Wedding Anniversary Etiquette – how?

Anniversary Celebration Parties and Gifts

We’ve been asked plenty of ‘how’ type questions and have repeated the regular ones below, if we have not addressed your concern then please email us via our contact page and we will endeavour to answer your question.

How do I ….

Q. I am making a anniversary speech/toast any suggestions

Q. How do I celebrate my Anniversary ?

Q. Helping a person plan an anniversary party?

Q. I am looking for information on the 75th wedding anniversary?

Q. How do I convey requests for money to the guests?

Q. We are renewing of our vows for our 50th anniversary, are there any do’s or don’ts?

Q. Would it be proper to put on the invitation RSVP or proper to enclose a response card?

Q. My mother wants to have an anniversary celebration and was told that it was not good manners to invite family?

Q. How long is the Longest Marriage on Record?

Q. I am making an anniversary speech/toast any suggestions

Yes, a few actually! One key thing that we’ve learnt whilst trying to find non derogatory jokes about wedding anniversaries for our web site (you’ll notice there is none on our site because we couldn’t find any!). Take great care not to include a joke which will slight/insult either partner. Remember it is both of them that are celebrating their anniversary and they should be able to enjoy it. If you do want to include a joke that may be considered risky make sure it is told in a third party i.e. I knew a couple who were married……

Q. How do I celebrate my Anniversary ?

Well, the first thing is don’t ignore or forget your Anniversary. This is the one day a year that is special for you and your partner.Traditionally celebrations often involve giving and receiving of cards and gifts that match the anniversary year being celebrated. Often these gifts are made of a specific material that symbolises the year being celebrated. To find your anniversary symbol select your anniversary via our anniversary by year page and all the details  including suggestions of ways to celebrate will be given to you.

Q. How do I plan a party

A. There are plenty of resources available such as books, web sites and videos that will detail how to plan a party, you could even employ a specialist party planner who will take all the stress of party planning away from you. We’ve expanded the answer to this question on our anniversary planning pages

Q. I am looking for information on the stones/metals and/or colours associated with the 75th wedding anniversary.

A. The 75th Anniversary has the following materials associated against it; diamonds, diamond-like stones, gold. Source; Chicago Public Library

Q. Money as an Anniversary gift ~ My sisters and I are throwing my parents a 30 year anniversary party.  My parents already told me that they do not want any gifts, but would prefer money.  How do I convey that to the guests?

A. It is difficult to ask for money on invitations to an anniversary celebration. I assume your parents have a specific goal for asking for money such as a holiday or a specific gift. If this is the case then it is best to use this fact. i.e. on the invitation state that your parents are saving for whatever.. and a contribution towards this would be gratefully received…. or the most appropriate gift….

Q.We are trying to plan a celebration and renewing of our vows for our 50th. anniversary, are there any do’s or don’ts to be consider, we  were married very young, so we are not really that old; still young at heart. Are there any suggestions for this  we would like to do it the proper way.

A. There is not a fixed way to have a 50th celebration and it can be up to you, the couple celebrating the anniversary, how you would like to celebrate. Even with your decision to renew your vows can be done in many ways from a low key celebration up to a re-creation of a full wedding breakfast.

Q I am have a 50th wedding anniversary celebration for my parents in February. I will be sending out invitations for this.  It will be an Open House at my parents’ home starting approximately  6 pm .  There will be food and beverages.  Would it be proper to put on the invitation to RSVP as to how many will be attending or proper to enclose a response card as to how many will be attending? — Even though it is an Open House event?   It would help in knowing how much food to prepare.

A. As you are having an open house I think that an RSVP would be most suitable.  Depending on your Social cycle it may be appropriate to put a note after the RSVP to say that it is to ensure that sufficient food is available

Q My mother wants to have an anniversary celebration and was told that it was not good manners to invite family.  This cannot be correct is it?

A. I’m not sure how this idea came about but it is not true. A lot of Anniversary Celebrations are arranged by the family especially ones above the 25th. Wedding Anniversaries can take the form of a intimate celebration for just the couple right up to a full recreation of the original wedding with a blessing service in church followed by a Anniversary Breakfast.

Q. How long is the Longest Marriage on Record?

In Australia the longest marriage on record is that of Wesley Arney (Wes) and his wife Vanetta who in 2003 celebrated their 79th anniversary unfortunately Wes passed away the same year. A brief news story on their marriage is available here.

In Britain the longest marriage on record was a couple from Bradford who celebrated their 87th Wedding Anniversary together in January 2012 (News story
here).

Wikipedia have started a page on long marriage here: Longest Marriages

Wedding Anniversary Colours

As with each wedding anniversary that you celebrate has a definite theme, such as paper for the first year through  to Diamonds for the 60th anniversary, so do most anniversaries have a colour theme, you might like to think about decorating your venue to tie in with this theme. This could just mean coloured tablecloths, napkins and a few flowers and balloons, or something a lot more elaborate.

Below is a list of the wedding anniversaries and the colour associated with the year. If the anniversary year you are looking for is not listed then we do not have never found a colour listed for that year, if you do find one please let us know!

