Photo by Nathan Nowack

So somewhere along the line, the middle ages more specifically, anniversary gifts started to follow a theme.  Some say it dates back to the Germanic period of Middle Europe when couples would celebrate their silver 25th and gold 50th.  The origin can’t really be verified, but all we know is that gifts for anniversaries to bride and groom from each other, and from friends and family have become a fairly important part of that anniversary that we hope to remember every year.  There are multiple lists, some by the Chicago Public Library and some by the United Kingdom.   You can ask anyone and I’m sure you could get different answers.  But we here at Wedding-Bros wanted to find the most accurate list we could, so here it is.  And also read some of how they came to be.

“Emily Post listed “eight anniversaries know to all” in her 1922 Blue Book of Social Usage [listing 1st, 5th, 10th, 15th, 20th, 25th, 50th, and 75th anniversaries]. Mrs. Post then went on to report that “until comparatively modern times, the eight anniversaries were all that were acknowledged.” She then recognized the trend toward celebrating additional anniversaries and listed a symbolic anniversary gift for each of the first fifteen years of marriage and one for every five years after that. This is the basis for the lists we use today.”
Source: Robin A. King, Happy Anniversary! A Guide to Fun and Romantic Anniversary Celebrations, page xi.

Then a few years after this additional dates were listed.  And no, it wasn’t by Hallmark.

“Prior to 1937, only the 1st, 5th, 10th, 15th, 20th, 25th, 50th, and 75th anniversary had a material associated with it. In 1937, the American National Retail Jeweler Association issued a more comprehensive list, which associated a material for each anniversary year up to the 20th and then each fifth year after that up to the 75th, with the exception of the 65th.” Source: Cookie Lee,Wedding Anniversaries: from paper to diamond, page 61.

Now if you find yourself struggling with this list, you probably need to be a little more creative.  No, she doesn’t want a piece of paper from you on your first Anniversary like just a card or anything.  Maybe give her paper tickets to her favorite concert or paper tickets to Hawaii.  Now if you think China is outdated and never something you’d buy, then how about a trip TO China?  I’m sure if you switch between Traditional and Modern, she won’t mind.

All in all, these lists may be very important or not at all, so you could always bring it up as far as each others expectations for each year.  I’m sure if you don’t get her a wood carving for your 5th anniversary, she won’t be disappointed.  But just to be safe, get her something every year.  Yes, EVERY Year!!!

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