The date of a wedding is commemorated on a wedding anniversary. Wedding anniversaries are a wonderful opportunity to commemorate the passing of another year in your marriage. It is about looking back on a year of maturing together and looking forward to the future, reuniting as a couple and remembering that special day when you committed to each other. Some of them have traditional names, like pearl anniversary for thirty years of marriage, ruby wedding anniversary for forty years of marriage, or golden wedding anniversary for fifty years. Depending on how many years you’ve been married, each wedding anniversary has a particular traditional meaning and present.
Married couples can commemorate their anniversaries in a variety of ways, whether alone or with family and friends, but many couples also believe in a set of rules on anniversary gifts. Gifts like paper for the first year, crystal for the 15th, silver for the 25th, and so forth may be part of the custom.
Historical Origins of Wedding Anniversaries
Although it is difficult to find real examples of married couples exchanging anniversary gifts in either civilization that far back, the tradition of presenting a gift to commemorate a wedding anniversary can be traced back to Ancient Rome or medieval Germany. With the increase of solid evidence, wedding anniversaries are thought to be of a Germanic origin, when men crowned their spouses with a silver wreath on their twenty-fifth anniversary and a gold wreath on their fifty-first. For example, on their 25th anniversary in 1861, German composer Richard Wagner’s wife Minna’s friends sent her a silver-spangled wreath, from which she sent him a few silver leaves. Additionally, a silver wedding ceremony in Germany was described in 1843 as including a husband gifting his bride a silver crown as part of the celebrations.
These wedding anniversary traditions were also brought into other places. The tradition of commemorating silver and golden wedding anniversaries was brought to New Zealand by European settlers. Because in 1874, the average life expectancy for Pākehā men was 48, 50 for Pākehā women, and even much lower for Māori, these were relatively unusual events. Low life expectancy makes it uncommon for both spouses to make it to silver, and especially gold, wedding.
Other wedding anniversaries progressively became popular during the nineteenth century, probably as a result of a rising emphasis on family and home life. These became connected with presents made of various materials, which symbolized the marital relationship’s rising significance and the couple’s commitment to each other. The most common additional anniversaries by the early 1920s include cotton for the first anniversary, wood for the fifth, tin for the tenth, crystal for the fifteenth, and china for the twentieth. Those few couples who made it to their 75th wedding anniversary gave each other diamonds, but the diamond wedding became synonymous with the 60th anniversary. This was perhaps because, in 1897, Queen Victoria celebrated her Diamond Jubilee. The ceremony represented 60 years on the throne, therefore diamonds were linked with 60th wedding anniversaries. Furthermore, wood became associated with the fifth wedding anniversary during the Victorian era, with husbands carving souvenirs for their spouses. Commercialism later led to the inclusion of more anniversaries being marked by a designated gift, mostly in the twentieth century. During that time, more people were also able to afford gifts for anniversaries.
Retailers jumped on the opportunity to capitalize on the customer desire to commemorate every wedding anniversary. The American National Retail Jewellers’ Association issued a comprehensive list of gift ideas for each wedding anniversary in 1937. This list became increasingly referred to, although contemporary variations, such as lists of anniversary diamonds and anniversary flowers, have evolved. Nowadays, wedding anniversaries are still widely celebrated by the married couple, even when every couple might have their own distinct traditions. Big milestones such as silver, gold and diamond wedding anniversaries are still usually celebrated and marked by a large gathering of friends and family. For many couples, a wedding anniversary is not the standard for their relationship milestone. Couples who are not married may also choose to commemorate other milestones in their relationship.
Wedding anniversaries hold some significance in many places in the world today. For 60th, 65th, and 70th wedding anniversaries, as well as any subsequent wedding anniversaries in Commonwealth countries, one might receive a greeting from the queen. This is accomplished by submitting an application to Buckingham Palace in the United Kingdom or the Governor-General’s office in other Commonwealth nations. in Australia, the Governor-General, the Prime Minister, local members of both state and federal parliaments, and state governors can send a letter of congratulations on the 50th and subsequent wedding anniversaries. In Canada, a statement from the Governor-General commemorating every 50th anniversary is also available. For major wedding anniversaries, Roman Catholics can ask for a papal blessing through their local diocese. For the 50th and future anniversaries, a couple in the United States might get an anniversary greeting card from the President.
Wedding Anniversary Ideas
Giving traditional wedding anniversary gifts is not the only way you can celebrate your special day, there are also many different ways you and your partner can commemorate your wedding anniversary. One example is by sharing your favourite memories with each other. Whether it is your first or twenty-first anniversary, the two of you have gone through a lot together. Look back into these moments while you are out to dinner, having a spa night, or playing a game. Share humorous stories or reminiscences of wonderful memories, or recount the day you met.
Another way to celebrate is by giving your partner flowers, instead of or along with the traditional anniversary gift. Like the traditional gifts, there is also a list of flower kinds to gift according to the wedding anniversary years. For example, Carnation is suitable for the first anniversary, Cosmos for the second, Daisy blooms for the fifth, Daffodil for the tenth, and Rose for the fifteenth year. Yellow roses and violets are the two flowers that signify the 50th wedding anniversary. Both of these flowers, with their complementary colours, look lovely together and wonderfully symbolize a couple who supports and complements each other.