1st Wedding Anniversary
Gifts UK

Happy first anniversary, lovebirds! Celebrate this special milestone with a paper or cotton gift that honours your relationship. Here’s my guide to help you find the ideal present for your first UK wedding anniversary…

Author: Justin AldridgePage Updated: 27 May 2024

Discover the 1st year anniversary UK

Blimey, it’s been a year already? I’m sure you two lovebirds have really made this first year a smashing one! The 1st wedding cotton and paper anniversary symbolises strength, flexibility, and interconnection. I’ve put together some heartfelt gift and celebration ideas for this beautiful occasion.

Traditional Gift

In the UK, your first wedding anniversary is a unique occasion to celebrate a year of marriage. Rather than focusing on metals and gems, it brings the spotlight onto simpler elements: cotton and paper.

It’s up to both of you to figure out how you want to interpret it. I’ll encourage you to think outside the box and come up with gifts that not only fit the cotton and paper theme but also reflect on the amazing times you’ve had in your first year of marriage.

You can change the usual gift into something creative that really shows what your relationship is all about. Your gifts can be a way to show what your first year of marriage was like and give a hint of all the good times you’re excited about in the future.

sea glass love birds


A wonderful handmade artwork displaying two birds in love and a heart shaped balloon, all handmade with sea glass and pebbles. The sea glass and pebbles are collected by the artists from the beautiful Mediterranean beaches in Southern Spain. Personalized for you.

The perfect frame for an Anniversary or wedding gift.

Traditional Gemstone

Traditional gemstone for the 1st year anniversary is gold

The 1st year anniversary doesn’t have a particular gemstone attached to it. Instead, traditionally, you’ll usually give a 1st anniversary gold gift. This isn’t random, though. Gold symbolises the joy of starting a lifelong journey together. It represents the first chapter of married life, still shining and untarnished.

So, a gold gift for the first anniversary means more than just its monetary value. It captures the magic of a couple’s early days together, making it a perfect way to commemorate this milestone.

Traditional Flower

Traditional flower for the 1st wedding anniversary is carnations

Carnations, the traditional flower for the 1st wedding anniversary, beautifully capture the essence of your time together. Each colour tells a story: pink for the thrill of newfound love, white for pure love and good fortune, and red for deep admiration. Choose the shade that best reflects your journey so far, and let these blooms symbolise the special moments and growth you’ve experienced in your marriage.

Unique, handmade and personalized gifts from our shop

Modern Gift

The modern gift for a 1st anniversary is a clock. At first glance, it’s pretty boring, yet the symbolism runs deep. With every tick, the timepiece quietly counts the moments you’ve spent together in your first married year. With every tock, your love runs deeper.

The beauty of this gift is that you can choose from so many different forms. With so many styles, colours, and designs available, you can find a clock that genuinely reflects your relationship and fits nicely within your home. Interestingly, this gift does more than just honour the past year. It’s also a promise of all the time you plan to spend together moving forward.

How Long You´ve Been Married

1 year / 12 months / 52 weeks / 365 days / 8,760 hours / 525,600 minutes (more or less)

Fun Fact

If you lived on Neptune, you would have been married for 0.01 years and if you lived on Mercury 4.15 years…get your head around those figures!

Gift Ideas for your Husband

Ladies, it’s time to shower your man with love! Show him just how special he is with these thoughtful gift ideas.

  • Love letter/book of notes – express your feelings in a timeless way
  • Event tickets – enjoy a concert, play, or sports game together
  • Coupon book – offer romantic gestures like date nights, massages, home-cooked meals
  • High-end pen set – elevate his workday writing
  • Funny ‘Best Husband’ t-shirt – with a humorous message to brighten his day


Handmade framed design of a couple in love, all made with pebbles and genuine sea glass. The sea glass and pebbles are collected by the artist from the beautiful Mediterranean beaches in Southern Spain.

This can be pesonalized with your own message and makes for a lovely and unique anniversary or wedding gift to give to a loved one.

Try this special wish:

My Dearest Husband,

Today marks one of the happiest days of my life – the day I became your wife. I can’t believe it’s already been a year since we said “I do” and embarked on this adventure called marriage.

