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Leather Wedding Anniversary History and Meanings
Anniversary Gifts - Blog - Leather Wedding Anniversary History and Meanings

Leather Wedding Anniversary History and Meanings

Leather Wedding Anniversary History and Meanings

While wedding anniversaries marking the 25th (silver) 50th (gold) and even 60th (diamond) are widely known, the third year of such a union is the less celebrated, yet arguably just as significant, leather anniversary.

Significant because by the third year it is believed couples are aware of the marriage’s durability and tradition has it that while the initial honeymoon period is well and truly over, husband and wife have discovered and dealt with the more irritating and less enjoyable aspects of each others personality and got through that stage successfully so the marriage has even more chance of lasting.

In Russia it is said by the third year of marriage a couple can feel each other in their skin as they have come to know each other so well, while Germany also use leather to mark the anniversary for similar reasons.

Leather is therefore chosen to mark the third year due to its feel of resilience, durability, strength and flexibility as all these qualities are important in helping the relationship to continue to flourish.

The leather anniversary is also used as a time to forgive all past wrongdoings and to ditch all the broken mirrors and crockery in order to refresh their lives with gifts such as bags, wallets, and suitcases made from leather serve as a timely reminder to go on honeymoon once more.

Although marking major wedding anniversaries date back to the Holy Roman Empire days, it is accepted that celebrating the intervening years only really started in the 1930s with commercialism the driving force behind it.

The Romans chose silver wreaths for the wife to wear on the 25th anniversary, followed by a gold wreath on the head for the 50th year, which was not that common an occurrence back then.

The empire adopted these customs and after initially adding the first year (paper) as a milestone, it was expanded to every five years and when more years were marked around 1937, leather was chosen for the third year as a symbol of a long-lasting relationship to come.

Although while leather was still not widely used as a theme for a third year anniversary party, popular gifts between couples such as handbags, purses and cases continue, but these days personalised diaries, photo-frames made from leather and even a leather iPad cover are more likely to be offered.


Among the more unusual leather gifts given are cufflink boxes, an umbrella stand, armchairs and sofas, or more intimate personalised bracelets and necklaces. For the more broadminded married couples celebrating three years together it could be exotic leather clothing and accessories popular in the bedroom.

In more recent times, especially in the USA, the more contemporary gifts such as crystal or glass gifts are becoming more prevalent, which given the fragile nature of such presents, appear to contradict the origins of leather for a third year anniversary but perhaps sadly reflect the fragility of marriage in this day and age.

Meanwhile, fuchsias remain universally the flower of choice for the third wedding anniversary.

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