Anniversaries have been celebrated effectively since the year after the wedding ceremony was invented and references can be found in records stretching back centuries.
Nicholas Nickleby by Charles Dickens cites a celebration for an 8th wedding Anniversary in Chapter 14 (June 1838) highlighting the fact that not only were the major jubilees celebrated but also the other years.
The earliest reference in printed form we have found to a Wedding Anniversary having a symbol associated with it is from The Morning Chronicle Issue No 17572 published in 1825 this refers to Karl August the Grand Duke of the Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach region and his wife Louise of Hesse-Darmstadt who had married on 3rd October 1775 and celebrated 50 years of marriage in 1825.
The earliest reference to the Silver Wedding we have found is in The Era first published on Sunday 29th December 1839.
Our favourite reference is from The Belfast Newsletters Issue No.11797 originally printed 27th October 1852; and recounts the writer finding a Golden Wedding celebration ongoing whilst he walked the streets of a German town.