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History of Giving Traditional Wedding Anniversary Gifts

gift for anniversary

People have been giving gifts to celebrate various anniversaries for centuries. The earliest recorded instances of giving gifts at wedding anniversaries come from Central Europe, and there is a tradition of using a different material to celebrate each milestone in a couple's life e.g a gift with a wooden theme after 5 years of marriage, and an increasingly expensive material used as the years go by, these materials are what we know today as the traditional wedding anniversary gifts.

"The practice of observing the wedding anniversary, while primarily an excuse for gift-giving, probably has underlying it a belief in the correspondence of certain luck-bringing substances with a distinct number of years." Source: Funk & Wagnalls Standard Dictionary of Folklore, Mythology, and Legend.

Where did the tradition come from?

In Germany in the mid ages it was customary for a wife to receive silver garlands after 25 years and in gold after 50 years which gave rise to the "silver wedding" and "golden wedding" tradition. It was probably after Queen Victoria celebrated her sixtieth year on the throne, called the 'Diamond Jubilee' that diamonds came to be associated with 60 years. They are also associated with 75 years. Over the years these materials given for the anniversary occasion began to grow and spread across Europe and into the USA, the USA having a slightly different list of course. The list has also increase, maybe for commercial reasons, into certain gemstones and even flowers for each specific anniversary year.

The majority of people today seem to be put off by the difficulty of obeying the traditional list, the gift of paper for the 1st Anniversary, Tin for the 10th? But don’t worry; our articles are full of great inspiration that will help you find the perfect item for whatever anniversary year you are celebrating.

Of course the giver does not have to adhere strictly to the materials traditionally associated with the different stages, and there are many interesting ways of giving a gift which suggests the number of years a couple have been married other than a gift in the actual material associated with the number of years.

"The passing of another year together marks a deepening of the couple's commitment, an accumulation of time irreplaceable. To help in celebrating these occasions are special gifts, one assigned to each anniversary and each with its own material and symbolic value. In the United States, the wedding anniversary symbols begin simply, with paper and flowers, and gradually increase in substance and value. The order of gifts reflects the investment that the couple gives of
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