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14 Unique Paper Anniversary Gift Ideas

Gift Inspiration Published May 24, 2024

Traditionally, first wedding anniversaries are celebrated with gifts made from paper. The tradition of gifting paper for a first anniversary dates back to the Victorian era and there are a few different ideas as to what paper gifts symbolise. It could be that paper is fragile and needs to be cared for in the correct way for it to last. Or perhaps it is symbolic of a blank page- the beginning of a beautiful life-long story together. 

Whether it's your own 1st wedding anniversary and you're shopping for your husband or wife, or you are shopping for the perfect paper anniversary gift for your son, daughter or a favourite couple, we've got ideas to suit all budgets. Also, keep reading to see our top alternative first anniversary gifts for when paper is just not your thing. 


Thoughtful 1st Anniversary Paper Gift Ideas:

1st anniversary gift ideas - a book

1- A book, but make it thoughtful. We're talking a favourite story, a meaningful poetry book or something relevant. Perhaps there was a reading at your wedding from a book that you could get them, or a first edition of their favourite novel. It's also worth looking at unique books like beautiful pop up books and limited editions or beautifully illustrated books. 

2- A Handwritten love letter- Break out your best handwriting, choose a gorgeous pen and a nice piece of paper, and get writing. Write from the heart. Tell them how you feel about them and remember some of the best moments from your first year of marriage. If budget isn't an issue and you don't mind someone else reading your words, you could always commission a calligrapher to write it up nicely for you. 

3- An illustration from a wedding photograph. why not commission a UK based local designer or artist to create a piece of art from your favourite wedding photograph? Not only do you get something gorgeous, but you're supporting a local small business- it's a win-win situation. Take a look at this gorgeous print from Betsy Benn - starting at £40.00. 

betsy benn wedding print


4- Commission a calligrapher- if you wrote your own vows, you could commission a calligrapher to write them out for you. this could also work with song lyrics from your first dance, or words from a reading at your wedding, or even just some lovely words you've found.   

calligraphy inside a greetings card

1st Anniversary Gifts for Him:

5- Map cufflinks- with a relevant, meaningful location such as wedding location or where you met.

6- Personalised Comic Book- This is possibly my favourite paper anniversary gift idea yet! A&J Comics will create a personalised comic book from your photographs. £48.99 well spent, I'd say. Take a look here.

personalised comic book gift


1st Anniversary Gifts for Her: 

7- Paper Flowers- These are on my personal wish list (hint hint, Mr West!) I adore these wall flowers from the Paper Project at These gorgeous flowers start at £30.  

8- Vintage Papier Mache Bowls- Like this one on Etsy for under £12. This one is from the 1930s. Of course, you could go for a modern one, there are plenty on Etsy so go take a look! (Side note- it's still made from paper, so it counts!)

DIY First Anniversary Gift Ideas:

9- Frame a vintage map with the location of the wedding. You could even stitch a small heart at a location on the map. 

10- Create a photo album of the first year of marriage- I saw a post on Instagram last week where someone had received a first anniversary gift which was a photo album with a picture from every date they'd had in their first year together, each image with a sentence about that date (funny anecdotes, memories, successful menu-choices).  

personalised paper cut for first wedding anniversary

11- A framed personalised papercut- Take a look at our blog post here for how to create a framed papercut gift for under £15 using one of our cards.

Alternative 1st anniversary Gifts:

clara and macy romantic gestures jar

12- Clara and Macy Romantic Gestures Jar- A super cute and fun way to inspire you to do nice things for each other. At £22.50, this is a gorgeous, thoughtful first anniversary gift that they'll love. Plus it's from a fabulous small business! Check it out here.



13- A Scratch the World Map- Perfect for adventurous couples that do lots of travelling together, £15.49 and available on 

14- Or why not book a calligraphy lesson, drawing workshop or papercutting class together? It still involves the traditional gift of paper, but combines it with spending quality time together and supporting a local small business or creative person.  

And don't forget a thoughtful first anniversary card! View our collection here. We've even got a helpful blog post with paper anniversary message inspiration- check it out here

Personalised First Anniversary Cards UK

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