By D K Mukherjee

The 1st wedding anniversary is, without doubt, one of the most significant of all anniversaries. Like any first-time event, this anniversary is super special. It is the first time after marriage that the two of you are celebrating such a momentous occasion (not counting the birthdays). Expectations on her part run high – naturally. She is eager to know just what lovely surprises you have planned for her on this important day.

One of the ways to ensure that you capture her heart all over again on your 1st anniversary is by absolutely avoiding run-of-the-mill stuff. In other words, do not present her with a faux leather handbag bought off a shelf in high street. You’re headed for the dog house if she happens to run into the neighbor across the street who is sporting the same bag!

To avoid such disasters, plan your first anniversary gifts in a manner that makes them exclusive – and that means, personalized. What are the top 10 personalized gifts that you can give her on your first wedding anniversary? Read on …

1. Handmade card or a handwritten letter. There’s little that can beat a letter or card written in the giver’s own hand. It makes the gift so very personal and meaningful. While a store-bought card may be more extravagantly worded, it lacks your personal signature. If you are writing a letter, use good quality paper, take time over the words as you highlight all the big and small moments that have become cherished memories of the past one year. You can affix your wedding photograph on the card cover to make it really exclusive and personal.

2. A personalized piece of jewellery. Jewelery is the number one choice of both, men and women, when it comes to anniversary gifts. But, make it personal by choosing the gemstone that corresponds to the 1st anniversary year (freshwater pearl). Have her name or both your names engraved on a heart-shaped pendant, or a bracelet.

3. A personalized memory book. If you have planned to give this as a gift, then start preparations from day one! Create a memorable memory book for her in which you stick favorite photographs – wedding, honeymoon, other holidays and significant events – jot down romantic memories, verbalise your thoughts and feelings. Make her go go all goose-bumpy when she gets hit by all that passion and romance that leaps out from every page.

4. A bespoke photo collage. Never understimate the power of visual appeal. Decide the size of the montage you want to create – huge or medium or something that she can comfortably place on her bedside table. Let your wedding photograph dominate centrestage and fill in the rest of the space with other photos of the two of you.

5. Personalized apparel and crockery. For a newly-married couple (after one year, you still feel recently-married, right?), Cute and romantic gifts continue to be charming. So, monogrammed tees, dressing gowns, coffee mugs or even personalized photo quilts and pillow cases with motifs of hearts and heartbeats make for wonderful first anniversary gifts.

6. A gift basket of all her favorite things. This tells her something truly heart-warming – that you are cued in to her likes and dislikes and have taken enough effort to assemble her favorites in one delightful hamper. Fill a gift basket with her favorite author’s hardback edition, her favorite bubbly, chocolates, bath and beauty products – and, of course, the mandatory red roses.

7. A song composed just for her! Have professional song-writers create a song just for her. Have the CD ready and waiting to be played when she wakes up in the morning of the big day. It will be your declaration of love to her that few gestures can match.

8. Personalized champagne flutes. Raise a toast to your love for each other with champagne flutes bearing your names on each glass, with your wedding date and year printed at the bottom. Do not forget a bottle of sparkling bubbly!

9. Let your latent talent woo her! If you have a talent for painting, carpentry, or if you are a wizard with high-tech gadgetry, why not create something unique and exclusive just for her? You could paint her portrait (or, alternately, get both of you painted in oil on canvas) or make her a table, a bookcase, a shelf, just anything that she’ll like and enjoy.

10. A bespoke poem. Have a poem written just for her. Add flourish by adding a special photograph alongside it. Have the whole thing framed attractively. It’s your ode to all her many wonderful qualities that made you fall in love with her.

If you have put in a little thought and advanced planning into your gift, be sure she’ll be over the moon. Nothing says, ‘You are special’ like a personalized gift.

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