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Congratulations—it’s your anniversary! You'll definitely want to get a meaningful gift that celebrates your marriage, with the promise of many more amazing years to come. If it's your first anniversary, paper is the traditional present to gift your spouse (clocks are the modern option). Paper is also a lovely gift for any anniversary, since it's a medium that offers lots of thoughtful personalization options (think custom artwork or handwritten letters).
Paper speaks to both the delicacy and strength of a couple’s new marriage. “Paper is the traditional gift for the first anniversary because it represents the blank page of a new life ahead, says Patrick Priore, Paper Source’s Chief Merchandising Officer. "It's a symbol of the new shared history that a couple can begin to write together.”
Meet the Expert
Patrick Priore is the Chief Merchandising Officer for Paper Source, a one-stop-shop for all things stationary and paper-related.
Read on for the best paper anniversary gifts.
AJ Comic Books Personalized First Anniversary Comic Book
If they love comic books, they’re gonna geek out over this personalized one that's made just for them. Just select and upload your favorite photos and use the template provided by AJ Comic Books to create your masterpiece. This will easily become their favorite love story of all time.
Studiojones1 Wedding Vow Art
Were your vows so amazing they deserve to be immortalized? Is there a sweet letter you’ve saved or a poem that perfectly captures the essence of your love? Studio Jones will use the words of your choice to recreate a favorite photo. Send them your chosen text and photo, and they’ll use careful shading techniques to create a lovely piece just for you.
Paper Jewelry Design Personalized Letter and Card
A love note is a wonderful paper anniversary present, and this gift set ensures that your heartfelt words will never be lost or damaged. This seller will place your love letter inside an envelope and then securess it with an elegant wax seal bearing the first initial of your family name. This envelope is then preserved inside a wooden box—your loved one will treasure it forever.
J Fox Cufflinks Cufflinks With Secret Paper Note
Everyone loves a secret note meant just for them, and that’s one of the reasons we love these cufflinks. They’re shaped like envelopes, and they open so you can stick a tiny note inside for them to carry around with them. Write a simple “Happy Anniversary!” or draw a cute little doodle. These cufflinks have a silver-plated finish, and they arrive in a presentation-ready box.
Knock Knock What I Love About You Book
This unique book will be as fun for you to create as it will be for them to read. Just fill in the blanks to create a personalized gift that celebrates your love and appreciation. You’ll see prompts like these: “You deserve the ___ award,” “You have the greatest taste in ____,” “I love how you ____my ____.” Just provide a few keywords to make the book sweet, sexy, silly, or all three.
USAPM USA Photo Map
Do they love to travel together? Then this photo map is right up their alley. Just send photos of their trips to USA PM, and they’ll transform those pictures into state-shaped cutouts. All you’ll have to do is place the cutouts where they belong on a paper background map and cover it all with a flexible plastic cover.
Paperable Co Love Coupons
It can be hard to ask for favors or to let your S.O. know that you need a little pampering. This elegantly designed coupon book simplifies things quite a bit. It contains 20 coupons and is fully customizable. With Paperable Co’s editable template, you can choose from the ideas provided—breakfast in bed, road trip, massage—or create your own. You can edit the designs, layout, and text of the coupons too.
Little Bit Bijoux Sea Necklace with Origami Boat
Looking for a unique way to tell your favorite beach bum that they’re your lifeboat? Gift them this whimsical, handmade necklace. A blown glass sphere dangles at the end of a flat knitted brass chain. Inside, a paper boat rests upon a bit of sand. It’s a sweet and unexpected way to say “I’ll always be your safe harbor.”
Uncommon Goods City Skyline Wedding Art
If they love classic movie posters and all things vintage, they’re going to swoon over this 20’s-style poster. The artist uses archival paper and ink to create an iconic portrait of two lovebirds in a romantic embrace. In the background is the city skyline where you said “I do.” The print is even personalized with the name of their wedding venue, your names, and wedding date.
Prints of Life Events Wine and Cheese Tasting Kit
This tasting kit is an amazing gift for two foodies who pair perfectly together. It comes with scorecards to rate wines and cheeses, sheets for recording tasting notes, and card markers for different items. This is a seriously fun way to discover some new favorites.
Minted Custom House Portrait
Capture your home life together with this sweet print. Just send in a photo and the team at Minted will transform the image into an elegant line drawing with a customized label that includes the street address and dates living there (if it's a home you've since moved on from).
