Your first year of marriage might have flown by thanks to all of those sweet and precious memories of your wedding day. Nonetheless, a first anniversary is a milestone that deserves to be celebrated! Even though your work and social life, as well as your joint familial commitments, might be keeping you busy, set aside time to honor your first year of marriage. One of the best ways to do just that? With a meaningful and unexpected anniversary gift.
"Think outside the little blue or silver box and consider planning experience gifts to create memories to talk and laugh about for years," suggests Jennifer Porter, Seattle-based gift shop owner and event designer. "Of course, little blue boxes are wonderful too, but opt for a gift that connects bride and groom as a couple or celebrates shared interests such as sporting equipment or a piece of art that can be enjoyed together." Need help coming up with a creative and memorable idea? Here are a few to start you off.
Splurge on a joint gift for your home.
One thing marriage might have taught you thus far is that living together is no walk in the park. Your fused humble abodes means more time spent together, which is a great thing, but also less personal time and space. To make your digs more cozy and breathable, why not invest in designing it? That's where Laurel & Wolf comes in. The interior design service specializes in "creating your happy space," a.k.a. working with top designers to transform the rooms in your apartment or house for as little as $59 a room. Definitely an easy way to meet in the middle on the design of your shared pad!
Go back to where it all started.
Jet off to the destination where you were married for a long, relaxing weekend or pack a picnic and enjoy a bottle of wine in the park where you got engaged, suggests Candice Dowling Coppola, owner and creative director at A Jubilee Event. "Create some new memories in the sentimental place where your future started just one year before." If taking time away so soon after your honeymoon isn't in the budget or schedule, plan a staycation that mimics the trip you took after the wedding. It could be as simple as popping the same bottle of Italian Prosecco you enjoyed during your time in Italy over dinner at home.
Plan an anniversary party.
If the two of you are social butterflies, why not celebrate your first year of marriage the same way you entered it: surrounded by family and friends? You can plan something as elaborate as renting out a venue hall (or even the same place you got married) or make a dinner reservation at a nice restaurant with just close friends and family. We also love the idea of a small house party with appetizers and drinks to toast to the year past and the many years ahead! "This doesn't have to be a repeat of your wedding, but it should be a time to celebrate with those who were there when you first said your vows, as well as any new friends you two have made over the year," says Porter.
Put it on paper.
Traditionally speaking, paper is the gift you give to your spouse on your first anniversary as a married couple. But this really opens the door to a wide variety of options, including anything from framed photos and prints, tickets to a concert or sports event, airplane tickets for a fun getaway, books, poetry, and so much more! "A gift of paper in any creative form can be wonderfully customized to a couple's shared interests," says Porter. Whatever paper gift you decide on, make it personal to your spouse's interests and your interests as a couple, so you can cherish it—both the memories and the actual piece of paper—for years to come.
Recreate a first date.
Just because you've been married a year doesn't mean you should ignore all of the special memories from before your nuptials. It's quite sentimental to think back to some of the earlier experiences in your courtship, like your first dinner ever shared as a couple or even where you first met. "It's quite sentimental to think back to some of the earlier experiences in your courtship, like your first dinner ever shared as a couple or even where you first met," says April Masini, relationship and etiquette expert. Bottom line: Don't feel like you can only bring up memories and fun times that you've shared in the last 12 months. You're celebrating the entire time you've spent together as a couple!
Frame a photo of the wedding party.
With all of the chaos that comes along with wedding planning, it's no surprise that many couples neglect to order prints or frame photos from their wedding in the first year. You're finally just enjoying being a couple again without the constantly expanding to-do list that a wedding brings on. "Framing and hanging can be delayed after the excitement and bustle of a wedding," says Porter. "If not already wall-ready, a first anniversary is a perfect time to put these memories to paper to enjoy all year long."