Last Updated on May 12, 2023 by Kimberlee Johnson
“Lean into the personal and meaningful.”
This is what Jessica Sloane, a wedding and event planner, advises for first anniversary gifts.
A whole year has passed since your wedding day, and now, it’s time to celebrate that wonderful milestone with your other half.
It’s time to set the bar high for that momentous occasion with the best gift ideas for HER!
AND DON’T FORGET: The time, effort, and energy you put into CHOOSING your first-year anniversary gifts are just as important. So let’s get to it!
What Is the One-Year Anniversary Gift?
Before we get into the gift ideas, let us explain the MEANING behind a one-year anniversary gift.
Traditionally, the first-anniversary gift is PAPER, while the modern gift is a CLOCK.
The Traditional Gift: Paper
Although there’s no definitive answer as to why we gift paper, here are some theories:
- It represents a blank page: A fresh start to a new life the married couple is writing together
- It is modest, fragile, and inexpensive: A delicate start of marriage that grows stronger with time
Aside from paper, you can also draw inspiration from other traditional first anniversary gifts, like:
- Gold – traditional first anniversary metal
- Yellow and gold – first anniversary colors
- Carnations – first anniversary flowers
The Modern Gift: Clocks
As for clocks, they symbolize the movement of time.
Time is as precious as gold, and so is your relationship!
The clock is a reminder to cherish each other’s company.
Both traditional and modern ways are great starting points when it comes to first anniversary gifts.
If something on the list makes you think, “This is so her!” — you’re on the right track! You’ve got the perfect gift you’re looking for.
Paper First Anniversary Gift Ideas
If you opt for giving a traditional first-anniversary gift, you can always go for a personalized art print, custom photo book, or a sweet message to celebrate the first year of marriage.
BUT, we have taken it a step further and found some creative and fun things that would make the perfect first-anniversary gift!
1. Adventure Map Art
Satisfy that wanderlust by gifting your partner with a custom map to mark all the adventures you had had and will have together.
An anniversary gift or not, this custom map is a piece of gorgeous art you can display in your home.
It features a number of mountains (your choice!) that represent significant places you have visited.
To go with your theme of firsts, why not commemorate your first date, first road trip, first international travel?
Those are just some ideas, but we’re sure you have plenty of better ones that you can put on this map!
2. Anniversary Journal
If your spouse loves reading or writing, they will surely appreciate this gift.
May this journal serve to remind them that the life you share is beautiful and worth recording.
Whether your wedding was a black-tie affair or an idyllic event in the countryside, it is definitely one for the books as something you will treasure for the rest of your lives!
This anniversary journal contains custom pages with sections to put in your favorite photos and other keepsakes through the years.
Now, this isn’t just any other journal! As an added bonus, this can become an instant heirloom for your family.
With its elegant design, black silk moire binding, and shimmering foil, it’s built to record all your memories from your first year of marriage down to the sixtieth.
It doesn’t mean the memories end there, but this is a great way to look back at all the anniversary celebrations highlights you’ve had together.
3. Personalized Song Lyrics Wall Art
Music brings back so many vivid memories and transports us back to that special day.
Remember how you both felt dancing to your first song?
In that space in time, there was only you two — dancing to your own beat.
With chosen lyrics from the song, you can preserve your first song in a beautiful personalized foil art print.
With this one-year anniversary gift, you and your spouse will not be able to help but reminisce the happiness of that day.
Read: No Anniversary Gift From Husband Meaning
4. Letters to My Love by Lea Redmond
“How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.” – Elizabeth Barret Browning
Heartfelt letters are always a good call in our books. We all love getting sweet love letters but writing them can be challenging. It’s not that we don’t know how much we love our spouse, but we sometimes have a hard time expressing our love in words.
With so much to say, where do we even begin?
Good thing this one has our back!
This set of 12 letters comes with prompts that can help you get started. Simply take one out whenever you feel inspired, and before you know it, you will have 12 letters ready for your spouse to read.
One per month to last until the future anniversary celebrations roll around. But when is the best time to ask a woman to be your Valentine?
5. The Stars Around Custom Star Map Poster
If your wife is a fan of the night sky, she’ll surely love this cosmic gift.
There are many precious we don’t want to forget. So, capture the day the stars aligned for you and your partner with this custom star map.
