Your first wedding anniversary is one of the most special ones. It’s the first milestone in your married life together so it’s one well worth celebrating. There are so many different gift guides out there, it can feel like a bit of a minefield choosing a gift for your partner. I like to keep in touch with all my couples and I’ve seen lots of lovely first anniversary gifts over the years, I wanted to share some of my favourites with you. In the UK a traditional gift for your first anniversary would be something made of paper. I’ve included a few paper gift ideas in this guide if you want to stick to tradition but you can just gift your partner anything at all, you don’t have to follow tradition! Hopefully this will help you if you’re in the process of looking for a first anniversary gift for your spouse!
Event tickets are a great gift, this could be for a gig, a theatre show or for a drive in film. The possibilities for this one are endless and this idea is more about the memories that you will make at the event, rather than the gift itself. If you know that your partners favourite band are touring soon and your anniversary is coming up then that could be the perfect gift for your wedding anniversary. You’ve just got to pray that they don’t get in there first and order them before you get chance to surprise them! Bonus points for this one if you manage to book an event that’s on the day of your anniversary and can surprise them on the day with the event later on in the evening.
Framed Print from your wedding day
Wedding photographs are not meant to just be seen on screen and looked at every one and a while. They should be printed and framed and put onto a wall in your house that people can see when they come round and marvel over how amazing you both look. Life is busy and we don’t always get round to getting prints done as quickly as we’d like so your wedding anniversary can be a great excuse to have another flick through your wedding gallery and get a few prints ordered and framed in time for the day itself. Then every time you walk into your living room you can be reminded of one of the best days ever! I always get so much joy over seeing my couples print their photographs and proudly display them in their homes. Whenever I see photos of them on social media or if I go round my couples homes to do a family shoot I always do a happy dance when I see them printed and hanging on the walls. This one sticks with the paper anniversary theme and it’s really meaningful!
Vinyl of your first dance
Buying your partner a vinyl of your first dance song can be a great way to relive that moment of your wedding day. Whether you have a record player or not (although this could be an added bonus to your gift!), vinyls are beautiful keepsakes and the album artwork is usually a thing of beauty. You can use this as a great excuse to get dressed up in your wedding outfits again, and have a dance in your garden or round your living room to your first dance song. If you don’t have a record player you could frame the vinyl to display on your wall, meaningful artwork in your home is one of the things that really makes a home yours!
I couldn’t do a post about paper anniversary gift ideas without including the most obvious gift, a wedding album. This is the most thoughtful gift on this list, not only are you sticking with the paper theme but you’re also giving your partner the gift of a keepsake from the wedding day that they can look at time and time again. I describe wedding albums as heirlooms, they’re how I have seen my parents wedding photographs and they will be passed down from generation to generation. If you don’t get your photographs printed, it’s unlikely that the digital copies will last, technology moves on so quickly there will be a day when USBs become obsolete. The only way to guarantee your photographs survive so future generations can see them is to get prints and a wedding album. Wedding albums are a big investment so this may be a gift that you decide to buy together. I offer two options for wedding albums, slim or chunky and ordering is really easy. You pick 60-100 photographs and I do the rest of the hard work for you. It can be really hard to narrow the photographs down but it’s a really nice thing to do together and you can relive your wedding day while you choose your photographs for your album.
Book a Holiday
As a wedding photographer I’m all about making memories and I personally put much more emphasis and investment in creating and looking after memories than I do in owning physical things. Booking a holiday to have together during your first wedding anniversary is a wonderful way of making new memories together and possibly even recreating your honeymoon! There are so many beautiful destinations around the world to visit, you could keep it close to home and stay in the UK or you could go further afield to somewhere amazing like New Zeland or Australia. Wherever you decide to go the most important thing is who you go with! If you want to book a holiday as a surprise for your partner it’s just worth making sure they can book the time off work first before you go ahead and secure anything. This makes it slightly harder to make it a complete surprise, but if you know their boss you could book the time off for them for the ultimate surprise!
Giving a gift of something everlasting that you can hang up proudly in your home is a really wonderful gift. Different people like different artwork so it is a very personal choice. Have you ever been in a shop with them and they’ve pointed out a print that they love? My partner Luke and I went to Cornwall a few years ago where we saw the most beautiful intricate artwork by Jon Tremaine, the prints were rightfully quite expensive so I didn’t make an impulse purchase of any of them however every time we went back to Cornwall I admired one print in particular. Luke surprised me one valentines day by gifting me my favourite print and it has been proudly displayed in our home ever since and I know it’s something we are going to keep and treasure forever. If you wanted something more personalised you could get a painting commissioned of the two of you or perhaps your pet if they’re the star of your home! It’s really worth putting some thought into this one and it’s highly likely that your partner will love the artwork and be over the moon with the amount of effort you put in with this gift.
Every now and then I do anniversary shoots for my couples, exactly a year after their wedding day. This is such a wonderful way to mark the day and if you wanted to you could even get dressed up again into your wedding outfits! This one works best if it’s not a complete surprise and if you tell your partner a few days before the shoot so they’ve got chance to prepare and wear something they feel really comfortable in. I love keeping in touch with my couples so I’m always over the moon when they book in couple and family shoots after their wedding. I think it’s really important to keep having photos of the two of you taken, you shouldn’t just stop documenting your relationship after your wedding day! If you’d like to book an anniversary shoot with me just drop me a message!
I hope this list is helpful and gives you a few ideas for a first anniversary gift for your partner!