What are you supposed to give for the first anniversary?

"Neptune" gift set, made of Thai bamboo paper
"Neptune" gift set, made of Thai bamboo paper

Most spouses experience two emotions before the first wedding anniversary; one- excitement to celebrate this milestone (so much has changed in the last 365 days!); and two- mild panic (“what are you supposed to give for the first anniversary?”)

Luckily for us, there is a traditional gift guide that’s been passed down since the Victorian era. According to this list, the traditional first anniversary present is paper.

Paper?! –Yes, paper. It sounds like an unromantic, mundane material, but it actually makes some sense if you consider the symbolism. Why do we give paper for the first anniversary present? One theory is that paper is a modest, innexpensive material; representing the humble first year of marriage, while a couple begins to build their lives and fill the home. Paper is also fragile, mirroring the delicate gift that marriage is. The last explanation- and this is our favorite- is that paper is made from interlocking fibers, showing how we’re stronger when we stick together and love each other, than we are if we stand alone. Awwww.

So the question remains- what are some gift ideas that stay true to the “paper anniversary” theme?

  1. A popular idea is concert tickets or sports tickets. (Be sure to request physical paper ticket though- not an e-ticket!) concert1
  2. A traditional idea is personalized stationary with the couple’s monogram. This lovely set below comes from Crane & Co.monogram
  3. For a fresh, modern take on the “paper” anniversary, paper jewelry is an idea that will completely surprise her. After all, what woman doesn’t love jewelry?! (The jewelry is glazed for durability and protection, and comes in a beautiful gift set with a box, matching card, and story about the rare paper). Head over to Paper Anniversary by Anna V to shop her handmade gifts.
    "Neptune" gift set, made of Thai bamboo paper
    “Neptune” gift set, made of Thai bamboo paper