Wedding anniversaries celebrate the love and commitment of a married couple on the day of their nuptials each year. Gift giving is a traditional way to celebrate a wedding anniversary. The history of anniversary gift giving dates back to Medieval times. You can choose from traditional, contemporary, floral or gem anniversary gifts, all of which correlate to a specific anniversary year.
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Traditionally, anniversary gifts corresponded with number of years married. This type of gift giving dates back to Central Europe in Medieval Germany. Friends and family adorned the couple with wreaths symbolising the time the woman spent with her husband. While the wreath gesture went wayside, society adopted material and items to correspond to a married couple's years together. Traditional wedding anniversary gifts include paper for the first year, cotton for the second, leather for the third, fruit and flowers for the fourth, wood for the fifth and candy for the sixth year.
Anniversary gift giving modernised in line with the contemporary technological society. While gifts still correspond with number of years married, the materials differ slightly from traditional notions to reflect the needs and values of contemporary society. Modern anniversary gifts include brass for the seventh year instead of copper and wool, pottery for the eighth rather than bronze, willow for the ninth instead of pottery and aluminium for the tenth rather than tin. Modern anniversary gifts do not necessarily include the exact material but incorporate it in the presentation. For instance, for the 12th anniversary gift, wrap any item with a lace ribbon to incorporate the corresponding material.
Types of flowers correspond to years married in regards to wedding anniversary gifts. The morning glory represents 11 years, peony for 12, rose for 15, iris for 25 and sweet pea for 30. In addition, the colour of roses also signifies different meanings. A red rose signifies love, purple rose means enchantment and light pink roses signify grace. Also, a gift of a single rose translates to "I love you."
Similar to birth stones, some gemstones correlate to number of years married for gift giving. Anniversary stones often come on anniversary rings but can easily adapt to any type of jewellery. You can build on the first anniversary stone gift by adding a new gemstone to the jewellery piece annually that correlates with years married. For example, a five-year necklace complete with gold for year one, garnet for year two, pearls for the third year, blue topaz for year four and sapphire for the fifth year. Other gemstones include emerald for 35 years, ruby for 40 years and diamond for 60 years.
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