History of Wedding Anniversary Gifts

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The practice of giving peculiar anniversary gifts on various wedding anniversaries originated in Central Europe. Among the medieval Germans it was customary for friends to present a wife with a wreath of silver when she had lived with her husband twenty-five years.

The silver symbolized the harmony that was assumed to be necessary to make so many years of matrimony possible.

On the fiftieth anniversary of a wedding the wife was presented with a wreath of gold. Hence arose 'silver wedding' and 'golden wedding.' This practice, borrowed from the Germans, has been elaborated upon in modern times"

Although the first anniversary gifts is considered the paper or plastic one, the second, cotton and so on, it is not mandatory that the gift be of the "appropriate" material or composition for the specific year. The exception is in the case of the tenth (tin or aluminum) and twenty-fifth, which is known as the "silver anniversary gifts" In these cases, the gift usually "goes" with the anniversary.

For other years it is equally correct, and often more interesting, to buy what seems appropriate for the particular couple and carry out the theme in the wrapping or decorating of the package. Thus a gift for the seventh anniversary could be wrapped in copper-colored paper, a lace handkerchief might decorate the package for the thirteenth, and so on.

Traditional Wedding Anniversary Gifts by Year

1st (first) Paper/Plastic
2nd (second) Cotton
3rd (third) Leather
4th (fourth) Fruit/Flowers
5th (fifth) Wood
6th (sixth) Iron/Candy
7th (seventh) Wool/Copper
8th (eighth) Bronze/Pottery
9th (ninth) Willow/Pottery
10th (tenth) Tin/Aluminum
11th (eleventh) Steel
12th (twelth) Silk/Linen
13th (thirteenth) Lace
14th (fourteenth) Ivory
15th (fifteenth) Crystal
20th (twentieth) China
25th (twenty fifth) Silver
30th (thirtieth) Pearl
35th (thirty fifth) Coral
40th (fortieth) Ruby
45th (forty fifth) Sapphire
50th (fiftieth) Gold
55th (fifty fifth) Emerald
60th (sixtieth) Diamond
70th (seventieth) Diamond/Platinum
75th (seventy fifth) Diamond

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