1st anniversary to 75th anniversary meanings.
Anniversary celebrations began in medieval
times when people celebrated 25 and 50 years of marriage. A
husband would crown his wife with a wreath of silver for 25
years and of gold for 50.
The tradition of gold and silver wedding anniversaries has
stuck, but there is now a long list of other named anniversaries
to accompany them. Each represents a different facet of the
couple's commitment, the stage their relationship is at and the
number of years they have been together.
1st anniversary: Paper/Associated Flowers:
Can it really be a year ago you said 'I do'? Time flies when
you're having fun…
Paper weddings have an edible tradition. If you opted for a
fruit wedding cake, you can freeze the top tier and have it
re-iced to eat on this day.
Don't stick to stationery for gifts on a paper theme. Name a
star after your partner and present them with the certificate,
or order a personal horoscope, or offer a voucher for a gift
experience such as a helicopter ride over London? Tickets are,
of course, paper.. so the world is your oyster! Then again, why
not just pour your heart out in a love letter?
2nd anniversary: Cotton/Associated Flowers:
3rd: anniversary: Leather/Associated Flowers: Fuchsias
Keep it simple on your second wedding anniversary: spend it
tucked up in crisp, fresh cotton sheets. Or splash out on a
For your third, what about a leather-bound photo album or
wallet with something to spend inside? Plus Jimmy Choo makes
4th anniversary: Linen/Associated Flowers: Geraniums
How about some lovely new bedlinen or cushions for your bed?
5th anniversary: Wood/Associated Flowers:
In Wales, elaborately carved wooden 'lovespoons' have been given
for centuries. The term 'spooning' - meaning 'romancing' -
originates from this Welsh tradition. An alternative gift to
each other could be a romantic vsit to a log cabin!
6th anniversary: Iron/Associated Flowers:
In his famous diary, Samuel Pepys (1633-1703) writes of going
home 'to be merry, it being my sixth wedding night'.
7th anniversary: Wool/Associated Flowers:
For your wool wedding, you could snuggle up in new cashmere
sweaters and watch Marilyn Monroe in the Seven Year Itch.
8th anniversary: Bronze/Associated Flowers: Clematis
9th anniversary: Pottery/Associated Flowers: Poppies
Stylish ceramics make perfect pottery presents. On the other
hand, your ninth anniversary is a good opportunity to exercise
your own artistic talents. Take a trip to your local pottery
café and create a personalised masterpiece for your beloved.
10th anniversary: Tin/Associated Flowers:
At ten years old, your marriage is getting all grown up and
hopefully, more mature. But not too mature! To celebrate a
decade of togetherness, why not break out the jelly and ice
cream and hold a tenth birthday party for your marital
relationship? Invite your friends and family over to join in the
As a gift idea, tin may not sound too promising. Fortunately,
there's also a gemstone or precious metal associated with each
wedding anniversary. According to this tradition, you can
celebrate your first decade together with diamonds. Any excuse!
11th anniversary: Steel/Associated Flowers:
12th anniversary: Silk/Associated Flowers:
In Denmark, it's traditional to make a big fuss of the
12-and-a-half-year anniversary. Called a copper wedding, friends
family build the couple half an arch made from spruce (you get
the other half when you reach your 25th). The arch is decorated
with flowers and lights and positioned at the door of your home.
When it comes to silk, why not invest in some beautiful silk
lingerie for yourself!
13th anniversary: Lace/Associated Flowers: Hollyhocks
Romantic lace is often associated with weddings. The veil made
for Queen Elizabeth's 1923 wedding to George VI required 12,000
hours of work and 12million stitches. For your 13th anniversary,
why not surprise your partner with a weekend trip to Bruges,
home of lace-making?
14th anniversary: Ivory/Associated Flowers:
Ivory comes from elephants, so if you want to follow tradition
in cruelty-free style, choose the modern alternatives of opal or
gold gifts instead.
15th anniversary: Crystal/Associated Flowers: Roses
If renewing your wedding vows appeals to you, your 15th
anniversary - one of the first 'big' ones - could be the time to
do it. You can make the service as formal or informal as you
like, have a civil or religious ceremony, or fly to an exotic
location to do 'I do' all over again.
Anniversary symbols vary worldwide. In some cultures, your
15th wedding anniversary, for example, is called a 'glass'
wedding. Time to blow your savings on a conservatory? A
greenhouse? Designer his 'n' hers specs? Combine the traditions
by toasting each other with champagne in new crystal glasses.
