Wedding anniversaries are an ideal opportunity for married couples to celebrate their mutual love and remember why they decided to get married in the first place. Historians have traced the origins of silver and the golden anniversaries in medieval Germanic Europe, where the husband presented wreaths of gold and silver to the wife to celebrate the 25th and 50th years of marriage, respectively.
Before 1937, only the first and main landmarks had materials associated with them. In 1937, the American National Retail Jewelery Association issued a more complete list of representative materials for all traditional wedding anniversaries for each year until the 15th Anniversary and then every fifth year thereafter until the 60th. This list has been continuously updated by several commercial companies in recent years and today the celebrants can choose between the traditional list and a contemporary list of anniversary themes (which offers alternative suggestions of today, such as appliances!)
Traditionally, the gifts exchanged or delivered during the first years of marriage were practical items for the home that helped the couple start a new home together (an extension of the wedding gift). Luxury gifts tend to occur in recent years when the couple has already acquired the things they need. The most cynical could see the increase in the value of the gift over time as an incentive to stay married!
The following section describes the main wedding anniversaries, associated themes and provides some useful gift suggestions.
1st wedding anniversary – Paper
Traditionally, the theme is paper that is supposed to symbolize the resistance obtained from the interlaced fibers. The modern version of this is a watch for reasons of eternal and eternal love. The precious metals / gemstones associated with the first wedding anniversary are gold jewelry, pearls or peridot. The associated color is golden or yellow and the corresponding flower is orange blossom or thought.
Gift ideas include a photo album, a commemorative newspaper, a picture of the wedding day, a personalized poem, a certificate of participation, a ticket to a movie / concert, a photograph of a professional photographer, a subscription to a favorite magazine; have a star that bears the name of a loved one or a watch.
Second wedding anniversary – Cotton
Cotton gifts are traditionally given because cotton has always been associated with prosperity and durability. The modern gift theme is Chinese. The relevant gemstone is Garnet, and the associated color is red. If you are going to give flowers, then choose Cosmos (which means modesty).
Gift ideas relevant to the cotton theme include a bathrobe, towel or t-shirt (custom), and for China, how about a bead box (personalized), a cup or an anniversary plate.
Third wedding anniversary – Leather
Traditionally, leather gifts are given depending on the durability of this material analogous to the durability of their marriage. The contemporary theme is glass or glass (not so durable!)
If you are going to give jewelry to your partner, choose pearl or jade. The subject of relevant color is white or green, and the associated flower is fuchsia (which means flavor).
Gift ideas for the third wedding anniversary include leather wallet, purse or briefcase, leather-bound book, engraved vase, perfume bottle, wine or champagne glasses, engraved glass tokens or perhaps an engraved jar.
4th wedding anniversary – Fruits / flowers
Traditionally, fruits or flowers symbolize a flourishing and fruitful relationship. Less modern romantic thinking, though practical, suggests giving appliances!
The relevant gemstone is blue Topaz with the color theme being blue or green. If you are planning to give flowers, then the suggested flower is the geranium (which in passing means foolishness or stupidity!)
Some gift suggestions for a fourth wedding anniversary are cut flowers, a basket of fruit, and engraved glass flower token, rose or stock at Apple Corp.
5th wedding anniversary – Wood
Traditionally, the theme of the fifth wedding anniversary is wood, which symbolizes a strong and lasting marriage. The theme of the modern gift is silverware. The relevant gemstone is sapphire and the appropriate color theme is blue, pink and turquoise. The flower that you are supposed to give is the daisy that represents innocence and love.
Suggested gift ideas include planting a tree, custom puzzle, custom wine box, wood commemorative plaque, personalized photo coasters, or placemats
10th wedding anniversary – Tin / Aluminum
The traditional materials are tin or aluminum that symbolize the flexibility and malleability of a good relationship. The contemporary theme and the precious stone is the diamond. The relevant color is silver or blue and the appropriate flower is the narcissus (trumpet-shaped daffodils represent joy, happiness and happiness).
Gift ideas include: personalized license plate, engraved brushed aluminum frame or a custom teddy in a can.
15th wedding anniversary – Crystal
The traditional gift material is crystal and the contemporary theme is watches. The relevant gemstone is ruby. Gift ideas include engraved glass jars, champagne flute and wine glasses. The appropriate color theme is ruby red. If you are going to give flowers, roses are the right choice.
Twentieth wedding anniversary – China
The traditional theme is Chinese and the modern theme is platinum with the emerald gemstone. Suggested gift ideas include a personalized anniversary plate, a personalized bead box or a dinner service. The relevant color theme is emerald green or white and the flowers are Lillies.
25th wedding anniversary – Silver
Silver gifts are given to celebrate this important wedding anniversary. The proper flower is the iris. Suggestions for gifts include a silver anniversary candle, engraved silver frame or silver champagne flutes.
30th wedding anniversary – Pearl
The traditional material associated with this is pearls and the corresponding flower is the sweet pea with a green color scheme. Ideal gifts include a pearl necklace or a box of engraved mother-of-pearl beads.
40th wedding anniversary – Ruby
Ruby is the theme for this wedding anniversary and the appropriate flower is the nasturtium. Gift ideas include ruby jewelry or a port bottle.
50th wedding anniversary – Gold
One of the greats! Gold is the order of the day and the corresponding flower is violet. Gift ideas include gold jewelry or perhaps a wedding anniversary album of golden hearts.
60th wedding anniversary – Diamond
Now it starts to be really expensive – Diamonds! This is the first of two diamond anniversaries, the other is 75 years.
75th wedding anniversary
The 75th anniversary is the traditional original anniversary of diamonds, and the 60th anniversary was added when Queen Victoria celebrated her Diamond Jubilee on her 60th anniversary of the accession to the throne in 1897.
Anniversary celebration label
In the early years (say less than 15) anniversary celebrations usually only involve the couple, and often include a night trip or a “second honeymoon.” However, in recent years, children who may have decided to organize the anniversary celebration for their parents. For anniversaries of milestones, a party is usually the order of the day. It is not recommended to organize a surprise party for a couple on their anniversary, because not all couples will appreciate the gesture; It is always best to discuss any plan with the couple before the event, especially since they can have their own plans.
Invitations to an anniversary party should be sent at least four weeks before the celebration. An invitation does not imply the need for a gift. In fact, many couples are uncomfortable with receiving gifts and often request that guests not give them any gifts on their anniversary, they may feel that they really do not need anything or that they do not want their guests to feel obligated. It is important that you try and respect their choice, but if you insist on giving a gift, it is advisable to do so after the event so as not to embarrass the hosts or other guests who did not bring a gift.
In general, it is not considered good etiquette to ask for a monetary gift, although asking for a small contribution for a commemorative gift, such as a tree or a sundial, is a good way to avoid this. If traditional gifts are given, it is normal for the couple to open them later than during the celebration, although again this is due to a personal choice. Personalized gifts are great ideas for anniversary gifts, because the personal touch makes the present much more meaningful. If a personalized gift should be given, it is often more common to include the number of married years plus the names of the couples instead of the date of the marriage.
To seat the guests at an anniversary party depends on personal taste, although traditionally the eldest son sits next to his mother and the eldest daughter next to his father with the godfather or the bridesmaid on the day of the wedding and with their respective Wives also sitting at the head table.
Usually, a brief speech of some kind is expected, even in a very informal affair. Often, one of the children says some complementary words about his parents and this is followed by a response from one or both members of the couple to thank the organizers, etc.
Above all, any wedding anniversary celebration is a celebration of the mutual love of a couple and can be as big or small, formal or informal and private or shared as you want it to be.