A little bit of History

Wedding Anniversaries

Wedding AnniversariesAnniversaries are chances to renew our love and commitment and express appreciation to each other.

It is thought that the origins of wedding anniversaries date back to Medieval times. During this period, to mark the 25th anniversary, husbands would crown their wives with a silver wreath and on the 50th anniversary, a gold wreath.

Anniversary Symbols

Wedding AnniversariesIn the United Kingdom, diamond was a well known symbol for the 75th anniversary, but this changed in 1897 to mark the 60th anniversary after Queen Victoria's 60 years on the throne was widely marked as her Diamond Jubilee.

It appears that the American author Emily Post was the first to publish a list of suggested anniversary gifts in her book “Etiquette in Society, in Business, in Politics and at Home” published in 1922.


1 year, paper
5 years, wood
10 years, tin
15 years, crystal
20 years, china
25 years, silver
50 years, gold
75 years, diamond

Wedding anniversaries are celebrated in any number of ways. The “party” may be one of two alone or it may be a dance. Most often it is a dinner, and occasionally, an afternoon tea.

When her book was reprinted in 1957, that list was expanded to include gift recommendations for each of the first 15 years and for every five years after that. In the 1960’s the idea of giving Anniversary presents for years other than 25th, 50th and 60th seeped into English culture and have remained in place ever since.

The anniversaries listed below are a useful guide, and may help with the selection of appropriate gifts:

Anniversary Gift
1st Paper
2nd Cotton
3rd Leather
4th Fruit, flowers
5th Wood
6th Sugar
7th Copper, wool
8th Bronze, pottery
9th Pottery, willow
10th Tin
11th Steel
12th Silk, linen
13th Lace
14th Ivory
15th Crystal
20th China
25th Silver
30th Pearl
35th Coral
40th Ruby
45th Sapphire
50th Gold
55th Emerald
60th Diamond
70th Platinum

The Oldest Married Couple

Wedding AnniversariesKaram Chand, 109, and his wife Katari, 102, reached this remarkable milestone on 11th December when they celebrated their 89th wedding aniversary.

Mr and Mrs Chang were married in India at a Sikh ceremony on December 11 1925 when the country was under British rule, making them the UK's longest married couple. The couple moved to Bradford, West Yorkshire, in 1965 and have eight children, 27 grandchildren and 23 great-grandchildren.

A message from the Queen

For many people, receiving a congratulatory card from The Queen to mark a significant wedding anniversary is a very special part of their celebrations.Wedding Anniversaries
Since 1917, the Sovereign has sent congratulatory messages to people celebrating their diamond wedding (60th), 65th, 70th wedding anniversaries and every year thereafter.

The Queen's congratulatory message consists of a card that comes in a special envelope which is delivered through Royal Mail. The delivery of messages is arranged by the Anniversaries Office, part of the Private Secretary's Office in the Royal Household, based at Buckingham Palace.