 

AnniversaryYear Colour
1stPapyrus Yellow
2ndLinen White
3rdFawn
4thGreen
5thTurquoise
6thWhite
7thOff White
8thBronze
9thTerracotta
10thSilver
11thTurquoise
12thOyster White
13thWhite
14thIvory
15thRuby Red
16thSilver
17thYellow
18thBlue
19thBronze
20thEmerald Green or White
21stOrange
22ndGreen
23rdSilver
24thLavender
25thSilver
30thGreen
35thCoral
40thRuby Red
45thSapphire Red
50thGold
55thEmerald Green
60thDiamond White
65thSky Blue
70thPlatinum
75thDiamond White

The wedding anniversary colours listed are not a definitive list, however they have been collected during our research into wedding anniversaries and generally reflect the traditional anniversary theme or material associated with the year.

Gemstone Wedding Anniversary Gifts List

multicoloured gemstones surrounding the words gemstone wedding anniversary gift list

Themes for gemstone wedding anniversary gifts come from a list of precious and semi-precious gemstones that are associated with each specific year. The different years, the majority of the time, have different gemstone associated with that year, here we are talking about the Gemstone Anniversary List, other popular lists include the the Modern, Traditional and Flower lists. The general idea behind this is so that you can select a gift with the theme of the material mentioned for the year thus making it easier to select an appropriate gift.

The Gemstone Wedding Anniversary Gifts List

The gemstone wedding anniversary list has developed over the generations into the one shown below, some of the years have variations on the theme depending upon who has published the list. More history of how the wedding list evolved is available on our Gemstone Wedding List History page.

Below in the list the anniversary year will link you to pages with ideas available from all the Gift lists (e.g. Traditional, Modern, Gemstone and Flower) or choose the gemstone for the year you are celebrating, or buying for, for a list of wedding anniversary gifts specific to that gemstone and year.

Some years have no material or theme under the gemstone anniversary list, below the fiftieth these anniversaries will have a theme in the Modern Anniversary List. Above the 50th they have no theme or material.

Gemstone Wedding Anniversary Gifts List

There are a few variations with the gemstone wedding anniversary gifts list shown above where we have found variations we have listed them with the most common/popular listed first.

List Sources: Anniversary Gift List – American Gem Society. A Brief Dictionary of American Superstitions – Vergilius Ferm, The Philosophical Library, 1959.

Milestone Gemstone wedding anniversary gifts

As with other Wedding Anniversary Lists the Gemstone list converges with the other lists on the milestone anniversaries so the material or theme is the same as the other lists e.g. 25th Anniversary is Silver and the 40th Anniversary is Ruby

 

Modern Wedding Anniversary Gifts List

Two silver metal lovehearts intertwined seamlessly

Themes for modern wedding anniversary gifts come from a list of materials that are associated with each specific year. The different years, the majority of the time, have different themes or materials associated with that year along with different lists, here we are talking about the Modern Anniversary List, other popular lists include the the Traditional, Gemstone or Flower lists. The general idea behind this is so that you can select a gift with the theme of the material mentioned for the year thus making it easier to select an appropriate gift.

The Modern Wedding Anniversary Gifts Listhashtag loveheart and kiss emojis

The Modern wedding anniversary list was first launched in 1946 into the one shown below, some of the years have variations on the theme depending upon who has published the list subsequently. More history of how the wedding list evolved is available on our Modern Wedding List History page.

The reason it is called the modern list is simply because at the time it was published it included modern gift theme designed to encourage and promote sales of items in a time of austerity.

Below in the list the anniversary year will link you to pages with ideas available from all the Gift lists (e.g. Traditional, Modern, Gemstone and Flower) or choose the modern material for the year you are celebrating, or buying for, for a list of wedding anniversary gifts specific to that modern material and year.
The Modern Anniversary gifts list has a material theme against every year up to the 50th year and there after every fifth year until the 75th Wedding Anniversary. 

Modern Wedding Anniversary Material List

Modern Wedding Anniversary Material List
YearModern Material
1st year wedding anniversaryClocks
2nd year wedding anniversaryChina
3rd year wedding anniversaryCrystal or Glass
4th year wedding anniversaryElectrical Appliances
5th year wedding anniversarySilverware
6th year wedding anniversaryWood
7th year wedding anniversaryDesk Set
8th year wedding anniversaryLinen or Lace
9th year wedding anniversaryLeather
10th year wedding anniversaryDiamond Jewellery
11th year wedding anniversaryFashion Jewellery
12th year wedding anniversaryPearls or Coloured Gems
13th year wedding anniversaryTextiles or Furs
14th year wedding anniversaryGold Jewellery
15th year wedding anniversaryWatches
16th year wedding anniversarySilver Holoware
17th year wedding anniversaryFurniture
18th year wedding anniversaryPorcelain
19th year wedding anniversaryBronze
20th year wedding anniversaryPlatinum
21st year wedding anniversaryBrass or Nickel
22nd year wedding anniversaryCopper
23rd year wedding anniversarySilver Plate
24th year wedding anniversaryMusical Instruments
25th year wedding anniversarySilver
26th year wedding anniversaryOriginal Pictures
27th year wedding anniversarySculpture
28th year wedding anniversaryOrchids
29th year wedding anniversaryFurniture
30th year wedding anniversaryDiamond Jewellery
31st year wedding anniversaryTimepieces
32nd year wedding anniversaryConveyances
33rd year wedding anniversaryAmethyst
34th year wedding anniversaryOpal
35th year wedding anniversary Jade
36th year wedding anniversaryBone China
37th year wedding anniversaryAlabaster
38th year wedding anniversaryBeryl
39th year wedding anniversaryLace
40th year wedding anniversary Ruby
41st year wedding anniversaryLand
42nd year wedding anniversaryImproved Real Estate
43rd year wedding anniversaryTravel
44th year wedding anniversaryGroceries
45th year wedding anniversarySapphire
46th year wedding anniversaryOriginal Poetry Tribute
47th year wedding anniversaryBooks
48th year wedding anniversaryOptical Goods
49th year wedding anniversaryLuxuries, any kind
50th year wedding anniversaryGold Jewellery
55th year wedding anniversaryEmerald
60th year wedding anniversaryDiamonds
70th year wedding anniversaryPlatinum
75th year wedding anniversaryDiamonds

