A year has flown by (in the typical whirlwind fashion of loved-up newlyweds) and you’re already celebrating your first major milestone. Although it may not be as big or grand as the 40th, 50th or 60th, your first wedding anniversary is just as special, in its own way. After all, it’s the first of many anniversary celebrations to come in the years ahead... so we say, start as you mean to go on!

In this guide, we’ll be covering everything that you need to know about your 1st wedding anniversary. In short, below, you’ll find everything that you need to find a perfect paper gift or a ticking modern gift and show your (still relatively) new spouse just how much you’re loving your time together.

What is the traditional 1st wedding anniversary theme?

The traditional 1st wedding anniversary gift theme is paper. Paper is a great metaphor for your new marriage... it's made up of multiple tiny threads that combine to create something much stronger than any single thread. In the same way you and your partner are stronger together rather than by yourselves. A white piece of paper signifies a blank page, a new beginning, the start of the story of your married life together. What a perfect time to celebrate the past year and look to your long, happy future as a married couple.

What is the modern 1st wedding anniversary theme?

The modern 1st year anniversary gift theme is clocks. While it may seem slightly random, a clock symbolizes the time you spend together as a couple. It is also a constant reminder of passing time and should serve as an encouragement to make the most of every passing second. In addition, we're suckers for a beautiful timepiece, be it on the wall or on your wrist!

What is the 1st wedding anniversary stone?

Gold is the traditional first wedding anniversary stone. We know, it's not even a stone! Anyway, it's still the 1st anniversary stone theme... although if you're set (no pun intended!) on having a gemstone themed gift, then there are plenty of yellow/gold colored gemstones available, such as citrine, yellow topaz, amber or zircon.

What is the first wedding anniversary flower?

The carnation is the traditional first wedding anniversary flower. Carnations symbolize affection, which is hopefully still something the happy couple have in abundance! Carnations come in an enormous range of colors, so you're really free to choose the shade your spouse would love most. A word of color choice warning... if you want to stay as close to traditional themes as possible (and therefore buying yellow carnations), be aware that traditionally yellow carnations are used to convey a sentiment of disappointment or rejection, not a message you want to be sending on this special day!

What is the 1 year wedding anniversary color?

Gold or yellow. Gold is the color of triumph, achievement and accomplishment. Getting married (and surviving a year since your wedding day!) is a wonderful triumph, so it's only fitting that it's celebrated with gold.

Traditional paper anniversary gift ideas for your 1st anniversary

So, what can you do with paper? Actually, paper is a brilliant theme to start your anniversary present-buying. It’s a completely blank canvas (pun intended), which allows you to really use your imagination. There’s so much that you can do with this theme - with a bit of creativity, it’s easy to give perfect paper anniversary gifts.

To get you started, here are some great ideas for a traditional paper one-year anniversary gift ideas for your husband or wife, which are filled with sentimentality.

Handmade paper flowers can come in any color you like and are a really striking gift, especially when bunched together into a bouquet. They last longer than natural flowers too! A photo book or wedding album of your big day is a wonderful idea for a first-anniversary gift... you could include your formal wedding photos, photos of the wedding venue and maybe some photos of the wonderful things you've done in the year since your wedding date?

If you're the hands-on, crafty type, then this is one of the best traditional gifts that you can make yourself. Get practising and make your own origami... maybe a paper origami bouquet or some paper hearts? Or how about some paper decorations for your home (e.g. honeycomb ball decorations, wall fans, paper stars). Or if you're more of the drawing/painting sort, then you could draw or paint a picture containing a sweet message for your love? Lastly, if you're the writing type, then why not take it back to basics and write a love letter to the love of your life? It would make a wonderfully sentimental and special gift.

Modern clock 1st wedding anniversary gifts

Although paper is the traditional theme for 1st wedding anniversaries, the modern wedding anniversary theme for year #1 is clocks.

When choosing a clock to make the perfect anniversary gift, remember to think about things from your spouse's perspective... for example, if they’re pretty bad at timekeeping, you could get them a beautiful watch. Or, if they have a home office, choose a smart clock for their desk.

If you're buying a clock for your home, think about where you'd like to put it and your home decor. Try to think of a specific place in your home, and choose a clock that will match the aesthetic of this space.

There are so many themed clocks available, it's really quite amazing. No matter what their favorite theme (science, sports, TV show) you'll be able to find the perfect gift to show them how much thought you've put in.

It's worth finding out if you can get it personalized. You could look for a shop that offers customised clocks. Alternatively, you could pay to get it engraved, or even write on the underneath of the clock yourself (maybe put your wedding date and a little happy anniversary love note). It’ll remind you both of the occasion that this gift marks.

1st Anniversary Date Ideas

Sticking to the traditional anniversary theme, an origami date night set provides a sweet paper-themed activity for you to do together. That idea expands to include painting and drawing together... how about a romantic life-drawing evening (clothes optional!)?

If you're more word-oriented, then why not spend the evening writing a love letter to each other? You could extend this out by writing little notes to your spouse and hiding them around the house for them to find throughout the day.

And there you have it! Everything that you need to know to make your 1st wedding anniversary a special, sentimental occasion.

These gift ideas are so much better than hastily bought flowers or a box of chocolates. With this traditional paper wedding anniversary gift inspiration, you can choose a present that is full of thought, personality and (most importantly) love.