First wedding anniversary gift guide: The best traditional and modern present ideas

Explore our pick of the best traditional and modern wedding anniversary gift ideas to celebrate one year of married bliss

Updated on 05 November 2020 • Written By Caroline Hendry

First wedding anniversary gift guide: The best traditional and modern present ideas

Your first wedding anniversary will always be one of the extra special ones and hitting that milestone of a whole year as a married couple is something to celebrate. Although a year may feel like a small milestone, it’s actually one of the trickiest years to navigate as you get past the highs of planning your wedding day, saying ‘I do’ and going on your honeymoon, before settling into the new routine of your married life. When it comes to finding the perfect first wedding anniversary gift, you might want to keep things traditional and go with a paper-themed present. Alternatively, you may want to look to the modern first wedding anniversary theme which is clocks. 

To help you find the best first wedding anniversary gift for your beloved, we have picked out some of the most thoughtful, creative and unique wedding anniversary present ideas. From traditional paper themed anniversary gifts through to modern clock presents, explore our list and find the perfect gift for your partner. If you are not sure of the meaning behind these gifts then we have also provided a little insight into the sentimental notions that these gifts represent.



Traditional paper wedding anniversary gifts

The traditional wedding anniversary gift for one year is paper. Paper is said to represent the blank page you have ahead of you, you are ready to write your own love story. We love this sentiment and think there is no better way to mark your first year than with a sentimental paper-themed gift. But you shan’t be getting away with giving your partner a card and calling it a ‘paper gift’! Explore our pick of the most romantic and traditional first wedding anniversary gifts that are all themed around paper.

1. Reasons why I love you - Martha Brook

If you’re looking for a truly personalised anniversary gift for your partner then these “Reasons why I love you” cards from Martha Brook are a super cute choice. Ten adorable love notes are tucked away in metallic envelopes, each one home to a unique and loving message. Available in a choice of colours, the box is personalised with your other half’s name and you can choose to order with your bespoke reasons printed on the cards or you can leave them blank so that you can handwrite bespoke notes to your love.
How much: £22
Buy it: Available from Martha Brook


2. First anniversary print - Design by Eleven

Take the paper anniversary theme quite literally with this framed paper print from Design by Eleven. We love that it breaks down just how many days and hours you have spent as a married couple. This romantic printed note comes personalised with a small wooden plaque with your names and wedding date etched into it. Make this gift even more special by choosing to order it framed in a beautiful oak-finish wood.
How much: £15
Buy it: Available from Design by Eleven


3. 52 date night cards - This Paper Book

A year into being married, you might find that your scheduled date nights have started to tail off. So why not make the commitment to keep the romance alive with a promise of 52 romantic dates over the next year. Some are as simple as breakfast in bed or a movie night together, along with romantic walks and dinner out. It will show your partner that you are committed to carving out that special one to one time every single week.
How much: £25.95
Buy it: This Paper Book


4. Restaurant gift voucher - SquareMeal

Now we may be a little bit biased here but we think there’s nothing more romantic than a dinner out for two. Give your partner a choice of where to go by purchasing them a SquareMeal restaurant voucher. Download and print your voucher onto a piece of paper and you will have the perfect paper themed gift - and you will get to enjoy a romantic meal out together.
How much: Choose any amount
Buy it: SquareMeal


5. Walk down memory lane photo album - Fortnum & Mason

We love the design of this ‘walk down memory lane’ photo album from PrintWorks and available at Fortnum & Mason. You could buy the album and gift it empty with the promise you will fill it with precious memories you make in the years to come. Alternatively, you could print out (paper) photos from your first year of married life and turn this coffee table album into a precious memory book.
How much: £42
Buy it: Fortnum & Mason


6. Foiled paper anniversary card - Mock Up Designs

This super cute origami first wedding anniversary card is an adorable token gift to give a nod to the traditional theme. The card is available in a choice of colours and with embossed foil personalisation. We think this unique gift idea is the perfect insta-worthy present for your paper wedding anniversary that your partner will treasure.
How much: £6.25
Buy it: Mock Up Designs


