    My fiance has created a really cool personalized first anniversary gift where you “dedicate the day” for the couple on a national registry and then you get this beautifully framed certificate. Whenever we have personally given the gift to someone, they love it!

  • Reply Anup Solanki April 10, 2015 at 11:58 am

    These are the best gift ideas I ever thought about, so last year I gifted the diamond necklace for my wife and she got happy by having the beautiful designer necklace. So, we can also add this option in our list of gifts.

  • Reply Destination: Manuel Antonio, Costa RicaThe Sweet Seed April 21, 2015 at 6:41 pm

    […] Antonio is an especially idyllic location for a wedding. This sweet spot in Costa Rica boasts a beautiful, picturesque mix of rain forest, mountain […]

  • Reply Wedding Guest Dresses for Any OccasionThe Sweet Seed May 1, 2015 at 4:21 pm

    […] the mass of preciously packaged invitations piling up in my mailbox, I can say with confidence that wedding season is near. And while so many of my dear friends prepare to say “I do,” I plan on stepping up my […]

  • Reply Editor's Note: May 2015The Sweet Seed May 7, 2015 at 9:02 pm

    […] but a few very meaningful occasions pop up in May–including Mother’s Day and my wedding anniversary! Yes, there’s something especially sweet about this […]

  • Reply Second Wedding Anniversary Gift IdeasThe Sweet Seed May 19, 2015 at 8:36 pm

    […] of you enjoyed my post from last year, First Wedding Anniversary Gift Ideas. This May marks my second anniversary as a married woman and I’d love to once again share a […]

  • Reply Casey May 21, 2015 at 7:24 am

    Although they are not as common as they used to be before,
    Valentines Day gifts remain a popular habit among your couples.
    Try this: Google “unique gifts” or “cool gifts” and see what you
    get. For those who are technologically challenged, that’s texting shorthand for “best friends forever”.
    From the old school flasks and steins, to humidors, poker sets, flash
    drives, baseball bats, or a stylish cherry keepsake box with engraved
    plate on top.

  • Reply A Simple Wedding Anniversary | Minimal Millennial May 21, 2015 at 7:41 pm

    […] get me wrong, I do think that there is some sweet sentiment behind the traditional gifts and ideas for a first year anniversary. But we’re not that […]

  • Reply Jenny Stewart June 25, 2015 at 2:02 pm

    Great ideas here. We just put a guide to wedding anniversary gifts together for all years and here is one from the first year that you did not cover:
    Lovers Coupons:
    Give your loved one a present that continues to give. A small book of coupons for favours such as massages, breakfast in bed, romantic movie nights etc.
    You can see the whole shebang here:

  • Reply Nikki Gentry December 23, 2015 at 11:46 am

    So many lovely ideas. I would love to share a Dreamlines wedding dress sketch with your readers. The husband sends us a few wedding photos and we create a beautiful piece of art for her. Every girl dreams of her wedding day and the princess dress she wore. A sketch of her wedding dress has been a perfect way to give a paper gift and showcase that magical day. I love hearing from the husbands after they have given this to their wives, as they truly can’t believe how much of an impact this gift has on her, as well as making him this amazing hero in her eyes.

  • Reply Annie Watts January 12, 2016 at 9:33 am

    According to the certificate that you are mentioning in your list – I thought about Kingdom of Universe.
    There you can buy celestial body and name it and you will receive certificate and deed of ownership. I read on their website that this is totally legal business… 🙂 Really nice idea for extraordinary gift 🙂

  • Leave a Reply