There are a few variations with the modern wedding anniversary gifts list shown

 

All Important Modern wedding anniversary gifts

The modern wedding anniversary gifts list converge with the Traditional Wedding Anniversary Gifts List on what are deemed to be the major Anniversaries e.g 25th Anniversary is Silver, 40th Anniversary Is Ruby and the 50th Anniversary is Gold on both lists.

 

Traditional Wedding Anniversary Gifts List

Traditional Wedding Anniversary Gifts List

Themes for traditional wedding anniversary gifts come from a list of materials that are associated with each specific year. The different years, the majority of the time, have different themes or materials associated with that year along with different lists, here we are talking about the Traditional Anniversary List, other popular lists include the the Modern, Gemstone or Flower lists. The general idea behind this is so that you can select a gift with the theme of the material mentioned for the year thus making it easier to select an appropriate gift.

The Traditional Wedding Anniversary Gifts List

The traditional wedding anniversary list has developed over the generations into the one shown below, some of the years have variations on the theme depending upon who has published the list. More history of how the wedding list evolved is available on our Traditional Wedding List History page.

Knight and his Lady with flowersThe reason it is called the traditional list is simply because it is the oldest wedding anniversary gifts list in existence, there is evidence that prior to the modern anniversary list being produced the list was known as the Wedding Anniversary List.

Below in the list the anniversary year will link you to pages with ideas available from all the Gift lists (e.g. Traditional, Modern, Gemstone and Flower) or choose the traditional material for the year you are celebrating, or buying for, for a list of wedding anniversary gifts specific to that traditional material and year.
Some years have no material or theme under the traditional anniversary list, below the fiftieth these anniversaries will have a theme in the Modern Anniversary List. Above the 50th they have no theme or material.

Traditional Wedding Anniversary Material List

There are a few variations with the traditional wedding anniversary gifts list shown above possibly the largest one being that for the first wedding anniversary as, in the United Kingdom and Europe, the 1st anniversary traditionally used to be Cotton with the second year being Paper themed. This has however been reversed now to follow the american traditional theme of Paper for the 1st year anniversary and Cotton for the 2nd year. The reason behind this is attributed to globalisation and the internet making data more accessible.

There are other variations on the traditional theme and again these tend to be local (read Country) based, for example in Germany there is also a tradition to celebrate  the Copper Anniversary which is 12 and a half years or half way through a Jubilee (which is 25 years)

All Important traditional wedding anniversary gifts

The traditional wedding anniversary gifts list is where all the important and major anniversaries come from and indeed the 25th anniversary and 50th anniversary are the oldest known anniversaries being celebrated as having symbols with the forma being the Silver Wedding and the latter Golden Wedding these can be traced back into early European history.

 

Above 50th Wedding Anniversary Gifts

Beyond 50 years of marriage each anniversary year does not have a symbol or material associated with it, rather every 5 years is celebrated with the exception of 65 years of marriage which has no traditional symbol associated with the year although Star Sapphire is often quoted.

Although there is a symbol for every 5th year up until 100 years of marriage we have yet to see anyone achieve an anniversary over 90 years although given people are now living longer we feel this is only a matter of time before this occurs. Wikipedia maintain a list of couples who have had the longest marriage together.

55th Wedding anniversary also known as the Emerald Wedding

The traditional fifty-fifth wedding anniversary gift has a theme of 55th; an alternative traditional fifty-fifth wedding anniversary gift can be themed with Emerald. The modern fifty-fifth wedding anniversary gift has a theme of Emerald. The gemstone fifty-fifth wedding anniversary gift has a theme of Alexandrite.

60th Wedding anniversary

The modern sixtieth wedding anniversary gift has a theme of Diamonds. The gemstone sixtieth wedding anniversary gift has a theme of Diamonds.

65th Wedding anniversary

The sixty-fifth wedding anniversary gift has a theme of Star Sapphire.

70th Wedding anniversary

The modern seventieth wedding anniversary gift has a theme of Platinum.

