What is a wedding anniversary and why do we celebrate it as part of Western culture? This is simply a celebration of the date on which a person’s wedding was celebrated. Traditionally, these have received names to indicate the duration of the marriage, such as the golden centenary to celebrate 50 years of marriage.

The official recognition

The important milestones of the wedding anniversary now receive official recognition from various governments and heads of state. This not only shows the respect for lasting marriages that still exist to this day, but also allows the celebration couple to enjoy their moment in the center of attention with something a little special.

Official recognition in the British Commonwealth 

The monarch on the throne at the time of the 60th, 65th and 70th wedding anniversary of a person can send a private message to the couple who wishes them a happy centennial. However, this message will only be sent if a request is sent to Buckingham Palace in the United Kingdom or to the relevant Governor General’s office in other Commonwealth countries. Any subsequent centenary after 70 will automatically receive a message from the monarch if an application is resubmitted.

In Australia and Canada, the Governor General will also issue a congratulatory note on the occasion of the 50th centenary.

Official recognition in the United States of America

In the United States, a couple enjoying their 50th anniversary or later may receive personal wishes from the president’s office.

Official Recognition of the Papal State

Catholic couples can receive a papal blessing through their diocese for nuptial wedding anniversaries such as their 25th, 50th, 60th and 70th centenaries. These papal blessings must be requested ahead of time and will be approved by the Vatican in the Papal State.

Traditional gifts

The names of traditional wedding anniversaries provide an approximate guide for the types of traditional gifts that spouses must exchange on the day of the wedding. Below is a list of some of the most important wedding anniversaries and corresponding gifts:

The first wedding anniversary is the anniversary of paper 

The fifth wedding anniversary is the wooden anniversary

The tenth wedding anniversary is the anniversary of tin

The fifteenth anniversary is the crystal anniversary

The twentieth anniversary is the anniversary of China

The twenty-fifth anniversary is the silver anniversary

Two of the most important centennial celebrations are the 50th and 60th, which are the centenaries of Gold and Diamond, respectively. It is believed that these traditional centennial gifts originated in Germany, but it should be borne in mind that the hundred-year-old gifts and symbols have begun to change over time, with the diamond now well-known as the British symbol of a 75th centenary.