Celebrating the first year of marriage


Walking into his yellow basement apartment just south of campus, Justin holds a small bouquet of gerbera daisies for his wife to celebrate their first year of marriage. After a long day between research sessions, the first thing on this husband’s agenda is the warm embrace of his wife.

First year anniversaries are a milestone for any couple. Just over one year ago, girls – and some reluctant boyfriends – around the world awaited with tea, crumpets and outrageously fashioned hats for what was sure to be the most elegant of happily-ever-afters.

With the recent anniversary of Prince William and the Duchess of Cambridge, Kate Middleton, BYU students sounded off about their own first anniversaries.

Justin and Hannah Ryan recently celebrated their first year together but, like many married college students, funds are limited.

“Tonight we’re going to go get Panda [Express] and come home and watch a movie,” said Hannah, a junior majoring in sociology.

Justin and Hannah are one of countless newlywed couples at BYU struggling to get by with school, work and plans for their future.

“We’re both graduating, so we want to save up to go to Fiji or something to celebrate graduating and our second year anniversary,” said Justin, a senior majoring in psychology.

Although not every couple plans to go to Fiji, their stories are similar to several other newlywed couples at BYU.

Karin Jerome, an exercise science grad from Ellicott City, Md., plans to celebrate her first year of marriage with her husband Trevor, by eating the top top layer of their wedding cake and taking pictures in their old wedding clothes.

[media-credit name=”Courtesy of Katie Smith” align=”alignright” width=”300″]
[media-credit name=”Photo courtesy Katie Smith” align=”alignright” width=”300″][/media-credit]
Katie Smith and husband Cam with their dog Duke out running.
Katie Smith and husband Cam with their dog Duke out running.

This weekend Katie Smith, a graduate from Aiken, S.C., will commemorate her one-year anniversary of marriage by recreating some of the priceless wedding pictures they took last year in South Carolina.

“Cam has been training for the Huntsman 140 mile bike race for cancer,” Smith said. “So for our one-year anniversary we decided we wanted to go down to St. George for the weekend and run a 10K to keep training.”

Each year has been given a corresponding symbol the couple is traditionally supposed to give each other. In a book entitled, “The Meaning of Wedding Anniversaries” by Gretchen Scoble and Ann Field, the articles gradually increase in value according to the years a couple has invested in one another.

The tradition is traced to historic Germany when the man would give his wife a silver garland on their 25th anniversary and a golden garland on their 50th. The tradition has since been elaborated. No one is quite sure where the tradition originally began with a “paper” anniversary for the first year, but nonetheless it stuck.

Following this tradition, Abbylynn Payne a Senior from Rigby, Idaho, and her husband Scott, accidentally exchanged the exact same Valentine’s Day cards on their anniversary but their anniversary is in December.

Sticking with the paper theme, here are some ideas for gifts to celebrate a first year together:

Photographs and picture frames
Tickets (not just to concerts and performances but train rides, airfares, balloon ride, etc.)
Coupons (chores, time, promises you made)
Posters/Art Prints (favorite bands, your wedding song)
Love letters/Valentine’s Day cards
Calendars (mark the days that are important to the both of you)

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