75th Wedding anniversary also known as the Diamond Wedding

The traditional seventy-fifth wedding anniversary gift has a theme of Diamonds. The modern seventy-fifth wedding anniversary gift has a theme of Diamonds.

80th Wedding anniversary

The eightieth wedding anniversary gift has a theme of Pearls; an alternative modern eightieth wedding anniversary gift can be themed with Diamonds. Oak has also been mentioned although no reference source can be found for this theme.

85th Wedding anniversary

The eight-fifth wedding anniversary gift has a theme of Sapphire; an alternative modern eight fifth wedding anniversary gift can be themed with Diamonds.

90th Wedding anniversary

The ninetieth wedding anniversary gift has a theme of Diamonds; an alternative modern ninetieth wedding anniversary gift can be themed with Emerald.

95th Wedding anniversary

The ninety-fifth wedding anniversary gift has a theme of Ruby; an alternative modern ninety fifth wedding anniversary gift can be themed with Diamonds.

100th Wedding anniversary

The one hundredth wedding anniversary gift has a theme of Ten Carat Diamond.

 

 

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Precious Gemstones – Anniversary Guide

There are two main types of gemstones, Precious and semi-precious. A gemstone is considered precious if it is rare or difficult to obtain, these particular stones often attract a high commercial price. A Semi-precious gemstone is classified as such by being more widely available that precious stones.

The most sought after precious stones are currently Diamond, Ruby, Sapphire and Emerald. However, more traditionally stones such as Opal, Pearl (although not strictly a gemstone) and Amethyst was once considered to be precious and extremely rare. Amethyst was considered to be extremely rare and precious going as far back as ancient Greece. However, During the 19th Century, large deposits of the stone were found in South America and has since been reclassified as semi-precious.

Today, we are going to tell you what anniversary a precious gemstone is associated with.

Diamond

Diamond is the traditional gemstone for the 60th, 70th and 75th Wedding Anniversaries.

Diamond is the most precious of stones, the stone demands a premium prices and has even sparked wars due to its rarity making many retailers not accept what is now known as Blood Diamonds .

Diamond is a favoured stone for engagements or eternity rings, most likely as it represents “virtue” however its first meaning was “courage” which came from the Greek word “adamas” which translates to ‘invincible’.

Ruby

Ruby is the traditional gemstone for the 40th Wedding Anniversary.

Rubies are deep red in colour and are found in deposits worldwide. Rubies demand a premium depending on the overall look of the stone, A deep red called pigeon blood red, transparent and a superior cut are the rarest and therefore extremely valuable. The stones carat (weight) also determines its worth.

Ruby is one of the best known precious gemstones, it also comes with a wealth of claims including making all obstacles in the path of happiness to melt away, it repairs broken friendships and can help improve memory!

Sapphire

Sapphire is the traditional gemstone for the 5th, 23rd, 45th and 65th Wedding Anniversaries

Sapphires can vary in colour such as pink and yellow, however the most popular and one of the rarest is the Blue Sapphire. Sapphires and known to be extremely durable and hard and are therefore sometime used in commercials items such as scientific equipment and components in wrist watches.

Although Sapphire is the gemstone for the 65th wedding Anniversary, it is traditionally known as Star Sapphire. A gemstone is considered a “star” when it has star-like properties within the stone, this is known as asterism. It is recognised by having a star shaped pattern when viewed with a light source.

Sapphire gemstones have long been believed to stand for devotion which as it puts in an appearance for the 65th wedding anniversary is rather apt.

Emerald

Emerald is the traditional gemstone for the 20th,35th and 55th Wedding Anniversaries

Emerald is a rich green in colour and like other precious gemstones is considered more valuable if it is a dark green with a transparent finish. Other lower quality stones will often be dark green but are completely opaque.

Emerald was once a favourite gift between lovers, as it was believed to lose its colour should either the giver or receiver become unfaithful. It is claimed to help with those who have weak sight and it used to be believed that if a serpent looked at an emerald it would become blind.

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Anniversary Ideas every year

Anniversary gift givingWelcome to Anniversary Ideas, your number one resource for celebrating any wedding anniversary.

We help guide you through the questions that need answering in order to have the best anniversary possible.

  • What is the traditional material for your anniversary?
  • What is the best way to celebrate your anniversary year?
  • What anniversary gift may I get my wife/husband?

Questions all answered by us.

Once you have a good idea of the type of anniversary gifts you can purchase, we will show you the best gifts available on or off line for the anniversary theme you require.

If you are unsure;

  • what anniversary gifts are appropriate for the year being celebrated and what’s best give give your loved one
  • how to celebrate your anniversary;
  • what material is traditionally associated with the anniversary year you are celebrating.

Then let us help you. we’ve been doing this for many years ever since our first web site which was the pioneer for wedding anniversary resources on the world wide web.

Anniversary Gifts

From the 1st Wedding Anniversary through to the 100th year (yes someone has given the 100th a symbol!) we supply details of the traditional or modern symbol, flower and gemstone associated with each year.

anniversary gifts lined up imageWe’ve done a lot of the work for you by searching the internet to bring together some of the best and most unique anniversary gift ideas around. Now these are just not general gifts they are specific anniversary ideas that match either the traditional or contemporary symbol for the Wedding Anniversary you are celebrating.

