The best 1-year anniversary gifts to start off a tradition of thoughtful treasures for all your future anniversaries to come.
Welcome to the world of annual anniversary gifts!
It’s not entirely certain how this tradition began, but it’s a practice that stretches back hundreds of years.
Each anniversary is allocated a material. It’s theorized that the materials get stronger each year, representing the increasing strength of your relationship over time.
Your first year of marriage is celebrated with paper wedding anniversary gifts.
That is, paper is the traditional gift–clocks are the modern gift.
Carnations are the symbolic first-year flower, which is why some people say the colors yellow and gold are also associated with the first-year anniversary.
Don’t worry about the rules too much. The point is to use traditions as a guideline and have fun finding a gift that your partner will love.
Let’s look at my favorite 1st wedding anniversary traditional and modern gifts.
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Table of Contents
Jewelry is a go-to 1st wedding anniversary gift for your wife, and the traditional 1st-year anniversary color is gold.
I have good and bad news for you:
The good news is that it’s easy to find golden pieces fit to be the perfect 1st-anniversary jewelry gift.
The bad news is that gold can get pricey!
I’d avoid 1st-anniversary ring ideas because you each added a ring to your finger only a year ago.
Instead, opt for another type of jewelry, like these sweet heart-shaped earrings.
Yellow gold is far more affordable than other gold weights, and just by the title of the material, you hit both the associated colors.
Carnation Flower Necklace
There’s no price rule for 1st year anniversary gifts for her. Find something more affordable by focusing on other symbols, like the carnation!
This Etsy necklace is made of gold-plated stainless steel. And the flowers are hand-drawn!
It comes mounted on a piece of cardstock inside a box–so it’s ready to give straight away.
Gold-plated stainless steel is a good way to incorporate the anniversary color without breaking the bank.
While it’s not the same quality as more expensive gold, it’s still a beautiful necklace commemorating the first-year anniversary symbols.
Bouquet of Carnations
I’m all for fresh flowers, so consider picking up a bountiful bouquet of carnations to go alongside any of the one-year anniversary gift ideas on this list.
The nice thing about ordering flowers online is that they show up at your door hassle-free.
I like it when they arrive while I’m not there so that my loved one is completely surprised. This is a good option if you’re traveling on your anniversary day.
Just remember to order the flowers early and account for delivery time. I also use local flower shops since they can schedule flower deliveries for specific dates.
Fresh flowers bring life to any room. These carnations are extra special because they come with a vase.
Bouquet of Paper Roses
Everyone has different styles, even when it comes to flowers.
Carnations are the traditional flower for first anniversaries. . . but if your spouse prefers roses, opt for this paper rose bouquet.
Each rose is printed with the lyrics to any song.
Make this a personalized gift by choosing a song that’s meaningful to your relationship.
You also have the option to add a digitally downloadable card, which makes your life easier.
Or, hit two symbols with one stone by gifting paper carnations: flowers and the traditional first-anniversary gift.
Cufflinks are my favorite things to recommend as one-year anniversary gifts for him.
I love the idea of collecting cufflinks throughout the years, adapting to the new anniversary material each time.
You may think there’s no such thing as paper-related cufflinks, but think again!
These brass cufflinks from Uncommon Goods are shaped like envelopes and open to reveal a letter that you can customize!
Uncommon Goods doesn’t disappoint when it comes to anniversary presents.
If you haven’t visited Uncommon Goods before, they’re like Etsy with a middle-man who curates an online market of the best artisan gifts.
From far away, these cufflinks appear discreet, sleek, and silver… but up close, this 1st-anniversary gift for your husband is detailed and personalized.
Love Lingual Card Game
While your first wedding anniversary is an exciting time to celebrate, it’s still your first year as a married couple.
No matter how many years you have been together, marriage introduces new aspects of your relationship and unknown challenges to work through together.
In this game, different categories like family, intimacy, couple, individual, and past & future have associated question cards. Get ready to get deep!
Games like this are great if you’re shopping for 1st-anniversary gifts for friends or 1st-anniversary gifts for a couple.
It’s a very givable gift: lighthearted and fun on the surface with the potential to get really intentional and thoughtful.
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Custom Origami Wedding Frame
Etsy is a great place to find unique 1st anniversary gift ideas, and this is one of them.
