1 Year Anniversary

A year ago, you were juggling caterers, seating charts, and floral arrangements like a pro. Now, you’ve got one item on your to-do list, but it’s a big one. That’s why we’ve prepared the definitive 1 year anniversary guide.

We’ll touch on first anniversary traditions and tips and guide you to the best gifts and celebratory ideas. That all-important to-do will be a “to-done” in no time.

1 Year Anniversary Facts

  • Anniversary Stone: Gold (Yes, we know it’s not a stone, but it’s the go-to for 1 year anniversary jewelry); alternatives include Peridot and Pearl
  • Anniversary Flower: Carnation
  • Modern U.S. Gift: Clock
  • Traditional U.S. Gift: Paper
  • Traditional U.K. Gift: Paper
Image of a man and woman smiling at each other as they walk

How Many People Reach the 1 Year Anniversary Milestone?

There are some good news and bad news regarding couples reaching the coveted 1 year anniversary mark.

The bad news is most of the divorces that occur within the first five years of marriage happen within the first two years. But the good news is that divorce rates are steadily declining and have been since 2011.

If you’re here looking for inspiration for your 1 year anniversary celebration, you’re one of the 90-percenters. An estimated one in ten couples calls it quits within the first two years in the United States. That means the overwhelming majority is on their way to five-year and beyond milestones.

Globally, 1 year anniversaries are even more prevalent. It’s a different situation because some countries, like the U.K. and Canada, won’t grant divorce decrees until the couples pass the one-year mark.

1 Year Anniversary Gifts

Whether you opt to take the traditional or modern route, coming up with innovative gifts for first year anniversaries can be head-scratching.

If you go by the anniversary stone (which isn’t a stone), shopping for gold shouldn’t be too problematic. But what about paper – or a clock?

Most people agree that the first anniversary is one of the most important. The first year of wedded bliss can be more challenging than coming up with an idea to celebrate it. But that 1 year anniversary gift marks a significant milestone, so you want to get it right. It sets the stage for future years, as you’re establishing a tradition.

The Symbolism of Paper for 1 Year Anniversary Gifts

Many couples tend to ignore the tradition of the paper anniversary and move on to the clock, gold, or ignore symbolism entirely.

But, think about what paper represents.

  • A blank page indicating the beginning of a new story
  • Bendable and flexible
  • Full of potential

If you really give it some thought, paper lends itself to unlimited possibilities for first anniversary gifts. You can combine the two symbols – paper and clock – for something extraordinary or start a tradition with something as simple as a marriage diary.

We’ve got plenty of 1 year anniversary gift ideas to back you up and get those creative juices flowing.

Why a Clock for a First Anniversary?

The modern symbol for 1 year anniversary gifts is a clock. Like paper, you might wonder why anyone would come up with a clock, as it doesn’t exactly scream romance.

Again, though, ponder the significance of a clock.

  • Time passed, and the time to come
  • The preciousness of every moment
  • Love’s timelessness

When you look at paper and clocks through fresh eyes, it’s a different story. Plus, the beauty of the 1 year anniversary gift symbols (traditional and modern) is that they accommodate any budget from practically free to priceless.

Celebrating First Anniversaries

Are you well on your way to your 1 year anniversary celebration?

If so, you know that it’s not always easy. After all, you’re changing your life after you say I do.

But professionals have a few tips for riding out the rough patches, leading to smooth sailing toward your 1st anniversary.

Document all of your firsts

Stay focused on all of the positive things that pop up before your 1 year anniversary.

Some of those “firsts” could include:

  • Big purchase
  • Holiday
  • Dinner party
  • Vacation
  • Road trip
  • Pet

Take plenty of photos and video. But you might also want to keep a journal or a jar of notes with every first you encounter. You could read them on your 1 year anniversary as part of a new tradition.

Discuss everything

There’s no need to share all of your inner thoughts. However, open communication about finances, chores, privacy, and other day-to-day life decisions and expectations is key.

Practice kindness

It might sound cliché, but you’re probably spending more time together, and everyone has bad days (or bad moments). So, take a few breaths or walk away for a little while when your partner needs some space. A little kindness and understanding can go a long way.

Take things one day at a time       

And, you’re well on your way to a real 1 year anniversary celebration!

Interesting 1 Year Anniversary Facts – Did You Know?

Traditional 1 year anniversary gifts around the world

Paper is the traditional 1st anniversary gift in the United States, Spain, Germany, and Italy. In France, cotton is the symbol, and in the U.K., married Brits choose either cotton or paper.  Russia, on the other hand, refers to the first as the calico anniversary.

The clock starts at 100 in Korea

Anniversaries are a big deal in Korea. They start on the 100th day after a couple becomes “official,” From there, it’s 200, 300, 500, and the 1,000th celebration.

More first anniversaries (and beyond) in Illinois

If you’re looking for marriage longevity in the United States, you might want to call Illinois home. Illinois has the lowest divorce rate in the country, with 1.3 per 1,000 of its total population.

The 1st anniversaries were the 25th

There’s no definitive documented history on the origin of wedding anniversary celebrations. However, most historians agree that gift-giving dates back to Ancient Rome and Medieval Germany, with a silver wreath honoring 25 years of marriage.