First Anniversary Gift Ideas

Help!  It's our first anniversary and I have no idea what to get for my spouse!

Do these thoughts rush frantically through your mind as your anniversary rapidly approaches?

Inhale, exhale - just breathe.  And don't worry; we've got you covered.  Just check out the really cool first anniversary gift ideas below to get those synapses firing.

Remember, the traditional theme for the first anniversary is paper.  So whatever you decide to give, just make sure it has something to do with paper and you can't go wrong. 

Also, many people forget (or don't know) that there is a gemstone and a flower that goes with each anniversary. So if you want to give jewelry or flowers, you can do that too.

The first year's stone is gold (or alternatively, peridot) and the flower is the Pansy.

Okay, but I still don't know what to get.  That's where we come in...

Origami Shadowbox

Origami Tuxedo & Dress
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People treasure hand-made gifts and often keep them for years. Why? Because they are very personal and thoughtful expressions of love.

A great first anniversary gift idea that is hand-made is an origami shadow box. It's unique, inexpensive, easy to do, and fits with the "paper" theme of the anniversary year. 

Watch our video with step-by-step illustrations for making an origami wedding tuxedo and dress and make your own. 

Then type up your wedding vows, a love letter, poem, or meaningful scripture in an elegant font and pin to the bottom of a shadowbox. Then paste your origami couple on top and close the box.

VOILA! You now have a gift that will be treasured by your spouse for years to come.

Anniversary Postage

Anniversary Postage Stamp
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Did you know that the U.S. Post Office allows you to create custom, one-of-a-kind postage stamps?

That's right, folks.  You can design postage with a picture of just about anything you want from jelly beans to circus animals. Why not a photo of you and your dashing spouse?

Imagine the look on your spouse's face when you show him/her first-class, genuine postage showing off the two of you in all your marital glory! 

This is a perfect first anniversary gift idea for the paper anniversary.

Message In A Bottle

Message in a Bottle
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Here's a timeless classic and a fantastic first anniversary gift idea - a Message in a Bottle. 

Would you believe that research shows the most desired gift of all is a handwritten love letter? 

Short on cash?  Buy some fancy stationary and pour your heart out to your lover.  Tell your spouse just how much he/she really means to you.

Tie a cord or some twine around the letter, or seal it in your own special way, and put it in a glass bottle.  Add some sand, sea shells, or colored glass, and leave it somewhere for your spouse to find (e.g., fireplace mantel, bedside table). 

If you can get it to float, placing it in the bathtub, pool, or sink is also a great idea.

For only a few dollars at a craft store, Andrew made me the bottle in this picture and put it by our bed for me to discover when I woke up  (I was delighted!). 

Use the photo for inspiration in creating your very own message in a bottle (hint: click on the picture to enlarge it).

Wedding Invitation Ornament

Wedding Invitation Ornament
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One unique first anniversary gift idea is a wedding invitation ornament.

You did save a copy of your wedding invitation, right? 

Simply cut up the invitation into quarter-inch strips (a paper cutter makes this easy), roll the strips around a pencil to curl them, and put the curled strips inside a clear ornament. 

Tie a ribbon around the top and add an embellishment or charm if you like (you may want to click on the picture to see a larger photo in order to truly appreciate this one).  

This is not only a great "paper" gift to give your spouse, but also one to give another couple celebrating their first anniversary.  The fact that you saved their wedding invitation to make this gift can really show how much you appreciate them.

Name a Star

Name a Star Certificate
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Did you know you can name a star after someone?  What could be a better first anniversary gift idea?  Lots of companies will (for a price - always for a price) register a star you choose and give it whatever name you want. 

How romantic is that? Nothing quite says "you're special" like having a star named after you.  Imagine looking up into the night sky together, gazing up at the star you named after your partner.

Oh, the paper part of the gift is the certificate you receive authenticating the new name of the star (i.e., your spouse's name).  Just be sure to have it framed before presenting it to your husband or wife.  Remember, it's the little extras that make all the difference.

And if you're cheap -ahem- economical (and a little on the artistic side), you can always create your own certificate.  This especially comes in handy if the star you want to name is already taken.

If you go this route and need ideas, check out this certificate I made for Kristina. 

Box of Cigars

Box of Cigars

What do you get for the man who has everything?  How about a nice box of fine cigars?  It's a classic twist on the paper anniversary.

Shopping for an anniversary present for a man is not always easy.  But if your man enjoys delicate pleasures and has a penchant for the finer things in life, this may be the perfect gift.

According to Cigar Aficionado, currently the 10 best cigars are:

  1. Flor de las Antillas Toro
  2. Cohiba 1966 Edición Limitada 2011
  3. Romeo by Romeo y Julieta Piramide
  4. Padrón Family Reserve 85 years (Natural)
  5. Arturo Fuente Rosado Sungrown Magnum R Vitola Forty-Four
  6. H. Upmann Royal Robusto
  7. Ashton Heritage Puro Sol Belicoso No. 2
  8. Rocky Patel Fifty Robusto
  9. Tatuaje Cojonu 2012 Sumatra
  10. Nat Sherman Timeless Collection No. 2

Customized Cigar Band
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For an added "paper" touch, you could even create a personalized cigar band.  Many cigar companies on the web offer customized labels.

A box of cigars is not only a great first anniversary gift idea, but it also fits well with year five's wood theme.

Magazine Cover

Anniversary Magazine Cover
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Put yourself on a magazine cover.  It's another great first anniversary gift idea and fits right in with the "paper" theme. 

A number of companies on the internet offer to turn an uploaded photo into a custom, one-of-a-kind magazine cover just for you. 

Imagine the look on your spouse's face after coming home one evening to find a magazine lying on the coffee table with the two of you on the front cover!  Pretty cool, huh?

What's your sweetie's favorite magazine?  Rolling Stone, Glamour, Cosmopolitan, People, Dog World, Hunting?  The options available to you are almost endless. 

You can even create your own for FREE.  That's what we did.  We found a FREE online photo editor, PicMonkey, and uploaded a photo of the two of us standing in front of the Neptune Pool at Hearst Castle.  Then we added a magazine title and some captions about some made-up articles and interviews involving us - and VOILA! - we had our very own magazine cover starring US!

Click on the picture to enlarge it and get inspired!

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