A couple's first anniversary is a big deal. It's the first celebration of its kind with your one-and-only and also sets the tone for anniversaries to come. Finding the best first-anniversary gift will help make it a truly memorable occasion. So, what should you get them? We asked wedding and event planner Jessica Sloane to weigh in.
"Lean into the personal and meaningful," she advises. Whether you're searching for a first-anniversary gift for your partner or shopping for a special couple in your life, Sloane recommends choosing something like a photo book or a personalized object. "It's great to find something representative of the wedding day to help make the first anniversary feel special."
If you're at a loss for ideas, don't stress! We researched a variety of practical and sentimental first-anniversary gifts, from stylish home décor pieces to jewelry and unique tokens of affection that are the perfect keepsakes. We even tested several of our favorite products in our Lab, measuring everything from the quality of the materials used to the gift packaging.
For something extra sweet, we love the Finch and Cotter Custom Star Map Poster. If you want to fill your home together with symbols of your love, opt for the Wreath Love Co Personalized Wooden Clock or the Dipinto Ad Arte Ceramic Address Plaque. Choose from one of the thoughtful gifts below, and you can't go wrong.
Meet the Expert
Jessica Sloane is a Nashville-based wedding and event planner. She is also known for her styling expertise, design skills, and collaborative client-planner relationship.
Read on for the best 1st-anniversary gift for every couple.
Finch and Cotter Custom Star Map Poster
Price at time of publish: $40
Unique concept and design
Comes framed and ready to hang
The frame features a plastic front instead of glass
Calling all star-gazers and starry-eyed lovers! This custom poster features a gorgeous image of the night sky as it appeared on a certain date from a specific location. Underneath, you can add the place and date of the couple's wedding, their names, and even a sweet personalized phrase like "Written in the stars" or "Forever began here."
Our tester, Alyssa Kingham, was impressed with the design, which is available in three sizes. (For an additional $32, you can purchase the 16x20 size framed.) "The print is large, so it will be a focal point in any room I hang it," she notes. Kingham was also impressed with the print quality but was slightly disappointed with the frame. "For the price, I wish it had a glass front instead of plastic," she says. "Still, the personalized aspect of this piece makes up for any flaws."
"I am in love with this print. The text is written clearly and the color of the star map is pretty spot-on to the emerald color I chose online. It's amazing to look at a snapshot of the night sky on my wedding day—it really brings me back to dancing under the stars on that special night." — Alyssa Kingham, Production Manager
Journey Print Shop Custom Map Print
Price at time of publish: $55
High quality print
No gift wrap included
Has your love gone the distance? You can celebrate all of the places you've been together with this gorgeous piece. The design consists of a mountain range made from maps of the cities and countries you've visited. Add the caption of your choice above the illustration and your names and the date you got together below. The artwork is printed on painted white wood and encased in a beautiful handmade frame.
Editor Jesa Calaor used the print to commemorate several favorite locations she shares with her fiancé. "I personalized it with three locations that mean a lot to us," says Calaor. "I love how each mountain features a detailed terrain map." Calaor also noted that the piece is crafted from high-quality materials, which makes it an excellent heirloom gift.
"This wooden map print is exactly what I'd hope it would be. It's very well-made and the print itself is very clear and detailed (no striping or uneven printing here). I'm planning to gift this map to my partner, who I'm sure will appreciate the quality and the thought behind the piece."— Jesa Calaor, Editor
Uncommon Goods Create Your Own Reel Viewer
Price at time of publish: $15
If they only have eyes for you, make them a reel viewer they’ll never want to put down. Each reel holds seven of their favorite pictures of the two of you so they can cycle through memory lane whenever the mood strikes. If you can’t choose just seven photos, don’t worry. You can always order additional reels. Whether you include photos of your wedding night, your first vacation together, or special memories of moving into your first home together, this thoughtful and affordable gift is sure to make them smile.