Paper anniversary gifts don’t have to be boring, and this gift proves it.
Thoughtful 1st wedding anniversary gifts like this celebrate details from your wedding day.
Send in a picture with your order, and the artist will recreate your wedding outfits as a work of origami art.
It comes framed in a white shadow box with glass. This work of art will be something to admire for years to come.
Custom Wedding Vows Wall Art
For most people, vows are an important part of your wedding. But…
Let’s be honest– you were probably too nervous while reading your vows at your wedding to remember what you OR your spouse said.
You can solve that problem by gifting your spouse this wall art with your vows printed.
Choose the size and color frame you’d like and any of your favorite photos from your special day.
Now, you’ll have a beautiful way to display these meaningful words!
Wedding Song Lyrics Wall Art
If displaying something like your wedding vows feels too personal, another great piece of wall art to add to your home would be the lyrics to the song of your first dance.
Select the format of the wall art you’d like (print, canvas, framed, etc.) and send in a photo with your order.
The Etsy artist will then turn that photo into an elegant print, using the lyrics to make up the image.
First Date Wall Art
Maybe you’re interested in personalized art with fewer words. . .
Why not commemorate your first-anniversary date with your first date?
Commission a beautiful custom art print of the location of your first date. Hopefully, it’s still one of your favorite locations!
You can choose the size and style of the commissioned work, plus what you’d like the location description to say.
Highlighting the location of your first date makes for a really sentimental gift. It will be a beautiful addition to your living space.
It’s your first anniversary of many to come, so if there’s any time to create an anniversary journal, it’s now.
This gift plays into the paper theme for first anniversaries. The journal even lists the traditional and modern gifts for each anniversary at the top of each year’s page.
The journal starts by asking for details about how you met, followed by pages for your first anniversary through your 70th.
You can also turn it into a keepsake journal. Store things like concert tickets, plane tickets, pictures, or any other mementos inside.
The set of pages for each anniversary has space to answer prompts like “where we currently live, our current occupations, etc.”
On the second page for each anniversary, there’s space for your favorite photos from the year.
“What I Love About You” Book
This book is fun to fill out after your first year together–after learning more about each other than you knew was possible.
Answer the prompts of this fill-in-the-blank book while the memories of this past year together are fresh in your mind.
It will be a great and personalized gift for the time being, but also a treat to pull out and read in the years to come.
Wedding Keepsake Library
If you’re sentimental like me, you keep everything…including wedding mementos.
Even if you’re not a collector, at this point, you probably still have some things from your wedding hanging around.
Now’s the best time to give them a home before they’re lost forever.
This little library uses acid-free fabric to wrap each drawer so your belongings will be safely stored.
Sometimes it feels like traditional gifts aren’t helpful for current-day situations, but that’s not the case here.
Stationary is one of those items you never remember to purchase for yourself…or if you do, you probably don’t go all out on a quality set.
The first-year anniversary is the right time to gift your spouse a high-quality set of stationary because it fits perfectly with traditional first-anniversary gift ideas.
Choose the card color, border color, and name or initials.
The chosen name is embossed into the notecards–a detail that screams elegance!
Anniversary Embroidery Sweatshirt
Date nights out on the town are nice, but remember, marriage is about date nights in as well. I’d want to cozy up in this sweatshirt and play a card game any night of the week.
Choose your spouse’s favorite color, and embroider this comfy sweatshirt with your wedding date.
Sweatshirts are an unusual first wedding anniversary gift but trust me, this one isn’t cringy.
The design is simple. Your wedding date is embroidered in Roman numerals–very tasteful.
I suggest picking a neutral color like Sand or Military Green (unless you know your partner likes colorful sweatshirts).
Turn this picnic tote into a 1st-anniversary gift basket, and become your own event planner by making a date night picnic.
Create that nice date night setting with a blanket, candles, and music.
Enjoy a chilled bottle of wine and keep food cool in the insulated pocket of the tote.
It even comes with a water-resistant blanket to snuggle on while looking through your wedding photo book or reminiscing about your first year of marriage together.
Incorporate your wedding photos into your 1st wedding anniversary gift for your wife or husband by putting them on display. These coasters are a great alternative to a photo book.
