what is the  1st wedding anniversary gift

The 1st wedding anniversary is…

Paper. Your first wedding anniversary theme is paper.

The modern theme are clocks.

The colors are gold /yellow and the traditional flowers are the Orange Blossom and Pansy.

Other sources also state that the traditional 1st wedding gemstone is Gold Jewelry, Pearl, or Peridot.

Search below for the ideal 1st wedding anniversary gift

Yes, it’s been a year already – doesn’t time fly! Wow you made it! We knew you would 😉

It’s your first wedding anniversary, congratulations guys well done.! Hopefully one day you’ll be celebrating your 70th together.

Thinking of what gift to buy for this 1st wedding annversary? Well did you know that each wedding anniversary year has a traditional symbol, color and flower associated with it?

Are you wondering why these are considered themes for a 1st wedding anniversary?

You wouldn’t be alone. Here’s the lowdown…

1st Wedding anniversary

1st wedding anniversary – traditional vs modern

Eleanor and I strongly believe that the traditional symbols are much more romantic than their modern counter part although we do like this particular variation. Paper is the traditional and clocks are the modern equivalent.

What is the meaning of paper in a paper anniversary?

What you should know is that each year of a marriage the symbol which represents it seems to get stronger and more precious. With that said please don’t be too disappointed that the first year symbol is paper.

This simply means that the bond between the fibres of paper holds the sheet together but can still be torn apart – yet it still has strength. Arguably this could be like your wedding – you love each other, you are bonded together but have not yet stood the test of time.

This might make you feel a little annoyed but imagine the advice your older self would be giving to the self of the present moment in years to come!

What are the meaning of clocks in the modern 1st anniversary?

Henry Van Dyke wrote, “For those who love, time is eternity.” Perfect. We don’t like all of the analagies of the modern wedding anniversary themes but we do like this one.

When you are with the one you love everything else just seems to stand still. Arguably a lot of the modern symbols are there for a commercial reason and were introduced the Jewelers of America in 1937 to introduce a gift for each year of marriage – possibly to sell more stuff.

How should you celebrate your 1st wedding anniversary?

If you are anything like us you may have a child or two by now so unless you’ve got a baby sitter on hand you may find yourself celebrating with your young family in tow.

Of course, all people and marriages are different and people tie the know at any age and may have come from previous marriages etc so there is no normal.

So with that in mind you should do what is appropriate for you both. Buying gifts is a given thing and the internet has a whole load of stuff you could buy.

Do you want some advice? Do something meaningful and that will stand the test of time.

If you want to see a more complete list of ideas for celebrating your 1st wedding anniversary we’ve written a comprehensive post which you can see here.

When researching this article I found some fantastic ideas in forums and on Reddit etc.

  • Each year of your marriage record a video message for your spouse.
  • Each year of your marriage take a picture together holding that picture the following year. Collate these in frame. In years to come it makes for a great and interesting piece of wall art.
  • If you are so inclined then get a tattoo to mark the occasion.
  • Revisit your honeymoon location.
  • Take a date to the first restaurant or date location.
  • Dance to your first wedding dance song.
  • Take a trip away together to a location you both want to visit.

What should you buy for your first wedding anniversary?

Tradition dictates a paper gift but what many people don’t realize is that all wedding themes are symbolic only. For example when it comes time to celebrate your Gold wedding (50) there’s no obligation to buy gold but rather you could offer a gift wrapped in a golden ribbon – it’s the symbolism that counts.

With that said there are so many things that you offer that are in keeping with a paper anniversary – just take a look at all of these for example. But there are so many to choose from you should pick a present that you can personalize somehow.

How to celebrate your 1st anniversary if you have kids

How you celebrate depends if you have kids or not and if you can get a baby sitter to be able to allow you to go out and spend time together. But children are a product of a relationship as is a marriage and arguably they should be brought into your celebration anyway.

You could do some crafts with your kids to come up with a hand made prezzie for your other half. This should mean a lot as it shows that more time and effort has gone into creating something.

What 1st wedding anniversary gifts should you buy for her?

What buy for her depends upon your budget and what type of person she is. If she likes flowers then the traditional flowers for the 1st wedding anniversary are the orange blossom or pansy.

orange blossoms are the traditiona flower for the 1st wedding anniversary

Etsy have some great gifts as do Not On The High Street but personally I think it’s more romantic to get something that as I mentioned in this post earlier something that can be built upon over time like a photo collage where you take a new photograph each year, or combine this with a video message. If she is a romantic then I think this is an ideal gift.

Some cool off the shelf stuff though are:

  • Framed pictures with a personal message.
  • Teddy bears with a message on their heart.
  • A message of love engraved into glass.
  • An engraved wine glass.

As an alternative if you are on a budget but still want to do something romantic, try:

  • Buy and planting a tree or bush together.
  • Go the woods and carve your names into a tree – this will be there for years to come and you can revisit this every year.
  • Go for a walk on the beach.
  • Create a time capsule that you add to each year – leave this to your family in your will.
  • Watching your favourite film and listening to your fave bands that remind you of the when you first met.

What 1st wedding anniversary gifts should you buy for him?

Again the answer to this depends upon what type of a person he is. Is he a romantic?

Would he prefer a trip away rather than a gift? I’ll give you my own opinion – cook him a romantic meal followed by a night together.

A massage is a nice touch and this can work both ways so perhaps invest in some massaging oil.

People don’t usually think of buying sexual gifts for an anniversary, at least not from what I can tell, but if you do then this will probably win his heart every time.

One of my all time favourite quotes is from Scottish comedian Bill Connolly “Men need to have sex to feel loved, women need to feel loved to have sex.”

Brilliant! But it sums up the old Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus stereotype.

It’s a bit old fashioned perhaps but on the whole probably true. So tap into those aspects of their personality and you’ll do well every single time.


The first anniversary is an important one because it is today that you make a decision to influence the rest of your anniversaries for years to come. Choose to celebrate this first anniversary as best as you can with one eye on the future.

If you have kids then try to bring them into the celebration or arrange for a baby sitter so you two can have some special time together.

Remember that the traditional symbol of the 1st wedding anniversary is paper and the modern equivalent is clocks. These are symbols only and you choose how to represent them best.

If you are a sucker for flowers then Orange Blossoms (these are the flowers that blossom on an orange plant) or Pansies are the call of the day and go for the color gold to make the day that extra bit special by keeping alive one of the most romantic traditions ever.

Good luck to both of you and Eleanor and I wish you both have a fanstastic day and wish you all the best for years to come!

Other questions people ask:

What advice do I give the bride?

We answered this in our blog post “Marriage advice for the bride” where we give you a complete and honest answer from investigating what advice people who have been married for many years would give.

You can see some of our other posts “What is the 10th Wedding Anniversary Gift?” and “What is The 50th Wedding Anniversary Gift?

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