16th anniversary: Topaz
17th anniversary: Amethyst
Why are certain materials associated with different
anniversaries? As the years pass, you'll see that the materials
become more durable and more valuable the longer the marriage -
just like your relationship! Another theory is that they are
designed to help you replace wedding gifts at the time they wear
18th anniversary: Garnet
You might not fancy buying each other garnets, but there's
nothing wrong with taking a weekend break in the home of these
red gems - Prague. If you love the idea of a city filled with
gothic architecture and romance, this is the place to go.
19th anniversary: Aquamarine
Aquamarines are the colour of the sea, so what about a quick
trip to the coast to celebrate your 19th anniversary? A stroll
on the prom, a quick paddle and a champagne picnic on the beach
can be a real tonic. As the poet EE Cummings wrote, 'It's always
ourselves that we find at the sea'. An alternative could be a
visit to a relaxing spa for the weekend. Continuing the water
theme, fit out your bathroom with some beautiful new
20th anniversary: China/Associated Flowers: Day Lillies
Congratulations - you've made it together through two whole
decades! Invite friends and family together to help you
celebrate. To mark your 20th anniversary, throw a roaring
twenties fancy dress party , and Charleston the night away.
You can always add another piece to your wedding china, as
it's fun to collect things over time. Prince Albert, for
example, gave Queen Victoria a set of gold and porcelain
jewellery bit by bit - a brooch before their wedding, a brooch
and earrings for Christmas and a wreath on their fifth wedding
anniversary in 1845.
21st anniversary: Brass
22nd anniversary: Copper
Brass and copper are not necessarily the most romantic of metals
but use your imagination and you could make something of them.
Copper-bottomed saucepans are prized by celebrity chefs, or be
'bold as brass' and take your beloved for an extreme sports
experience such as bungee jumping or whitewater rafting.
23rd anniversary: Silver plate
24th anniversary: Musical instruments
This is an unusual one! Instead of an instrument, how about
tickets to a concert, or a new cd for the collection?
25th anniversary: Silver/Associated Flowers: Iris
Silver weddings have a long tradition. In medieval Germany,
husbands gave their wives a wreath of silver when they had been
married for 25 years. 'Sylver brydells' are mentioned in an
English church record of 1624, and the term 'silver feast' is
attributed to the Germans in a letter to Dr Samuel Johnson in
Couples may want to buy something to special to commemorate
this first major milestone in their relationship. Choose from a
huge range of silver items to celebrate your 25 years together -
this could be a lovely silver frame for one of your wedding
photographs, or even a piece of jewellery for each of you.
26th anniversary: Original pictures
How about having your portrait painted as a special anniversary
gift? A less costly option is to enlarge and frame a favourite
(wedding?) photo. Otherwise, keep an eye out in local galleries
and choose something that you both love.
27th anniversary: Sculpture
This anniversary gives you a great opportunity to buy a lovely
sculpture - either for inside your home or for your garden. You
might even decide to take a class and make something yourself!
28th anniversary: Orchids/Associated Flowers: Orchids
In China, orchids symbolise nobility, friendship, elegance and
perfection - making these exotic, mysterious blooms an ideal
anniversary present. Bouquets of orchids or orchid plants are
breathtaking. If you feel like splashing out, many orchids
originate from Asia so perhaps it's time for a holiday!
29th anniversary: New furniture
30th anniversary: Pearl/Associated Flowers: Sweet Pea
Be pearly king and queen for the night with a Cockney themed
party for your pearl wedding. You can feast on jellied eels and
have a good old knees-up! Alternatively, keep it just the two of
you and curl up in front of some classic movies from the 1930's.
In Indian mythology, pearls are said to be dewdrops from
heaven that fell into the sea. These jewels represent peace,
nobility and beauty, and would make a wonderful gift - but if
you can't stretch to pearls, use their colour as an inspiration
for a beautiful white gift, or just get romantic over a dozen
oysters. Caviar is traditionally eaten with a mother of pearl
spoon... I see an evening of Champagne and caviar!
31st anniversary: Timepieces
32nd anniversary: Conveyances (vehicles)
You could always purchase that long-coveted Porsche for your
anniversary, but if a car isn't quite the right thing, why not
'convey' your partner to a posh hotel to enjoy a weekend of
luxury as a 32nd celebration? Or hire a limo for the night and
enjoy the celebrity lifestyle.
33rd anniversary: Amethyst
The Victorians were fond of making rings with a message
conveyed in the first initial of each jewel. So a ring with a
Diamond, Emerald, Amethyst, Ruby, Emerald, Sapphire and Topaz on
it spelt 'dearest'.
34th anniversary: Opal
35th anniversary: Coral
Jewellery is the natural choice for this anniversary gift,
as coral goes so well with jade, the gemstone associated with 25
years of marriage.
Jade was once used as currency in China and is considered to
be lucky. Red coral is the most valuable kind.
Alternatively, head to one of the world's great coral reefs
and go for a dive together!
