Wedding anniversaries: a proper name and meaning for every occasion

Did you know that each passing year there’s a different name and signification for the wedding anniversary?

Picture of a couple, anniversary

A lot of marriage anniversaries are celebrated as if one got married again, through a ceremony equal to the first one, to consolidate in a symbolic way a happy and  lasting relationship. But what is the meaning of every wedding anniversary and how are they celebrated?

During a wedding anniversary ceremony one gives and gets presents, party favors or congratulations which bear significations that go back generations. It became traditional in medieval Germany, when families and friends, to celebrate their 25 years of marriage, honoured the bride by putting a silver crown on her head to congratulate each other.

At 50 years of marriage, however, a gold crown was given. The two crowns respectively symbolised the silver wedding anniversary and the golden wedding anniversary. Like all world traditions, much of this custom has been transmitted to the present day, when giving a present to the bride and groom is a comon and proper thing to do. Throughout history the wedding gifts consisted of various materials chosen on the basis of the anniversary celebrating the strength and stability of the couple. Nowadays the names of the wedding anniversaries  correspond to the types of materials traditionally given for the occasion. The selected materials range from the most fragile to the rigidest, from the lightest to the heaviest, from the simpliest to the most sophisticated and so on.

From the 1st to the 25th anniversary the materials are distributed like this:

1st  – paper

2nd – cotton

3rd – leather

4th –  linen

5th –  wood

6th –  iron

7th –  wool

8th – bronze

9th – clay

10th – aluminium

11th – steel

12th – silk

13th – lace

14th – ivory

15th – chrystal

16th – ivy

17th – violet

19th –quartz

20th – china

21st – oak

22nd – copper

23rd – water

24th – granite

25th – silver

From 25 to 50 years of marriage you start to reach an excellent achievement, namely one of stability and constancy, but above all a stage of life which is more conscious, more peaceful and  more consolidated. Also in this case the chosen materials correspond to the name of the occasion and its signification:

26th – rose

27th – jet

28th – amber

29th – granite

30th – pearl

31st – ebony

32nd – copper

33rd – tin

34th – ampoule

35th – coral

36th – silica

37th – stone

38th – jade

39th – agate

40th – esmerald

41st – topaz

42nd – jasper

43rd – opal

44th – turquoise

45th – ruby

46th – mother-of-pearl

47th –amethyst

48th –feldspar

49th – zircon

50th – gold

With over 50 years of marriage you reach real high levels, evidence of a story bound to last forever. The emotion of 50 years  spent together, as if you were a real team, celebrating loudly the stability of a half-century old love story.

55th – emerald

60th – diamond

65th – platinum

70th – titanium

75th – brilliant

80th – oak

85th – marble

90th  – granite

And if you might ask yourselves if somebody really reached the venerable milestone of 90 years of marriage, the answer is yes. The oldest couples of the world exist and come from different locations like China (Liu Fuben, 109 years old, and Shi Jijui, 108, married for 85 years and in the Guinness Book of World Records) and England (Karam Chand and his wife Kartari, of Bradford, West Yorkshire, married for almost over 90 years).

A day to celebrate a partnership, an occasion to remember a pact made years before and still vivid in their hearts. Signification, mood, recall, theme: call it what you want, so long as it’s part of an memorable day.


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About Author: Matteo Mario

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