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Le Papier Suprise!

July 18, 2011

With our one year anniversary comes the exchanging of presents.  When B and I got married, we decided to do small gifts and write letters to each other on our wedding day.  I gave B a box of Cheez-Its because I always steal his,a box of handmade mustaches because this was the day that I would prove that I would give him anything (and I do not like real mustaches on B at all),and a pair of theatre mask cufflinks.  I thought the man could use some special jewelry on his wedding day.  Oh, and of course there was my looong letter.Though now that I look at this photo, that’s not the special letter I wrote him.  That’s the letter explaining the mustaches.  Oh well.  You get the point!

In return, B gave me a lovely letterand a gorgeous pair of diamond and opal earrings.  Seriously, this man has amazing taste in jewelry… just like his taste in women. 😉So how do you top that for your first anniversary?  Simple.  You stick to tradition!

B and I decided almost before we got married that we wanted to stick with the traditional gifts assigned to each wedding anniversary.  The first one is paper.  Now, most people go straight for tickets of some kind because (1) they are paper, (2) going to a concert, show, or event of some kind is super fun, and (3) it’s easy.  But I didn’t want to go with tickets because of the last part.  Not to discount anything anyone else has done, but I wanted to put more imagination into my gifts for B, go a little more outside of the paper (or cardboard) box.  We also (very belatedly) came up with a price point:  $30.  Yep, $30.  Now, this was set after I had already gotten B’s gifts and after he had already planned out mine, but we ended up matching anyway.  That doesn’t seem like a lot of money, and I know it may look like we’re cheapskates for not going all out on each other, but with our hotel for two nights, a lovely dinner, and gifts, we wanted it to fit within our budget while using our love and imaginations.

This is what I came up with to fit the bill:

Early on in our first year, we talked about what new places we wanted to explore the next time we go to Europe.  Scandinavia is high on the list, so I purchased B a travel guide to Scandinavia.


I also liked how this gift was something we could look forward to using in the future.  While we have decided that Scandinavia will come after our trip to Paris, it’s nice to be able to read about and plan what and where we would like to do and go.

Another part of the first year tradition for gifts is a clock.  A clock?  A clock.  A clock!  Wow, clock looks funny when you type it a lot in a row.  Try it.  I’ll wait.

Done?  Okay.  With the travel guide as a symbolic clock for travels, I wanted to be able to give him something to look back at too.  B lived in Boston/Cambridge area for six years through college and grad school, and both of us want to move back as soon as it is feasible (so really, Tufts, if you could let B into your grad program for the upcoming year, that would be great.  Thanks!).  Using inspiration from other posters online, I decided to make B a small poster of all of the locations in Boston and Cambridge that were important to him and to us.  I included some of our favorite eateries, T stations, streets, and towns.  I printed and framed it for him.This is more like a “we can’t wait to go back and live there” token of our relationship.  But really, we can’t wait to move back there.  If only cost of living wasn’t so dang high…

The final piece is… well… something I am only going to reveal one piece of.  I really went outside of my comfort zone for this one, and I am proud of it.  I had kept it as a secret since the beginning of November when I had it done.  I told B that I was having a present wrapping party with Bestie C and he couldn’t come home until 5 PM.  Lies.  All lies.  What did I really do, then?

Take a look.Okay, so this probably looks like a normal picture, but I wasn’t going to give it away for free.  I did a boudoir shoot!  Before B and I got married, I had come into contact with an up and coming photographer named Justine Johnson who offered to do some free engagement shots for us.  The timing never seemed to work out, so I forgot about it.  Around September, however, I noticed on WeddingBee that she was offering free boudoir shoots to expand her portfolio.  FREE.  I emailed her, we chatted, and I signed up.  We did the whole thing in a couple of hours at my apartment (I didn’t want to shell out for a hotel room, and I knew I would be much more comfortable in my own space), and she got the pictures to me in about a month and a half.  I did my own hair and makeup, and I used pieces of clothing I (and B) already owned.  I picked my favorite pictures, put them together in a book from Shutterfly, and that was that.

The whole experience was liberating!  You would think it would be super awkward to prance around in your skivvies in front of a stranger, but Justine was great to work with and kept sharing stories about people who decided to go completely naked.  Well, at least I had some clothes on!  The only person who knew about me doing it (besides me and Justine) was Bestie Al.  She helped with deciding on makeup and gave me ideas for which shots to put in the book.  Since she’s on the west coast, she’s very good at not spilling the beans!

So there you have it, my paper presents to my husband.  What did he get me?  Oh, you’ll just have to wait and see!  I promise I will share, though!

What did you do for your first year anniversary?  Are you going the traditional route or not?  Any good ideas that outside the box for paper?


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