36th anniversary: Bone china
37th anniversary: Alabaster
Although, generally speaking, it's five- and ten-year
anniversaries that are the most widely celebrated, there's no
reason not to mark the date of your wedding every year. So if
you want to have a big bash on your 37th or 38th - go ahead! Try
an alabaster carving or sculpture, as a gift.
38th anniversary: Beryl
Beryl is a little known, colourless gemstone in it's pure form.
Aquamarine is it's blue versiou and it's green is one of the
precious gems of all - emerald.
39th anniversary: Lace
There is no traditional material for the 39th wedding
anniversary but the modern lists state lace, which also marks
the 13th. 26 years on, it may be time to replace that
40th anniversary: Ruby/Associated Flowers: Nasturtiums
Life begins at 40, and the 40th wedding anniversary is
considered to be one of the most important after the 25th. Not
surprisingly it's been attached to one of the world's most
precious gems. Rubies are said to be rarer than diamonds - they
symbolise health, wealth and wisdom and, of course, passion.
Rubies are red, so why not plant a red rose in your garden as
testament to your love? Or buy some vintage bottles and invite
your party guests to toast the future and the past in vintage
ruby port or red wine.
41st anniversary: Land
In 1659, John Evelyn wrote in his diary about going to a
'forty-first wedding day feast', one of the earliest references
anniversaries in English literature. It looks as if all
anniversaries were an excuse for a celebration back in those
days - what a good idea!
42nd anniversary: Real estate
43rd anniversary: Travel
This couldn't be easier. Enjoy a day or weekend away, or
head off on the holiday of your dreams!
44th anniversary: Groceries
Groceries don't sound too exciting, but they can make a
great present. Just remember to avoid standard supermarket fare
and go for a luxury hamper instead.
45th anniversary: Sapphire
Sapphires come in an array of colours - pink, yellow, white,
green and red as well as blue. So get the shaker out and
celebrate your 45th with a multi-coloured cocktail drinks party.
Use the Victorian language of flowers to let your partner
know how you feel with a colourful bouquet. You could try
freesias for faithfulness, alstromeria for desire - or just a
red rose, for love.
46th anniversary: Poetry
This is the perfect opportunity to be romantic - buy a
poetry book, go to a poetry reading or even put pen to paper
47th anniversary: Books
Explore the literary theme for these anniversaries and take
your love to Hay-on-Wye, home of the famous book festival. It's
a charming, picturesque place, packed with bookshops where
you'll be sure to find a volume of romantic poetry for your
48th anniversary: Optical goods
49th anniversary: Luxuries
Modern wedding symbols, such as luxuries and optical goods,
might not have quite the same romantic ring to them as
traditional materials like silver or rubies, but you could
always buy a telescope and spend your anniversary stargazing
50th anniversary: Gold/Associated Flowers: Violets
You've spent half a century together - what better cause for
a celebration? Golden weddings have been marked for many years.
medieval Germany, men would present their wives with a golden
wreath on their 50th anniversary. This was said to symbolise
Going for gold is the obvious choice for a 50th wedding gift
and you may want to use the opportunity to buy each other new
wedding rings to add to your old ones. You could even have
special inscriptions made inside the rings to mark the occasion.
55th anniversary: Emerald
These precious stones symbolise love and rebirth and make
beautiful jewellery. You can also use green as a basis for your
anniversary party and give it a Celtic theme with some
traditional Irish music. Or 'go green' and give your loved one a
present with an ecological slant, so the gift endures for future
Now's your chance to take a dream trip to Ireland - the
Emerald Isle, in celebration of your anniversary. You could even
stay in a romantic castle. If you fancy somewhere a little
warmer try Sardinia's Emerald Coast.
60th anniversary: Diamond
The word 'diamond' originates from the Greek adamus, meaning
unconquerable - which, if you've lasted 60 years, is the perfect
epithet for your own marriage. Splash out in celebration of this
fantastic event and buy a beautiful piece of diamond jewellery.
70th anniversary: Platinum
After 70 years together, you've earned your own platinum
record. And like the metal, your marriage is strong, precious
Eternity rings are a popular anniversary present. Of course,
you can buy one whenever you feel like it, but it might be an
ideal gift to mark a special anniversary like the 70th.
75th anniversary: Diamond
Although the 75th is the second diamond wedding in the
anniversary calendar, it was actually the first to exist - the
60th was added in 1897 when Queen Victoria celebrated her
Diamond Jubilee. There's no modern symbol for a diamond wedding.
Perhaps that's because nothing beats a diamond.
Diamond anniversary parties will probably include generations
of family and friends and should be an event to remember. Make
sure someone is on hand with the video camera to get it all on