Commemorating a happy couple’s first wedding anniversary

If you thought all the wedding hustle and bustle ended after the ring exchange, joyous kiss and fantastic reception, you were wrong. Marriages are meant to last forever, and as such they come with a mini celebration with each anniversary!

Most couples agree that the first year is the most difficult, what with the newlyweds getting used to their new life together; so isn’t that worth special commemoration? Let’s review the sort of gifts that are especially suited to mark the passing of the first 12 months in a married couple’s happy journey.

I wonder what Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie will do a year from now to celebrate!

I wonder what Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie will do a year from now to celebrate.

The paper path

Partially because everything is just so new, first-year wedding anniversaries are known as ‘paper’ anniversaries. The easiest gesture, of course, is to go the visual route and present the couple with a framed photo collage, an array of pictures from their first year together arranged around the original wedding invitation.

Independently from pictures, there are all sorts of ways that paper can still make the cut. My mother still treasures the customised stationery (featuring her newly-minted married name) that she received on that first anniversary. You can also opt for a more commercial paper present and give the couple printed tickets to their favourite sporting or cultural event.

I wouldn’t mind some tickets to see Chris Martin and the rest of Coldplay live myself!

Working with numbers

If paper isn’t your thing, remember that the number ‘one’ can also work as a gift theme. One clever idea is to present the couple with a bracelet / necklace combination featuring a charm that fits together, symbolising the union between husband and wife. Another is to present the couple with twelve small gifts, each representing a month elapsed since the wedding.

To go all out, why not combine both paper and numeric symbolism? That’s what we did for my friend Rebecca’s ‘paper’ anniversary, when a group of us strung 365 paper cranes, which represent hope and luck, from her porch.

While couples will always be delighted by any anniversary present, a particularly thoughtful one can be unforgettable. Remember to be creative and incorporate personal references in any gift you give; you’re sure to make an impact!

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