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The 20 best first anniversary gifts of 2024

Celebrate one year of marriage with these first year anniversary gift ideas

The 20 best first anniversary gifts of 2024

If you got married last year, you and I are part of a special club of newlyweds who are now on the hunt to find the perfect first anniversary gift. And while writing about shopping is what I do for a living, seeing as this one's so personal, I want to make sure I get it just right. So, I decided to do some light research and found out that paper gifts — yes, paper! — are what we should be looking for to commemorate this special milestone with our loves.

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Licensed professional counselor and couple therapist Marissa Moore tells me that paper holds so much weight (no pun intended) in this life moment. She says it represents a blank canvas, fragility and care, the importance of communication, versatility and growth, and documenting memories. So, basically, it symbolizes commemorating your fresh start in marriage.

"Your first year together is like a fresh sheet of paper, full of possibilities," Moore says. "You get to create your story together, write your shared narrative and set the tone for your future."

We've rounded up some of our favorite symbolic and practical paper one year anniversary gifts, including a memorable and whimsical pop-up greeting card and an anniversary journal to chronicle your first year of marriage. And because not everyone wants to lean into tradition, we've also added some unexpected options, like a gold stainless steel cake cutting set to finally slice into that top-tier from your wedding cake and a leather passport wallet for your next couple's trip.

Exchanging a greeting card is a first anniversary must — and these will make for sentimental keepsakes to look back at 10, 20, 30 years down the line! Here are a few of our faves.

This simple option gets straight to the point, yet is still romantically optimistic. The inside is blank, so you have plenty of space to express yourself in sharing just how much you love your life partner. 

$5 at Amazon

Want to get a little tongue-in-cheek? This witty card is a cute nod to your paper anniversary. 

$6 at Amazon

If your spouse loves handmade gifts, this one is right up their alley. It's made using mulberry paper and wire. Better yet, this is just one of many options the seller has — later down the line, make it an adorable tradition and get a similar handmade card for your 21st, 40th, 50th anniversary and so on!

$12 at Amazon

If you want to go above and beyond with a card that is also a keepsake (and even a decor piece), this one from Lovepop is one of my personal favorites. It even comes with a blank slide-out note card where you can write your message, to keep the beautifully designed main card pristine for posterity. 

$13 at Lovepop

Sometimes a simple graphic or design is the best way to express how you feel. This pop-up card shows a couple sitting together on a swing under a cherry blossom — and it's just the cutest thing ever. Like the Lovepop card, this one comes with an external note card where you can write your message.

$9 at Amazon

As Moore mentioned, your paper anniversary symbolizes how you will write your story together. These keepsake-style paper gifts allow you to reflect on the first few pages of what is sure to be an epic love story.

Your first dance at your wedding is a moment that will always be engrained in your mind. Keep the memory alive with this framed custom vinyl complete with a photo of you two dancing during your big day, surrounded by the lyrics to "your song."

$35 at Etsy

Whether you're the chef or you’re expressing gratitude for a partner who is, this subtly thoughtful gift keeps with the paper theme — but with a unique (and very useful) spin. This 20-pack of custom recipe cards is a thoughtful way to record your favorite family recipes for the future (and possible family) you’ll build together.

$38 at Papier

Think about all the time, effort and heart you put into writing your wedding vows. Why not put them on display, as a daily reminder of the promises you made to each other? These are printed in a stunning script and you can customize the gift with eight size selections and four frame materials.

$39 at Etsy

This is one of my personal favorites. If you're both sentimental and are suckers for tradition, this genius anniversary journal is a place to chronicle your favorite moments, milestones, photos and words of wisdom you have for your first year. And you'll keep adding to it for your fifth, 10th, 20th year and so on. 

$45 at Etsy

If your spouse works at a desk, whether at home or in an external office, this custom calendar will put a smile on their face every day. Each month will have a different photo of you two or your family — and it even comes with a sturdy and high-quality brass easel for elegant displaying.

$47 at Artifact Uprising

For those looking for a paper gift that's not couple-centric, this leather notebook is my top recommendation. Journaling is such a therapeutic and calming practice and this journal is made of high-quality materials. Plus, you can personalize it with your spouse's initials, making it truly one-of-a-kind.

$51 at Papier

Everyone loves a gift that they can actually use, day in and day out. Here are a few of our favorites that are both useful and thoughtful.

We know you already know all about the viral Stanley insulated tumbler. It keeps drinks cold for up to 11 hours and iced for up to two days, but did you know that you could customize it? Add text, a monogram or a graphic to make it special to your better half. This is something they're sure to use every single day.

$57 at Stanley

Are you a fan of scented candles? If so, you understand that not all are created equal. While some options only fragrance their immediate vicinity, others can fill a space and really set a mood. If you or your love is a fan of vanilla, this is one of my all-time favorite scented candles that fills the entire room (and then some). Curious about the scent? It smells warm, comforting and a little woody.

$75 at Lafco

Planning on taking a trip to celebrate the big one year? Then you or your spouse need a passport wallet, and here's one that's sure to last you forever — and I mean forever. Since it's made of Horween leather, it develops a patina over time that's unique to its owner — and truly only improves with age. It also has room for a boarding pass, a pen, cash and cards, for the spouse who loves to stay organized. 

$130 at Nomad

The wedding may be a year in the past, but why not get the Mrs. a pair of flats that remind her of what she wore on your special day — but are much more practical for everyday wear? These flats are romantic, comfortable, lightweight — and machine-washable. Plus, their inclusive sizing runs from 5 to 13.

$169 at Rothy's

If you guys entertain a lot and your spouse was the life of the party at your wedding (as they should), this speaker has their name written all over it (and it's even Yahoo-approved). 

While it's the best of the best for backyard cookouts, house parties and the like, where it shines, though, is dual mic and guitar inputs that make it just right for at-home karaoke sessions. After all, there's a reason why we named it the best outdoor speaker for karaoke nights.

Also, don't let its size fool you — it's fully portable, so the Mr. or Mrs. will still be able to play their favorite jams wirelessly no matter where you guys go.

$400 at JBL

When you mix "romantic" and "practical," these four gifts are what come to mind. From a couple's game to a bracelet charm, these will make you and your spouse feel all warm and fuzzy inside.

Though you two may have been together for years and years, you never really stop learning about each other, and that's one of the most fun parts of marriage! This game makes sure you're always getting to know one another since it's packed with 110 cards with questions like, "What would your dream house look like?" and "Do you remember an especially nice compliment that you once received from me?" Game night for two, please!

$9 at Amazon

If you're anything like my spouse and me, you're giddy with excitement thinking about finally being able to cut into the top tier of your wedding cake. After all, you saved it for a full year for this very moment. Make the moment special with this elegant thickened stainless steel gold cake cutting set. Best of all, after this milestone, you can reuse it for just about any other special occasion you have later in your life.

$9 at Amazon

Does your wife have a Pandora bracelet? If she has room for just one more charm, this is the one to get her. Available in three materials (gold plated, rose gold plated and sterling silver), it's a thoughtful way of commemorating your wedding date. For $20 (bringing its total to $85), you're able to add text, icons and symbols in various fonts that are special to just the two of you.

$85 at Pandora

You can never go wrong with the basics! Few things say "I love you" like a fresh bouquet and this one comes straight to your door (just make sure that your spouse is the one who answers). This particular arrangement comes with spray roses, ruscus, hypericum berries, cocculus and red roses.

$129 at Urbanstems

The reviews quoted above reflect the most recent versions at the time of publication.

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