Editors' Picks | Vol. 9: First Anniversary Gifts for Catholic Couples

At Spoken Bride, we love a good book, a good meal, a standout statement necklace, a heel you can dance in, and the list goes on. And when we make those discoveries, we want to tell everyone. So every month or two, we're sharing our latest and favorite finds in everything engagement, wedding, and honeymoon-related.

The traditional first anniversary gift is paper. This month we've chosen a few of the more creative, spiritually-focused items we've found to inspire your giving and receiving.

  Calligraphy:  Sarah Ann Design ; Photo:  Gray Door Photography .

Calligraphy: Sarah Ann Design; Photo: Gray Door Photography.

Andi, Business Director

Papal Blessing: You can start working on this gift as soon as you’re married to have it ready for your first anniversary. Even if you’re not able to visit Rome for a Papal blessing, there is still a way to have your marriage blessed by Pope Francis, with a beautiful visual reminder for your home.

Your wedding vows: Have the words from the liturgy framed or written out. This personalized watercolor from Just Love Prints is beautiful.

100 Reasons I Love You: This one is kind of self explanatory, but simply writing down all the different reasons you love your spouse, collected and stored in a jar, would be an ideal gift for someone whose love language is words of affirmation.

Birth Certificate: If it's God's will, nothing says I love you more than a brand new addition to your family!

 

Christina, Associate Editor

A fancy edition of a favorite spiritual book: The only thing I collect is books, and I love beautiful, hardcover versions of my favorites. Something like this edition of St. Augustine’s Confessions would be a lovely gift to receive, especially since my only copy is a paperback I’ve had since college.

A handwritten letter: I don’t know about you, but for me, there’s nothing quite like receiving a letter from my husband--particularly when it’s accompanied by flowers. Letter-writing isn’t really his thing, which makes the fact that he puts the time and effort into it all the more valuable. And bonus: it’s definitely a budget-friendly gift.

Spiritual bouquet: Who doesn’t love to know others are praying for them? Asking your friends and family to contribute to a spiritual bouquet for your spouse is a beautiful way to celebrate the first year of your life together.

 

Jiza, Creative Director and Co-Founder

Photograph: As a photographer, I cannot repeat it enough: print your photos! It’s one of the many ways we can tangibly remember those we love and the precious memories we have with them. Personally, as a military wife, my husband is often away for long periods of time and living in tiny accommodations. He has also missed many anniversaries. So, a photograph with a note on the back is something he can carry easily; whether that is in his wallet, the inside of his hat, or tucked in his prayer book. Plus, the beautiful thing about printed photographs is that you both can look back at those lovely images together when you’re old and gray.

Missal or Liturgy of the Hours: While you can always get an app on your phone, there is nothing like having a tangible version of anything that inspires regular prayer. For a personal touch, write a personal note to your spouse on the inside or have their name personalized on the front.

Mass Intention: I am a big believer of enrolling loved ones for Masses. Oftentimes when I feel like I am falling short in my personal prayer life, I will enroll those on my heart so I know they are being covered in the most perfect form of prayer. What a beautiful gift we have in the Mass!

 

Stephanie, Editor in Chief and Co-Founder

 Holy Card collection: Nearly every couple has a love for certain saints whose intercession has played a role in their love story. Honor them, and begin a collection of devotionals you can use in your spiritual life together, by assembling a set of prayer cards featuring the holy men and women who've been your special patrons. Gift them to your spouse in a nice box; I recently read a novel wherein the matriarch of a large Irish Catholic family frequently brought out her holy card box as she prayed through her intentions, and loved the idea. Need suggestions for whom the both of you can pray to in your married life? Start here with our list of saints who embody spousal love.

Tickets: These are technically made of paper, right? Surprise your beloved by planning a special date, with tickets presented in an envelope alongside a sweet note. Your evening out could be as simple as a matinee or as major as a concert, sports event, or even a flight to a weekend getaway or pilgrimage.

A portrait or religious artwork: Art prints are a lasting and possible to see and enjoy daily. A hand-drawn or painted portrait of the two of you, like this one, is a gift I’d love to receive—a sweet way to commemorate the start of your life together and welcome guests to your home. Religious art, like these beautiful images, is equally special, encouraging you to entrust your marriage to the saints’ intercession.

 

Elise, Social Media Coordinator

Family Bible: If you don’t have one already, invest in a family Bible! You can ask the printer to stamp your family tree in the cover of the Bible and write you and your husband’s names at the top to commemorate the beginning of your own family’s history.

A Home Blessing: If you haven’t already done so by your first anniversary, ask your parish priest over to bless your new home! You can remember the occasion with a framed print. A house blessing is a beautiful way to begin your new life together and cover your family in special graces.

Homemade Artwork: My friend Teresa made her husband an adorable piece of art for their first anniversary that hangs in their home. Her piece featured the important dates in their lives together: their first date, the date of their first kiss, and their wedding date. You can customize yours to feature your own love story and important moments in your lives.

We love sharing in your marriages and drawing inspiration from your relationships. Share your first anniversary gift ideas in the comments and on our social media!