Weddings & Anniversaries

 

With the traditional wedding season upon us, many couples also find themselves celebrating their anniversaries and wish to give each other gifts to celebrate. When seeking inspiration many look to the lists of materials that are assigned to each year. This list varies from country to country but a common theme is that the gifts are made of more fragile materials in the beginning and more solid, valuable substances as the years pass, in recognition of the fact that the marriage has endured. The logic of presenting gifts was that stability deserves a reward and the more solid the stability, the greater should be the reward. The most impressive of years - the sixtieth anniversary - is celebrated with diamonds, which are a symbol of purity and hardness. It is also the reason why they are given as part of the wedding ring, with hope that the marriage will be as enduring as the diamond. The tradition of giving a married couple a gift on certain milestone anniversaries of their marriage, can be dated back to medieval Germany where, if a married couple was able to celebrate the silver jubilee (25 years) of their wedding, the bride was presented by friends and neighbours with a silver crown, partly to congratulate her for the good fortune that had prolonged the life of the partners for many years, and partly in recognition of the fact that the happily wedded couple had enjoyed a harmonious relationship. In celebrating the fiftieth anniversary, the woman was traditionally given a gold crown. These anniversaries were henceforth known as the silver wedding and golden wedding day respectively. It is possible that this act of crowning with a wreath may date back even beyond the Middle Ages to the Roman era. With the passage of time and the growth of commercialism, the number of symbols used has increased and the German tradition of assigning specific gifts that have direct connection with each of the stages of life has expanded throughout the Western world. The names given to these anniversaries provide a guide for appropriate gifts by one spouse to the other, or if there is a party, these gifts can be given by the guests. Also the name can influence the theme of decoration used in the party. As an alternative to a gift for very enduring couples, you can also seek blessings or greetings from significant figures. For example, the faithful Roman Catholic can, through their local bishops, send the request for a Papal blessing for the anniversary of their special wedding anniversaries. And in the Commonwealth, a couple can request a greeting in writing from the British monarch to celebrate their wedding on 60th, 65th, 70th anniversaries. In Canada, you can request a greeting from the Governor General from the 50th onwards, as you can request from the United States President from the 50th onwards. Many traditions are specific to different countries. For example, in Northern Germany it is customary for the friends and family of the couple to celebrate their 12½ year anniversary by giving them a parsley bouquet. A surprise celebration may involve a barbecue and a beer garden. Also very popular is to wake the couple with breakfast in bed. In Asia, people also celebrate wedding an niversaries, but many follow a tradition based on numerology. According to numerology, certain wedding anniversaries are lucky while others are unlucky. And how you celebrate depends on whether you are marking a lucky wedding anniversary or an unlucky one. Wedding anniversaries that are multiples of 4 are considered very lucky but odd years are considered unlucky and so are ignored. So the traditional Western landmark of the 25th Silver anniversary is not celebrated in Asia as it is an odd number. The passing of another year together marks a deepening of the couple’s commitment, an accumulation of time irreplaceable. We think each and every wedding anniversary deserves to be celebrated in a memorable way, whether or not that involves gift giving. When you celebrate your wedding anniversary each year it is an annual renewal of your commitment to one another and a special time to remember your time together so far and to consider the wonderful future that lies ahead.