Each Stars Around custom star map is handmade and features a realistic image of the night sky with a stunning color representation of the Milky Way.
Underneath it, you can add your wedding date, venue, and a sweet message for your paper anniversary.
6. Personalized Wedding Portrait
Having the happy couple immortalized on their big day in a work of art will certainly be a real conversation starter when displayed at home.
If you have furry ones to include, all the better!
Pictura Poema can add whoever you like and make sure your custom portrait captures each member’s unique characteristics on the day you celebrated your special day.
7. Customized Photo Book
As time goes on, you and your spouse will keep on making many wonderful moments together. As you enjoy life’s biggest moments, look back and relive where it all began.
A photo book is a thoughtful paper anniversary gift. It’s personal and original. What you create can be simple or as creative as you like.
Wedding photos tell a story.
It’s great to imagine the both of you flipping through the pages of your photo book and reflecting on where your year of marriage has taken you as well as looking forward to creating new experiences with each other!
You can have your wedding photos printed and put in a keepsake box until you make it into a photo book for a more handmade and personalized feel. Or, you can have the printed entire book printed directly.
Whichever one you choose, it will have your wife shed some happy tears and make your 1st anniversary very special.
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8. Unplugged Book Box
This will be a hit for the book lovers out there. If your partner is an avid reader, why not gift her with a monthly book subscription?
The Unplugged Book Box is a one-of-a-kind monthly subscription box that comes with:
- A hand-picked, new-release book
- 5-7 unique self-care products and novelty items such as candles, bath & body products, aromatherapy, tea, coffee, games, and more!
- Theme info, self-care info, and/or journal prompts.
We can’t imagine a more fantastic way to unwind! It’s definitely one of our favorite paper anniversary gifts. Plus – you can even send this present in secret!
9. Minted Letterpress Vows Art Print
One very simple last-minute paper anniversary gift is having his and her wedding vows (or any meaningful quote) made into a stylish and personal piece of art.
You can have it printed in gold foil, letterpressed, or professionally written in calligraphy. Add in your names and your wedding date, and you’re good to go!
These side-by-side vows would be a constant reminder of keeping your promises to each other. Plus, they look good in many rooms and would not look out of place.
You can pair this with the Anniversary Journal from our list, and you’ve got flawless one-year anniversary gifts.
10. Date Night In: Recipe Book
Another one of our favorite first-anniversary gift ideas is Date Night In by spouses Ashley and Gabe Rodriguez.
Some couples choose to go all-out on their 1st anniversary, and that’s great. But you do NOT have to spend so much just to make the day feel special.
For your wedding anniversary, pencil in the time to talk, cook, and eat together! Try out a new recipe you both have been dying to try and bring out the celebratory wine!
Even if it’s not your anniversary, you can make it into a weekly date night at home. This cookbook has more than 120 recipes to choose from.
From fennel-crusted lamb chops to delicious Dulce de Leche paired with your wine or cocktail of choice, you are guaranteed a flavorful date night to remember.
11. Uncommon Goods NYT Custom Front Page Puzzle
A rather quirky first-anniversary gift, this can be a fun activity you can both enjoy.
As you piece together this puzzle, it will slowly reveal the New York Times deadlines, photos, and stories that were printed on your wedding day.
12. Paper Flowers
Her beautiful flowers may not have lasted long, but these paper flowers can.
Lendyis Flowers can make flowers look so realistic — you will not believe they are made of paper. All the flowers are handmade and can be arranged into your wife’s favorite blooms.
If you feel more creative, you can look for a shop that can make these flowers with meaningful quotes or create them yourself.
They are easily one of the most romantic anniversary gift ideas we have ever seen.
Clock First-Anniversary Gift Ideas
“Time doth softly, sweetly glide when there’s love in the home.” – Love at Home, Hymn 652
While giving paper anniversary gifts is a sweet gesture, there are also anniversary gift ideas for a more modern theme.
With a clock-themed anniversary gift, you celebrate the time that flew during your first year together.
Much like paper, the clock also symbolizes the beginning stages of marriage. It is a promise to remember that moment in time as it passes.
As you look back on the first year, you forge ahead to coming years.
We have compiled some of the best anniversary gifts on this list!