Minted One Perfect Year Custom Photo Art
Price at time of publish: $48
The first year of marriage is a special time in a couple's life together—and this print, part of the exclusive Minted + Brides collection, will help commemorate it. Choose 12 favorite snapshots from throughout the year, from the romantic beach trip you took in February to the backyard barbecue you hosted in June. (It's also possible to personalize the text under the photos if you don't want to follow a monthly theme.) Minted will create a custom piece of art using a collage of vintage-style photo prints. The brand offers six sizes and a dozen frame styles to fit any aesthetic.
Candid shots work especially well for this collage. When you're choosing your images, look for a range of couple shots, environments (a favorite hotel or landmark you visited), and something unexpected. Consider adding images representing important milestones like adopting a pet, buying a house, or starting a business.
Personalization Mall Timeless Love Personalized Hour Glass
Price at time of publish: $70
Gift wrapping included
Stylish and sturdy
It's difficult to read the etched text
This personalized hourglass comes with the touching sentiment "Our love is timeless," and it's engraved with the couple's names and wedding date. It's a sweet and classy piece of décor that will remind them that time spent with your loved one is never wasted.
While an hourglass may seem like a somewhat old-fashioned anniversary gift, tester Araziel Jackson found that the shape and look of this one felt modern. She also liked the effect of the white sand in the hourglass: "There seemed to be bits of sparkle sprinkled throughout the sand, which added a nice contrast to the clear glass."
"The satin line box is a great start to gifting this product. Wrap it with a ribbon and add a gift tag, and you're all set to give this away!"— Araziel Jackson, Associate Social Media Editor
Uncommon Goods The Personalized Anniversary Journal
Price at time of publish: $130
A keepsake journal is a perfect way to mark the occasion and look ahead to the many anniversaries still to come. This one is made to last with black, silk moire binding, and high-quality paper pages perfectly designed to preserve the memories you make together. Every section includes space to attach your favorite photos and writing prompts to help you record the highlights of each year.
The Metal Foundry Sundial Anniversary Gift
Price at time of publish: $92
It's made of durable brass
The gold details and lettering
It requires some assembly
A little pricey
A sundial is an excellent way to celebrate the first anniversary and the timelessness of lasting love. This gorgeous model is hand cast from solid brass, with a coat of white, lacquered outdoor paint to withstand the elements. Whether you keep it in your home or garden, this ornament is an excellent reminder that your love will endure as time passes.
Tester Avery Stone was wowed by the weight and heft of the sundial, especially considering its small size. She also liked the gold lettering and details. "The font is more traditional, but if it's your style, I think it would be a lovely accent piece for a table," she notes. Some assembly is required, and you'll need to purchase a plinth if you want to display it outdoors.
"I was surprised by the weight of this sundial! The bronze material feels durable and like it would withstand the elements if I decided to place it on my balcony. It's also small enough to place on a table indoors as well." — Avery Stone, Associate Commerce Editorial Director
Pictura Poema Personalized Wedding Portrait
Price at time of publish: $82
There's no need to be modest. You look great together, and you know it. This one-of-a-kind custom portrait is hand-drawn and can even include your pets. Just allow extra time for delivery—the artist will use your photos to create a "proof" for you to approve before it's finished and shipped.
Uncommon Goods “Mates for Life” Print
Price at time of publish: $30
Appropriately titled "Mates for Life" (we appreciate the pun), this lodge-style print is perfect for animal lovers. It includes sketches of various animals that mate for life, each one labeled with its scientific and common names. No matter who the recipient is, they'll get a hoot out of it.
Wreath Love Co Personalized Wooden Clock
Price at time of publish: $89
High quality materials
Only one type of wood to choose from
Clocks are a modern gift for the first anniversary. They're a thoughtful symbol meant to celebrate the time you've shared and the minutes and hours you'll spend together in the coming years. This wooden hanging wall clock is elegant, minimalist, and engraved with your names and your chosen design.
