1st Wedding Anniversary: 15 Creative Gifts To Wow Your Spouse

By Jim CampbellJim CampbellJim CampbellJim is the owner of Honeymoons.com. A lifelong traveler, Jim's wanderlust has led him to spend months living on the Mayan Rivera, instruct SCUBA diving in Croatia, sail from San Diego to Hawaii, and cruise the Caribbean on a catamaran. Jim launched his honeymoon business while planning his own honeymoon in 2019. Since then, he has helped thousands of honeymooners plan their trips through his honeymoon travel agency.Meet Our Team | Updated on February 14, 2024 | Posted In: Anniversary

Celebrating your 1st wedding anniversary is definitely something to look forward to. It means that you’ve made it through the first year of marriage and are still going strong! Although it may seem like a small milestone, this is actually quite an achievement. After all, the first year of marriage can be one of the toughest for couples as they adjust to each other’s habits, preferences, and quirks.

To celebrate this special occasion, we have put together a list of creative 1st wedding anniversary gifts that will leave your spouse speechless. The following ideas should help you choose an ideal gift that reflects both your personality and relationship with your partner.

Read on to find out more about these exciting options.

Thematic 1st Wedding Anniversary Gifts


If you want to go down the traditional route when celebrating your 1st wedding anniversary, then paper would be the perfect choice. It’s the traditional gift for the occasion because it represents the unwritten future that lies ahead of your marriage. This material is also symbolic of modest beginnings and fragility, which makes it a fitting choice for those just starting their journey together.

It’s a versatile option that allows you to express your creativity in lots of different ways. For example, you could create a scrapbook filled with memories or write your own love letter (and seal it with a kiss!). Alternatively, you could consider giving your spouse handcrafted paper flowers or lanterns. Each of these suggestions offers a slightly different spin on paper and will make for a truly unique present.

1st wedding anniversary paper


Gold is another traditional color associated with the 1st anniversary. The gold symbolizes wealth, strength, and endurance, so it’s a popular choice for couples who are celebrating their first year of marriage. You could give your spouse a personalized gold coin or a pair of gold earrings. Or you could opt for a golden key ring or a gold-plated wristwatch if you want something practical. But if you’re feeling adventurous, you could surprise your spouse by baking them a cake topped with chocolate icing and decorated with edible gold flakes.

1st wedding anniversary gold

Carnations or Pansies

These flowers are typically given as a gift for the 1st anniversary because they signify ties of lasting vows. Carnation blossoms are available in several bright and beautiful colors, such as pink and white, red, yellow and scarlet. On the other hand, pansies come in a variety of shades including white, yellow, pink, red and even orange. You could combine both flowers into a single bouquet, or simply pick one of them to give your spouse. Either way, your loved one will appreciate your thoughtfulness and effort.

1st wedding anniversary carnation

15 creative gift ideas for 1st wedding anniversary

1. DIY Paper Carnation

A handcrafted paper carnation is something that you can make yourself and will cost next to nothing. All you need is some colored paper of your choice, scissors, glue, and tape. Once you have everything ready, you can start making your floral masterpiece. There are plenty of step-by-step tutorials online that will show you how to make a simple yet elegant paper flower. While it might take you a few hours to finish, you’ll have fun creating your handmade gift. Your spouse will certainly appreciate the time and effort that went into making it.

2. A personalized letter in a picture frame

Write a heartfelt letter that explains why you love your spouse and place it inside a picture frame that you’ve decorated yourself. Then wrap it up nicely and present it to your partner. If you want to make things extra romantic, you could put a single carnation at the bottom of the frame. This will add a nice touch to your present and further emphasize the message that you’re trying to convey. This keepsake is sure to become a treasured memento of your first year together.

3. A handmade book of memories

For this project, you’ll need a blank notebook or sketchpad, colored pencils and markers, decorative papers, and lots of photos. Start by designing the front cover of your notebook. You can decorate it with ribbons, beads, and other embellishments that match your anniversary theme. Next, fill the notebook with romantic pictures, as well as snapshots taken during various happy occasions. You could also include the vows that you and your spouse wrote on the day you got married. Finally, please take the time to write a personalized message on the first page of the notebook. This will remind you both of your wonderful past and provide inspiration for the future.

4. A DIY paper lantern

This is another good idea for a DIY gift. Instead of buying a ready-to-use bedside lamp, you can craft your own using colorful sheets of paper and double-sided tape. Once your lamp has been assembled, you can place a LED tealight candle inside and hang it from the ceiling or attach it to the wall. This is a creative way to illuminate your bedroom and offer your partner an intimate, romantic ambiance. Here’s a video tutorial that will guide you through the entire process.

5. A printed photo book

There’s no better way to capture the highlights of your first year of marriage than by putting together a printed photo album. This is a great alternative to the traditional scrapbook and it will allow you to include lots of pictures with less effort. All you need to do is design the pages of your book beforehand, incorporate your photos, and print them out. The end result should look like a regular book with your photos printed in high quality. If you want to personalize your gift, you could add captions underneath each photograph. For example, you could write down what was happening in the picture and how much you loved spending time with your spouse.