Wedding Anniversaries : Find out what material is traditionally associated with each year. Anniversary Etiquette : Holding an Anniversary Party? we answer the popular questions on etiquette; how to celebrate, why celebrate, gift giving and other commonly asked questions. All Wedding Anniversary details If you are celebrating a year that is not in the traditional list then this page gives themes and symbols for ever year up to the 50th and then every 5th anniversary up to the 100th!

1st Wedding anniversary

The traditional first wedding anniversary gift has a theme of Paper. The modern first wedding anniversary gift has a theme of Clocks. The gemstone first wedding anniversary gift has a theme of Fresh Water Pearl. The appropriate flowers for the first wedding anniversary are Pansies.

2nd Wedding anniversary

The traditional second wedding anniversary gift has a theme of Cotton; an alternative traditional second wedding anniversary gift can be themed with Straw. The modern second wedding anniversary gift has a theme of China. The appropriate gemstone for the second wedding anniversary has a theme of Rose Quartz; an alternative gemstone for the second wedding anniversary can be themed with Garnet. The appropriate flowers for the second wedding anniversary are Cosmos.

3rd Wedding anniversary

The traditional third wedding anniversary has a theme of Leather. The modern third wedding anniversary gift has a theme of Crystal; an alternative modern third wedding anniversary gift can be themed with Glass. The appropriate gemstone for the third wedding anniversary has a theme of Crystal. The flowers for the third wedding anniversary are Fushsia.

4th Wedding anniversary

The traditional fourth wedding anniversary gift has a theme of Fruit & Flowers; an alternative traditional fourth wedding anniversary gift can be themed with Books. The modern fourth wedding anniversary gift has a theme of Electrical Appliance. The gemstone fourth wedding anniversary gift has a theme of Amethyst; an alternative gemstone fourth wedding anniversary gift can be themed with Topaz. The appropriate flowers for the fourth wedding anniversary are Geranium.

5th Wedding anniversary

The traditional fifth wedding anniversary gift has a theme of Wood. The modern fifth wedding anniversary gift has a theme of Silverware. The gemstone fifth wedding anniversary gift has a theme of Turquoise. The appropriate flowers for the fifth wedding anniversary are Daisies.

6th Wedding anniversary

The traditional sixth wedding anniversary has a theme of Sugar; an alternative traditional sixth wedding anniversary gift can be themed with Iron. The modern sixth wedding anniversary gift has a theme of Wood. The appropriate gemstone for the sixth wedding anniversary has a theme of Amethyst; an alternative gemstone for the 6th wedding anniversary can be themed with Garnet. The appropriate flowers for the sixth wedding anniversary are Calla lilies.

7th Wedding anniversary

The traditional seventh wedding anniversary gift has a theme of Wool; an alternative traditional seventh wedding anniversary gift can be themed with Copper. The modern seventh wedding anniversary gift has a theme of Desk Set. The appropriate gemstone for the seventh wedding anniversary has a theme of Lapis Lazuli; an alternative gemstone for the seventh wedding anniversary can be themed with Onyx. The appropriate flowers for the seventh wedding anniversary are Jack-in-the-pulpit.

8th Wedding anniversary

The traditional eighth wedding anniversary gift has a theme of Bronze; an alternative traditional eighth wedding anniversary gift can be themed with Pottery. The modern eighth wedding anniversary gift has a theme of Lace; an alternative modern eighth wedding anniversary gift can be themed with Linen. The appropriate gemstone for the eighth wedding anniversary has a theme of Aventurine; an alternative gemstone for the eighth wedding anniversary can be themed with Multi-coloured Tourmaline. The appropriate flowers for the eighth wedding anniversary are Clematis.

9th Wedding anniversary

The traditional ninth wedding anniversary has a theme of Pottery. ; an alternative traditional ninth wedding anniversary gift can be themed with Willow. The modern ninth wedding anniversary gift has a theme of Leather. The appropriate gemstone for the ninth wedding anniversary has a theme of Tiger Eye; an alternative gemstone for the ninth wedding anniversary can be themed with Lapis Lazuli.The appropriate flowers for the ninth wedding anniversary are Poppies.

10th Wedding anniversary

The traditional tenth wedding anniversary gift has a theme of Tin; an alternative traditional tenth wedding anniversary gift can be themed with Aluminum. The modern tenth wedding anniversary gift has a theme of Diamond Jewellery. The  appropriate gemstone for the tenth wedding anniversary has a theme of Black Onyx. The appropriate flowers for the tenth wedding anniversary are Daffodils.

11th Wedding anniversary

The traditional eleventh wedding anniversary has a theme of Steel. The modern eleventh wedding anniversary gift has a theme of Fashion Jewellery. The appropriate gemstone for the eleventh wedding anniversary has a theme of Turquoise; an alternative gemstone for the eleventh wedding anniversary can be themed with Hematite. The appropriate flowers for the eleventh wedding anniversary are Morning Glories.

