What is the traditional first anniversary gift?

The traditional gift for your first wedding anniversary is something made of paper. There are a few reasons for this; paper signifies a blank slate and new beginnings, much like the beginning of a marriage. Other suggestions are that paper comes from a tree, a part of nature that starts as just a seed and grows into something much stronger, a symbolism for marriage.


What is the modern first anniversary gift?

As with all anniversaries, there are now modern alternatives for gifts. The modern first anniversary gift is a clock. This is because a clock represents time, and everyone knows how quickly the first year of marriage flies by! But it's also about the time you still have together. After all, the first year is just a small snippet of what's to come.

If you're not sure what to give your other half, here are a few paper and clock anniversary gift ideas to get you started...

10 paper anniversary gift ideas

Personalised Newspaper in Blue Gift Box

First anniversary gift ideas

Your wedding is a day to remember, so why not commemorate the date with an original newspaper from the day you said 'I do'? The paper will be delivered in this rich blue box with a certificate of authenticity. This anniversary gift makes for an ideal keepsake.

Buy Personalised Newspaper in Blue Gift Box from Historic Newspapers (£27.99)

Pride and Prejudice c1974

First anniversary gift ideas

If you're partner's a lover of classic literature, this 1974 fine addition of Pride and Prejudice is a thoughtful anniversary gift they're sure to love. Plus, this cover is truly stunning!

Buy Pride and Prejudice c1974 from Harrington Books (£65)

The Night We Met Constellation Print

First anniversary gift ideas

A custom print is always a lovely, personal gift. Simply provide the date of your wedding and you'll receive a print of the constellation from your special day to display in your home.

Buy The Night We Met Constellation Print from Etsy (from £7.22)

Glasshouse Flora Wallpaper

First anniversary gift ideas

Nothing shows love like an act of service, so why not decorate a space in your home that could do with an update. Opt for a fun wallpaper like this floral design to really make an impact. Not only will your partner be surprised, but they will get to enjoy it everyday going forward.

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Buy Glasshouse Flora Wallpaper from Graham & Brown (£65)

Personalised Old Map

First anniversary gift ideas

Old maps are always a popular decorative piece, so why not have a custom map of your wedding venue made? Your chosen location will be in the centre of the map with an arrow pointing to it. A subtle yet special way to remember your wedding on your first anniversary.

Buy Personalised Old Map from The Unique Maps Co (from £59)

Personalised Watercolour Portrait

First anniversary gift ideas

For a unique way to display your wedding photos, why not have a water colour portrait painted of your favourite shot from the day as a first anniversary gift? Each order is hand painted and a preview will be sent to you to to make sure you are happy with it before delivery.

Buy Personalised Watercolour Portrait from Turned Art (£29.99)

Personalised Writing Paper

First anniversary gift ideas

If your other half prefers to send letters and write notes on pen and paper rather than digitally, this personalised writing paper will be happily received. What you have written is entirely up to you. Keep it simple with their name and address, or if it's just for personal use, write something that means a lot to you as a couple!

Buy Personalised Writing Paper from Smythsons (from £216)

Moleskin Studio Collection Dinara Mirtalipova Ruled Notebook

First anniversary gift ideas

There's always a need for a new notebook, and it's the perfect gift for your paper anniversary. The folk-art inspired motif has been created by illustrator and designer Dinara Mirtalipova and features striking colours, perfect for jotting down your thoughts and to dos.

Buy Moleskin Studio Collection Dinara Mirtalipova Ruled Notebook from Selfridges (£25)

Anniversary Paper Map Print

First anniversary gift ideas

A play on the idea of a map print, this one features three different maps – one for where you met, one for where you got engaged, and the last for where you married. What better way to capture your journey together for your first anniversary?

Buy Anniversary Paper Map Print from Etsy (from £15.40)

Where We Met Map

First anniversary gift ideas

Take it back to the start of your relationship with this sweet 'where we met' map print. Featuring a map of the area you met with a heart over the specific location, it's a romantic reminder of how it all began!

Buy Where We Met Map from Positive Prints (from £45)

6 clock anniversary gift ideas

Jean Pierre Double Hunter Multi Dial Skeleton Pocket Watch

First anniversary gift ideas

For a modern gift, a pocket watch is a gorgeous anniversary gift that can be used as a watch or as a display piece in an office. This option was crafted in Switzerland with a simple gold casing and multi dial watch face. A truly sophisticated gift for your partner.

Buy Jean Pierre Double Hunter Multi Dial Skeleton Pocket Watch from Farrar & Tanner (£360)

Antique Oak Bracket Clock with Eight Day Striking Movement

First anniversary gift ideas

If your husband or wife loves an antique, this 1920s mantle clock is perfect for your first anniversary. Made from quality oak, it's a gift that will last for years, and can even be passed down to generations to come.

Buy Antique Oak Bracket Clock with Eight Day Striking Movement from 1st Dibs (£595)

Daniel Wellington Unisex Watch

First anniversary gift ideas

A favourite gift for a clock anniversary, a watch is a useful and thoughtful present. This unisex watch has a traditional, minimal appearance with a leather strap available in brown or white.

Buy Daniel Wellington Unisex Watch from John Lewis (£105)

Henning Koppel Clock

First anniversary gift ideas

Keep it classic with a wall clock for your first anniversary. This simple clock from Georg Jenson will suit any style of interiors, and you'll be sure to remember your first anniversary every time you look at it.

Buy Henning Koppel Clock from Georg Jenson (£195)

3D Jigsaw Puzzle Clock

First anniversary gift ideas

Here's one for all the puzzle-lovers. This 3D clock puzzle is a fun first anniversary gift that you can make together and keep as a sentimental display piece. Why not make it a tradition and redo the puzzle each year on your anniversary?

Buy 3D Jigsaw Puzzle Clock from Etsy (£31.01)

Personalised Wedding Anniversary Clock

First anniversary gift ideas

If your interiors are more rustic or you just have a neutral colour scheme, this personalised clock will add a lovely touch. Personalised with your names and your wedding date, you can be sure no one else has a clock quite like it.


Buy Personalised Wedding Anniversary Clock from Etsy (£32.99)