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The Paper Anniversary: Wedding Anniversary Traditions and their Modern Twists

It is said that tradition dictates the etiquette of our time. Yet these traditions are subject to change, each developing its own modern twist to find its place in today’s world.

Beautiful couple's correspondence
Beautiful couple’s correspondence

Paper is the traditional first anniversary gift. The symbolism behind paper as the first anniversary gift lies in its construction; paper is bound together by fibers, representing the strength of love between two people. It also embodies the delicate nature of the first year of a new life together, of new discoveries, challenges, and the ability to grow together side by side.


Although paper is still celebrated as the traditional gift for the first wedding anniversary, it is also common for modern couples to offer clocks to one another. As the clock ticks, the days melt into one another, a deeper love and commitment grow, binding the fibers of love together forever more.

Anniversary Year Traditional Modern
Second cotton china
Third leather crystal
Fourth fruit or flowers appliances
Fifth wood silverware
Sixth iron wood
Seventh wool and copper desk sets
Eighth bronze or pottery linens and lace
Ninth willow leather
Tenth tin or aluminum diamonds



Madeleine Garone,

Signed title page of Silent Spring. Image  courtesy of:


1 thought on “The Paper Anniversary: Wedding Anniversary Traditions and their Modern Twists”

  1. A first anniversary gift that combines the traditional paper with the modern clock is, where you dedicate and register a special date to your loved one :)

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