6. A handcrafted paperweight with dried carnation blooms

If your spouse works in an office, they may appreciate a stylish paperweight. It will help prevent their documents from scattering around the desk and falling on the floor. To make your paperweight, you’ll need a casting resin, dome mold and dried carnation blooms. All these items are relatively inexpensive and easy to find. As long as you follow the instructions carefully, you shouldn’t have any problems creating a unique paperweight.

7. An art print

You don’t need to be a professional artist to create a beautiful artwork. All you need is a picture that captures the essence of your relationship. You can either use a digital camera or smartphone to take a picture of you and your spouse. Then, print out the image on thick paper and place it in a wooden frame. When you give your spouse the gift, explain why you chose this particular artwork. Alternatively, you can search for suitable art prints online and order them. If you’d like to go the extra mile, you could also customize the design of the frame.

8. A handmade 1st wedding anniversary card

Handmade cards are one of the easiest yet most thoughtful gifts you can give your spouse. However, you’ll need to be creative when it comes to choosing the right design and wordings. Here’s an idea: buy a plain white card and decorate it with colored pens and glitter. A simple but effective trick is to write a heartwarming message on the front of the card. In general, the more sentimental and heartfelt the message, the better. You could also use a thank-you quote or bible verse that describe your feelings toward your spouse. But if you really want to impress your spouse, avoid clichés and try to write something original.

9. A book

This might sound like a very generic gift, but it’s actually a fantastic idea. There are countless books on a wide range of topics. So, you can choose a book that matches your spouse’s interests. For example, you could purchase a cookbook if your spouse loves cooking and baking. Or, you could buy a novel if your partner enjoys reading fiction. You could even go all out and get a signed copy of an author’s latest bestseller. With this gift, you won’t just be giving your spouse a new piece of literature. You’ll also show them that you’re invested in their passion. Besides, you can also read the book together. It’s a fun activity that will strengthen your bond.

10. A movie ticket

A movie night is a perfect way to spend some quality time with your spouse on your first anniversary. Choose a film that you know they will enjoy watching. It doesn’t have to be a blockbuster movie, as long as it’s one that you both love. Just make sure you book the seats in advance and arrive early so you don’t miss the start of the movie. Of course, you shouldn’t forget about snacks. You can prepare a delicious snack platter that includes chips, cookies, and soft drinks. Or, you could simply pick up a couple of prepackaged snacks at the supermarket. After watching the movie, you can have dinner at a fancy restaurant before heading back home.

11. A gold-plated wristwatch

These days, watches aren’t only used to tell time. They also serve as fashion accessories. If you want to surprise your spouse, you can buy them a gold-plated watch with an elegant design. These watches are usually quite expensive, so you should make sure you’ve saved enough money before purchasing one. And, bear in mind that there are plenty of different designs to choose from. So, you can select a watch that suits your spouse’s personal style.

12. A stationery set

Stationary sets make excellent gifts because they allow people to express their creativity. Your spouse will be able to write letters or notes using the stationary. You can present the gift alongside a pen and a notepad. And, if you really want to go above and beyond, you could also buy a box of colored pencils or markers. This way, your spouse will be able to add color to their letters and notes.

13. Watercolor wedding portrait

Instead of displaying a standard wedding photo in your living room, you can commission a talented artist to paint a custom portrait. The painting will capture a special moment from your wedding day. The artist will base the painting on a snapshot you provide. And, they’ll create a work of art that celebrates your union. You can either choose a photograph that shows the two of you during your wedding day. Or, you could opt for a painting that captures the atmosphere of the ceremony. Which ever picture you choose, it will be a wonderful keepsake that will look great on display.

14. Paper jewelry

Whether it’s earrings, rings or necklaces, jewelry is always popular when it comes to celebrating anniversaries. But how about buying your spouse a unique piece of jewelry made from paper? Yup, you heard me correctly. Nowadays, there are plenty of artists who specialize in crafting paper jewelries. As you may expect, these pieces of jewelry are lightweight and easy to wear. Besides, they’re typically very affordable and easy to craft. So, you won’t need to break the bank to treat your spouse to an amazing gift.

15. Paper mosaic art

Paper mosaics are another type of paper craft that you can create yourself. Basically, you’ll cut out small shapes and then glue them onto a sheet of paper. Then, you can arrange the shapes into a pattern. Once you’ve completed the design, you can frame the finished piece of artwork. You could even mount it on a plaque or a board and hang it on the wall. There are many templates available online, but you can also customize the design according to your preference. You could even create an abstract design that symbolizes your relationship.

Final thoughts

Congratulations! You’ve reached the end of our list of 1st wedding anniversary anniversary gifts. Hopefully, you now feel more prepared to celebrate your first wedding anniversary with your spouse. Enjoy!

About The Author