7. A to Z of loving you - Martha Brook

This adorable A to Z of loving you book from Martha Brook is made from eco-friendly and sustainable materials - meaning your paper anniversary gift won’t be doing harm to the environment. The foil-embossed booklet has a notelet for each letter of the alphabet so you can handwrite a reason for loving them - and don’t fear if you’re not feeling creative as Martha Brook offers plenty of suggestions you can be ‘inspired’ by.
How much: £19.95
Buy it: Available from Martha Brook


8. Our first year personalised anniversary book - From Lucy 

Celebrate your first year as a married couple with this personalised book by From Lucy. This templated design is filled with all the favourite moments from your first year of marriage, including your first ‘wonderful’ married memory and your favourite things about your other half. It’s a beautiful present that shows lots of time and effort has gone into your gift planning.
How much: £9.50
Buy it: Available from From Lucy


9. Personalised photo memory box - The Personalised Gift Shop 

Ok, so we know this isn’t technically paper but this beautiful wooden memory box can be a home to some verry special pieces of paper. A place for your most treasured wedding photographs, copies of your wedding stationery and even as a safe but beautiful home for your marriage certificate to live.
How much: £24.99
Buy it: The Personalised Gift Shop


10. Dream decoder cards - Anthropologie

If you’re looking for a unique paper anniversary gift then this dream decoder from Anthropologie is a thoughtful and unique present. A presentation box houses 60 cards that delve into detailed explanations about different types of dreams, what they represent and can teach you how to interpret those feelings found in your subconscious.
How much: £14.99
Buy it: Anthropologie


11. 12 mini love letters - Hendog Designs

What could be more romantic than a tiny personalised box of love letters written especially for your loved one? Each tiny box from Hendog Designs features a spoof address (To My Love, Sweetheart Lane, My World, 4EVA) and then houses a tiny card personalised with an extra special message. It’s a perfect token gift to give a nod to the paper theme and tell your partner you love them in twelve different ways.

How much: £12.50
Buy it: Available from Hendog Designs


12. Song lyric print - Yve Print Co

Feel the memories of your first dance come flooding back with a romantic print featuring the lyrics to your first dance song. Available in A3 and A4, framed or unframed, this foil design from Yve Print Co comes in a range of stylish colours, including deep blue, forest green and pearl grey. So you can choose a shade to suit the style of your home. 

How much: £30 
Buy it: Yve Print Co


13. Personalised anniversary necklace - Lisa Angel Jewellery

We love this adorable take on a love letter from Lisa Angel. Available in gold or silver, the necklace holds a personalised charm that includes up to three lines of inscription, so you can create a unique note that will stay close to your loved one’s heart every day.
How much: £28
Buy it: Lisa Angel Jewellery


14. Paper plane cufflinks - Penelope Tom

If you want your paper anniversary gift to last a lifetime then this silver take on a paper present is a beautiful way to do it. These sleek silver paper plane cufflinks are a lovely keepsake and you have the choice of ordering them with an engraved chrome box, so you can personalise your gift with a special anniversary message.
How much: £15
Buy it: Penelope Tom


15. Personalised framed wedding photo print - Sophia Victoria Joy

Make use of your gorgeous wedding pictures with this personalised hanging print from Sophia Victoria Joy. Choose a selection of your favourite pictures, a bespoke wooden plaque with your names and wedding date, and pick from a selection of romantic shades for the background. It’s a perfect way to display your wedding photographs and relive those special memories from 12 months ago.
How much: £52
Buy it: Sophia Victoria Joy


16. A paper inspired restaurant

Take your romantic anniversary dinner to the next level by choosing a restaurant with an affiliation with paper. If you’re headed to the Capital then drinks at The Library Bar at The Ned would be a romantic start. For dinner consider The Cinnamon Club (pictured) - located within the old Westmintser library. You can enjoy a fine dining experience surrounded by walls of books filled with endless tales and dreams, what could be more romantic?


