Raleigh Portrait Photographer for Creative Small Businesses

First Anniversary Gifts and My Matron of Honor Speech

November 9 marked Nissa's (my cousin) one year anniversary in marriage to her husband, Brad. This girl is the closest thing I have to a sister and I was so thrilled to be her matron of honor (still can't get over how....matronly that word sounds!!) Here's a glimpse at my speech along with some of the photos from their engagement session that I took.

Nissa and Brad's Boston In Home Engagement Session - Inspired by Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward

// My Speech (based on memory and messy bullet points on index cards)

Nissa and I both grew up as an only child, and it is (correctly) understood by many, that only children have very active imaginations. 

When Nissa and I would visit each other as children, we loved to pretend we were twins. After all, we were:

  • born 3 months apart
  • blood relation
  • ...and had the same hair color

Every time we would visit each other around the holidays, we would do our best to match our clothes the best we could so we could convince strangers that we were not cousins - but twins. 

Boston In Home Engagement Session

I also remember one time, when Nissa stayed with us for a few days before Christmas. My mom let us sleep on the sofa bed in the same room as the Christmas tree. As the lights twinkled, and our eyes grew weary, Nissa would reach for my hand, and say:

"Let's hold hands so we can find each other in our dreams."

That is so Nissa. Her playful soul wanting to explore and find joy...even in her sleep. 

And now, as I watch her life unfold in Boston, with Brad, I can see how he encourages this part of her. 

Boston Little Italy Engagement Session

Last year, my husband and I got to visit them in Boston, and we got to see just how much Brad and Nissa love each other. They are at home with each other. 

Boston Library Engagement Session

Nissa and Brad, you have been through so much together. From dating long distance to surviving grad school, you stuck by each other through it all. You two are such a wonderful example of a steadfast and forgiving relationship between two people and I am so honored to be a witness to it. 

Boston Engagement Session

// For Brad & Nissa - First Year Anniversary Gifts: Paper

After I wrote a blog post for work on putting your wedding mad libs in an album, Nissa called me right away to let me know how much she liked it - after all, she was the inspiration behind that blog post. She had mad libs at her own wedding and they were a hit with everyone.
Silk and Lace Wedding Guest Book Album

As scheming runs in our blood, I set out to have my co-workers make her a keepsake book for her own madlibs and other photos and mementos from the wedding - like their place cards and wedding program. 

Personalized Wedding Guest Book by Blue Sky Papers

Their colors were navy and gold, so I thought the navy silk looked lovely with their names and wedding date embossed in gold, along with the gold lace bow. 

And the paper - listen people, I can't tell you how amazing it is to work in a place filled to the brim with glorious paper. And this paper for this album is deliciously thick and artistically tattered around the edges. It's perfect for the first anniversary gift. Perfect.

Artisan Album Pages
To go along with the theme of paper, I hopped on to treat.com and personalized this adorable little card for them.
One Year Anniversary Gift - Paper

It was really handy as I don't know of many online printing sites that allow you to personalize/customize individual greeting cards. Treat also has the option of including a stamp and/or mailing it for you, but I wanted to include the card with my gift so I had it mailed to my home.

Anniversary Card from Treat

Two years ago, Matt and I traveled to Boston to shoot their engagement photos (which you just glanced at towards the beginning of this post) and I loved that I could include some those photos in the card along with a personal message.

Personalized Greeting Card from Treat.com

I'm happy to report that Nissa and Brad enjoyed celebrating their one year wedding anniversary. They spent the evening filling up their album and looking through the wooden box Brad's father made for them as a wedding gift to store all the little treasures and notes and items that symbolized amazing moments throughout their first year of marriage. 


  • What about you guys? Did you and your spouse hold to the tradition of giving/receiving paper for your one year anniversary? 
  • Have you ever had to write a speech for a wedding? I love reading out loud - I'm quite proud of my verbal delivery, but I get so nervous in front of people! Did you rehearse, have notes, or wing it?

Disclosure: Treat.com approached me about using their service and blogging about it. I received one free card. All opinions expressed in this blog post are my own. I am an employee of Blue Sky Papers, but was not paid to write this post - I'm just incredibly proud of the mad skills my bookbinding co-workers have and I'm eager to share with you all how amazing this little company is! 

Christina Conrad