First Wedding Anniversary Paper Inspiration

by - Wednesday, March 15, 2017

If you are getting ready to celebrate your first wedding anniversary, congratulations! Getting through that first year is amazing, and you have a long future ahead of you to celebrate. Because anniversaries are about the past year but also about the many years ahead of you. It makes the day a good one to reflect on where you want to be going and how you want the world to be when you celebrate your 20th or even 50th anniversary.

So it is a perfect time to think about the environmental impact of your celebrating. I would never suggest not having a celebration- I don't believe in that! Life has so much banal and heartbreaking in it, so it only makes sense to make a big deal about the good things happen. But you don't have to do the same old things that turn out to often be pretty wasteful (I'm looking at you, plastic-wrapped grocery store flowers).

An anniversary celebration may not be as epic a production as a wedding, BUT it can have just as much of a fun, romantic, and positive impact on your lives together and your world. If you are struggling to figure out what to start as anniversary traditions, here are some ideas to help you brainstorm what would be perfect for you and your partner. 

Reflect on the Past, Present, and Future

Every year, we look through our wedding photos, chat about the day, and point out just how tragic my bangs looked by the last dance. It isn't anything overly wrought with emotion (The Boy does not do wrought), but it is fun. In a few years, our kids might be interested too, and that will be really fun. 

We also have an anniversary journal, like this one from Uncommon Goods. We write in it every year and add one picture. Every year, it is fun to go back and read it, but I honestly think you could use any notebook you like to the same purpose. It's the going back and reading that makes it fun.

Beyond that, our (relatively few) anniversaries have little in common, for one good reason- we really commit to the theme. Wedding anniversaries, almost inexplicably, have different themes for different years. I see these as an opportunity to really think about ideas and be creative. As the years have gone by, it has also become a good opportunity to really think of fun and green ways to approach the holidays. Let's look at some ideas for a first anniversary- 

Paper Decorations

paper streamers from copier paper
Paper is an awesome one to just re-use what you already have. Look at these awesome decorations just made out of copier paper. If you run out of copier paper, you can always get more made out of recycled paper.  A see of white paper would be so striking and romantic with the right light, but color is joful and festive. Do what makes sense for you, use your imagination, and USE WHAT YOU ALREADY HAVE. 

tissue paper chandelier

tissue paper flower doorway
 I may have bought a cartoonishly large amount of tissue paper for our wedding, so we mostly did tissue paper decorations. It made the evening really sweet, because the paper was so synonymous with these fiddly paper flowers. If you aren't a fool like me, accidentally buying a lifetime supply of paper, you can find made in America tissue (they have some on Amazon). Easy to get a lot of impact for less than 10 bucks,

photograph anniversary decorations
I love these signs made out of pictures, though you may not have earned it at "1" and I am not sure you could do it without being wasteful, because it doesn't have a ton of reuse. But photographs are paper, so working them into decor makes a lot of sense.

I wanted to learn how to do this, but so far I haven't. Very cool though, right?

first dance at wedding reception light ceiling colorful

For our first anniversary, I decorated with our wedding lights and tissue paper, so there was a lot of re-use going on. We also had lots of leftover cookie boxes and, invites, and other paper goods. We should have worked some of that in too! What did you have left of your wedding decorations?

wedding anniversary light ceilingfirst wedding anniversary tissue paper flowers dining room

tissue paper flower bouquet first anniversary table

 While I was gone, the Boy even made me a bouquet of tissue paper flowers! How sweet is that? He said he was trying to make a garland, but he realized that was really hard, so he quit. We also tried to use lots of the stuff from the day- the chalices our from Madonna Inn and on the day, my mom had put little charms with our names on them around the base. So we got them out and to drink milk with the cake.

Gifts and Treats

first anniversary gifts

 We also reused wedding tissue paper to wrap the gifts (if you want gift ideas, check here). If you don't have paper to reuse, you might use the paper theme to justify buying a long roll of recycled kraft paper (20 bucks should last you most of your marriage) or recycled bags to use again and again as a tradition. If you enjoy breathing, using less trees is a great goal, so now might be the perfect time to switch over to recycled paper.

first anniversary cake

We ate our top tier the day after our wedding, so every year we make our own top tier an pick toppers that fit the year. They usually don't fit the "traditional" theme, but if you anted to do that, you could choose a pastry or phyllo dough dessert that has thin, papery layers. If you are a good cook, you could probaby make the food fir the theme too!

Happy celebrating! If you are looking for inspiration for another anniversary, check out the green weddings page!

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