gifts they might actually want

The Best 1-Year Wedding Anniversary Gifts

Photo: Courtesy of the retailer

Congratulations, it’s now been a full year since you and your husband or wife recited your wedding vows in front of your family, friends, and those other people your mom insisted on inviting. Now’s the time to defrost that slice of year-old wedding cake and celebrate your first anniversary. Whether you’re enjoying a special dinner out or going on a little getaway, you’re probably also trying to figure out the perfect gift for your spouse.

According to tradition, first-anniversary gifts should be made from paper. Of course, a simple love note would qualify, but if you want more options to choose from, we’re here to help. For this guide, we dug through our extensive archive of expert-recommended products to bring together the best paper gifts for all types of couples — from cocktail napkins for consummate party hosts to temporary wallpaper for renters. And when you make it to your next anniversary (and the ones after), we have you covered there, too. We’ve also compiled picks for 2nd-, 5th-, 7th-, 10th-, 25th-, and 50th-anniversary gifts.

For the couple that likes to write by hand

Zhi Jin Classic Thick Cloth Linen Notebook

There’s lots to choose from on our list of the 100 best notebooks, but the cloth linen cover on our fourth-place winner makes it feel more giftable than other utilitarian options. Strategist writer Hilary Reid says it “has that special feeling of a really well-made minimalist object.”

For the couple that values good design

Princeton Architectural Press Grids & Guides: A Notebook for Visual Thinkers

Each page of this notebook, writer Molly Young’s favorite, features a different grid design, from simple dots to a triangle-pattern grid, so it’ll appeal to spouses who notice the little details. “The grids are all bold enough to provide structure but faint enough to foreground your writing,” says Young.

For the adventurous couple

Rite in the Rain Weatherproof Top-Spiral Notebook

When we tested this pocket-size notepad, we were impressed that the pages could get wet without looking water-logged or smearing the ink. A smart choice for keeping a record of your travels to far-flung locales.

For the couple that loves live music

Photo: Courtesy of Vendor
Andre Saraiva Dream Concert "Beatrice Inn"

One of our luxury holiday gift-guide picks, this print of artist André Saraiva’s fantasy lineup for a show at the Beatrice Inn (when it was a nightclub in the mid-aughts) should delight music lovers and New York nostalgics.

For the couple that wants a statement wall

Mercer41 Rodas Shatter Geometric Peel and Stick Wallpaper Roll

If you live in a rental or are just not ready for a long-term décor commitment, removable wallpaper can zhuzh up your space for the time being. Anna Tatsioni, design expert at Decorilla, likes this one for its metallic, geometric design.

For the couple that registered for a Squatty Potty

Photo: Courtesy of vendor
No.2 Toilet Paper

Couples that want to optimize every aspect of their bathroom will love this toilet paper’s cheeky packaging.

For the couple that registered for a high-end camera

The Photographer's Playbook: 307 Assignments and Ideas

If you’re overwhelmed by all the features on your fancy new camera, try out the exercises in this book (recommended by professional photographers) to learn how to take great shots together.

For the couple that hosts the best parties

Caspari Blue-and-White Cocktail Napkins - Pack of 20

Strategist senior editor Anthony Rotunno likened Caspari napkins to “tiny works of art.” (The brand actually does collaborate with museums and cultural institutions on its designs.) Get a set of these Blue Willow china–esque napkins for your next gathering.

For the couple getting into wine

Wine Simple: A Totally Approachable Guide From a World-Class Sommelier

Aimed at budding oenophiles, this nonintimidating book breaks down the world of wine in a way that feels friendly and accessible.

For the couple getting into baking

The Baking Bible

If The Great British Baking Show has made you curious about sponge cake and kouign-amann, Grub Street writer Nikita Richardson recommends this introductory baking book from Rose Levy Beranbaum, a pioneer of baking at home from scratch.

For the couple with big goals

BestSelf Co. the Self Journal

Productivity experts like how this planner breaks down your goals into 90-day chunks to focus on all the little steps along the way. Because it’s undated, it’s a great gift whether your anniversary is in January or June.

For the literary couple

Postcards From Penguin: 100 Book Covers in One Box

Book lovers can hang these vintage-book-cover postcards on the wall as decoration, use them as bookmarks, or mail them to other bibliophile friends.

