As much as I would like to report that we whisked ourselves away for our first anniversary and finally took that big honeymoon we nixed due to having no moolah…the answer is sadly, no.

However, all was not lost!

We are trying really hard to save and pay down debt right now. While we didn’t want to necessarily cheap out on our anniversary, we mutually decided that we would get more creative rather than dig deeply in our wallets.

The traditional first anniversary gift is paper. The modern first anniversary gift is a clock. We decided to honor both the traditional and modern, and this is what we came up with.

I’m not a crafty girl, and given the paper theme, my instinct was, “I’m screwed.” But, instead of sit in the corner and have a panic attack, I decided to see what I could come up with given my limited skills. I read somewhere (sorry, I can’t remember where?!) about a couple who exchanges letters every year on their anniversary. They recount important events that occurred throughout the year, and compile it into one letter.

I LOVED this idea! Like really loved it. I talked about it with L, and we decided that we would write each other a letter every year. We already give each other cards several times a year (Papyrus makes a killing off of us), so this shouldn’t be too hard for us.

I bought a cheap, but beautiful album at Marshalls (for $6.99) to house all our letters. It has several pages (which I pointed out to L) which means we are stuck with each other for a loooong time ๐Ÿ˜‰

The writer/romantic in me really hopes we keep up this tradition.

For dinner, L and I decided that we would cook. Or rather…HE would cook. I had ripped off this wonderful Bibimbap recipe (via Kelly at Sunset House) from my buddy, Cathleya (wifeylifey) and L decided that our anniversary night would be the perfect time to try his hand at my favorite Korean dish. It turned out really amazing! I never directly told Cathy that we had cooked it for our anniversary, so this is a very public “Thank you, C” for posting about it ๐Ÿ™‚

{The meal turned out perfectly delicious, and I got to fawn over my husband, which, of course, he loved.}

{Sitting at our really old coffee table about to chow down. Yes, those are paper towels as place mats. We are classy.}

We agreed not to get each other personal gifts. As any spouse knows, this can sometimes be construed as code for “get my wife a gift.” This time I really didn’t want anything, but L ended up getting me a little something anyway. He surprised me with this beautiful necklace from Anna Sophia Designs. And what do you know…it’s made of Japanese PAPER. So appropriate given my heritage and that it was “paper” anniversary.

Last but not least, we talked about splurging on a nice gift that both of us could enjoy for a long time. We decided we would pick out a beautiful clock and get a personal message engraved on it to commemorate this first year together. I wish I had picture for you, but we haven’t picked out the clock yet. I’m a terrible procrastinator, and I am having trouble deciding.

Anyone else just relax on their anniversary? Or did you take a big trip?



  1. Reply


    July 19, 2010

    Happy Anniversary! What a gorgeous necklace and album and yay for cooking Korean food! I loved Kelly's recipe as well, a reminder to make it again soon ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. Reply


    July 19, 2010

    happy anniversary! looks like such a sweet day and dinner looks sooo good.

  3. Reply


    July 19, 2010

    Beautful necklace.
    Today's our 2nd anniversary. No gifts but we'll be headed out to dinner. For our 1st anniversary we went on a dinner cruise.

  4. Reply

    honey my heart

    July 19, 2010

    your anniversary looks so sweet and personal, which is the best way to celebrate!! the meal looks so yummy and the album has such a great design on it ๐Ÿ™‚

    we haven't gone on our honeymoon and think the 1 year anniv will be low key, but as long as we're together i will be happy.

  5. Reply


    July 19, 2010

    Happy anniversary! I love the idea of writing each other letters every year (not that my husband would ever go for that!).

  6. Reply


    July 19, 2010

    Awww, it looks so sweet and lovely. Making dinner at home – such a great idea!

  7. Reply


    July 20, 2010

    Happy Anniversary! Your celebration looks thoughtful and low-key; must have been lovely!

  8. Reply


    July 20, 2010

    I have SO many "on the cheap" wonderfully romantic ideas! Several years of my marriage were spent broke, but not short on romance! Let me know if you need any ideas!

  9. Reply

    Chic 'n Cheap Living

    July 20, 2010

    Congrats dear! How sweet that he cooked for you. We're really struggling with the paper/clock thing. I might get him tickets to a concert or something.

  10. Reply

    Temporary Housewife

    July 20, 2010

    Congratulations on your anniversary! Ours was last weekend and we didn't give each other gifts because a) i didn't have the energy to think of what to give him and neither did he. And b) we rather spend some time alone (we have children) instead of gifts.

    How sweet of L to still go ahead and get you that necklace, its beautiful!

  11. Reply


    July 20, 2010

    Happy anniversary! We celebrated our first on Sunday too, and we went with variations on the paper theme. Love the letters and the paper necklace!

  12. Reply


    July 20, 2010

    Thanks everyone for appreciating our low budget celebration!
    @Linda: Ooooh, dinner cruise! That must have been so romantic ๐Ÿ™‚
    @Morgan: You never know – your husband might go for it! ๐Ÿ™‚
    @J. Darling: Thanks! How are you feeling?!
    @Chic 'n Cheap Living: I feel you. I was thinking about "paper" for a loooong time. There really aren't many options. I like the idea of concert tickets!
    @Temporary Housewife: Alone time with your kiddies sounds like a wonderful way to spend your anniversary ๐Ÿ™‚

  13. Reply


    July 20, 2010

    Sounds like you had a very sweet anniversary! I love the idea of writing anniversary letters kept in a book to look back on and reminisce as the years pass. I'm not really a gift kind of a girl, so for me, something like this is so much more meaningful. I'm going to float this with my hubby… thanks for the idea!

  14. Reply

    Creature Gorgeous

    July 22, 2010

    I think your celebration was incredibly sweet and lovely! Love the album but REALLY LOVE YOUR NECKLACE!!!!!!!

  15. Reply

    Chicken Wing

    July 27, 2010

    I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE the letter writing tradition! I am so glad you guys had a fantastic first anniversary! You absolutely deserve it, and here's to MANY more years together! Cheers!