Writer Erika Reals tested the clock and found the overall look and feel high quality. She also appreciated the wide variety of styles and fonts and even more personalized options on the website. "They also accept custom designs you can submit to them via PDF or JPG file," says Reals. "It's perfect for branded opportunities, including wedding-specific logos."
"This clock seems like it's good quality—it doesn't feel like it was cheaply made or rushed at all. It's also a decent size, so it would be good for any room in the house. I think it's definitely more worth it if you take advantage of the customizable abilities (like submitting your own logo/design for them to engrave) for a truly personal, one-of-a-kind gift." — Erika Reals, Associate Fashion Editor
Uncommon Goods New York Times Custom Front Page Puzzle
Price at time of publish: $60
This front-page puzzle is the perfect anniversary gift for couples who love to do the Sunday crossword together. When they complete this puzzle, they’ll reveal the front page as it appeared on their wedding day. They’ll enjoy assembling it and remembering the personally newsworthy events that transpired on the day they said, “I do.”
Artifact Uprising Color Series Photo Book
Price at time of publish: $22
The first anniversary is the perfect time to start a new tradition. This album is volume one of a photo book series the couple will be eager to add to every year. Choose from three sizes, ten stunning cover colors, and three foil shades to make the book your own. And don’t forget to choose the first photo wisely—the bold cut-out cover showcases it.
Minted Heart Snapshot Mix Photo Art
Price at time of publish: $48
The ability to personalize
The print quality
It's a little pricey
The frame quality
This charming print arranges thirty of your most awe-inspiring photos in a romantic, heart-shaped collage. The canvas comes in six size options, 12 frame materials, and your choice of plastic or glass archival fronts. This art piece is a beautiful way to say, "I still do."
"The photos themselves are hi-resolution and do not show any bleeding of color or blurry edges," says tester Alyssa Kingham. "I would buy this print for myself or someone else, but I would choose to buy it unframed." Though Kingham felt that the quality of the frame was not worth the added price, the print itself was a solid buy.
"The quality of this print is great! The photos are laid out in a beautiful way- the heart-shaped arrangement means that some overlap, but I'm happy with how much I can see each picture." — Alyssa Kingham, Production Manager
Minted Letterpress Vows Art Print
Price at time of publish: $218
The quality of the print and design
It's a bit of an investment
Were your vows so good they made your partner (and everyone else) tear up? Have them made into a heartwarming piece of art to show your person that you still mean every word. Choose from a wide variety of sizes, color themes, and frames to create a piece that is just right for them.
"The print was smaller than I realized, but the size was perfect," says tester Kate Donovan. "It's minimal without being stark, and I love that it can either hang on the wall or sit squarely on a surface." She personalized it with her brother and sister-in-law's vows and said they were overwhelmed with the sentiment behind the print. "I think it's a subtle yet deeply meaningful way to feature and remember those important words in your home," says Donovan.
"I was impressed by the quality of this print—it feels high end and professionally made. The letterpress script adds a little bit of a handcrafted vibe and I love the design! I think it's a gift that will really be treasured by the recipient." — Kate Donovan, Senior Commerce Editor
Nellianna Origami Wall Clock
Price at time of publish: $48
The modern design
It's lightweight and easy to hang
Feels a little flimsy
Can’t choose between the traditional (paper) and modern (clocks) first anniversary gifts? Cover both bases with this unique origami wall clock. The clock looks delicate, but it’s made of high-quality FSC certified paper, so it’s more durable than it seems. Whether you get it in a muted tone like white or soft grey or a more vibrant pink, yellow, orange, or blue hue, this modern piece will add some visual interest to any wall in your home.
Tester Kate Donovan didn't know what to expect from a clock crafted out of paper, but she was pleasantly surprised. "It's definitely a unique anniversary gift, but one that fits with either a paper or clock theme in a throughly modern way," she says. Donovan noted that the clock is a bit fragile and prone to tearing, so should be handled with care when gifting and hanging.
