1st wedding anniversary gift ideas

By Stacey Donovan and Cat Hollyer on July 22nd, 2021
1 anniv ideas

Traditional: Paper

Modern: Clocks

Read on for unique ideas for giving 1st anniversary gifts—as well writing anniversary messages and celebrating the happy occasion.

1 anniv ideas

1st anniversary gifts and ideas for spouses

What to give


  • Grab a pen and some stationery and write the kind of love letter that will be tucked away forever. Need help getting started? Try these tips from Hallmark writer Keely Chace.
  • Give a book of romantic “love coupons,” purchased or homemade, that can be redeemed for back rubs, chores or other favours.
  • Give your mate a pack of beautiful stationery.


  • Get matching smart watches or find an antique or vintage clock for your wall or mantel.
  • Take out a full-page ad in the local newspaper wishing your partner a happy anniversary and sharing your love for him or her with the world.

Don’t forget the card! Your paper anniversary is not complete without telling your partner just how much their love means.

And for more ideas, see what to write in an anniversary card and how to write a love letter.

What to write

What to write in a 1st anniversary card

  • “This first year has been so full of love—I can’t wait to see where the other years take us!”
  • “When I saw you on our wedding day, my heart was bursting with love…and somehow I love you even more a year later.”
  • “Everything I fell in love with is still there, and in this past year, I’ve found even more reasons to love you.”

What to write about in a 1st anniversary love letter

  • Your favourite memory from this past year
  • What you’ve learned about your partner this year
  • A goal (or wish or promise) for your next year of marriage

How to celebrate

  • Relive your honeymoon at home (recreate your favourite meals and the ambiance of the restaurant) or by visiting restaurants and attractions, if they’re nearby.
  • Don’t forget to eat that cake you froze from your wedding day. (Or, if you didn’t, track down a cake that’s similar to your wedding cake and feed each other a slice.)
  • Print out your vows on paper—the traditional first anniversary gift—and frame them.

For more ideas, check out these creative anniversary dates and anniversary traditions.


1st anniversary gifts and ideas for friends and family

What to give

  • People appreciate personalization, so give note cards or stationery printed with the couples’ names or initials. A pack of stamps makes a thoughtful addition.
  • Print your favourite wedding photo and send it in the perfect paper anniversary gift—a card.
  • Give a subscription to a magazine or newspaper you think they’d both enjoy.

What to write

  • “Hope today is the perfect excuse to drop everything else and focus on the two of you.”
  • “So happy to have shared your special day a year ago—here’s to a beautiful couple!”
  • “May your love and happiness grow, year after year!”

Stacey Donovan has been a writer and editor at Hallmark for more than 20 years. She also writes romance novels (under a pseudonym), and has collected a wealth of obscure knowledge in the process.