A lot of questions may arise when trying to organize a wedding anniversary, especially when it comes to the first one as this is not yet a tradition within the couple.
My “1 year wedding anniversary – the complete guide” will give as many ideas as possible with respect to the different 1st wedding anniversary themes. This guide will give you a comprehensive list of traditional first-anniversary gifts ideas, modern gifts ideas, travel, activities and much more.
If you do not know that there are different lists or simply want to find out more about the origins of the wedding anniversary tradition, do not hesitate to read my first post. Do not forget to come back here to find the best ideas for your wedding anniversary!
US Traditional 1st wedding anniversary
This year’s theme, Paper is used in the US. For the UK, this year’s anniversary is Cotton. I did not yet write the post about cotton’s gifts and ideas but will make sure to add a link later.
The paper has been around since the 19th century. Even if some jokes that the Paper anniversary means “divorce papers”, the real symbolization is a lot different. Yes, there is no “official” meaning as to why this them has been chosen but a few explanations make sense.
Before the paper becomes paper, it starts with a seed that slowly grows into a tree until it is made in its final form. The same way, your couple first started with a seed called love and the relationship grew bigger and stronger until you decided to officialize it into marriage, which can be symbolized by paper.
Yes, the paper is fragile and simple, the same as your (still) fresh union. After all, you said yes for the rest of your life 1 year ago. Put in perspective of a 60th diamond anniversary it can still be seen as simple and fragile.
The last symbol to be seen is the fact that, after 1 year of marriage, your whole couple story is still yet to be written with important milestones, the same as a blank sheet of paper.
Paper anniversary gift ideas
- Tickets for a concert, a sporting event or a travel
- A rare book
- A couple diary
- A fine writing instrument
- A couple photo book
- Subscription to favorite magazine or newspaper
- A painting or drawing
Paper anniversary travel ideas
- Egypt: Follow the history of a very old and well-known paper: the papyrus. If you are not into history, just use the papyrus as an excuse and head to Egypt’s best beaches.
- Germany: Gutenberg, inventor of printing was German. Full of history and fun, Germany is a great country to visit for both young and older couples
Paper anniversary activity ideas
- A treasure hunt using lovely paper notes
- Play some romantic card game
- Take a papercraft class
Paper anniversary quotes
“Love is not written on paper, for paper can be erased.
Nor is it etched on stone, for stone can be broken.
But it is inscribed on a heart and there it shall remain forever.” – Jalaluddin Muhammad Rumi
UK Traditional 1st wedding anniversary
The 2 first wedding anniversary are inverted between the US and the UK. While the US celebrate their first anniversary with Paper, the UK celebrate with Cotton and, for the second anniversary, it is going to be the opposite.
Similar to paper, cotton is also fragile and flexible, which reflects your first year of marriage. Cotton also symbolizes purity and innocence, something common to your first year spent together.
Cotton anniversary gift ideas
- Clothing: bathrobe, scarf, gloves, etc
- Personalized cushions
- Cotton flowers
Cotton anniversary activity ideas
- We often say that the clouds look like cotton, why not organize a Skydiving experience if your couple is a bit on the crazy side
- As long as your bedding is made of cotton, why not spend the day in the bed. Make breakfast, spend time reviewing your past and plan future or…anything else
- A day at the SPA and spend it resting in their cotton bathrobe
- Plan a cotton club night, either home or not, suit up, and listen to good music
Cotton anniversary quotes
I wasn’t born to love you, but I will die loving you – Tommy Cotton
Modern 1st wedding anniversary
If you ever feel the paper subject boring, the modern anniversary list call for a clock on the 1st year… Well, yes, it may not be really better than paper since clocks are less fashion than 60 years ago but some nice idea can be found around watches or nice home ornamentations.
I usually tend to think the traditional Paper wedding is more symbolic thus makes more sense to follow and gives a better story. Nevertheless, make sure to talk about it with your companion: should you follow a specific theme or are you free to pick any that you’d like? Does he/she know that there are more than the Modern and Traditional theme to follow?
Clock anniversary gift ideas
- A watch
- A clock for home or office
- An alarm clock
Clock anniversary travel ideas
- Switzerland: the country of clocks and watches of course (and also my country…). A great option if you enjoy nature and outdoor sports.
Clock anniversary activity ideas
- Just take time for something that you always want to do but never take time: talk, watch the sunset or book a night in a bed and breakfast in the middle of nowhere!
1st wedding anniversary gemstone
Well, this year’s theme is not really a gem but more a metal, and of the most famous and precious! The Gold has been around for ages and was traditionally used as money, jewelry or ornaments. Even if many said that gold was dead, I think that it remains one of the most timeless gifts that can be made. Most families pass gold, under the form of coins or jewelry, generation after generation. This is why most of what has been mined through the age still exist somewhere under mattresses or at the banks!
With such a rich history, gold has a lot of symbolism trough the civilizations. If we keep what is interesting for our wedding anniversary, we can say that gold represents purity, wealth and protection
Gold anniversary gift ideas
- Tie clip
- cuff links
- A gold coin
- A gold nugget
Gold anniversary travel ideas
- Johannesburg, South Africa: Known as the gold capital, if Johannesburg may not be the most “sexy” city, the rest of the country is great for wildlife, beaches, culture and food!
Gold anniversary activity ideas
- A weekend in the wild, looking for real gold!
1st wedding anniversary flowers
This year’s theme with regard to flowers is Carnation, a flower that, in general, symbolize love and fascination. Carnations have a lot of history and symbols, especially when it comes to their distinct colors :
- White Carnation: usually symbolize pure love and innocence.
- Pink Carnation: It is said that they first bloomed from Virgin Mary tears They are, therefore, used for Mother’s day to represent a mother’s undying love.
- Red Carnation: As with most colors, stick to a bright or dark red carnation to represent deep love and passion. A light red is more oriented towards friendship.
- Purple Carnation: Are said to symbolize capriciousness and should, therefore, be avoided.
- Yellow Carnation: Represent disappointment and rejection, a color that should definitely be avoided, especially since this year’s color is yellow.
- Stripped Carnation: Usually represent a refusal to someone.
1st wedding anniversary color
This year’s color theme has 2 variations: Gold and Yellow. Yellow is usually associated with betrayal and should be avoided with flowers, especially associated with this year flower, the carnation.
On a more positive side, yellow symbolize happiness, joy, energy and prosperity. To me, yellow represents quite well the first year of the wedding with its energy and sunny reflects.
The gold, usually associated with wealth is a good combination with this year’s gemstone. Gold is said to symbolize the masculine energy, success and prosperity.
My post is now finished, feel free to leave me your comments, whether positive or negative so I can keep building up the resource and do not hesitate to also share your experience and ideas, I’ll consider adding them to this post too!