1st Year Anniversary: PAPER Gift Idea

Maybe it was the Marathon, alllllll the marathon training, the triathlon, the matron of honor duties, the new teaching preps, the two teams she coached, the countless homebound students she tutored in her free time, the conference she hosted, the homework she had to do for her Master’s degree, the trips she took around the country… or heck, maybe it was her new duty as WIFE that kept her from picking up her wedding photos until now, over ONE YEAR after her special day.
Last July, my big sister, Katie, walked down the aisle to marry her handsome partner in crime, Joe Smith. I have wanted to share some of their UBER creative photos from this magical orchard wedding (because who doesn’t love creepin’ on wedding photos?!) for quite a while now, but Katie is ONE BUSY LADY & picking up her wedding photos were pretty low on her to-do list.  But after almost a year of waiting, these two love birds finally have their photos to share with us!
In honor of Mr. & Mrs. Smith’s {insert Brad & Angelina joke here, I’m sure they don’t hear that enough… sorry guys, I still can’t resist} first anniversary, I thought we could wrap up the whole first year in one Monday morning post. Wedding photos, a first anniversary “PAPER” gift idea, and I even pinned down the busy bride to give us newbies some A+ advice.
But first, the wedding photos… 
I mean how cute are they?! An authentic Granny Smith sign for Mr. & Mrs. Smith on their wedding day… I just don’t think it gets much better than that. Well, I guess if they went back and secretly stole it to hang in their house forever… that would be better. Did you catch the touch o’ math sprinkled throughout the venue? If you haven’t guessed, KT teaches math and cleverly tricked each of her guests into calculating an equation to figure out where they were seated at the venue. Geez, this girl is always on the clock! But in all seriousness, what a fun day! Katie was the most laid back bride, and honestly, I don’t think I’ve seen her as happy as she was on that day.
PS. Extra credit for anyone who gets their hands on that Granny Smith sign…. #herassignmentnotmine
Second- 1st Anniversary Gift Idea
Apparently, tradition says that a first anniversary gift should be “paper”. I have no clue why, I honestly have no clue where this tradition comes from (probably should look into it before December), but I do love me some solid tradition…so paper it is! Any guesses?
I’m sure this kind of paper was not the intention when this whole “paper” idea was born, but heck, a little 21st Century spin on the old idea seemed fun… and very fitting for the tech-savvy Mr. & Mrs. Smith.
I had an instagram book made of Katie & Joe’s adventures throughout their first year of marriage. Paper… check! Personal photos of them, by them, for them… check! Memories as newlyweds forever captured on their coffee table… check! Hacked KT’s Instagram account…check!

This book was cool because it allows you to choose the photos that you want to appear in the book. When you do pick, the text of the instagram also appears in the book, yet you are able to edit/delete/add any additional text. I kept KT’s quotes on the bottom of each photo, only so it was more personal to them.

Looking through the book of their first year definitely gives you a glimpse into how full of adventure, accomplishment, laughter, races and fun their first year of marriage was! I hope they can look back at this year (and book) and always remember the places they went & the amazing things they did together.
I bought the book from Social Prints (not sponsored, just genuinely love this product) super easy instructions to follow in order to format the book exactly how you want. I went with one picture per page, but you can opt to get a collage of photos per page.
Third – Advice from Old Bride
Since we have quite a few soon-to-be married and newly married rookies tuning in, I asked Mrs. Smith to share her humble advice on the first 365 days of marriage (aka Casey & I need all the help we can get…). And for those marriage hall of famers tuning in, I figured you could probably appreciate a little giggle at the expense of us newbies (you reading mom?). With that being said….Kate, tell us how it really went! What advice would you give to us soon-to-brides and new wives?

Her TOP 3 Pieces of Advice
1. Learn each other’s pet peeves and do what you can to avoid your +1’s peeves!
3. Plan date nights. If you don’t make a concerted effort to plan & enjoy date nights together, life will get in the way and date nights won’t happen.

Beyond the tips of advice, Katie also wanted to dish on the 2 most ANNOYING questions that seemed to pop off throughout the honeymoon stage.
1. “How’s married life?” (Oops! I asked her that exact question at least 12 times in the first 3 months… #noted). She says you and your husband should have a clever answer because you’ll be facing this question A LOT.
2. “When are you having kids?” <– I’m not even sure if there is a right answer to this one.  Awkward.

And on that note, Happy 1st Anniversary Mr. & Mrs. Smith! Can’t wait to see what year #2 has in store for you two adventurous lovebirds.

Any other first year brides tuning in?! Is Katie’s advice spot-on? Do you have anything else to add? These rookies are ALL EARS….

  • Brittany

    Had I not already done this for my hubby’s birthday, I would have probably made a coupon book for our paper anniversary. Love how easy it is to customize the coupons into things that fit your husbands/the couples interests. I’ve also seen/made several ideas for prints that could be used as a first anniversary gifts such as a marriage rules print. I’m sure you ladies will find that what makes each marriage work can be vastly different which I think is what makes that kind of print so fun. We will be celebrating our second anniversary Nov 2nd. I’m hoping I’ll have some kind of an idea for a cotton gift by then. LOL

    • Happy Anniversary Brittany!! Love those ideas.. thanks so much for sharing!

      You’ll have to keep us updated on that cotton gift.. seems way harder than “paper”. Good luck! xo

    • A coupon book is an awesome idea, as well as the Marriage Rules print. Love them both!

      Cotton??? Hmmmm. That one may be a bit tricky! Keep us updated if you come up with something good!

    • Brittany

      There are tons of adorable personalized throw pillows on Etsy that would make a great cotton second anniversary gift. My husband on the other hand frequently likes to refer to my throw pillows as “useless pillows” so I don’t think he would be too thrilled with that gift.

    • Brittany, our guys share the same sentiment. They just don’t understand our love for throw pillows. Ha!

  • Lori Baker

    My brother just gave his wife a sketch of her wedding dress by My Dreamlines. It was breathtaking. I have a sketch too, which my husband gave to me on our wedding day.