Uncommon Goods/Patrina’s Paperie
Birthday presents have no rhyme or reason. Holiday gifts are all over the map. But when it comes to buying the best 1-year anniversary gifts for women or gifts for men, there’s a multi-year plan in place that makes deciding on a present a lot easier. That’s because, going all the way back to the ’20s, each year of marriage comes with a symbolic theme, usually associated with the material the gift is made of. If you look at the traditional anniversary gifts by year, they start off with soft, delicate substances, and then grow more solid and sturdy, the way your bond gets stronger as time goes on.
The first anniversary gift is traditionally made of paper, since your lives together are still a blank slate. In 1937, the American National Retail Jewelers Association came out with a complementary “modern” list of anniversary gifts with more practical items; there, the first-anniversary gift of choice is clocks. In addition, year one is associated with carnations, gold and the color yellow.
Paper, clocks, carnations and gold — that gives gift-givers a much more defined framework to work in. Here, we have some favorite gifts that fit the themes and are meaningful to your first year together (plus a few that are just for fun). With these in mind, Year Two will be off to a good start.
Personalized 1-Year Anniversary Gift
Custom Line Drawing
Have a one-of-a-kind piece work of art created on your behalf. You can even personalize it further with your name and date.
The Story of Us Fill-In Journal
This journal offers prompts and photo suggestions that, when filled in, will tell your own, personal, unique love story. It’s the perfect rainy-day activity to do as a couple.
Personalized Milestones Map
You can choose up to eight locations to be the “mountains” in this map, which leaves enough room for the site of your first date, the place where you first met and where you got married. You can also personalize the name and tagline at the bottom.
100 Dates Bucket List Scratch Poster
Keep the romance going throughout the year with this poster, which offers a grid of date ideas, from “go on a bike ride” to “go on a ghost tour.” As you do them, you scratch off the square, so it gets more colorful and filled in the more you date.
Do you remember what you said in your vows? When you’re up there, in front of everyone you know, it can be hard to soak it all in. Make sure you never forget by turning your vows into custom letterpress artwork. You can choose the color scheme and the frame to make it match your decor.
Ampersand Foil Print
In the end, an is about two people: You & Your Spouse. That ampersand is a powerful symbol, so get it immortalized in a foil print. Best yet, it’s gold, which is the traditional color of first anniversaries.
Great for Him
Wear a memento from your wedding to the next one! If you have an extra wedding invitation lying around (and who doesn’t have a box full of them?), you can have it transformed into a one-of-a-kind pair of cufflinks.
The Complete Cooking for Two Cookbook
Why go out to eat when you can stay in? Next date night, cook your way — together — through one of these 650 delicious recipes. It should last you until No. 3 comes along.
For Her to Wear Always
Personalized Paper Jewelry
Put a quote from your vows, a lyric from your wedding song or some other meaningful words into a custom piece of silver jewelry. You can get it made as a necklace, earrings or both.
Color Series Photo Book
Okay, you probably splurged on your wedding album — but what about all the memories you’ve made since then? Make it a yearly tradition to preserve your best memories in a photo book by Artifact Uprising, a favorite of the Good Housekeeping Institute for its range of customization options.
Personalized Copper Foil Notecards
There’s just something special about the written word, and sending a note through the actual mail, that you just can’t get over text. That feeling is multiplied when your notes come on personalized stationery, like this gold-foil set. You can even get custom address labels to go with it.
We’re Not Really Strangers Card Game
You’ve got big plans for your future togther — better write them down! You can get this personalized journal for three, six or 12 months, and the pages can be dated or undated.
Six Pack Greeting Card Box
If your spouse is into craft brews, load this up with their favorites and let the cardboard speak for itself. You can also pair it with a promise to visit a local brewery on your next date night.
Night Sky Print
See the night sky as it was the moment you met your future spouse — or the night you tied the knot. Commemorate the night by getting a custom print of the celestial sky that you can gaze at on the walls of your home.
What I Love about You Book
This fill-in-the-blank journal makes it easy for you to express what you love about each other. It can work for any anniversary, really, but it fist the first-anniversary theme so perfectly.
Intersection of Love Photo Print
You may be walking down the same road of life now, but there was a time when you were on two separate paths that somehow crossed. Commemorate that moment with this photo print, which features each of your names on street signs.
Traditional and Modern 1-Year Anniversary Gift
Geometric Rainbow Paper Wall Clock
The traditional 1-year anniversary gift is paper. The modern one is clocks. Why choose? This striking, brilliantly hued rainbow clock is handmade from paper cardstock rolled together.
Biology Australia Wall Clock
Bring a bit of the natural world indoors with this clock, which has a design teeming with natural life. You can get the frame in a natural, black or white color.
Starburst Ball Modern Wall Clock
For something with more of a mid-century vibe, this George Nelson-inspired clock certainly makes a statement with its metal ball and starburst pattern. The second hand also sweeps around the clock face, so there’s no ticking.
His and Hers Watch Set
Or maybe you can stretch the definition of “clock” to include ones that you wear on your wrist, and upgrade to a matching pair. You could go with something fancy, like the Lexington His & Hers Bracelet Watch Set from Michael Kors, or something with more of a fun personality, like these retro-styled Mickey and Minnie Mouse watches.
Go old-school with a pocket watch, which is way more stylish than pulling your phone out of your pocket every two seconds to check the time. You can get this vintage-inspired, stainless steel watch in a gold or silver color, and it comes with a 12″ chain.
Sweet Love Initial Ring
The official metal for the first anniversary is gold, so if you’re not feeling the paper or clocks, get a ring that can be worn either stacked with a wedding band or completely separate. This comes in 10k or 14k gold, and you can get it personalized with initials.
Yours, Mine and Ours Decanter Bottle and Glasses
If there were ever an occasion that deserves a toast, it’s your first anniversary! Clink these new glasses, which have a ’20s look to them, but come with playful “yours,” “mine,” and “ours” designations.
1-Year Anniversary Gift Necklace
You can also opt for this necklace, made of interlocking gold rings that symbolize your unbreakable bond. It comes in yellow gold or rose gold.
Carnation Grow Kit
The traditional first-anniversary flower is the carnation, which is also the birth flower for the month of January. You can get a bouquet of carnations at the florist, but it’s way more fun to grow them yourself! This kit comes with seeds, a glass bottle to grow them in, a soil-less growing medium and instructions, and the vase comes with a cork lid so you can re-use it when you’re finished with the flowers.
Carnation 3D Art
You can kill two birds with one stone and get a gift that’s a carnation made out of paper! 3D artist Ashley Chiang makes flowers out of cardstock using a quilling technique.
Ticketmaster eGift Card
Okay, the era of the paper ticket is long gone, but the idea still counts! (You can print it out, you just don’t have to! Or get a physical card, but that will probably be more plastic than paper.) Find out if there are any bands, plays or other performances coming to your area, and then show your spouse their love is worth all the Ticketmaster fees.
Unstoppable Circle Drop Pendant
Serena Williams Jewelry
Your love? It’s unstoppable. Prove it to the rest of the world with this circle pendant necklace, which comes in sterling silver with a diamond accent in the “o.”
“Love Looks Good on Us” Greeting Card
Don’t forget a card! All of the gifts in the world would be meaningless without the sentiment to back them up. A written card will make sure they know how you’re really feeling inside.
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