"This clock is such a cool concept—it's made entirely out of folded paper! I like the minimalist look and feel, as well as the soft blue color. It seemed a little flimsy when I first opened it, but once it was on the wall it really packed a graphic punch" — Kate Donovan, Senior Commerce Editor
Letters to My Love
Price at time of publish: $15
We all love getting love letters, but we know that writing them can be difficult. Where on earth do you start when there’s so much you love about someone? This set of 12 time-capsule letters comes with prompts for that very reason.
Take one out and start writing whenever you feel inspired. Then, give all 12 to your darling on your anniversary. If they open one a month, they’ll have enough sweet notes to last until next year.
Zavyanne8 Custom Couple Silhouette
Price at time of publish: $123
This art piece makes a gorgeous and romantic anniversary gift. In front of a hand-painted galaxy background is a floating paper cutout that includes the silhouette of two people in a loving embrace. Above them, a sweet message rests on a series of banners: “Love begins in a moment, grows over time, and lasts an eternity.” The cutout also includes the couple’s names and their anniversary date.
Dipinto Ad Arte Ceramic Address Plaque
Price at time of publish: $65
Home is where the heart is, so make it your own with this gorgeous blue and white porcelain address plaque. These plaques are kiln-fired and hand-painted, so they can stand up to the elements and remain vibrant year after year. You can also have them customized with your names or any other information you’d like to include. From now on, this plaque will be a welcome sight after both long and short trips away.
Copper And Toad Customized Couple and Dog Print
Price at time of publish: $27
Isn’t puppy love the best? Here’s a piece of art to celebrate their bond with furry friends. In this sweet print, a couple sits on a bench with their pups beside them. For a custom touch, the back of the bench includes their names and a cute little heart.
Price at time of publish: $11
This pocket-sized book compiles the best romantic poetry with sentiments from classic authors, ancient sages, and modern writers. It's the perfect gift to express your feelings about your significant other.
Boulevard Newlywed Anniversary Wine Carrier
Price at time of publish: $42
Surprise wine is the best wine, and this lovely pinewood wine carrier has compartments for three bottles. Each compartment is decorated with an image of two love birds on a branch and instructions to “open on your” first, second, and third anniversaries. The compartments are secured with brass latches, too, in case anyone gets ideas about sneaking a peak to discover what the next year has in store.
Oak & Luna Pillar Bar Necklace
Price at time of publish: $90
When wearing this bold pillar necklace, your partner will have a piece of you to carry with them everywhere they go. You can have the sides engraved with your names and/or wedding date, and select a gold bar in keeping with the color theme associated with the first anniversary. The necklace comes in rugged and delicate styles, depending on the look your loved one likes the most.
Marcia Vidal Gold Vermeil Sunburst Earrings
Get these striking, art deco earrings for the ray of sunshine in your life. The sunburst design is simply stunning, and they’re made of high-quality materials—24K gold plating over sterling silver. The gravitational pull of these beauties will bring all kinds of compliments into your beloved’s orbit, night and day.
Price at time of publish: $97
What to Look for in a First Anniversary Gift
The Traditional Gift: Paper
The delicate, yet strong, properties of paper make it the perfect symbol for the first year of marriage. Consider personalized art prints, custom stationery, or a sweet album with your favorite photos.
The Modern Gift: A Clock
With so many memories to share, the first year of marriage goes quickly! Commemorate the passage of time and the beginning of a long journey together with a special timepiece.
How should we celebrate an anniversary?
What is a good anniversary gift?
When it comes to choosing an anniversary gift, the more personal and unique the gift, the better. It shows that you've gone the extra mile and are commemorating a moment that's special to the two of you.
Why Trust Brides
Mckenzie Eggers loves anniversary celebrations and is an expert in gifts for every type and year. She sees anniversaries as important opportunities for partners to pause and recognize how grateful they are for one another.
For this story, our editors tested several of the top products in our NYC-based lab. We considered materials, quality, ease of use, aesthetics, value, and packaging in our assessment.