13. Origami Wall Clock
If you want to go the extra mile and combine both paper gifts with clock gifts, look no further than this Origami Wall Clock.
No assembly is needed. Just choose a color and a wall on your home to hang it.
This minimalist origami wall clock makes for a good accent piece wherever you put it.
It comes with:
- One paper origami clock made of high-quality FSC certified paper
- A clock mechanism and the hour, minute, and second hands in black
If you or your partner get easily bothered by the clock’s ticking sound, there is also the option of getting this gift with a silent mechanism. No ticking sound. Just a light buzzing of the gears!
You could get your wife any clock-related anniversary gift — a wall clock, alarm clock, or even a pocket watch. However, this modern gift is the icing on the cake!
This smartwatch is fully customizable with an app. Crammed with so many functions, it’s a fitness motivator and social media assistant all in one compact design.
Pair this with a sweet note about how you cherish your time together, and you are set. But what are some gift ideas for a 41st wedding anniversary?
15. Unusual Agate Clock
A tabletop clock is a fun statement piece to have on your spouse’s desk or nightstand. This irregularly shaped clock made of gorgeous aqua agate quartz and plated with metallic gold is going to be a knock-out!
With gold as another traditional metal, it’s hitting two birds with one stone. Add in a personal message, and she won’t forget this one-year anniversary gift.
16. Custom Wall Clock With Photos
Cheers to the ones that we love! This wooden clock makes a great one-year anniversary gift with all the photos of the amazing year you have had.
Each clock is made to order, making it extra personal for you. You can opt to have your photos printed and put in the clock directly or purchase the clock without them.
17. Beautiful Anniversary Sundial
For the wife who loves spending time in the garden, the sundial combines aesthetics and function. Something that will forever remind you both to celebrate each other.
These first-year anniversary sundials have beautiful wording you can fully customize to include a personalized message and your wedding anniversary.
You don’t have to worry about potential damage. This sundial is specially coated against the elements, making it a timeless keepsake.
18. Time of Salvador Dali | Artistic Earrings
What do you get when you combine quirky, artistic, and work of art together? This pair of earrings!
These earrings have a unique avant-garde look that will have people talking. This accessory accentuates her look and draws attention to her face.
No outfit would be complete without a pair.
Alternative First Anniversary Gift Ideas
If none of our paper and clock gift ideas float your boat, we still have a few more ideas to share with you!
For gifts that keep on giving, here are some of our subscription box recommendations.
19. DateBox Club Subscription
We get it. We can all get very busy, and sometimes planning might not be our forte. Good thing we have great partners that help us take the pressure off of planning date nights.
Surprise your wife with a well-crafted date night for your first anniversary. The secret is in a box!
Each box is specially curated to come with everything you need to enjoy a new activity at home. Games, conversation starters, even art kits for the artists in you!
There are also digital subscriptions available for a more DIY, budget-friendly date night.
20. Fresh Flower Subscription
To make sure your wife can enjoy fresh blooms even when it’s not your wedding anniversary, why not arrange for a bouquet delivery every month?
Choose from a variety of options. From breathtaking garden roses to unique mixed bouquets to fresh green plants, your flowers will bring a smile to her face.
Every box sent even comes with flower food and a useful information card so you can make your flowers last as long as possible.
21. A Wine Subscription
If your favorite couple loves wines  but doesn’t know where to start, this wine subscription would be a perfect gift for your first wedding anniversary!
A Wine Subscription is an awesome way for you both to experiment with new vintages in the comfort of your home.
What else to expect: Cured meats, cheeses, and great wine selections to celebrate with great company!
22. A Meal Delivery Service
Does she love lazy cooking, hates grocery shopping, doesn’t have the time, or all of the above?
If she’s into trying new recipes without the hassle of meal prepping, gift her with a meal delivery subscription for your wedding anniversary.
With this, she can get everything she needs for a delicious meal stress-free.
Of course, there are so many options available, so you don’t have to worry about diet restrictions.
Vegan food, fresh from the farm ingredients, whatever she is craving, we’re sure you can get her something she would like to try out.
Gifts make the wedding anniversary memorable and special, but at the end of the day, what matters most is making the most of every day.
With our first-anniversary gift list, we hope we inspired you with some great ideas to give your partner.
Treasure and celebrate each other. Happy first anniversary!
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