12th Wedding anniversary

The traditional twelfth wedding anniversary gift has a theme of Linen; an alternative traditional twelfth wedding anniversary gift can be themed with Silk. The modern twelfth wedding anniversary gift has a theme of Colour Gems; an alternative modern twelfth wedding anniversary gift can be themed with Pearls. The appropriate gemstone for the twelfth wedding anniversary has a theme of Agate. The appropriate flowers for the twelfth wedding anniversary are Peonies.

13th Wedding anniversary

The traditional thirteenth wedding anniversary gift has a theme of Lace. The modern thirteenth wedding anniversary gift has a theme of Textiles; an alternative modern thirteenth wedding anniversary gift can be themed with Furs. The  appropriate gemstone for the thirteenth wedding anniversary has a theme of Malachite; an alternative gemstone for the thirteenth wedding anniversary can be themed with Citrine; another alternative gemstone 13th wedding anniversary can be themed with Moonstone. The appropriate flowers for the thirteenth wedding anniversary are Hollyhock.

14th Wedding anniversary

The traditional fourteenth wedding anniversary has a theme of Ivory. The modern fourteenth wedding anniversary gift has a theme of Gold Jewellery. The appropriate gemstone for the fourteenth wedding anniversary has a theme of Jewellery; an alternative gemstone for the fourteenth wedding anniversary gift can be themed with Moss Agate. The appropriate flowers for the fourteenth wedding anniversary are Dahlia.

15th Wedding anniversary

The traditional fifteenth wedding anniversary has a theme of Crystal. The modern fifteenth wedding anniversary gift has a theme of Watches. The appropriate flowers for the fifteenth wedding anniversary are Roses.

After the fifteenth Wedding Anniversary the traditional anniversary gift list only provides a theme for every fifth year up until the 50th and then the Diamond Anniversary being the Seventy-fifth year.

16th Wedding anniversary

The modern sixteenth wedding anniversary gift has a theme of Silver Hollowware.The appropriate gemstone for the sixteenth wedding anniversary has a theme of Peridot; an alternative gemstone for the sixteenth wedding anniversary gift can be themed with Aquamarine.

17th Wedding anniversary

The modern seventeenth wedding anniversary gift has a theme of Furniture. The appropriate gemstone for the seventeenth wedding anniversary has a theme of Amethyst; an alternative gemstone for the seventeenth wedding anniversary can be themed with Citrine.

18th Wedding anniversary

The modern eighteenth wedding anniversary gift has a theme of Porcelain. The appropriate gemstone for the eighteenth wedding anniversary has a theme of Opal.

19th Wedding anniversary

The modern nineteenth wedding anniversary has a theme of Bronze. The appropriate gemstone for the nineteenth wedding anniversary has a theme of Aquamarine; an alternative gemstone for the nineteenth wedding anniversary can be themed with Topaz.

20th Wedding anniversary

The traditional twentieth wedding anniversary gift has a theme of China. The modern twentieth wedding anniversary gift has a theme of Bone China; an alternative modern twentieth wedding anniversary gift can be themed with Platinum. The appropriate flowers for the twentieth wedding anniversary are Day Lily.

21st Wedding anniversary

The modern twenty-first wedding anniversary has a theme of Nickel; an alternative modern twenty-first wedding anniversary gift can be themed with Brass. The appropriate gemstone for the twenty-first wedding anniversary has a theme of Iolite.

22nd Wedding anniversary

The modern twenty-second wedding anniversary has a theme of Copper. The appropriate gemstone for the twenty-second wedding anniversary has a theme of Spinel (all Colours).

23rd Wedding anniversary

The modern twenty-third wedding anniversary gift has a theme of Silver plate. The appropriate gemstone for the twenty-third wedding anniversary has a theme of Imperial Topaz.

24th Wedding anniversary

The modern twenty-fourth wedding anniversary gift has a theme of Musical Instruments. The appropriate gemstone for the twenty-fourth wedding anniversary has a theme of Tanzanite.

25th Wedding anniversary also known as the Silver Wedding

The traditional twenty fifth wedding anniversary has a theme of Silver. The modern twenty fifth wedding anniversary gift has a theme of Silver. The appropriate gemstone for the twenty fifth wedding anniversary has a theme of Sterling Silver. The appropriate flowers for the twenty fifth wedding anniversary are Iris or is Iri the correct plural.

26th Wedding anniversary

The twenty-sixth wedding anniversary gift has a theme of Original Pictures.

27th Wedding anniversary

The twenty-seventh wedding anniversary gift has a theme of Sculpture.

28th Wedding anniversary

The twenty-eighth wedding anniversary gift has a theme of Orchids.

29th Wedding anniversary

The twenty-ninth wedding anniversary gift has a theme of Furniture.

30th Wedding anniversary also known as the Pearl Wedding

The traditional thirtieth wedding anniversary gift has a theme of Pearls. The modern thirtieth wedding anniversary gift has a theme of Diamond Jewellery. The appropriate flowers for the thirtieth wedding anniversary are Sweet pea.

31st Wedding anniversary

The thirty-first wedding anniversary gift has a theme of Timepieces.

32nd Wedding anniversary

The thirty-second wedding anniversary gift has a theme of Conveyances.