It’s a personalized and thoughtful gift while still being a practical addition to your home belongings.
Choose this occasion to commemorate some of your favorite memories together.
You’ll receive a pack of four coasters with a cork backing and glossy finish.
Adventure Challenge Scratch-off Book
These challenge scratch-off books are the perfect gift for couples that thrive on adventure.
The challenges in this book vary, from baking to outdoor activities.
Pick a page and scratch off the silver square to reveal instructions for a secret date activity.
There’s space on each page to journal about the activity afterward!
Psst: Go the extra mile ahead of time–plan one of these adventures for you to do on your actual anniversary date.
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This origami clock is perfect if you want a contemporary 1st-year anniversary gift.
This minimalist design speaks for itself… It’s an example of paper gifts with a clean and modern feel.
It’s the next best addition to their office or your shared space.
And they’ll think of you each time they check the clock.
Not feeling the paper vibes? How about a personalized bronze anniversary desk clock?
Spoiler alert– Bronze is the material typically given for the eighth-year anniversary gift…
But you’ll still fit the one-year anniversary gifts theme by gifting a clock.
The back of the clock can be engraved with up to 2,000 characters. Think about what you want to say!
I especially like this clock as a first-anniversary gift because it puts an antique spin on a modern clock tradition.
Sunset or Moon Table Lamp
Because this is your first anniversary, it means you’re probably still decorating your living space together: this table lamp doubles as home decor.
Choose between a sunset and a moon lamp framed in black, white, or natural wood.
The little couple depicted at the base of the lamp is silhouetted in a beautiful glow.
This scene serves as the perfect gift to remind your partner of your anniversary each time they see it.
For anyone who enjoys astronomy or astrology (or just the beauty of the night sky), here’s a way to celebrate your stars.
Displaying the stars on either the night you met or the night you got married is a popular gift.
Most people buy a wall art print, but this star map glows beautifully.
The lamp adds dimension in comparison to other constellation pieces you’ll see.
Personalized Anniversary Chronicle
1-year anniversary gifts can be fun and light-hearted.
Take advantage of the paper anniversary with a personalized front page of a newspaper.
The headline features your wedding date, while the text describes life events from this year, like popular songs, Oscar winners, and sports champions.
One thing to note about this gift is it comes as a digital download. Order it early so you can print it on quality cardstock and frame it ahead of time.
Custom Folded Book
This is a perfect first-anniversary gift if your spouse is a reader.
The artist folds the book pages by hand to create your anniversary date.
Each book is an actual novel…but it’s best to leave this gift as decor.
Airbnb Gift Card
When it comes down to it, the one rule for your 1st-year anniversary should be to enjoy each other’s company.
Never count out a gift card–they can lead to creative ways of celebrating.
For example, get your spouse an Airbnb gift card as their one-year anniversary gift.
Allow them to choose your destination!
Minimal gift wrapping is required, and you’ll have a special adventure together.
FAQs About First Anniversary Gifts
What is the traditional one-year anniversary gift?
The 1st wedding anniversary symbol is paper, so traditional 1st-anniversary gifts for couples incorporate the material somehow.
What is the significance of the one-year anniversary?
Paper symbolizes that your relationship is still fragile.
The 1st-anniversary gift meaning shouldn’t make you feel unstable, though–it’s meant to help you feel inspired to continue to build and strengthen your relationship.
Is a one-year anniversary a big deal?
If you are someone who enjoys celebrating milestones and benchmarks, then yes!
At the same time, it’s important to remember material objects are just that–material.
The best 1-year anniversary gifts encourage you to spend time with your spouse, reflect on everything this first year of marriage entailed, and make them feel special.
Does the one-year anniversary gift have to be made of paper?
No, it doesn’t. One-year anniversary gifts can be anything that your spouse will enjoy.
In fact, based on your preferences as a couple, you may find you prefer 1st-anniversary vacation ideas or 1st-anniversary gift experiences instead of material items.
If this sounds like you, check out our travel guide on romantic getaways in California.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Monroe Dziersk is a twenty-something American who has lived in the USA, Italy, and Czechia. A self-proclaimed Europhile, she has a passion for international education, traveling, and becoming a global citizen, having visited more than twenty countries. You can often find her accompanied by a good book and her calico cat.
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