first wedding anniversary gifts

21 First Wedding Anniversary Gifts: Traditional and Modern

When picking first anniversary gifts, there’s a lot to think about! Do you want to go down the traditional route for your first anniversary gifts and opt for a paper gift? Or would you like to follow the modern example and give a clock as your first anniversary gift? We cover it all in our guide to first anniversary gifts for weddings.

What do you buy as a first anniversary gift?

Your first anniversary gifts are typically made from – or reference – paper. However, if you don’t love the idea of giving a paper gift for your first anniversary, you can choose to give a clock or clock-themed gift, as the modern alternative is clocks.


Why is paper the traditional first anniversary gift?

There is a romantic reason behind giving paper as your first wedding anniversary gift. Paper is fragile and needs to be treated carefully, much like your relationship in the early days of your marriage. Clean, blank paper also represents the fresh pages on which your love story is being written.

The modern alternative, clocks, came to be as they represent the time spent together so far, as well as all the time you have ahead of you.

For more information, make sure you read our guide to all the wedding anniversary milestones.

21 First Wedding Anniversary Gift Ideas: Paper & Clocks

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1. Message in a Bottle

Give a beautiful personalised message in a bottle as a creative twist on the standard paper anniversary gift. Buy it from Getting Personal for £14.99.

2. Ladybird Book of the Husband

If you want a funny first wedding anniversary gift, what about the Ladybird Book of the Husband? It’s a tongue-in-cheek little gift that will make him laugh. There’s a Book of the Wife too! Get it from Prezzybox for £14.99.

Read more: The best gifts for the groom

3. Couple’s Treasure Hunt

This is such a creative first anniversary gift idea – use the paper in this couple’s treasure hunt kit to lead the way to a special surprise. It could be another gift, or a romantic picnic – use your imagination! Buy it for £16 on Not on the High Street.

4. Name a Star

Amaze your partner with an first anniversary gift that truly is out of this world by presenting them with a paper certificate that reveals there is a star named after them. Buy it from Getting Personal for £16.99.

5. 10 Reasons Why I Love You Notes

This is a super cute and affordable idea for a first anniversary gift. You can personalise the ‘10 Reasons Why I Love You’ notes with super-specific facts about what makes them just so loveable. Buy it from Not on the High Street for £21.

6. 52 Date Night Cards

Give yourself a year of exciting date night ideas with these 52 Date Night Cards. It’ll help keep things fresh and exciting – this is such an imaginative take on the traditional paper anniversary gift! Buy it for £24.95 from Not on the High Street.

7. Anniversary Book

Tell the story of your lives together with this lovely Anniversary Book. You could fill in the details up to your first wedding anniversary, then make it a tradition to keep filling it in together as the years go by. It’s available on Not on the High Street for £29.99.

8. Shabby Chic Clock

This beautiful shabby chic clock can be personalised with your married name and a special message. It’s a great addition to a vintage inspired home. Buy it here from H Samuel for £29.99.

9. Metallic Song Lyrics Print

Get the lyrics from your favourite song printed out in beautiful metallic font – we love the idea of using the lyrics from your first dance song to make it the most meaningful of first anniversary gifts. Buy it from Not on the High Street for £30.

10. Hand Painted Couple’s Portrait

We love this creative idea – a hand painted portrait of the two of you! You could ask the artist to paint a picture from your wedding day to make it the most sentimental of all your first wedding anniversary gifts. Buy it for £34 from Not on the High Street.

11. Engraved Crystal Clock

If you want to go down the modern route for your first wedding anniversary gifts, how about this engraved crystal mantel clock? It’s £39.99 from The Gift Experience.

12. Wagging Tail Dachshund Clock

Dog lovers will adore this quirky dachshund themed clock as a modern first wedding anniversary present! It even wags its tail. Buy it here for £44.95 from Cuckooland.

13. Newspaper from Your Wedding Day

Give them an original newspaper from a special date, such as your wedding day, as a thoughtful first anniversary gift they’ll treasure, and can pass down through generations. Buy if from Getting Personal for £44.99.

14. Personalised First Dance Photo Print

Overlay a picture from your wedding with your first dance lyrics with this personalised first dance photo print. It’s a beautiful and sentimental choice of first anniversary gift. Buy it for £45 from Not on the High Street.

15. Paper Plane Necklace

If you want something a bit more valuable than a simple piece of paper, what about this personalised paper plane necklace from Not on the High Street? You can choose between three metal types, so you can pick their favourite. Buy it here for £49.

Read more: The best gifts for a bride

16. Premium Boxed Original Newspaper

Why not treat your husband or wife to a premium boxed original newspaper from the date of your choice? It’s a great way to give a piece of history as a first anniversary gift. Buy it here from The Gift Experience for £49.99.

17. Personalised Leather Watch

This personalised leather watch from Prezzybox is a creative twist on the modern first anniversary gift of a clock. You can personalise the back of the watch with a message of your choice. Buy it here for £64.95.

18. Paper Plane Cufflinks

We love the idea of playing with the tradition of paper first wedding anniversary gifts, and these sterling silver paper plane cufflinks are the perfect example. They’re a great first wedding anniversary gift for your husband. Buy them from Not on the High Street for £65.

19. Wall Clock

Jazz up your home décor with the New Gate Mr Edwards wall clock. If you know you want something like this, why not go halves as a joint first wedding anniversary present to yourselves? Buy it here from Cuckooland for £100.

20. Silver Watch with Pearl Face

If she’s let on she doesn’t want a paper wedding anniversary gift, treat her to this beautiful silver and pearl watch from Abbot Lyon. You can buy it here for £104.30.

21. Men’s Leather and Brass Watch

This leather and brass watch can be classed as a clock first anniversary gift as it’s effectively a personal clock for your wrist. Buy it here from Abbot Lyon for £129.

For more ideas, why not read our guide to the most unusual wedding gifts.

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