Unique and traditional gifts: 1st wedding anniversary gift ideas
How should you celebrate the first year of marriage? Whether with traditional paper or contemporary plastic, these ideas will inspire you!
Arguably, the first wedding anniversary is the most important one—you’re setting the bar for all the anniversaries to come, and letting your spouse know how much you treasure this first year together. So, understandably, picking the perfect gift can be stressful. Anniversary gifts also have the extra challenge of increasing in value for every year of marriage—that’s why the big ones like twenty-five are silver and fifty is celebrated with gold. For your first year, the options are much less expensive, which can make finding a special gift difficult if you’re also trying to not look cheap.
Traditionally, the first anniversary is celebrated by a gift of paper. Do not buy your loved one a ream of printer paper, no matter how much you think they might appreciate this token of esteem. Be romantic—a book of love poetry or a favorite book in a rare edition will be much more meaningful. Did you two meet in school and read a book together in a class? An elegant edition of the same can be especially heartwarming. Likewise, if the two of you have a favorite movie that was originally a novel, that’s an excellent choice.
Better yet, a heartfelt love letter will be a personal gift that will always be treasured. In a similar vein, there are companies that will ‘write’ a romance novel using your names for a fun and sexy gift.
Not a reader? How about artwork? A painting or drawing (done yourself if you’re talented in that direction) can decorate your home as well as declare your love, or a depiction of where you met, or where you spent your honeymoon. Just make sure that it’s something special to the two of you. An artist could do a pen-and-ink drawing of a favorite wedding photo, for example, or a photo album—a cherished gift that combines plastic and paper.
Paper flowers are another romantic choice. The bride’s bouquet captured in paper, or a dozen red roses to keep her remembering how much you love her.
A gift of calligraphy, especially when done on handmade paper can be a unique gift that will be cherished for years to come. A favorite motto, a commemoration of your anniversary, or a quote can be apt choices.
More contemporary? The modern choices are plastic or clocks. They might sound a little dull at first, but they do lend themselves to some creative gifts. Lucite cubes make a fun photo frame. A gift card these days is often plastic, but you need to have a pretty high limit on it to make it something truly special! At the very least, make sure it’s for a favorite store. A gift of a spa day is one nearly every woman would appreciate, and many men as well. (Paying off a credit card might be a little prosaic, but greatly appreciated.)
A favorite CD or DVD is a great choice if the music or film is a romantic one, or has a special meaning for you. The first movie you ever saw together, even if it’s a dopey comedy, is romantic in this context. The CD with music from your wedding or your first date, or a unique CD with all of his or her favorite songs.
An outdoorsy type? How about a fancy picnic basket filled with plastic plates, glasses, and utensils? This was a favorite option with many of the women I spoke to—let’s face it, picnics are romantic! Does he adore Chinese or Japanese food? Try a set of Chinese soup bowls with chopsticks, or a sushi set for an intimate dinner for two.
Many hobbies have some plastic tool that can be useful—knitting needles, potting tools and vases, telescopes, dumbbells, or yoga mats, for example. Tchotkes can also fall into this category—does she have a collection of salt and pepper shakers, for instance? Does he travel a lot? A first aid kit for the car, including jumper cables, can provide both you with peace of mind.
Is she retro? Bakelite jewelry (and other goodies, such as radios) are highly collectible and very appreciated with a taste for WWII and post-war décor.
Many kitchen appliances—coffeemakers, toasters, fondue pots—are plastic. Not get everything you registered for on the big day? This is a good time to take stock of that list and fill in the empty spots on your registry.
Clocks—something to remind your spouse of all the good times you’ve had and all the good times still to come. You want this to be a special clock, not a smash-the-snooze button alarm clock that he or she will grow to hate! Instead, think extravagant grandfather clock, an heirloom piece that you can pass down to your kids. Or an elegant mantel clock to mark the time together. A wristwatch that can remind him of you every time he looks at it can be an excellent choice as well.
Remember, this is the person you love enough to share the rest of your life together. You know your spouse. Follow your heart, and the perfect gift will fall into place.