Plan your perfect 1st anniversary

by Sigourney Young

Time has flown by since our wedding last October and I can’t believe we’re getting closer and closer to celebrating our first anniversary! The wedding was such a special day for us it’s hard to imagine how to do it, and our first year of marriage, justice. I want something that will transport us back to the feelings of that day, but that also celebrates how far we’ve come and the new memories we’ve made together.

So, I got to brainstorming and have come up with my perfect formula for planning an extra-special first-anniversary celebration. I figure there are four key elements! Food, an activity, gifts and a bit (or a lot) of sentimentality. 

The beauty of this formula is that it’s so adaptable! Just imagine your perfect version of each and combine all four for a wonderful day. And if you can’t celebrate on the day, pick one close by – it’s your day after all, you make the rules!


A plate of delicious food

There’s a reason that sharing a meal continues to be at the centre of our celebrations. It brings us together, gives a space for conversation and laughter, and you always feel a little cheerier at the end of a great meal! Pick your favourite restuarant, favourite recipe or somewhere you’ve always wanted to try and book time into your day to make it happen. 

Don’t feel pressured you find the fanciest restuarant – I wrote about why this isn’t always the best idea in my Valentine’s Day blog – instead think about what you enjoy best when sharing a meal, is it trying something new? Is it the ambiance of a space? Or having familiar comforts? Is there a meal that means a lot to you?

Go for enjoyment over looks, and fun over instagrammable. And don’t forget to put your phones away so you can enjoy your meal and each other! One way to get the conversation flowing away from your everyday conversations is to use a chatpack or to each bring a fun question or topic of conversation. Even after a year of marriage, I’m sure your spouse can surprise you with their response (I had no idea my husband loved strawberry icecream so much!).

A special activity

Doing something together is a great way to add to your first anniversary celebration. This might be going for a meal, but is also an opportunity to do something a little different. Perhaps there’s a favourite picnic spot, a place to hike or a city to explore. Getting outside and having an adventure in a new environment inspires creativity, reflection and is a whole lot of fun. Activities out of our usual routine are also extra memorable, and for your first anniversary, that’s exactly the kind of day you’re going for.

You don’t have to climb a mountain or spend a lot of money to find something new. Go for a drive or take the train to somewhere you’ve wanted to visit. Take a game or book to the park – or both! Perhaps there’s a show or band night at a local pub. 

A traditional paper gift

Paper is the tranditional first anniversary gift and there’s so many ways you can incorporate it into your gift giving. Cards, cut outs and artwork are popular choices for gifts that reflect both the traditional gifting, and our modern tastes.

As a synesthesia artist, first anniversaries are some of my most popular commissions and I’m sure you can guess what I’ll be giving my husband when our anniversary comes around! I love creating artwork for first anniversaries because the pieces capture such a special moment. Most pieces are of the couples first dance or aisle song and I love listening to each song and knowing that the piece will transport the couple right back to that moment everytime they look at it.

You can read all about synesthesia here and purchase an original artwork in the shop.

And, a pinch of sentimentality

If you can’t be sentimental on your first anniversary when can you?! Do something sappy that shows just how happy you are to be their spouse. You don’t have to go overboard, but doing just a little more than you would on a normal day goes a long way. Think about your partners love language. Everyone expresses and receives love differently and love languages can vary person to person, even within a relationship. Do they like to have a message written down that they can read again and again (me for sure!)? Do they like to hear you say the words? Or do they understand love through actions or gestures (my husband’s love language is food!).

If you don’t know your spouse’s love language now is the perfect opportunity to find out. You can ask them, or think about the way they express love. People often express love in the way they like to receive it most.

Are you planning your first anniversary celebrations? Or do you have a celebration to share? Let me know all about it in the comments!

Sigourney Young xo

May 20, 2019

Photos Cam Grove and Unsplash


I’m Sigourney

I’m a synesthesia artist that will be forever found with paint on my nose, dancing around the studio in my yoga pants. I love travel, gluten-free brownies and working from the home studio I share with my husband. My goal? To bring you into the world of synesthesia and to create a space online that celebrates the colour and meaning of music.

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