We all know that the 50th wedding anniversary is the “golden anniversary” but what is the 8th wedding anniversary? And where do those traditions come from? And what should I get my spouse for a ‘cotton’ anniversary? (Traditionally the second. We suggest a great set of sheets or new shirt.)
There isn’t a single answer for the origins of this tradition. In medieval Germany, in the uncommon chance a married couple reached their 25th wedding anniversary, the wife would be presented with a silver wreath by her friends and neighbors. Rarer still in those days, for a 50th anniversary the wife would receive a gold wreath. This tradition evolved over the years and melded with traditions from other countries.
The gifts for each year vary by country, but there are some most frequent selections. Traditionally, the 5th Anniversary is Wood, 10th is Tin, 15th Crystal, 20th China, 25th Silver, 30th Pearl, 40th Ruby, and 50th Gold. The diamond used to commemorate the 75th Anniversary, but after Queen Victoria’s 60 year reign was marked with the Diamond Jubilee, the diamond came to represent the 60th wedding anniversary. Historically, only the anniversaries listed above had an associated gift. In 1937, the American National Retail Jeweler Association (now known as Jewelers of America) introduced an expanded list of gifts, which lists a gift for each year up to the 20th, and then for every fifth anniversary after that.
We’ve selected some of the less-commonly known anniversaries and come up with gifts to fit their themes. For these we suggest thinking of meaningful adaptations that allow your personality to shine through, add to the home you are building, or otherwise honor your special day.
What has been your favorite anniversary present (for a wedding or other date) and did it follow the traditional list? Here are our picks.
1st Anniversary: Traditional: Paper 1. One Line a Day Journal / 2. Gold Love Print / 3. Uashmama Metallic Paper Bags / Modern: Clock 4. Nelson Night Clock / 5. Skyline Watch / 6. Metro Patchwork Watch / 7. Covent Alarm Clock // 3rd Anniversary: Modern: Glass 1. Double Old Fashioned Glasses / 2. Oslo Candlesticks / 3. Terrarium Kit / Traditional: Leather 4. Tote Bag / 5. Arrow Key Chain / 6. Abe Lounge Chair // 5th Anniversary: Traditional: Wood 1. Wooden Puzzles / 2. Bike Basket / 3. DORIT Candleholder / Modern: Silverware 4. Napkin Holder / 5. Spoon Ring / 6. Gold Flatware