Wedding Anniversary names

Sunday 1 January 2012

Lists of appropriate wedding anniversary gifts vary by country and the traditional list below is for the United Kingdom.

Wedding AnniversaryTraditional (UK)Modern
1st
2nd
3rd
4th
5th
6th
7th
8th
9th
10th
11th
12th
13th
14th
15th
20th
25th
30th
35th
40th
45th
50th
55th
60th
65th
70th
Paper
Cotton
Leather
Linen
Wood
Iron
Copper
Bronze
Pottery
Tin
Steel
Silk
Lace
Ivory
Crystal
China
Silver
Pearl
Coral
Ruby
Sapphire
Gold
Emerald
Diamond
Blue Sapphire
Platinum
Clock
China
Crystal, Glass
Fruit/Flowers
Silverware
Sweet and Sugar
Desk sets
Linens, lace
Leather goods
Aluminium
Fashion jewellery
Pearls
Textiles, Fur
Gold Jewellery
Watches
Platinum
Silver
Diamond
Jade
Ruby
Sapphire
Gold
Emerald
Diamond
Blue Sapphire
Platinum

The earliest know references are to silver for the 25th wedding anniversary and gold for the 50th wedding anniversary. The tradition may have originated in medieval Germany. The spouse would give his wife a silver garland when they had been married for 25 years.

A reference to wood for the 5th wedding anniversary was has been found dating back to 1875. Other anniversary names have been added over time. The diamond was a well known symbol for the 75th wedding anniversary, but became popular for the 60th wedding anniversary after Queen Victoria’s 60 years on the throne in 1897 was widely marked as her Diamond Jubilee.

The modern names have evolved in response to commercial influences. For example the American National Retail Jeweller Association issued a list in 1937.

If you are not in the UK you are invited to add a list of wedding anniversary names for your country as a comment to this post.

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