I feel so blessed to be sharing my life with my best friend. You are my closest confidant, my biggest cheerleader, and the love of my life. I can’t wait to see what adventures our future holds.

Happy anniversary, my love! I hope you feel how much you mean to me today and every day. I love you to the moon and back.

Forever yours, XXX

Gift Ideas for your Wife

Gentlemen, it’s time to spoil your lady with love! Show her just how precious she is with these heartwarming gift ideas.

  • Jewellery – an elegant gold necklace, bracelet, or earrings with birthstones
  • Designer purse – surprise her with a stylish handbag from a coveted brand she loves
  • Luxury robes and slippers – offer comfort with a plush set for home relaxation
  • Flower delivery – send a stunning bouquet or start a monthly flower subscription
  • Gift certificate – treat her to a spa day, salon visit, or shopping spree
  • Funny apron or t-shirt – add humour to her wardrobe with a witty quote
We are better together - Sea Glass love birds framed gift


“We are better together”

A wonderful handmade framed unique design of a couple of love birds, including a sweet quote. The quote can be personalized for you. The sea glass and pebbles are collected by the artist from the beautiful Mediterranean beaches in Southern Spain.

This makes a lovely unique anniversary or special occasion gift.

Try this special wish:

My darling wife,

This past year as your husband has been a dream come true. Thank you for blessing me with your love, kindness, and friendship. You have made our home a place of joy, comfort, and laughter.

On our wedding day, I vowed to love you unconditionally – and that promise holds true today more than ever. You are my soulmate, my heart, my everything.

Happy anniversary, my love! I can’t wait to celebrate many more by your side.

Yours forever, XXX

With a thoughtful gift from the heart, you can convey your love while making her feel pampered and appreciated.

Gift Ideas for the Couple

Can you believe it’s already been one year since the happy couple said “I do”? As they celebrate their first anniversary as husband and wife, it’s the perfect time to honour this special milestone with a meaningful gift.

  • Photo album – chronicle their first year for a walk down memory lane
  • Framed wedding vows – a beautiful reminder of their special day
  • Tickets – to a concert, play, or game for an exciting day together
  • Personalised stationery or notebooks – jot down some of your thoughts and dreams for the couple
  • Poetry book or collection of love letters – to inspire romance and reflection
  • Engraved clock – a desk or wall clock marked with their wedding date
  • Sand hourglass – decorate their new space with a timeless piece
  • Garden sundial – to enhance the couples outdoor space

No matter which gift you choose, be sure to include a heartfelt card congratulating the couple on their first of many anniversaries to come!

Fun Fact

Mexico, there is a tradition called “la mordida de la torta” or “the bite of the cake”. On the wedding day, the bride and groom take a bite of the wedding cake at the same time. The person who takes the bigger bite is said to be the head of the household.

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Fun ways to Celebrate

Fun ways to celebrate your 1st wedding anniversary

The first wedding anniversary is a chance for a couple to celebrate the milestones and memories from their magical first year of marriage. There are many fun and romantic ways to commemorate this relationship milestone by exchanging heartfelt love notes sealing them in a time capsule to be opened on your 10th anniversary.

At home idea:

Thinking of a stay-at-home celebration for your first anniversary? Let’s make it unforgettable. Kick off the evening with a surprise – a trail of fragrant rose petals that guides your better half to an enchanting candlelit dinner setup. Now, here’s where it gets fun: instead of a catered meal, how about you both whip up something together? Pop open a bottle of champagne and turn cooking into a playful, shared adventure. And for the cherry on top, exchange heartfelt letters recounting all the reasons why this first year of marriage has been the best journey of your lives.

On a budget idea:

Budget or not, the key is in the sentiment. Get those creative juices flowing and put together ‘Love Coupons’, promising special deeds or future adventures together. Another gesture is to unleash your inner poet and pen a heartfelt verse that captures your affection. Or, how about creating a custom artwork that encapsulates your wedding day? Have it framed, and voila – you’ve got a personal piece of wall art that’s a daily reminder of your bond.

