Wedding anniversary

Wedding anniversary

A wedding anniversary is the anniversary of the date a wedding took place.


Official recognition

In the Commonwealth realms, one can receive a message from the monarch for 60th, 65th, and 70th wedding anniversaries, and any wedding anniversary after that.[1] This is done by applying to Buckingham Palace in the United Kingdom, or to the Governor-General's office in the other Commonwealth realms.[2]

In Canada, one can also receive a message from the Governor General for the 50th anniversary, and every 5th anniversary after that.[3]

The situation is similar in Australia, where one can receive a letter of congratulations from the Governor-General on the 50th and all subsequent wedding anniversaries; the Prime Minister, the federal Opposition leader, local members of parliament (both state and federal), and state Governors may also send salutations for the same anniversaries.[4]

In the United States, one can receive a greeting from the President for any wedding anniversary on or after the 50th.[5]

Roman Catholics may apply for a Papal blessing through their local diocese for wedding anniversaries of a special nature (25th, 50th, 60th, etc.).[6]

Celebration and gifts

The names of some anniversaries provide guidance for appropriate or traditional gifts for the spouses to give each other; if there is a party these can be brought by the guests or influence the theme or decoration. These gifts vary in different countries, but some years have well-established connections now common to most nations: 5th Wooden, 10th Tin, 15th Crystal, 20th China, 25th Silver, 30th Pearl, 40th Ruby, 50th Golden, 60th Diamond. The tradition may have originated in medieval Germany where, if a married couple lived to celebrate the 25th anniversary of their wedding, the wife was presented by her friends and neighbours with a silver wreath to congratulate them for the good fortune that had prolonged the lives of the couple for so many years. On celebration of the 50th, the wife received a wreath of gold. Over time the number of symbols expanded and the German tradition came to assign gifts that had direct connections with each stage of married life. The symbols have changed over time. For example in the United Kingdom, diamond was a well known symbol for the 75th anniversary, but this changed to the now more common 60th anniversary after Queen Victoria's 60 years on the throne was widely marked as her Diamond Jubilee.

Traditional and modern anniversary gifts

Lists of wedding anniversary gifts vary by country. The traditional and modern U.S. versions were compiled by librarians at the Chicago Public Library.[7][8][9][10] The origins of what is listed here as the "modern" US gift conventions date to 1937. Before that, only the 1st, 5th, 10th, 15th, 20th, 25th, 50th, and 75th anniversaries had an associated gift. In 1937, the American National Retail Jeweler Association (now known as Jewelers of America as a result of an organizational merger) introduced an expanded list of gifts. The revamped list gave a gift for each year up to the 20th, and then for every five-year anniversary after that. [11]

Year Traditional (U.S.) Traditional (UK)[12][13] Modern (U.S.)
1st Paper Cotton Clocks
2nd Cotton Paper China
3rd Leather Crystal, glass
4th Linen, silk Fruit and flowers Appliances
5th Wood Silverware
6th Iron Sugar Wood objects
7th Wool, copper Woollen Desk sets
8th Bronze Salt Linens, lace
9th Pottery Copper Leather goods
10th Tin/Aluminium Diamond
11th Steel Steel Fashion jewelry
12th Silk Silk and fine linen Pearls, colored gems
13th Lace Lace Textiles, furs
14th Ivory Ivory Gold jewelry
15th Crystal Watches
16th Silver holloware
17th Furniture
18th Porcelain
19th Bronze
20th China Platinum
21st Brass, nickel
22nd Copper
23rd Silver plate
24th Musical instruments
25th Silver
26th Original pictures
27th Sculpture
28th Orchids
29th New furniture
30th Pearl Diamond
31st Timepieces
32nd Conveyances
(e.g., automobiles)
33rd Amethyst
34th Opal
35th Coral, jade Coral Jade
36th Bone china
37th Alabaster
38th Beryl, tourmaline
39th Lace
40th Ruby
41st Land
42nd Improved real estate
43rd Travel
44th Groceries
45th Sapphire
46th Original poetry tribute
47th Books
48th Optical goods
(e.g., telescope, microscope)
49th Luxuries, any kind
50th Gold
55th Emerald Emerald
60th Diamond
65th Blue sapphire
70th Platinum[14][15][16]
75th Diamond, gold Diamond, gold
80th Oak[17][18] Diamond, pearl
85th Wine Diamond, sapphire
90th Stone Diamond, emerald
95th Diamond, ruby
100th Sky diving!

