Tips & Guides

What is a Paper Anniversary? 5 Gifts to Say “I love you” and Keep the Tradition Alive

Tips & Guides

Known as the paper anniversary, the first wedding anniversary gift traditionally involves paper. Here are 5 ways to get the first anniversary gift right for your wife.

The one-year wedding anniversary is also known as the “paper anniversary.” Why? Paper is symbolic of the fragility and freshness of your union. Just like a blank sheet of paper, it’s still crisp, clean and holds endless possibilities. 

Paper is the foundation of every great story and you’ve just made it through Chapter 1.

Why is your 1st-Year Anniversary is Such an Important Milestone?

It’s easy to compare yourself to other couples who have seemingly been together for ages, but making it the one-year mark in marriage is an occasion worth celebrating. In the first year, you inevitably hit some snags and experience the growing pains that come with formalizing your commitment.

Whether you dated your wife for months or years--lived together or separately--before getting married, marriage has a way of changing your perspective on everything. Once upon a time, there was “me”, “myself” and mine. Now, there’s “we”, “us” and ours. All of the decisions you once made alone must now take your partner into consideration.

our take on the paper anniversary gift

We're going to share first anniversary gift ideas for your wife that take the idea of a paper gift to a new level. Like, our Sphere + Wand Locket, which lets her hold a piece of year-1 close to her heart.

Is this your first anniversary of dating?

Your first anniversary of dating is a significant occasion to commemorate, but it doesn't have to follow the same symbolic gift traditions as marriage anniversaries. If you’re celebrating one year of dating, read our detailed article on thoughtful one-year anniversary gifts or skip straight to our anniversary gift guide here.

Upholding Tradition

In a way, the paper anniversary gift symbolically sets the tone for the year ahead. It can be especially challenging since the idea behind the paper anniversary tradition is that you literally gift your partner something made of paper. How do you do something romantic within those confines?

Paper anniversary gifts can range from completely pragmatic and utilitarian to thoughtful and romantic. Our goal is to steer you toward the latter end of that spectrum, which begs the question, “What are the best paper anniversary gifts for her?”

Paper Anniversary Gift Hack

Though paper must be part of the gift, no one ever said it has to be the whole gift. Depending on how you look at it, paper is either limiting or full of potential. We're going to explore its potential for your first-year anniversary gift.

The key to our approach is remembering that a paper gift allows you to express yourself through words and images.

But where to even start?

Think of the paper gift as a special keepsake for her to hold onto forever, rather than a temporary gesture she uses once and then discards or misplaces. The words are more important than the gift itself; it’s about what’s on the paper.

Yep, we're suggesting you get personal. Lucky for you, we’re experts at finding the right words to put on paper and by the end of this post, we'll have arrived at the best personalized paper anniversary gift for your wife.

Here are some perfect 1st anniversary gift ideas for her to celebrate your paper anniversary.

For the sentimental couple…

personalized first anniversary gifts

Our Heart + Arrow Bracelet checks 3 important boxes: It holds a personalized message from you to her, the heart is a universal symbol of love, and it's a stunning statement piece that she can wear all year long.

You know you're in this couple if you and your wife spend a disproportionate amount of time figuring out how to preserve the wonderful moments you spend together. You grab the matches from your favorite restaurants. You frame maps of the cities you've visited together. You still have the movie ticket stub from your first date--not to mention, every card you've ever written to each other and possibly thousands of photos from your first year alone.

That's because a tale-tell sign of the sentimental couple is that they tend to cherish symbols of the significant moments in their relationship. 

If this is you and your partner, the Heart + Arrow Bracelet is the perfect keepsake for your better half. Personalize the paper fortune message inside with an excerpt from your vows or a lyric from the song you first danced to. You have her heart and now she can have yours, with a special touch inside.

_PAPER-HABracelet

For the couple that loves a good laugh…

envelope locket gold

Special delivery: Use the love note inside this Envelope Locket to memorialize one of your best jokes to date. Swap it out later when your jokes become even funnier.

Your colleagues might see you as serious, professional or even rigid, but at home you turn into a late-night comedian with an audience of one. 