17. The Ritz Cookbook - Waterstones

If your partner loves to cook then an extra special cookbook could be the perfect gift for them - and hopefully you will benefit from all the delicious meals they will make! The Ritz London cookbook is filled with 100 classic recipes that each reflect the grandeur and opulence you expect with The Ritz. Explore our round-up of the best cookbooks to find the one you know your other half will love.
How much: £30
Buy it: Waterstones


18. 1st anniversary origami anniversary card - The Hummingbird Card Co 

For a token nod to your paper wedding anniversary, this personalised card from The Hummingbird Card Co is an adorable way to celebrate. Thick white card is topped with a kraft paper origami heart and you can personalise with the year you were married. The card comes blank inside so you can handwrite your own romantic note.
How much: £4.95
Buy it: The Hummingbird Card Co


19. Personalised wedding memories print - Mimi and Mae

How adorable is this wedding memories print from Mimi & Mae? Personalised with key details such as your names, wedding date, vows you made and where you went on honeymoon. It’s the perfect romantic gift for your other half. You also have a choice of 19 beautiful colours for your print, from bold statement shades to muted tones, so you can pick something to suit the style of your home.
How much: £27
Buy it: Mimi and Mae


20. Personalised poetry book - Bookishly

This beautiful book of poetry is filled with all 126 love sonnets from William Shakepeare, as well as a selection of his most romantic poems. You can then choose a pretty personalised dust-jacket, in blue, pink or grey, that includes your loved one’s name. We think this would be a thoughtful gift for the literary lover in your life.
How much: £18
Buy it: Bookishly


Modern clock wedding anniversary gifts

The modern gift for a first wedding anniversary is a clock - representing all the time you have ahead of you as a happily married couple. If you are looking for modern first wedding anniversary present ideas then take a look at our varied selection of clock-themed gifts. Keep it sentimental with something personalised, or stay practical with a stylish alarm clock that will sit at your bedside for years to come.

21. Eco moon, time and thermometer clock - A Short Walk

This eco-friendly gift from Circular & Co is made using both eco-friendly materials and packaging. A perfect wall clock for your home, it displays the time, the moon activity and the temperature. This is a unique gift that embraces the clock theme and will stand the test of time.

How much? £33.95
Buy it: Circular & Co


22. Thomas Kent Mulberry Wall Clock - John Lewis

Add some style and sophistication to your home with this Thomas Kent Mulberry wall clock. The muted ivory and champagne finish means it will look at home no matter the style of the room. It’s a stylish way to celebrate a year of marriage and makes the perfect modern wedding anniversary gift.
How much: £90
Buy it: John Lewis


23. Flip click clock - Gingko

This flip click clock by Gingko is so much more than just a beautifully designed alarm clock. When the alarm is set the laser engraved alarm symbol at the top of the clock lights up. The clock is also sound sensitive so when the room is completely silent, the light up display disappears and reappears when there is a sound. It's an ideal gift for the gadget-lover in your life.
How much: £39.99
Buy it: Gingko


24. Real oak wooden clock - The Little Boys Room

This impressive statement clock from The Little Boys Room is made from a real slice of Oak and would be a beautiful rustic addition to your home. We love the idea of taking the modern wedding anniversary theme of clocks and giving it a rustic edge, it’s the perfect blend of modern and traditional.
How much: £34.95
Buy it: The Little Boys Room


25. Black pendulum clock - Idyll Home

Keep your modern wedding anniversary gift sleek and modern by choosing this black pendulum clock from Idyll Home. If your loved one works from home then we think this would be perfectly placed in a home office and can provide a happy reminder of your first twelve months of wedded bliss.