Flower gifts

Year Flower
1st Carnation
2nd Lily of the valley
3rd Sunflower
4th Hydrangea
5th Daisy
6th Calla
7th Freesia
8th Lilac
9th Bird of paradise
10th Daffodil
11th Tulip
12th Peony
13th Chrysanthemum
14th Dahlia
15th Rose
20th Aster
25th Iris
28th Orchid
30th Lily
40th Gladiolus
50th Yellow rose, violet

See also


  1. ^ "Who is entitled?". The Monarchy Today. Retrieved 6 April 2009. 
  2. ^ "Queen and anniversary messages". The Monarchy Today. Retrieved 6 April 2009. 
  3. ^ "Invite the Governor General" (Requires access). The Governor General of Canada. Retrieved 2 August 2010. 
  4. ^ "It's an Honour - Anniversary Messages". Australian Government. 25 January 2008. Retrieved 11 February 2008. 
  5. ^ "White House Greeting". The New York Times Company. Retrieved 3 February 2010. 
  6. ^ "To Request a Papal Blessing". The Roman Catholic Diocese of Tucson, Office of the Bishop. Retrieved 28 January 2008. 
  7. ^ "Wedding Anniversaries," compiled by librarians at the Chicago Public Library's Information Center (December 2000)
  8. ^ Anderson, Charles "The Exchange," RQ 25 (1985): 175
  9. ^ The World Almanac and Book of Facts, Mahwah, New Jersey: World Almanac Books, 1997.
  10. ^ World Book Encyclopedia, 1997 ed., s.v. "Wedding Anniversary"
  11. ^ Lee, Cookie (October 2001). Wedding Anniversaries: from Paper to Diamond. Ryland Peters & Small
  12. ^ Pears Cyclopaedia, 1978-79 edition, "Wedding Anniversaries." L128
  13. ^ "Traditional Wedding Anniversary Gifts (UK)". 2011. Retrieved 2 September 2011. "from Pears Cyclopaedia 1978-79 edition" 
  14. ^ "The platinum wedding anniversary of Jim and Gladys Till". Lancaster Guardian. 8 January 2008. Retrieved 2 September 2011. 
  15. ^ "Tenor and wife toast 70 years of marriage". North-West Evening Mail. 15 August 2008. Retrieved 2 September 2011. 
  16. ^ Travis, Jeff (29 July 2008). "They've been around the world in 70 years". The News (Portsmouth). Retrieved 2 September 2011. 
  17. ^ Miller, Vikki (24 May 2008). "Britain's longest married couple celebrate a quiet 80th anniversary". The Telegraph. 
  18. ^ "Facts and figures". Queen and anniversary messages. The Royal Household. 2011. Retrieved 2 September 2011. 

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • wedding anniversary — noun the anniversary of the day on which you were married (or the celebration of it) • Hypernyms: ↑anniversary, ↑day of remembrance • Hyponyms: ↑silver wedding anniversary, ↑golden wedding anniversary, ↑diamond wedding anniversary, ↑ …   Useful english dictionary

  • wedding anniversary — UK / US noun [countable] Word forms wedding anniversary : singular wedding anniversary plural wedding anniversaries a celebration of a number of years since two people were married …   English dictionary

  • wedding anniversary — the annual commemoration of a couple s marriage: a tenth wedding anniversary. [1690 1700] * * * …   Universalium

  • wedding anniversary — n. a diamond; golden; silver wedding anniversary * * * golden silver a diamond …   Combinatory dictionary

  • wedding anniversary — wedding anni,versary noun count a celebration of a number of years since two people were married …   Usage of the words and phrases in modern English

  • wedding anniversary — yearly return of the date of a couple s marriage day …   English contemporary dictionary

  • silver wedding anniversary — noun the 25th wedding anniversary • Hypernyms: ↑wedding anniversary * * * ˌsilver ˈwedding [silver wedding] (BrE) ( …   Useful english dictionary

  • ruby wedding anniversary — ˌruby ˈwedding [ruby wedding] (BrE) (US ˌruby anniˈversary) (also ˌruby ˈweddi …   Useful english dictionary

  • diamond wedding anniversary — noun the 60th wedding anniversary • Syn: ↑diamond wedding • Hypernyms: ↑wedding anniversary …   Useful english dictionary

  • golden wedding anniversary — noun the 50th wedding anniversary • Hypernyms: ↑wedding anniversary …   Useful english dictionary

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