The holding of celebrations on the anniversaries of different epochs of Married Life has become a very pleasant feature of modern times from our research it appears these were popularised in the Victorian era. These celebrations appear to be larger and more lavish than nowadays.
The earlier celebrations for wedding anniversaries bring out lots of happy jollity and kindheartedness. While those pertaining to longer marriages, when the crumbling milestones remind all of the years that have passed on the travel to the “Sweet By and By” are often made the occasion of a deal of sobered pleasure and deep thankfulness, as reminiscences of many merciful “Providences” offset the inevitable mischances that have beset even the happiest journey through life.
We found a Poem for a Wooden-Wedding Celebration (Fifth Anniversary) from an American book published in 1878:
Five times bright Sol his annual course has run
Since these two loving hearts were joined as one.
[And many times the Moon had filled her horn,
Till unto them a blessed smiling babe was born.]*
The pretty wife’s bright eyes, smooth cheeks, attest,
That he has done in all his very best
To make the happiest hours of all her life
Those she has spent with him as his dear wife.
While his most mirthful talk and cheery laugh
Prove she has been to him, a “better half.”
Now for the Presents: Ah, a small girl’s hoop;
The next—a maple flour or sugar scoop;
A cradle (rather late) but ’twill not shock her
(In such a one the “Godlike” Dan slept—may be.)
And here, behold, a handsome Boston rocker, [baby]
Which might have soothed even “Wendell”—when, a
What next? Ah, truly, that’s “the rub,”
For one kind friend has sent a washing-tub.
A market-basket,—may it be full always.
A Noah’s Ark, for future Barnum’s play,
When the boy drops “long clothes,” to don his pants,
and, like his papa, “sees the elephants.”
Of matches, kindling-wood, a goodly stock ;
And here (Spring’s harbinger) a cuckoo-clock.
Oh, may its full-voiced echo every chime
Record the passing of a blessed time.
Boxes to hold the varied odorous spice,
Which renders pies and cakes so very nice;
A rosewood desk, whose black and ruddy streaks
Like raven hair and maiden’s crimson cheeks ;
And now—in nursery to raise a battle —
Here is a genuine small watchman’s rattle.
And there, a thing (we don’t mean to speak evil),
But it does seem to raise the very devil!
At least it closely favours Satan’s shape—-
Although, they say, it represents an ape!
A rolling-pin, the flaky paste to mould ;
A chopping-bowl, the dubious hash to hold ;
A salad spoon and fork; a butter-dasher;
And every lady likes to see a “masher”;
Rollers for towels by the kitchen door;
And brooms and brushes for the kitchen floor-
All these, and many more, are now in vogue,
But we’ve not- space to give a catalogue.
*If the Couple had children then the text in square brackets  was left in.
For a list of up to date gift ideas try our 5th Wedding Anniversary gift ideas