33rd Wedding anniversary

The thirty-third wedding anniversary gift has a theme of Amethyst.

34th Wedding anniversary

The thirty-fourth wedding anniversary gift has a theme of Opal.

35th Wedding anniversary also known as the Coral Wedding

The traditional thirty-fifth wedding anniversary gift has a theme of Coral. The modern thirty-fifth wedding anniversary gift has a theme of Jade.

36th Wedding anniversary

The thirty-sixth wedding anniversary gift has a theme of Bone China.

37th Wedding anniversary

The thirty-seventh wedding anniversary gift has a theme of Alabaster.

38th Wedding anniversary

The thirty-eighth wedding anniversary gift has a theme of Beryl.

39th Wedding anniversary

The thirty-ninth wedding anniversary gift has a theme of Lace.

40th Wedding anniversary also known as the Ruby Wedding

The traditional fortieth wedding anniversary gift has a theme of Ruby. The modern fortieth wedding anniversary gift has a theme of Ruby. The gemstone fortieth wedding anniversary gift has a theme of Ruby. The appropriate flowers for the fortieth wedding anniversary are Nasturtium.

41st Wedding anniversary

The forty-first wedding anniversary gift has a theme of Land.

42nd Wedding anniversary

The forty-second wedding anniversary gift has a theme of Improved Real Estate.

43rd Wedding anniversary

The forty-third wedding anniversary gift has a theme of Travel.

44th Wedding anniversary

The forty-fourth wedding anniversary gift has a theme of Groceries.

45th Wedding anniversary also known as the Sapphire Wedding

The traditional forty-fifth wedding anniversary gift has a theme of Sapphire. The modern forty-fifth wedding anniversary gift has a theme of Sapphire. The gemstone forty-fifth wedding anniversary gift has a theme of Alexandrite.

46th Wedding anniversary

The forty-sixth wedding anniversary gift has a theme of Original Poetry Tribute.

47th Wedding anniversary

The forty-seventh wedding anniversary gift has a theme of Books.

48th Wedding anniversary

The forty-eighth wedding anniversary gift has a theme of Optical Goods.

49th Wedding anniversary

The forty-ninth wedding anniversary gift has a theme of Luxuries, any Kind.

50th Wedding anniversary also known as the Golden Wedding

The traditional fiftieth wedding anniversary gift has a theme of Gold. The modern fiftieth wedding anniversary gift has a theme of Gold Jewellery. The appropriate flowers for the fiftieth wedding anniversary are Violets.

After the fiftieth wedding anniversary most of the anniversary gift lists move to only nominating a theme ever five years.

55th Wedding anniversary also known as the Emerald Wedding

The traditional fifty-fifth wedding anniversary gift has a theme of 55th; an alternative traditional fifty-fifth wedding anniversary gift can be themed with Emerald. The modern fifty-fifth wedding anniversary gift has a theme of Emerald. The gemstone fifty-fifth wedding anniversary gift has a theme of Alexandrite.

60th Wedding anniversary

The modern sixtieth wedding anniversary gift has a theme of Diamonds. The gemstone sixtieth wedding anniversary gift has a theme of Diamonds.

65th Wedding anniversary

The sixty-fifth wedding anniversary gift has a theme of Star Sapphire.

70th Wedding anniversary

The modern seventieth wedding anniversary gift has a theme of Platinum.

75th Wedding anniversary also known as the Diamond Wedding

The traditional seventy-fifth wedding anniversary gift has a theme of Diamonds. The modern seventy-fifth wedding anniversary gift has a theme of Diamonds.

80th Wedding anniversary

The eightieth wedding anniversary gift has a theme of Pearls; an alternative modern eightieth wedding anniversary gift can be themed with Diamonds. Oak has also been mentioned although no reference source can be found for this theme.

85th Wedding anniversary

The eight-fifth wedding anniversary gift has a theme of Sapphire; an alternative modern eight fifth wedding anniversary gift can be themed with Diamonds.

90th Wedding anniversary

The ninetieth wedding anniversary gift has a theme of Diamonds; an alternative modern ninetieth wedding anniversary gift can be themed with Emerald.

95th Wedding anniversary

The ninety-fifth wedding anniversary gift has a theme of Ruby; an alternative modern ninety fifth wedding anniversary gift can be themed with Diamonds.

100th Wedding anniversary

The one hundredth wedding anniversary gift has a theme of Ten Carat Diamond.

Traditional anniversary gift symbols history

The term Traditional Anniversary gift is given purely because a Modern Anniversary gift list was produced and a way was needed to identify the two separately.Book with pages folded into a loveheart shape to represent research for the history

The traditional anniversary gift list is the original list and represents the symbols associated with each anniversary year in popular folklore prior to the modern list being issued.

Early References

The earliest know references to wedding anniversary symbols or materials as gifts are to Silver (25th Wedding Anniversary) and Gold (50th Wedding Anniversary).

These originate in middle Europe (Germanic Region) and involved the spouse giving his wife a silver garland when they had been married for 25 years.

Some European countries also celebrate Twelve and a half years of marriage using Copper as the Anniversary Symbol.

