You may think that celebrating wedding anniversaries is a relatively modern tradition. In reality, the practice dates back to the Roman Empire. However, only for the 25th and the 50th anniversary. This remained the case until the onset of the Victorian era when the other anniversaries were named with their own specific gifts, flower and gemstone.
There are actually different suggestions for the United Kingdom and the USA. Plus, there is a further list of more modern gifts, rather than the traditional ones. Let me start at the beginning with gift ideas for a first wedding anniversary.
Why is Paper the First Anniversary?
There are undoubtedly many theories as to why paper should represent the first wedding anniversary, and even as to when it was introduced. One idea suggests that a sheet of blank paper symbolises a fresh start or a new beginning. The couple has survived the first year of marriage together.
It’s now time to start the rest of the journey. It may be that paper is the most fragile of the gifts. As the years pass, the presents grow in strength, as does the marriage. Of course, paper is actually a writing material. It could signify the couple is creating the story of the rest of their life. Keep reading for some gift ideas for a first wedding anniversary.
Gift Ideas for a First Wedding Anniversary
Perhaps, you are in the fortunate position of looking for some unique wedding gift ideas for a paper anniversary. There are plenty of choices that will have you standing out from the crowd. A scrapbook will be a welcome gift for a creative couple; much more than a photograph album, it allows for the addition of embellishments and mementoes to keep precious memories.
Those who prefer something a little quirky might appreciate a lamp, designed as a book. It unfolds to give a warming glow, ideal for desks or coffee tables. I have found a truly unique gift of a personalised “message in a bottle”. A personal art print is a thoughtful gift, with the date of the wedding as a nice touch. Perhaps decorated with some romantic touches, such as hearts. There are undoubtedly plenty of choices for gift ideas for a first wedding anniversary.
Perhaps, you prefer to create memories, rather than give an actual gift. Paper tickets could offer the couple an unusual day out. An adventure not to be forgotten would be an archery experience in Nottingham, the home of the legendary outlaw, Robin Hood. Included are welcome drinks, a safety briefing and expert tuition, for a first anniversary to remember!
What is the Flower of the First Anniversary?
Each anniversary is also represented by a flower, and for the first year, this is the carnation. Of course, it is possible to get paper flowers. A bouquet of pink carnations would be a perfect and long-lasting gift. It is relatively easy and definitely possible to create your own bouquet. Use tissue and crepe paper, for a more personalised touch.
They do come in different colours, but pink is a gentle, romantic option, and the carnation is said to inspire lasting love, capturing the essence of optimism, passion and sweetness. I have found an artificial carnation plant that is incredibly realistic. Carnations are a full and vibrant flower, the perfect symbol of love at any age and a unique idea for paper anniversaries.
Four Things to Know About Carnations
Carnation petals are edible, but the rest of the plant is poisonous. The petals are ideal as cake decorations and have a sweet flavour. They are used as an ingredient in Chartreuse, a French liqueur.
The carnation is the national flower of Monaco, Slovenia and Spain, but oddly it is Colombia which produces the most significant quantity of the flower. The only US state that has a carnation as its emblem is Ohio.
Its full name, Dianthus caryophyllus, comes from Ancient Greece, where it was familiar in coronation ceremonies, and translates as the flower of the Gods. There is actually no entry in Wikipedia for the name carnation. #WomensHistoryMonth
Carnations are a tradition at all examinations at the University of Oxford, with different shades representing the progress through the exam process. The first exam has the symbol of a white carnation, followed by pink, then red.
Which Gemstone Represents the First Anniversary?
A gemstone gift would be a luxurious gift for the happy couple or something that they may wish to buy each other. The first wedding anniversary is mother-of-pearl, a luminous stone from oyster and abalone shells. Beautiful jewellery items such as earrings, bangles and cufflinks, are perfect as a gift.
An unusual idea is a mother of pearl mirror, and you can read my review of a particularly beautiful one here. It is said to remove any negative energy and afford protection to the wearer. Mother of pearl can also be used as an inlay in furniture and in musical instruments, and when given as a gift is reputed to attract good fortune.
Five Facts About Mother of Pearl
Mother of pearl is different from an actual pearl which is much rarer, and significantly more expensive, but they are both byproducts of minerals secreted by oysters.
The official name of mother of pearl is nacre, which refers to the coating that covers the inside of the oyster’s shell.
Only nacre that has an iridescent quality can be called mother of pearl, and it should have a magical colour-changing appearance.
The actual purpose of mother of pearl is to protect the oyster from any damaging debris or parasites that may enter the shell.
Mother of pearl jewellery is 100% organic, and therefore it’s extremely rare for a person to be allergic to it.
The First Year is Over
The first year of a marriage can be a learning curve for many couples, and sourcing some unique wedding gift ideas for a paper anniversary can be a thoughtful way to help the celebration. Anniversaries represent a growing marriage, and a look towards the future, the perfect time to celebrate.
I sincerely hope you discovered something new today and enjoyed reading this article about gift ideas for a first wedding anniversary. Please take some time and feel free to leave any comments or ask any questions.
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