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Choosing the Perfect 1st Wedding Anniversary Gift

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Choosing the Perfect 1st Wedding Anniversary Gift

By Leo

A few weeks ago, it was my first wedding anniversary and I’m pleased to say I didn’t fall at the first hurdle by forgetting the date. However, I did struggle with selecting a gift. Now, this should have been straightforward and most likely simpler for me than others because tradition states that the first wedding anniversary gift is paper.

Now seeing as I’ve been involved with paper and print my whole life, you think this would be all straightforward – easy, yes? No. When you start to think of all the possibilities that are available to select from that involves paper, it can start to feel a little overwhelming.

It’s not just that I have a printing business at my disposal causing me some degrees of procrastination. It’s because I’m lucky enough to be part of the creative community in London and have seen amazing work by paper artists, calligraphers, origami experts, designers, artists, illustrators and so many others over the years. How could I possibly narrow all of this down to one single choice?

When searching for paper anniversary gifts, I considered a beautiful hummingbird sculpture by the amazingly talented Zack Mclaughlin of Paper & Wood. I looked at having a romantic poem written out onto a vellum sheet by renowned calligrapher Liz Hearle. I thought of having an elegant paper rose made using origami by Michael Tew over at Papershake. Having worked with him previously I knew it would be beautiful. I came so, so close to ordering a brilliant new poster by Anthony Burrill.

Despite having all these wonderful options at my disposal, I still had one doubt. I believe the doubt was that they all didn’t feel personal enough for my wife of one year.

I really wanted to celebrate her, to show her I knew what she appreciated, what made her smile and what she would enjoy using. That emotive need led me back to stationery and printing. I thought what better way to show this than to design and make a bespoke piece of stationery. Perhaps some note cards she could use with a personal monogram that would represent her style, and for all this to be made as a custom piece, so only she would have it in the whole world.

So, that’s what I did.

I chose the colour palette she would like and a stock material that she would want to feel. I had the design engraved and stamped so that there would be the impression showing on the reverse and embossed texture upon the surface so she could see of all the craft, love, skill and effort gone into creating it, just for her.

I became a Downey customer. To experience being on the other side of the table and focusing on something I see every day, from a personal and unfamiliar angle, was a wonderful experience. I greatly enjoyed choosing what would be the best combination of printing and hand finishing techniques to utilise. I felt the papers in an entirely new way, papers I see as a commodity every day, giving them more thought and appreciation. You could say I put my heart into it. And this statement is why I think this bespoke piece of stationery was the perfect choice for my paper anniversary gift.