How to Celebrate Your First Year Wedding Anniversary

As your first wedding anniversary approaches, you may find yourself a bit wistful.

Perhaps you worried about all the little things on your big day.

Would your hair stay in place until the pictures were taken?

Had you chosen the right seating plan for the guests?

Did you remember to give your best man the rings? 

Then at some point, you found yourself looking into the eyes of the person who would become your partner for life –your future spouse, your most valuable asset. The person who agreed to be with you for the rest of your life.

And here it is, one year later.

How can you celebrate your anniversary?

Luckily, gifts for the first year are practical.

Traditionally, the gift for the first year of marriage came in a paper format. The modern version of this would be a clock.

Interestingly, both paper and clocks are used to keep track of things, so it may be that the first year of marriage is about cultivating attention – being aware of each other and of how you are both settling into the partnership.

This year has been about appreciating the times where you have each taken one for the team and settled into routines that help grow your partnership. 

It is important to honor your spouse’s presence, and for many people, this means giving physical gifts.

However, sometimes even the perfect gift can fall short, or it may fail to to truly capture your love.

Ten years ago, Dr. Gary Chapman released a book about the various love languages.

Today, there are several online tests that will tell you what you and your partner’s love language might be. 

Using the traditional gift of paper, here are some ways to celebrate your first anniversary.

Let your actions show your love

If your partner understands love via acts of service, you can help by reducing that stack of paperwork or dishes that have been building up.

Alternatively, you could write coupons for daily tasks that usually belong to your spouse and offer to take them on.

Also, you could put together a scrapbook of your first year together.

When doing this, think of the special moments that made up your first year as a married couple.

The times you felt sure that your heart would be forever joined to your partner’s, or even times you thought you would not survive, but did because of your partner’s help.

Under each photo, write a caption about how you felt on that day. You will be creating something that will help you reconnect in the times to come.

Capture your love in words

If your partner’s love language is words of affirmation, a love letter written on the finest paper would not go wrong.

It used to be that husbands and wives kept old letters from the time when their love was just blossoming, but that doesn’t have to be the case.

Since so much of our communication has gone digital, it’s quite rare to receive an actual letter – which means that letters have become much more valuable.

Imagine the pleasure your partner will feel when untying the ribbon holding a treasured stack of love letters.

If you are not naturally a writer, here is an easy way to begin: go to a quiet place where you can be alone, bringing some paper and a pen.

Then close your eyes and imagine the times during the past year when you have felt closest to your partner.

Really put yourself in the situation so that you can smell, touch, and feel your partner there with you.

How was the weather at the time?

Were you in a special location?

What was it that your partner said or did that got your attention and gave you a thrill?

Write brief notes for yourself, then take a break.

When you feel ready, imagine that your partner is there with you.

Take in the smell of his or her hair and the familiar lines of their beloved smile.

Imagine that whatever you say will be accepted, then write down how you felt during those special moments.

Talk about how your partner stands out from the crowd.

Write about what drew you into them.

When you’re finished, copy your letter onto beautiful stationery and give it to your partner during a loving moment.

Spend time together

If your partner’s love language is quality time, consider the things he or she enjoys doing with you.

In keeping with this year’s traditional gift of paper, you could get paper tickets to a band or any other event.

Make sure you take care of all the practicalities: transportation if you both decide to drink, child care, or perhaps a hotel room if you’re going out of town.

If your partner enjoys being in control of details, ask how you can help with the preparations so that your quality time can be enjoyed.

Offer to cook meals, drop off children, or run errands so that your quality time together can be fully appreciated.

Focus on touch

If your partner’s love language is physical touch, the sky is the limit! You have learned how your partner likes to be touched, but the body can still hold surprises.

Get yourself a good massage book and leave it on your bed, having first marked the things you would like to try.

Ask your partner to put a sticky note on pages with things they think would be fun.

Then, find some quality massage oil.

Pick a perfect oil and then set a time to relax together.

Try out some of the touches your partner has requested and see how they are received.

If you’re an attentive spouse, you probably already know where your partner holds pain in the body.

Now is your chance to reduce it, or to try that new thing in the bedroom that your partner has been requesting. A sex book will work wonders here, too, and can be really entertaining to read together.

The first year of marriage is a real milestone.

As you move forward, make sure to cultivate an awareness of the other one’s well-being.

Write down the good things – the memories and activities that make you grateful to be with your partner.

If milestones have been reached, they should be noted and remembered.

And whatever gift you choose to give this year, in whatever love language it comes in, consider making it a regular staple in your lives together. 

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