An adventurous idea:

Up and away enjoy your first anniversary with a hot air balloon ride

Have you ever thought of taking to the skies in a hot air balloon? Just imagine – you’re floating up, up and away, leaving the world behind. The houses, trees, and hills become tiny dots on the landscape as you ascend. Perennial views that stretch for miles around. You can feel the warm sun lap against your face. It’s a moment of freedom you both will cherish for a lifetime. But why stop there? Keep the spirit of adventure alive even after you’ve landed. Commemorate your special day and the unique bond you share with matching tattoos – maybe a hot air balloon as a token of this special adventure together.

A luxury idea:

A first wedding anniversary is a milestone to treasure, and luxury can add an extra sparkle to this special day. Perhaps you’ve been eyeing that magnificent hotel and spa retreat? Or maybe there’s an upscale restaurant you’ve always wanted to experience? Get something booked that speaks to the luxurious side of both of you.

Make a full day of it. Choose an upscale resort hotel that offers a spa and fancy restaurants. Book the spa during the day, a meal for two in the fine restaurant in the evening, and then relax on your super king bed later at night.

Fun Fact

So why were certain materials chosen as presents to symbolize specific anniversaries?

It is generally believed that increasingly durable gifts were chosen for successive years to represent the progressive strengthening of the marriage relationship. As the years go by, gifts increase in strength and value – from paper to diamond.

Common Questions About The 1st Wedding Anniversary

Q: What is the 1st wedding anniversary gemstone?

A: 1st wedding anniversary doesn’t have a specific gemstone, but gold is often chosen to symbolise the beginning of a magical journey in married life.

Q: What is the 1st wedding anniversary called?

A: The 1st wedding anniversary is called the cotton and paper anniversary in the UK.

Q: What is the 1st wedding anniversary symbol?

A: The 1st wedding anniversary is symbolised by paper.

Q: What is the 1st wedding anniversary color?

A: The color synonymous with the 1st wedding anniversary is yellow.

Q: What are the traditional and modern gifts for a 1st wedding anniversary?

A: The traditional gift for the 1st wedding anniversary is paper, and the modern gift is a clock.

Q: What is the 1st year anniversary flower?

A: The classic flower for the 1st wedding anniversary celebrations is the Carnation. Carnations are used to symbolise affection.

Did You Know?

The oldest known piece of paper is thought to date from around AD 150 and was discovered in Wuwei in China’s Gansu province.

Recycling one ton of paper saves 17 trees.

A book titled Teeny Ted from Turnip Town, measuring 70 micrometres x 100 micrometres, holds the Guinness World Record for being the smallest reproduction of a printed book.

Traditional and Modern Gifts Around The World

Traditional Gift – UKCotton & Paper
Traditional Gift – USPaper
Traditional Gift – AustraliaPaper
Traditional Gifts – CanadaPaper
Traditional Gift – SpainPaper
Traditional Gift – GermanyPaper
Traditional Gift – FranceCotton
Traditional Gift – ItalyPaper
Flower GiftCarnations
Gemstone GiftMother Of Pearl
Modern GiftClock

Around the World

Ever wondered how the 1st anniversary is celebrated in different parts of the world? Here’s a few interesting and fun ways that this anniversaries is celebrated in different countries:

  • Italy – couples exchange gold coins on their first wedding anniversary as a symbol of wealth and prosperity.
  • China – the first wedding anniversary is known as the “zhi jie hun” or “paper wedding anniversary”.
  • Germany – the first wedding anniversary is known as the “Papierhochzeit” or “paper wedding”. Couples in Germany often exchange paper gifts.
  • Ghana – the first wedding anniversary is known as the “Akwasidae”, couples in Ghana often exchange gifts of traditional clothing, such as kente cloth or adinkra symbols.

Looking for more inspiration? Check out our 1st Anniversary US Gift Ideas.

Still looking for some unique anniversary gifts?

Check out some of the personalized gifts from our gift shop. They are all handmade and personalized with your own message….

About The Author

Hi! I’m Justin and I’m the typical sort of person that tends to leave things at little too late…especially when it comes to celebrating my anniversary. I started this website to help couples plan and celebrate their special occasions together. I don’t profess to know it all…but you can at least learn from my mitakes 😉 Read more about me here…

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