Traditional First Year Anniversary Gifts Made of Paper

Paper Anniversary Gifts Don't Have to Be Boring

Paper. Sounds boring, doesn't it? It's the traditional first anniversary gift, but let's face it — it brings to mind something that's disposable and that's not something you want to associate with your marriage. But you can use a lot of creativity in figuring out a traditional paper gift to give your spouse on your first anniversary. For example, a framed ketubah can be perfect for a Jewish marriage. 

Here are a few suggestions to get your creative juices going. 

  • 01 of 09
    Bride sitting on groom's lap
    Nerida McMurray Photography

    Even photos you've captured in a cellphone can be transferred onto paper, like one your best friend thought to capture when you proposed. Sit down at your laptop, computer or smartphone and scroll through the pics you've saved over the years to bring the traditional first anniversary gift into the 21st century. Find the image you want, have it professionally printed out, then buy a nice frame for it. 

  • 02 of 09
    Murder by the Book
    Robyn Correll

    No, not e-books. You want the real, old-fashioned deal, paper and binding that your spouse can hold in her hands. Think about her passions, interests and hobbies. Better yet, give her a book full of love poems. 

  • 03 of 09
    risk board game
    A game of the board game Risk is in progress. Flickr user sputnik / Creative Commons

    This gift promises an evening of shared time together in another old-fashioned way — working on a jigsaw puzzle or playing a classic board game like Scrabble. Cardboard is paper, too. 

  • 04 of 09

    No one writes letters on paper with a pen anymore. It's a forgotten art. But why not bring it back in honor of the paper anniversary? Give pretty or funny writing paper, even if you just use it to exchange notes between each other. Or try personalized business cards, colorful postcards, or note cards and envelopes.

    Continue to 5 of 9 below.
  • 05 of 09


    USA, Maine, Portland, Close-up of hand holding tickets at stadium
    Daniel Grill/Tetra Images

    Tickets still cling to old paper traditions. Purchase tickets to take your spouse to see his favorite sports team play live and in real time. If you're not personally a sports fan, all the better. You're giving him the gift of your time and your interest by going with him. 

    Other tickets could include airline, ferry, train, bus or balloon rides. Or take your loved one to the opera, even if the music makes you wince. 

  • 06 of 09
    Art dealer with laptop talking on cell phone

    Everyone loves artwork that touches their hearts and souls and brings beauty into their lives. And yes, it blooms on paper. Top this idea off with an awesome frame. 

  • 07 of 09
    Coupon card with red ribbon against white background, close up
    Westend61 Getty

    No, not the kind that lets him buy a jar of peanut butter for 25 cents off. Write out a coupon for a massage or a dinner out, or maybe even a romantic walk in the rain. Think in terms of gifts of your talents, your time and promises you have made.

    Of course, you can also go the other way and give coupons that are redeemable for something your spouse really doesn't like to do. Maybe she dreads going to the laundromat on weekends. Give a coupon that she can cash in to have you do it instead.

  • 08 of 09
    Love letters
    Love letters.

    Write a love letter on paper! You can do it! You can even use a piece of that stationary you're giving. Include the note in the box. 

    Continue to 9 of 9 below.
  • 09 of 09


    Calendar Date
    Date Circled on Calendar. kyoshino / Getty Images

    You've cherished one year together. Now look ahead to the next one. This can be in the form of a pictorial calendar, a diary or a journal. If you choose a journal, you can each make a note in it every day, commemorating your second year together. Or give an appointment book with date nights already inscribed. Mark all the days that are important to the two of you and add in a few new ones as a surprise.

Paper Doesn't Have to Be Boring

When you come right down to it, all kinds of things come in paper form. Let your imagination run wild.