Uncommon Goods Personalized Lunar Phase of Love
If you love each other to the moon and back—and appreciate the cosmic forces that brought you together—you'll find this artwork particularly meaningful. This piece features a stunning image of the lunar calendar that corresponds to a date that has special significance (perhaps your. wedding day or the day you met). Your names and the date are recorded under the image, and everything is set against a black background for dramatic visual effect.
Michael O'Mara Marital Bliss Game
Of course, you both love doing nice things for each other, but it never hurts to provide a little extra incentive, does it? As you play this card game, you'll complete challenges and earn points by pampering and answering questions about one another. In the end, the partner with the most points will select from several possible rewards—think a massage or a breakfast in bed—but there are no losers in this game.
Blim & Blum First Dance Sheet Music Print
This sweet and simple print is an excellent gift for that music lover. who spent ages trying to decide on the perfect song for your first dance. The piece displays page one of the sheet music for their chosen song, along with the title and artist, and their names and wedding date. It’s a wonderful reminder that they chose the right person to dance through life with.
Mochithings Ticket Stub Album
If they’re the sentimental type, there’s a good chance they’ve got a box full of tickets from all of your trips and theater, concert, amusement park, and museum outings. So why not organize all of those ticket stubs in an album that will mean the world to them? This book comes with index stickers to help you catagorize your memories, and it provides plenty of room to add your own notes.
Crate Joy Book Club Box
Open the next chapter of any relationship with a book club box subscription from Cratejoy. There are tons of great options to choose from, and we especially love the Coffee and a Classic box. This subscription comes with a classic novel, the toasty beverage of your choice (coffee, tea, or hot chocolate), a mug, and a couple of items related to the theme of the enclosed book. It’s everything your favorite bookworm needs for a cozy day in.
King Arthur Flour Parchment Paper
Looking for a quirky paper gift for a baker? This King Arthur parchment paper is fit for royalty. It’s pre-cut to fit an 18”x13” pan, pizza stone, or rack; it’s professional-grade and so heavy-duty that it can be reused multiple times, and it has a non-stick surface to keep everything hassle-free. To take it up a notch, pair the parchment paper with a set of shiny new baking sheets.
HAY Matin Table Lamp
The HAY Matin is an elegant table lamp with a pleated, parasol-like paper shade and a brass-finished cantilevered steel frame. The LED light is dimmable, and the shade comes in a crisp, clean white; a vibrant red, or a cool purple. Both a conversation piece and a useful tool, it looks great in the office or on a nightstand.
What to look for in a paper anniversary gift
When selecting a paper gift, it’s important to keep durability in mind. Because paper items are easy to damage or lose, you might not want to give notes, photos, mementos, or pieces of art by themselves. Consider presenting your paper gift inside a box, frame, album, or some other covering. This will protect and preserve your gift so that it will last years.
You'll also want to make sure that your loved one has a lot of opportunities to enjoy their gift. Artwork that speaks to your history together can be displayed in your house to give it a cozy, homey feel. Paper activities like card games and interactive journals allow couples to have fun together and create new memories. Paper jewelry can be cherished and worn often, and books and albums can be read and looked through over and over again. Whatever you choose, make sure your gift brings your person joy as often as possible.
Why is paper the traditional gift material for the first anniversary?
You might think of paper as a fragile material, and in some ways, it is. A paper gift serves as a reminder that a couple’s love can be delicate and must be treated with care and attention. At the same time, paper symbolizes the strength of a couple’s bond. Paper is crafted from tiny fibers—flimsy on their own but made strong when woven together to form a unified sheet. In this way, paper represents how couples create a solid foundation for their marriage by coming together and intertwining their lives.
What are some other paper anniversary gift ideas?
A paper gift can help you celebrate some of your favorite memories and shared hopes for the future. Priore suggests framing your wedding vows, the sheet music to your first dance song or displaying your wedding invitation alongside a photo of the two of you.
"Another fun idea is a map charting out all the destinations you’ve visited or dream to venture one day," says Priore. " Or consider making a personalized photo album, complete with anecdotes and memories.” If you’re shopping for someone who loves flowers, you could also make or buy a lovely paper bouquet that they can enjoy for years and years.
Why Trust Brides
Mckenzie Eggers comes from a long line of letter-writers and scrapbookers, so she fully appreciates the many gift possibilities presented by the paper medium. She loves compiling photos, notes, tickets, playbills, and other memorabilia to create unique and personal gifts for her loved ones to cherish.