gifts they might actually want

The Best 1st Wedding-Anniversary Gifts

Photo-Illustration: Retailer

Congratulations! It’s now been a full year since you and your spouse recited your wedding vows. 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 husband or wife.

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 design-minded renters. Many of the things on this list are available at Amazon, but we’ve found a lot of them elsewhere, too, for those who like to shop around. And when you make it to your next anniversary (and the ones after that), we have you covered, too: We’ve also compiled picks for second-, third-, fourth-, fifth-, sixth-, seventh-, eighth-, tenth-, 20th-, 25th-, and 50th-anniversary gifts.

For the couple that hasn’t made a wedding album yet

Artifact Uprising photo albums are gorgeous and archival, making them a fabulous gift for memorializing the couple’s special day (and other momentous occasions).

For the couple who tried (and failed) to save their wedding bouquet

Commemorate your anniversary with a bouquet of paper flowers that will never wilt or need watering.

For the couple with a cat and a lot of free time

For some people there’s nothing more romantic than curling up together for a weekend of alone time and puzzle solving. This puzzle, based on a New Yorker cover by Sempé, is both challenging and cozy.

For the couple who roots for the Yankees

An expertly crafted paper-mache replica of a 1977 signed Yankees baseball made by artist Bernie Kaminski.

For the couple who loves takeout

This print features line drawings of restaurants and other storefronts in New York City’s Chinatown, making it a perfect addition to the shared abode of two foodies. According to its artist, Felicia Liang, the piece is “an illustrated artifact of a vibrant immigrant community.”

For the couple who binges Bravo shows every weekend

For the couple who cooks together

A very handsome copy of Joy of Cooking to work their way through.

For the couple that bakes together

According to chef Cassidee Dabney, these parchment paper half-sheets are one of the most ingenious cooking tools you can have in a kitchen. “I use them to line pans for easy clean up,” she told us, adding, “they make a great piping bag, and you can go old school and use them to wrap food instead of using plastic.”

For the couple that “bakes” together

A pack of 50 pre-rolled cones (that also come in mango, strawberry, cherry, watermelon, grape, and lemon flavors).

For the couple who honeymooned in Paris

Use these French incense papers to freshen dresser drawers or closets (and the clothes within), or just burn ’em the old-fashioned way.

For the couple that wants to zhuzh their blank walls

This affordable subscription will help fill a gallery wall in no time: Each month, Brooklyn’s Summertime Gallery (a nonprofit space for artists with and without intellectual disabilities), will send an artist-made postcard featuring the work of a different creator.

For the couple that really wants to zhuzh their blank walls

This poster by graphic designer Milton Glaser (one of the co-founders of New York Magazine) was originally created for an exhibition at the School of Visual Arts in 1967. The larger three-feet-by-two-feet size is big without being too big, but it comes in less expensive smaller sizes too, if you’re short on wall space.

For the couple with green thumbs

These confetti cannons contain paper embedded with wildflower seeds. You can fire one in the backyard to celebrate your first full year together and then, by the time your second anniversary comes around, you should have a garden full of black-eyed susans, cockscomb, and sesame flowers.

For the couple that does crosswords together

According to crossword expert Adrienne Raphel (the author of Thinking Inside the Box: Adventures With Crosswords and the Puzzling People Who Can’t Live Without Them), this collection of 200 Sunday crosswords from the New York Times contains “the juiciest puzzles.”

For the couple with big ideas

Fashion stylist and designer Lori Goldstein says one of Smythson’s tiny, leather-covered notebooks is “perfect for a nightstand, where it is poised to take in late-night thoughts.” The notebook, we should add, would be effective for taking in thoughts from just about anywhere, thanks to its compact size.

For the couple with a modern home

Photo: retailer

Laura Fenton, the author of The Little Book of Living Small, says “this genius sculptural stool” that’s made out of paper and reminds her of a Noguchi lamp will add a design-y touch to any room without taking up too much space (or breaking a budget). It has a felt seat and “collapses down to flat and weighs next to nothing,” making it easy to store when not in use.

