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The 18 Best Paper Anniversary Gifts to Celebrate Your First Year of Marriage

by Staff

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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.

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.


  • 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.

  • 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.

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