The cornier the joke, the better. The number one thing she likes about you is that you make her laugh like no one else. You put a smile on her face that brightens your world. This precious bond may be one that you and she like to keep private, or one that's come to characterize your relationship. 

Whether you don’t take life very seriously at all or you just enjoy comic relief to shake up the day-to-day, the Envelope Fortune Locket is the perfect gift to let her hold your comedic one-liners close so she can have a private laugh when you aren’t together.  

_PAPERENVELOPELocket

For the best friends who fell in love…

sphere and wand locket

If your story starts out as a friendship, consider gifting her our Sphere + Wand Locket. It's one part time capsule to preserve your memories, another part everyday fashion.

Not every couple starts out as a romantic pairing. Some start their story together as friends. If you two are the Chandler and Monica of your friend group, it's possible that you might not have even liked each other that way when you first met. Maybe you immediately friend-zoned each other and became great pals who were down for anything.

This dynamic tends to lend to vulnerability and openness, which lets you see each other on a completely different level than when your initial meeting follows standard dating rituals. You love each other as people and this love can often become romantic over time.

With the Sphere and Wand Locket, let her know that you cherish how your particular story has unfolded with words that symbolize your early days. Consider using the coordinates of where you first met or a quote from a story just like yours.

_PAPER-SWLocket

For the couple that's expecting or already has children…

large fortune cookie locket

Whether your journey began with a child already in one of your lives or you're expecting a bundle of joy soon, reassure her that you're on this adventure together with a Fortune Cookie Locket that reaffirms your love for her.

Though you're already bonded together through marriage, a child together can make this bond even stronger. It is you and her starting a family of your own and entering a whole new role together, as parents.

 Make sure that she knows how you feel about her as both a partner and wife, and also as mother or mommy to be. Motherhood is an amazing gift, but being a mother it is not for the faint of heart. Treat your first anniversary gift as an opportunity to give her some words of encouragement.

Let her know that you appreciate all she does or will do as a mother, and that you are in this together. Gifting her the Fortune Cookie Locket is a great way to let her know how fortunate you feel to have her in your life. 

_PAPER-LARGEFORTUNECOOKIELocket

For when you can’t quite find the right words…

Sometimes words simply aren't enough. Capture a memory that the two of you  share the old-fashioned way: by putting a photo in our Classic Fortune Locket.

We've spent this entire post focused on words on paper, but not everyone expresses themselves in words. If that's you, consider going the old-fashioned route: frame your favorite photo of you two in one of our lockets.
Whether it's you on your wedding day, the first picture you ever took together, or a candid shot that she's always loved, sometimes pictures are--yep, we're going there--worth a thousand words.
 

Choose a photo that shows how the story “me” became the story of "we.” Wearing this meaningful jewelry each day, will allow her to carry that little piece of you with her. 

_PAPER-CLASSICLocket

Lockets are one of the most traditional keepsakes in the world, but it's what's inside that tells your story. Our lockets will help you put a modern twist on a centuries-old tradition.

All of these pieces carry a personalized paper anniversary gift that she can wear and hold onto forever. The paper anniversary tradition has been around for centuries. Though the types of gifts we give have changed, the true meaning of love and new beginnings behind the ritual remains. 

A few final reminders before you go...

Not all relationships are the same. Some couples are more sappy and sentimental and others spend their days cracking jokes and laughing until they cry. Some couples are navigating gift giving in a long-distance relationship. But one thing that remains consistent across the board is the significant bond you share. 

When trying to find the perfect message for her, don’t feel pressured to say the “right” thing. Say how you feel, be vulnerable, and remember she fell in love with you for a reason.

Women appreciate when men express their feelings. So, tell her how much she means to you because that is the most meaningful gift you can give her.

Congratulations on one year as a married couple!

Julia Mazzella

Julia is a Fortune & Frame contributing writer and junior at Marist College, in Poughkeepsie, New York. She studies Fashion Merchandising with a dual concentration in Business and Promotion. Mazzella is truly passionate about writing and hopes to continue as she enters the fashion world, upon graduation.






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