How much: £79
Buy it: Idyll Home


25. Bard pendulum wall clock -

Another modern style of pendulum clock is the Bard design from Personally we love this pretty pink shade but it’s also available in matte grey, brushed copper and matte black. The clock can be freestanding or wall mounted so it’s as versatile as it is stylish.
How much: £45
Buy it:


26. Miniature weather dials - Climemet

These mini mix and match weather dials are adorable by themselves or grouped together as part of a decorative display. Choose from moon phase clocks, barometers and tide clocks, available in a collection of colours that all work beautifully together.

How much: £22
Buy it: Climemet


27. Personalised moon phase clock - Climemet

If you love the adorable clocks above but want a more statement piece then this larger version of the moon phase clock from Climemet is a romantic gift for your partner. Choose from a cream, copper, bronze or silver finish and you can personalise this gift with a special engraving.

How much: £45
Buy it: Climemet


28. Cocktail hour clock - Vintage Playing Cards

This fun clock from Vintage Playing Cards shows how it’s always cocktail hour! If you are planning on giving this to your other half then we think gifting it along with a DIY cocktail kit would be the perfect fun gift idea and you can celebrate your wedding anniversary with a cocktail making date night.
How much: £75
Buy it: Vintage Playing Cards


29. Slate personalised clock - Perfect Personalised Gifts

This slate Mr and Mrs clock is a fun way to embrace the modern wedding anniversary theme of clocks. Complete with your names and the year you were married, it’s a gorgeous piece that you can hang in your home for years to come to remember that very first wedding anniversary.
How much: £36.99
Buy it: Perfect Personalised Gifts


30. Clock face cufflinks - Envy Designs

This cufflink pair from EVI Designs takes on the clock wedding anniversary theme perfectly and each pair ordered comes with complimentary gift wrap. Choose a time for the clock on the first cufflink to display and then have a personalised message on the second. It can be a lasting reminder of the magical first twelve months you spent together.
How much: £29
Buy it: Envy Designs


31. Clock face necklace - Yvonne Henderson Jewellery

Embrace a unique take on the modern first wedding anniversary gift with this gold plated clock pendant from Yvonne Henderson Jewellery. A clock face set to a time of your choice is completed with a sparkling white sapphire. If you are looking for a meaningful time then we suggest the time of your wedding ceremony. You can also leave a personal message engraved into the back on the pendant to make it even more special.
How much: £89
Buy it: Yvonne Henderson Jewellery


32. Roman numeral skeleton wall clock - John Lewis

Add some industrial style to your home with this roman numeral skeleton clock. The oversized design would be perfect for your lounge, kitchen, hallway or dining room and will be a beautiful statement piece that can forever remind you of that special first wedding anniversary.
How much: £200
Buy it: John Lewis


33. Surf’s up wall clock - Climemet

This wooden ‘surf’s up’ clock is a fun gift for any fan of the ocean. Choose a traditional clock or a tide clock for your wooden gift and you have the option of adding a personalised plaque featuring a special message or date. If your partner is a surfer at heart then this distressed wooden surfboard clock would be the perfect personalised present for them.
How much: £45
Buy it: Climemet


34. Lumie Bodyclock - John Lewis

If you’re looking to go more gadgety with your anniversary gift then the Lumie Bodyclock from John Lewis is a fun and unique present idea. The wakeup to daylight clock gently brightens the room 30 minutes before your alarm goes off, leading you to wake up in a gradual way that is proven to book mood, productivity and sleep quality.
How much: £59.25
Buy it: John Lewis


35. Wine o’clock - James Design

This wine o’clock clock from James Design is the perfect addition to any wine connoisseur’s kitchen. If you are buying this modern wedding anniversary gift for your husband or wife then we think teaming it with an extra special bottle of wine would make it the perfect present. Or go one step further and sign them up to a wine subscription box.
How much: £35
Buy it: James Design

If you are looking to also plan a staycation for your first anniversary then don't miss our round-up of the most romantic hotels in the UK - a curated list of hotels and destinations that we know you're going to love.