10 Genius Ideas for Your First (Paper) Anniversary Present


Photo: Getty Images

Does the idea of sticking to tradition and gifting your husband something made from paper for your first anniversary make you seize with panic? What exactly, other than tickets to a sports game — which you totally already bought him for his birthday — might he like?

Luckily, we've done some digging and come up with 10 gift ideas, from the mushy to the practical, that are made from paper and your man will love.

A notebook — with your notes inside it, of course.
This gift requires a little forward thinking, but whether you start the first week of your marriage or just jot down your thoughts a month before your first anniversary, hand your man a notebook or journal filled with the reasons he makes an awesome life partner, your favorite memories, the funniest things he's said to you — whatever you know will make him smile to read.

Make a digital photo album.
Gone are the days where women have to print out paper photos and glue them into a scrapbook. Now, you can use online tools such as Blurb or Shutterfly to build a professionally bound book of photos of your first year together.

Be professional with stationery.
Jazz up plain ivory cards by adding your husband's monogram, then include custom wax seals, stamps, return address stickers and more in a package that will amp up your husband's business presence.

Buy a pair of plane tickets.
Destination? Your husband's dream trip, of course. As a bonus, clear the vacation days with your husband's boss on the sly, and include the time-off form with the gift, so he'll know he's got nothing to worry about but what to pack.

Commission a custom portrait.
Head online to Etsy, or visit a local artist's loft to work with him or her to create a painting or sketch of your family. Have a pet? Make sure your fur-baby gets in on the action, too!

Get your friends and family in on a gift.
Give yourself at least a three-month head start for this one. Circulate a notebook among friends and family, asking them to contribute their favorite memories of you as a couple or the best marriage advice they've been given. Your husband will love reading others' thoughts on your life together, too.

Schedule a photo shoot.
Ask your wedding photographer to help you plan a one-year-anniversary shoot with a theme that will celebrate your first year together. Together, you and your husband can choose your favorite prints and create a gallery wall in your home.

Hang a world map.
Make sure it's large, because the point of this present is to spend time with your man plotting the points on each continent you'll one day visit together. Art and vacation plans; what's not to love?

Make his wishes come true.
Write down as many "wishes" as you can think of, from a night with complete control of the remote to his favorite home-cooked meal, and place each wish inside a jar. Let him know that when he needs a pick-me-up, he can pull out a wish and you'll make it come true!

Or make a wish for your future.
Purchase a pair of Chinese paper lanterns, which you can light together and send off on your anniversary night with wishes for your next year of marriage.

Give a Subscription to Brides Magazine as a Gift

Get personalized planning advice, exclusive offers and must-read wedding news.

Thank You
for Signing Up!

Check your e-mail inbox for the latest updates from brides.com