What You Need To Know about Wedding Anniversary Gift Traditions

Wedding Anniversary Gift Tradition

Celebrating the wedding day anniversary by exchanging gifts has been a tradition among married couples since the Middle Ages. Wedding anniversary gift traditions honor the vows between the bride and groom, and the challenges that they have dealt with together.

If you’re wondering what your upcoming wedding anniversary gift theme is, you’ve come to the right place!

Wedding Anniversary Gift Traditions by Year

Wedding anniversary traditions change by year and start with simple themes such as paper, cotton, leather, and wood. As wedding anniversaries pass, the presents become more generous as a token of appreciation for one another’s love. According to the year, spouses exchange different presents of all kinds of materials: paper, cotton, leather, linen, wool, iron, bronze, pottery, tin, silk, coral, pearl, gold, diamond, silver, or many more.

When it comes to buying traditional anniversary gifts, this list is just a guideline that is open to interpretation.

The Origin of Wedding Anniversary Gift Traditions

Many people assume that swapping anniversary gifts is merely for commercial reasons, but the tradition is wrapped in a rich history.

It is commonly understood that the wedding anniversary gift tradition originally comes from Germany and that it has been around since the Roman Empire. A wife used to receive a silver wreath from her friends after 25 years of marriage out of respect for the pair’s achievement. On the 50th anniversary, she was given a gold wreath to celebrate reaching this momentous occasion. This was in recognition of the couple having lived to see this milestone, a feat that was not common in those days due to shorter life spans.

The idea of traditional anniversary gifts didn’t arrive in England until the 1800s. Queen Victoria’s German husband, Prince Albert, is known to have brought this custom with him to Great Britain.

The 60th wedding anniversary tradition originated in England and is named after the diamond. This became popular after Queen Victoria commemorated 60 years of rule, known as her Diamond Jubilee, in 1897.

Anniversary gifts were popular in the United States by the early 1900s, but thinking of a new gift each year became problematic. To address this, an American novelist called Emily Post published a book in 1922 about proper etiquette that contained an extended list of anniversary gift ideas. Over a decade later, in 1937, an association of jewelry retailers in the United States elaborated on the list, which we still use today.

The Symbolism of Wedding Anniversary Traditions

Wedding Anniversary Gift Tradition

The wedding gift traditions in the early years of marriage are economical and useful, as a young couple is still creating their home together.

On the 1st anniversary, a paper gift is exchanged by the newlyweds, symbolizing a clean slate. However, the paper is fragile and requires proper care for it to remain whole, like a new marriage. Married couples may exchange books, journals, and art, or a more modern gift such as tickets to a sports game or a coupon for a massage.

The material for the 2nd year is cotton which is made up of flexible threads woven together, much like the lives of the married pair. This is a reminder that the couple should be growing stronger and closer after 2 years of marriage. On this occasion, a wife may sew or embroider a cotton keepsake for her husband.

Wood is the traditional gift idea intended for the 5th anniversary, which is representative of a sturdy tree with strong roots. At this stage one expects the marriage to be solid with an unshakeable foundation that will allow it to keep growing. To celebrate half a decade, a man may hand-craft wooden items or a piece of furniture for his wife.

Crystal, the first gift with high monetary value, marks the 15th anniversary as it remains beautiful, sparkling, and strong when handled with care, much like a marriage that has lasted this long.

China is the tradition for the 20th year, and it serves as a reminder that after 20 years even a healthy relationship can be delicate and needs nurturing.

Another charming anniversary tradition is the use of ruby for the 40th year. This gorgeous red gemstone symbolizes the flame of love and passion that continues to burn.

Big Wedding Anniversary Traditions: Silver, Gold, and Diamond

Would you like to know more about traditional and modern gift ideas for a big wedding anniversary?

When you are about to celebrate twenty-five, fifty, or sixty years together, you should remember that these wedding anniversary years are seen as the most important. Some couples will throw a party to celebrate a special anniversary, while others may plan an extravagant holiday known as a ‘second honeymoon’. Couples may choose to mark the milestone by renewing their vows in a ceremony reminiscent of a traditional wedding.

The 25th anniversary is celebrated with the precious metal silver, to pay homage to the original tradition. This symbolizes the synchronicity between two people, which is needed for happiness and longevity. Traditional and modern gifts for the silver year may include silver jewelry, serving platters, silverware, watches, tie clips, and cufflinks. These items may be engraved with the wedding date or a special message for a more personal touch.

Gold is the 50th wedding anniversary gift tradition because it is rare and precious, flexible and is resistant to damage. These signify the essential characteristics in a marriage that leads to half a century of commitment.

A husband may present his wife with earrings or an engraved pendant for the golden wedding, and his wife could reciprocate with cufflinks or a gold watch.

The 60th-anniversary theme is the diamond which symbolizes a beautiful, strong union and an enduring love that cannot be extinguished. Classic gifts are earrings and jewelry, brooches, diamond encrusted cufflinks, champagne flutes, and vases.

Wedding Anniversary Gift Traditions: A Modern Take

In more recent years, a list of modern gift ideas was created in America to recognize that the needs of married couples have evolved.

According to various contemporary anniversary gift lists available on the Internet, there are unlimited ideas you can use. Among dozens of them, there are clocks, China, glass plates, wooden furniture, kitchen appliances, desk sets, leather clothes, linen towels or aprons, diamonds and all kinds of jewelry, pearl necklaces, watches, musical instruments, fashion accessories, fur, etc.

Most people still favor the traditional anniversary gift list as it is considered more romantic and flexible. Whether you’re interested in traditional gifts or a modern gift idea, whatever you decide on for your other-half will be meaningful if it’s from the heart.