For the couple with blank walls

Cavallini Papers & Co. Vintage Dandelion Hanging Poster Kit

We originally recommended this as a gift for bosses, but this all-in-one poster-hanging kit would also give a couple with a new apartment a simple way to up their wall art game.

For the Instagram-famous couple

ArtsyCanvas Henri Matisse Blue Nude Matte Print, 18x24

Your followers will have major #couplegoals after seeing the two of you posed in front of this Matisse print. Strategist writer Dominique Pariso noticed it popping up a lot in her feed, and New York senior art critic Jerry Saltz explains why it’s ideal for social media: “The intensity of the color and the abstract shape fits perfectly into the pixelated packages on Twitter and Instagram.”

For the couple with daily Co-Star app notifications

The Rider Tarot Deck

Indulge a spouse’s soft side for the mystical with this tarot-card deck that’s been around since 1910.

For the couple that honeymooned in Tokyo

Life Bank Paper Pad

For a gift that recalls the exacting design found in many Japanese products, give this super-high-quality paper that was originally made exclusively for the Mitsubishi Bank. It’s known for being incredibly smooth to write on, with no ink bleed-through.

For the couple that honeymooned in Paris

Exaclair FAF Deskside Pad

Another of our favorite international stationery brands, Exaclair still makes its paper at the Parisian workshop built by Gustave Eiffel.

For the couple with a honeymoon baby

Clap Hands (Oxenbury Board Books)

Newlyweds who are also new parents will appreciate this board book that child-development experts say encourages language-enhancing interaction between babies and their caregivers.

For the couple that prefers snail mail

Paper Source Paper Plane Stationery

Letter-writing might be a lost art in our age of email and DMs, but if you or your spouse keep up the tradition, buy a set of this affordable personalized stationery. Margaret Shepherd, a calligrapher, says knowing you didn’t spend a fortune on your stationery will make you more likely to regularly use it.

For the (fancy) couple that prefers snail mail

Mrs. John L. Strong Giraffe Notes

Or if you have the money to spend, you can go with note cards from Mrs. John L. Strong, longtime supplier of stationery to high-society types like Jackie Kennedy and Anna Wintour. Jon Call, founder of the design firm MCD, says, “There is something nostalgic yet timeless about this little luxury.” We think the giraffe design keeps them from feeling staid.

For the couple that leaves love notes

Pad of Butter

Strategist managing editor Maxine Builder wrote about the joy of trompe l’oeil notepads and sticky notes, and we’re smitten with this very realistic-looking stick-of-butter pad.

For the couple that hasn’t sent their wedding thank-you notes yet

Quatre Mots Français Notecards by Louise Fili (Set of 4)

Etiquette dictates that you can send a wedding thank-you card up to a year after the big day, so if you’ve been slacking, pick up some of these elegant Art Deco–style cards to get inspired. Writer Perrin Drumm told us, “No self-respecting designer’s or design lover’s desk set is complete without a few of Louise Fili’s note cards.”

For the couple with a packed calendar

Stendig Calendar 2020

We’ve been fans of this classic wall calendar for a while (it was designed by Massimo Vignelli in 1966). For anniversaries that coincide with the new year, it’d be the perfect gift to get your second year of marriage started out on the right foot.

For the couple that’s not as busy

Good Morning Inc. 'Flowers' 2020 Calendar

More decorative than useful, this cheerful, blossoming calendar was one of Strategist senior editor Anthony Rotunno’s favorite buys from his recent trip to China. “You’re meant to keep the months in as they pass, so that over the year you put together a bouquet of 12 vibrant ‘stems,’” he says.

For the couple that needs to chill

Secret Garden: An Inky Treasure Hunt and Coloring Book

Take a break from the daily grind and spend a relaxing night in with this adult coloring book (the best-rated one on Amazon).

For the couple that always forgets to water the plant

Plawanature Set of 6 Warm Orange Hydrangea Mulberry Paper Flower

Fresh flowers are lovely, but this paper bouquet will last forever. The “stems” are rattan sticks that will diffuse the scent of your favorite fragrance if you give them a spritz.

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The Best 1-Year Wedding Anniversary Gifts