Traditional Gifts for your 1st Wedding Anniversary

Congratulations! You have (almost?) made it through your first year of marriage, often considered the year of adjustment. I bet you didn’t know that the first anniversary comes complete with it’s own symbolism, color, gemstone, flower and gift-giving traditions! Well, it does, according to the experts!

(Side note: I think it is so interesting that this couple, Bob and Sheri Stritof, know the joy of a happy marriage– they’ve been married for 44 years– but also the heartbreak of an unhappy one– early in their marriage they were divorced for two years before reuniting!)

Anyway, more about gifts! The “traditional” 1st anniversary gift is paper. It symbolizes the strength in paper that comes from the weave of the paper’s individual fibers. The more contemporary gift comes in the shape of a clock, as Henry Van Dyke wrote, “For those who love, time is eternity.”

If you’d like to try the Paper idea, you’ve got lots of room for creativity! Here are some favorite ideas from

Books: Think of a topic or author that your other half would really enjoy. Buy a beautiful hard-cover volume that he can cherish for a long time. Think leather-bound or coffee-table sized. If you want to be especially romantic, buy a volume of poetry!

Board Games or Puzzles: Something fun that the two of you can play together! There’s nothing like spending quality time relaxing together, and something like this will tell him how much you love his company!

Stationery: This could include pretty or useful writing paper, personalized business cards, note cards and envelopes, or fun post cards.

Tickets: Purchase a couple tickets and take your spouse out on a date to his favorite sports event, movie, or show. Other tickets could include a day outing or romantic get-away: airline, boat, train, bus, or balloon rides.

Artwork: Everyone enjoys adding a striking piece of art to their home. You can also look for posters or prints. Putting thought into the style, colors, and mood of the painting will surely make an impression on your beloved!

Coupons: Another chance to get creative and give a gift of your own talents, time, and devotion. Write out a coupon for a massage, a dinner out, or a walk in the rain.

Love letter: You can do it! Get yourself a glass of wine and light a couple candles and think about all the things your spouse adds to your life, how special he is, and how glad you are to be married to him!

Photos and Picture frames: A favorite photo in a beautiful frame is sure to please. You can also try your hand at creating a photo collage documenting all the good times you have shared so far.

Calendars: You can create a pictorial calendar online or at your nearest photo shop. You can also buy a nice appointment book and mark all the days that are important to the two of you. Then add in a few new ones as a surprise.

Now, here are some ideas if you’d like to go the more modern route and opt for a clock:

Cuckoo Clock: Some people love the sound it makes!

Alarm Clock: Just make sure he’s not getting the wrong idea. You don’t want him to think you’re telling him he needs to wake up earlier or get more accomplished!

Personalized clock: Put a photo of the two of you, or a copy of your wedding invitation, on the face of the clock. Or, if your spouse takes pride in his collage or home sports team, that could be the perfect gift.

Decorative or Antique clocks: Add appeal to your home with a clock that reflects your spouse’s personal style.

A wrist watch: Whether its something fun and funky, or elegant and classic,  you can never  have too many watches!

For more on first anniversaries and to get more gift ideas, please read on here and here!