Us oldies, occasionally forget that newly weds may not know the ins and outs of Wedding Anniversary etiquette so here’s a quick run down of the etiquette.
- Gift giving is not mandatory, commemorating the event however is highly desirable.
- Early years Anniversary celebrations are instigated, typically, by the couple, later major ones may be organised by the couples children.
- Every 5th year is considered a major milestone Anniversary
- The 25th, 40th, 50th and 60th are the years considered the Major Wedding Anniversaries.
- Traditionally if a gift is given then it is often themed or made of a specific material which differs for each year. The Traditional Wedding Anniversary List shows all these materials for each year.
- A Modern version of the traditional list was updated to produce a more comprehensive list to cover more anniversary years, this runs side by side with the traditional list allowing you to choose gifts from either list.
- Other organisations have release other Wedding Anniversary lists, the only other two that are notable are the Gemstone Anniversary List and the appropriate flower list.
That’s it really, if you still have an etiquette question surrounding a wedding anniversary then please check our etiquette section or drop us a line and we’ll try and help.
The earliest known references to celebrations for wedding anniversaries which have symbols associated within them we have found to date are to the Silver Wedding (25 years of marriage) and Golden Wedding (50th Wedding Anniversary).
Originating in the middle of Europe (Germany/Austrian Region) they involved the husband giving his wife a silver garland when they had been married for 25 years and a Gold garland when they had been married for 50 years.
One of the noteworthy things from the above is that the celebrations were termed the Silver Wedding and Golden Wedding with no reference to anniversary hence when celebrating any wedding anniversary that has a symbol associated with, it is appropriate to just call it by the material then wedding e.g. Silver Wedding for the 25th or Paper Wedding for the 1st Anniversary.
Thus, when people refer to the Golden Wedding Anniversary they are technically talking about a subsequent year after the event e.g. the anniversary of the Golden Wedding!
We’ve been continuing our investigations into what each Wedding Anniversary is called and why, we’ve noticed that Wikipedia have an entry stating that the 80th Anniversary is the Oak Anniversary.
Now we’ve got to say this just seems to be wrong! You’ve been married 80 years, you’ve celebrated your Silver, Golden, Ruby and Diamond Anniversaries and the next Anniversary you’ve to look forward to is Oak, sorry I don’t agree.
We’ve been looking into the references that they mention and it is basically one website (OK it’s the Royal Website) but it is just one site that mentions Oak and when it does it is almost a throw away comment so again Wikipedia has very shaky references.
We emailed the editor of the Royal Web site to see if they could provide further evidence of how and why they believe the Anniversary should be called the Oak Anniversary. They’ve not come back to us yet and that was over a month ago so I suspect we will not get a response until they read a post like this!
So should being married for 80 years be associated with Oak, personally I don’t think so, if anything such a celebration should be given a symbol that has more gravitas.
Our personal favourite is Palladium
Why is this our favourite, well its quite easy really; Palladium is one of the newest precious metals known, given that we now live longer and people are more likely to live long enough to celebrate their 80th Anniversary then these are effectively new events and hence the two match each other well on this fact. Palladium is also relatively rare such as 80th Anniversaries are and hence again they naturally match each other.
Who knows as we all live longer there may be a call to give the 90th Anniversary a name perhaps by then we could use Unobtainium as the symbol!
What do you think, should we use Palladium as the symbol for the 80th Anniversary? Leave a comment to join in the conversation.