Blink and the first year of marriage will be over in a flash. Better get your skates on or your wedding anniversary will be looming on the horizon and you won’t be well prepared. Celebrating your wedding anniversary is an age old tradition. If you like to follow custom, don’t let the day pass without exchanging gifts, enjoying something special, remembering the good times and looking forward to the promise of more.
For traditional anniversary gifts, the UK chooses paper
The traditional theme that’s used to mark one year of marriage is paper.You might be wondering why, but it’s because your first year together is like the first page of a book. It can be seen as a blank piece of paper or a new start. The qualities of paper, in that it is delicate and easy to tear, also perfectly match the qualities of your newly married status. The paper theme is also traditional for US residents and recognised across the world. A piece of paper seems a little boring for traditional wedding anniversary gifts. UK residents shouldn’t worry though because there are plenty of choices on offer. Here are a few examples:
- Paintings and prints
- Five, ten or twenty-pound notes
- Papier mache
- Items made from recycled paper
- Paper flowers
- Origami sculptures
- A poster that says wife or husband of the year
Exchanging gifts isn’t the only way couples traditionally celebrate their first year of marriage. After 12 months of living together, it’s good to reminisce the day of your wedding and look at all the fun you’ve had together.
How to celebrate your first wedding anniversary the traditional way
Throw a party
There aren’t many who can say they don’t love a party, and what better occasion than a first wedding anniversary. It’ll be a chance to catch up with family and friends, and relive parts of your happy day. Choose a theme, and why not make it paper? Choose paper plates, paper cups, and nobody will be left washing up.
Breakfast in bed
This will be a romantic way to start the day. Bring her the daily newspaper, for the paper theme of course, and take some time in deciding the best breakfast to serve. One of you will have to step out from under the covers to prepare it, but once the preparations are over you’ll be able to cosy up and enjoy the new day.
A second honeymoon
Enjoying a second honeymoon will be an excellent way to reconnect as a couple. It doesn’t have to cost a fortune, but a few days away from it all is bound to do you both good.
Take your spouse out to dinner
It would be a good opportunity to take yourselves out to dinner. Perhaps there’s a restaurant locally, run by a famous chef. Print off the menu, you’ll be able to find it online, and give it to your wife or husband in a paper envelope. Going out to dinner is a popular way to celebrate lots of different occasions, but can be made more relevant for a first anniversary by giving your loved one the menu before you head out.
Renew your vows
You might be thinking, hang on a minute we only did that twelve months ago. The first year of marriage is deemed by many to be a period of readjustment, so why not renew your commitment to each other by renewing your vows? It doesn’t have to be an elaborate event; it could even take place in your own home.
By now you maybe wondering how the whole wedding anniversary celebration came about. So let’s take a brief look at traditional wedding anniversary gifts in the UK.
The history of traditional anniversary gifts in the UK
Giving traditional anniversary gifts in the UK, is thought to have started with the Victorians. So let’s take a quick look at where it came from and how we came by the traditions that take place today.
It was very fashionable in Victorian times to celebrate wedding anniversaries in an elaborate fashion. Many significant anniversaries had their own special theme, but it was mostly major anniversaries that were celebrated such as the fifth, tenth, twentieth, twenty fifth, and fiftieth that were marked by giving specific gifts.
In 1937, the National Jewelers of America decided that they were missing a golden opportunity and compiled a much more extensive list. Every year, right up to seventy five was given its own theme. Some of the more traditional gifts were replaced by items that were more practical. Items such as kitchen appliances, clocks, silverware, linens, desk sets and leather goods.
It’s entirely up to you whether you choose to stick with traditional or follow more modern themes. We think, however, that the modern gift list doesn’t leave much room for imagination and personal interpretation. And quite frankly, some of the gifts are a little uninspired. Who would want to have a desk set given as a seventh wedding anniversary gift? And there are plenty of females who would prefer not to receive a washing machine in honour of their fourth wedding anniversary.
We’d like to wish you all the best for your first wedding anniversary, whether you’re modern thinking or more of a traditional couple. This is just the beginning and there’s going to be lots more celebrations to come.