In the german language the celebration translates from ‘Silberne Hochzeit’ meaning Silver Wedding and from ‘Goldne Hochzeit’ meaning the Golden Wedding which is how these terms have been formed.

A point ot note is that it is deemed a ‘Silver Wedding’ or ‘Golden Wedding’ and not a Silver Wedding Anniversar; as this would imply you are celebrating the anniversary of your Silver Wedding which occurs after 26 years of marriage!

We have found references to materials associated with specific years which follow the traditional anniversary lists for the first 5 years of marriage and then every 5th year up to 25th and then 50th and 75th.

The earliest reference we have found other than the Silver or gold is to the 5th anniversary (Wood) which implies this became the material for that anniversary around 1875.

There are currently 2 Diamond Anniversaries, one at 60 and one at 75 years. The 75th anniversary is the original traditional diamond anniversary with the 60th being added when Queen Victoria (English Empire Monarch) celebrated her Diamond Jubilee on her 60th anniversary of accession to the throne in 1897 and this has since been adopted as an appropriate Wedding Anniversary also.

In 1937 the American National Retail Jeweler Association issued a more comprehensive list which associated a material for each Anniversary year up to the 15th Anniversary and then each fifth year after that up to the 60th Anniversary.

Additional lists are issued from time to time however the one quoted above is more or less the de-facto list for the Traditional names of Wedding Anniversaries.

References:

  • The American National Jeweller Association
  • The Morning Chronicle (Nov 9 1849 Issue 24978 & May 5 1834 Issue 20184)
  • The Era Sunday, Dec 29 1839 Issue 66

Traditional Anniversary Gift Symbols

1st Wedding AnniversaryPaper
2nd Wedding AnniversaryStraw or
Cotton
3rd Wedding AnniversaryLeather
4th Wedding AnniversaryFruit & Flowers or
Books
5th Wedding AnniversaryWood
6th Wedding AnniversarySugar (Candy) or
Iron
7th Wedding AnniversaryWool or
Copper
8th Wedding AnniversaryPottery or
Bronze
9th Wedding AnniversaryWillow or
Pottery
10th Wedding Anniversary Tin or
Aluminium
11th Wedding AnniversarySteel
12th Wedding AnniversaryLinen or
Silk
13th Wedding AnniversaryLace
14th Wedding AnniversaryIvory
15th Wedding AnniversaryCrystal
20th Wedding AnniversaryChina
25th Wedding AnniversarySilver
30th Wedding AnniversaryPearls
35th Wedding AnniversaryCoral
40th Wedding AnniversaryRuby
45th Wedding AnniversarySapphire
50th Wedding AnniversaryGold
55th Wedding Anniversary Emerald
60th Wedding AnniversaryDiamonds
70th Wedding Anniversary Platinum
75th Wedding Anniversary Diamonds

Wedding anniversaries above 50 years

Beyond 50 years of marriage each anniversary year does not have a symbol or material associated with it, rather every 5 years is celebrated with the exception of 65 years of marriage which has no traditional symbol associated with the year although Star Sapphire is often quoted.

Although there is a symbol for every 5th year up until 100 years of marriage we have yet to see anyone achieve an anniversary over 90 years although given people are now living longer we feel this is only a matter of time before this occurs. Wikipedia maintain a list of couples who have had the longest marriage together.

55th Wedding anniversary also known as the Emerald Wedding

The traditional fifty-fifth wedding anniversary gift has a theme of 55th; an alternative traditional fifty-fifth wedding anniversary gift can be themed with Emerald. The modern fifty-fifth wedding anniversary gift has a theme of Emerald. The gemstone fifty-fifth wedding anniversary gift has a theme of Alexandrite.

60th Wedding anniversary

The modern sixtieth wedding anniversary gift has a theme of Diamonds. The gemstone sixtieth wedding anniversary gift has a theme of Diamonds.

65th Wedding anniversary

The sixty-fifth wedding anniversary gift has a theme of Star Sapphire.

70th Wedding anniversary

The modern seventieth wedding anniversary gift has a theme of Platinum.

75th Wedding anniversary also known as the Diamond Wedding

The traditional seventy-fifth wedding anniversary gift has a theme of Diamonds. The modern seventy-fifth wedding anniversary gift has a theme of Diamonds.

80th Wedding anniversary

The eightieth wedding anniversary gift has a theme of Pearls; an alternative modern eightieth wedding anniversary gift can be themed with Diamonds. Oak has also been mentioned although no reference source can be found for this theme.

85th Wedding anniversary

The eight-fifth wedding anniversary gift has a theme of Sapphire; an alternative modern eight fifth wedding anniversary gift can be themed with Diamonds.

90th Wedding anniversary

The ninetieth wedding anniversary gift has a theme of Diamonds; an alternative modern ninetieth wedding anniversary gift can be themed with Emerald.

95th Wedding anniversary

The ninety-fifth wedding anniversary gift has a theme of Ruby; an alternative modern ninety fifth wedding anniversary gift can be themed with Diamonds.

100th Wedding anniversary

The one hundredth wedding anniversary gift has a theme of Ten Carat Diamond.