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Wedding Anniversary

Celebrating a Wedding Anniversary

By Anna Lynn Sibal

In this day and age when getting a divorce is just as common as getting married, celebrating a wedding anniversary has become more important. The longer a couple has been married, the more special each anniversary becomes. The passing of each anniversary makes the vows that couples make when they wed more meaningful, especially that part of the vow that says “Till death do us part.”

The way people celebrate a wedding anniversary varies depending on which country they live in and their own traditions surrounding the occasion. In the western world, the first, the fifth, the 10th, the 15th, the 20th, the 25th, the 50th and each anniversary following that are often celebrated lavishly. But it ultimately depends on the married couple how they wish to spend their wedding anniversary.

Traditional and Modern Wedding Anniversary Gifts

Couples celebrating a wedding anniversary are customarily given specific gifts corresponding to the number of years they have been married. According to historians, this custom is a carry-over from the Middle Ages, wherein people believed that tokens given after a certain number of years of a couple’s marriage are supposed to bring more luck to the couple. Aside from being tokens of good luck, each gift also represents the irreplaceable investment that the couple has made on each other while they are married.

Here is the list of traditional and modern anniversary gifts as compiled and popularized by the Chicago Public Library:

Year

Traditional

Modern

Flowers

1st paper clocks carnation
2nd cotton china lily of the valley
3rd leather crystal, glass sunflower
4th linen, silk appliances hydrangea
5th wood sliverware daisy
6th iron wooden objects calla lily
7th wool, copper desk sets freesia
8th bronze linens, lace lilac
9th pottery, china leather goods bird of paradise
10th tin, aluminum diamond jewelry daffodil
11th steel fashion jewelry tulip
12th silk pearls, colored gems peony
13th lace textiles, furs chrysanthemum
14th ivory gold jewelry orchid
15th crystal watches rose
16th   silver hollowware  
17th   furniture  
18th   porcelain  
19th   bronze  
20th china platinum aster
21st   brass, nickel  
22nd   copper  
23rd   silver plate  
24th   musical instruments  
25th silver sterling silver iris
30th pearl diamond lily
35th coral, jade jade  
40th ruby ruby gladiolus
45th sapphire sapphire  
50th gold gold yellow roses
55th emerald emerald  
60th diamond diamond  

Ideas for Celebrating a Wedding Anniversary

Beyond the gifts that a couple is supposed to give each other or to receive from friends and family, a wedding anniversary is ideally a time to rekindle the love that brought the two people to the decision to marry. It is always great to celebrate a wedding anniversary with friends and family, but the best way of celebrating it is to do something with just the two of them.

A quiet, candlelit dinner, whether at home or at a restaurant, is always desirable. This gives the couple a chance to see each other in a way that they may have forgotten in the passing years of their marriage. Dinners by candlelight are not only romantic. They also offer a glimpse of the lovely girl he proposed to, and the handsome guy she said yes to – beautiful faces that they may have taken for granted in the passage of time together.

Nothing, however, beats going on a romantic getaway to celebrate a wedding anniversary. Even if it is just a picnic at the park, an overnight stay in a luxury hotel, or a weekend at a beach resort, spending time away from the family and reliving the days when they were still in the early days of their relationship, is the best way of celebrating a wedding anniversary.

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