For the couple with a modern home (that has enough seating)

Speaking of paper lamps, this one comes recommended by Jenny Kaplan, owner of design firm An Aesthetic Pursuit and co-owner of Pieces Home. It also has a Noguchi vibe and makes a worthy dupe if an original is out of your price range.

For the couple who just wants a Noguchi lamp

If you want to invest in the real deal, Strategist editor Simone Kitchens suggests this spindly legged option that she calls a step up from “starter Noguchi.”

For the couple that hosts the best parties

Former Strategist senior editor Anthony Rotunno likened Caspari napkins to “tiny works of art.” (The brand collaborates with museums and cultural institutions on its designs.) These Matisse floral napkins would be perfect for any summer party.

For the couple that wants to be less wasteful

These reusable, superabsorbent Swedish dishcloths are made from cotton and cellulose (a.k.a. wood pulp), the main ingredient in paper, but look far nicer than any paper towel.

For the couple that meditates together

The teachings of psychologist and meditation teacher Tara Brach are recommended by therapists for exploring mindfulness practice.

For the couple who loves to host game night

According to Strategist senior writer Liza Corsillo, this Bob Ross–themed bingo game is a twist on the classic that’s fun for all ages. Instead of playing cards filled with numbers, “each square says something like ‘happy little trees,’ ‘big ol’ brush,’ or ‘find freedom on this canvas’ — things Bob himself said multiple times per episode on his show,” she explains.

For the couple that gets daily Co–Star notifications

Embrace the mystical with this expert-recommended book by astrologer Jessica Lanyadoo, the host of Ghost of a Podcast. It’s a practical, inclusive guide to relationships of all types, from romantic to professional to familial.

For the couple that’s (constantly) redecorating

If you live in a rental or are just not ready for a long-term décor commitment, removable wallpaper can transform a space … for the time being. Home decorator Carrie Carrollo recommends trying this bold Scalamandré print that you might recognize from The Royal Tenenbaums.

For crafty couples

Introduce them to a new paper-centric hobby — origami — with this kit that was recommended to us by origami artist Talo Kawasaki. Not only does it come with “very clear diagrams and a DVD tutorial for extra help,” but paper is included as well.

For the couple that needs a place to keep their rings (or other small trinkets)

Because of its material — you’d never know on sight that it’s papier-mâché — this sweet bowl that we’ve suggested as a great Valentine’s Day gift would also make for an excellent first-anniversary gift. It’s an especially perfect perch for rings and other small valuables. While the piece is one of a kind, the Etsy seller who created it can make custom orders, which always adds a level of thoughtfulness to any gift.

For the couple that prefers to send snail mail

Letter-writing might be a lost art in our age of texts and DMs, but if you want to 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 use it.

For the (fancy) couple that prefers to send snail mail

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. According to Jon Call, the founder of the design firm MCD, “There is something nostalgic yet timeless about this little luxury.” Choose your favorite of the five different designs and an envelope color to make each set your own.

For the adventurous couple

When we tested this pocket-size notepad, we were impressed that the pages could get wet without looking waterlogged or smearing the ink. It would be a smart choice for any couple that likes to travel to far-flung locales.

For the couple that registered for a Squatty Potty

Photo: Courtesy of vendor

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

For the couple getting into wine

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

For the literary couple

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 that leaves love notes

Strategist 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 who conceived a honeymoon baby

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 hasn’t sent their wedding thank-yous yet

Traditional etiquette dictates that you can send a wedding thank-you card up to a year after the big day, so if they’ve been vocal about slacking on the task, a box of punchy Marimekko note cards might provide some motivation.

The Strategist is designed to surface the most useful, expert recommendations for things to buy across the vast e-commerce landscape. Some of our latest conquests include the best acne treatments, rolling luggage, pillows for side sleepers, natural anxiety remedies, and bath towels. We update links when possible, but note that deals can expire and all prices are subject to change.

The Best 1st Wedding-Anniversary Gifts