Traditional, Modern and Symbolic Anniversary Gifts
Below is a list of both traditional and modern gift materials, as well as classic flower and gemstone symbols, which mark a couple’s 1st wedding anniversary in countries around the world…
|Traditional Gift – UK||Paper|
|Traditional Gift – US||Paper|
|Traditional Gift – Spain||Paper|
|Traditional Gift – Germany||Paper|
|Traditional Gift – Russia||Cotton|
|Traditional Gift – France||Cotton|
|Traditional Gift – Italy||Paper|
About 1st Wedding Anniversaries
Congratulations on your 1st wedding anniversary. You might very well be thinking to yourself, where did that time go? It only seemed like yesterday you were making a commitment to spend the rest of your life with the one you love.
In many countries (including the UK and US) the 1st wedding anniversary is traditionally known as the Paper Anniversary. One gift idea, sure to be cherished, would be a love letter or poem written on quality paper.
A new trend is for partners to give each other adult colouring books, certainly unusual although perhaps a little too out of the (paper) box for some people.
How to Celebrate a 1st Anniversary
This is, in many ways, the most significant wedding anniversary you will celebrate – the first of anything invariably provides an indelible snapshot of wonderful memories for your photo album.
After 12 months together as a married couple, you will know your partner, and their interests, much better. So how about combining a romantic holiday together, in an exotic setting, with an excursion and associated activity that accommodates your shared tastes and preferences.
Perhaps visit a cultured pearl farm by the sea and a take a skin-diving course together so you can later search for your own precious gemstones.
Closer to home, modern-day gifts for him or her could be a concert ticket or a night at the theatre, followed by a candlelit dinner near a river or lake. Clinking Champagne glasses as the flickering flames reflect off the glistening waters – with oysters as a sumptuous aperitif, of course.
If I had a flower for every time I thought of you, I could walk in my garden forever.” Quoted by: Alfred Lord Tennyson
1st Wedding Anniversary Gifts for Him, Her… and the Couple
Clocks are also an excellent gift with modern connotations but traditional appeal. Whether it is an antique clock, a novelty timepiece or an alarm set, the tick-tocking sound will start marking off the wonderful times in your new marital relationship – helping to register the many great memories since you exchanged your vows.
Gold is – perhaps surprisingly – a typical precious metal for those celebrating their 1st wedding anniversary. Pearls are the traditional jewellery: a smooth, lustrous gemstone representative of the first 12 months of your married lives together.
The classic pansy is a relatively small and fragile flower, which marks 1st wedding anniversary celebrations in perfect fashion. Like a pansy, the beginning of a marriage can prove to be quite delicate.
1st Wedding Anniversary Gifts for Him
What should I buy my husband on our 1st wedding anniversary?
A first year gift for him can be romantic yet simple.
We have a selection of anniversary gifts to suit all budgets and interests.
1st Wedding Anniversary Gifts for Her
What should I buy my wife on our 1st wedding anniversary?
Gift ideas for your wife to celebrate your first year together can follow the traditional paper theme, or be more modern – such as a cool clock, a chic watch or some elegant pearl jewellery.
To mark this special day, plant some flowers in your garden or in a planter (the traditional 1st wedding anniversary flower is the pansy). Or maybe put together a framed print of another treasured moment together. Check out our other gift suggestions below…
1st Wedding Anniversary Gifts for Him & Her
Travel & Experience Gifts
- Location visit (romantic and passionate)
- Tickets (concert, sports event, museum, musical, etc.)
- Short romantic hotel stay
- Restaurant (candlelit dinner for two)
- Glamping break for two
- Spa day for two
The traditional 1st wedding anniversary gemstone is pearl.
- Tie Pin
Something Different & Unique
- Learn a new craft or take a course involving a shared interest.
- Enjoy a surprise holiday getaway.
- Initiate a traditional celebration (theatre, adventure day, etc.).
- Arrange an animal experience day (falconry, zoo, horse riding).
So why were certain materials chosen as presents to symbolise specific anniversaries? To a certain extent, the reasons and meaning are clouded in mystery.
However, it is generally believed that increasingly durable gifts were chosen for successive years to represent the progressive strengthening of the marriage relationship. As the years go by, gifts increase in strength and value – from paper to diamond.
In whatever way you decide to celebrate your 1stt wedding anniversary with your partner, make sure it is accompanied by oodles of romance and love.