First Wedding Anniversary Gift Ideas – Paper

Congratulations, you have survived a year of married life together! It has been 365 days, also known as 8760 hours or 525600 minutes, since you tied the knot. Now it’s time to celebrate your first anniversary, and what better way than to give the traditional gift of paper?

First wedding anniversary gift ideas, paper

We have come up with several brilliant first wedding anniversary gift ideas that will make your partner smiling for days! We bet that your relationship has been a whirlwind for the last year, and now’s the time to commemorate that.

Wedding anniversary names

The practise of celebrating wedding anniversaries began in the Roman Empire, as husbands presented their wives with wreaths after years of marriage. These were typically silver after twenty-five years and gold after fifty. This celebrated the good fortune that kept both spouses alive for this time.

First wedding anniversary gift ideas, paper

More recently, commercialism has celebrated marriage longevity and there is a list of traditional gifts for every five years of marriage. Or, rather, there are several lists. Of course, nobody knows where some of the traditions came from and, as such, different cultures often have different lists. The first wedding anniversary is often known as cotton in the UK. However, in this article we’re going to look at the more common, American, gift of paper.

Why paper?

Very little is known about why paper was chosen as the traditional first wedding anniversary gift, but there are theories. Some people believe it originated from the Victorian era when giving gifts for anniversaries became very popular. An old wives tale is that paper can represent the fragile nature of your first year as a married couple.

Paper First wedding anniversary gift ideas

Other people speculate that it symbolises the strength from the interlocking fibres in paper. As the years go on, the material of gifts gets more durable, representing the strength of your marriage over time.

Another possible origin is that paper comes from trees. This small part, taken from nature, grows to become a strong, rooted tree. Typically, something like an oak tree is seen as the height of stability. However, even stronger than trees are precious metals and gemstones, and so on…

Great gift ideas

We have searched the web and discovered present ideas that will mean so much more than just exchanging cards. Whether you can’t find a first wedding anniversary gift for your husband that’s appropriate, or looking for the perfect gift for your doting wife, we’ve got you covered.

A Book of You

Firstly, a book of moments is one of our favourite first wedding anniversary gift ideas. Creating it may sound daunting, but it can be an incredibly beautiful and heartfelt gift for your partner.

Start planning this a month or so before your anniversary so that you have time. Note down things you have done as a couple, over the past year or throughout your whole relationship. All you need to do is buy a notebook and date back to the beginning, working your way through. Add photos and little things such as receipts, train tickets or programmes from places you have visited together.

First Wedding Anniversary Gift Ideas - Paper

Don’t worry, once you have sat down and managed to write a few memories on paper, you’ll see they come flowing out. They don’t necessarily have to be major things you did; the littlest things often show you care. It will definitely win you extra spouse points and give you both something to look back on years down the line.


Everyone loves tickets! Buying tickets for your partner is a perfect gift and, of course, it’s paper! (Okay, so we know a lot of tickets are now online. If you won’t have physical tickets, print off the confirmation instead to keep with the theme.)

Tickets can come in many forms such as flight tickets, concert tickets or hotel tickets. Planning a mini break or a night away and then gifting the tickets is a lovely idea and you can both (obviously) benefit from this.

First Wedding Anniversary Gift Ideas - Paper tickets

You don’t need to spend a fortune. If you’re on a tight budget, train tickets for a day trip can be a great idea. Or, buy cinema tickets to see an upcoming film for a lovely date night for you both to enjoy. Remember this is your first wedding anniversary so really make this gift meaningful; don’t buy a ticket for just anything, but rather for something you’ll both enjoy equally. Why not find a band you both love and purchase tickets for you to enjoy together?

Try Some Origami

Origami, the Japanese art of paper folding, feels like it was designed for first wedding anniversaries! Delicate paper can be folded into many shapes including hearts, flowers and cranes.

First Wedding Anniversary Gift Ideas - Paper origami

There are plenty of tutorials and videos online to help you if you haven’t tried origami before. It should be fun, particularly if you are crafty or creative. On the other hand, you can by something ready-made that you can display for years to come. For example, Paper Gifts can recreate your wedding outfits in paper together with a tiny bouquet. A framed replica of your suit and gown can be with you in just a few weeks.

Lord or Lady Title

Okay, this one is a little more obscure, but did you know you can the title of Lord or Lady? Make your partner feel that extra bit important by giving them the gift of a lordship or ladyship. In fact, it’s actually much easier than you’d think.

First Wedding Anniversary Gift Ideas - Paper certificate Lord of Glencoe

Most websites selling titles require you to purchase a plot of land. In the Highlands, become a Lord, Lady or Laird of Glencoe for as little as £30. What’s more, this is also a fantastic way to help conservation, so if your partner is eco-conscious this gift is absolutely perfect! What’s best is that it’s everlasting – once your plot of land has been purchased, it’s yours and under your name.

You are now able to change your name on all your documents if you want as it’s all processed legally. We think this is a brilliant and unique paper wedding anniversary gift.

Love Coupons

Alright, we know this sounds very cheesy. But, it can actually be a very cute gift idea, particularly if you are on a tight budget. Sticking to the theme of paper, you can come up with a few promises for your other half and present them in a “voucher book”.

First wedding anniversary gift ideas coupons paper

You can even give them something simple like a promise to a date night or cooking dinner. Other ideas include doing a massage, a phone-free movie night or breakfast in bed. Or, you can spice things up and even make ones for the bedroom. We’ll leave you with the ideas for this one…

Custom Colouring Book

Mindfulness colouring books are all the rage now, so why not have your own? The perfect gift for a creative spouse, there are several companies who can print a custom colouring book for you. Pick some of your favourite images from your wedding or relationship and have them illustrated for your partner to colour in.

First Wedding Anniversary Gift Ideas - Paper Mindfulness Colouring Book

Go one step further and add some additional functionality to the book. For example, choose to have half the pages lined to make it a notebook. Or, design a diary with the colouring pages in. Work out what your husband or wife would appreciate the most.

Do you have brilliant ideas that we haven’t mentioned? Pop them in the comments below! And, let us know what you and your partner did for your first wedding anniversary.

5 thoughts on “First Wedding Anniversary Gift Ideas – Paper

  1. I received a Dreamlines sketch of my wedding dress. It was the most wonderful gift my husband has ever given me. It was a perfect surprise.

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