Many of the gifts given in celebration of wedding anniversaries are linked to a list of traditional anniversary gifts composed by wedding etiquette expert Emily Post in 1922 and expanded in 1957. Use these tips to give meaningful, traditional gifts in celebration of a couple's first, fifth, or 10th wedding anniversary and use the references and resources cited to think of traditional gift ideas suitable to other wedding anniversaries as well.
The traditional gift associated with the first wedding anniversary is paper. According to Ann Field and Gretchen Scoble, authors of The Meaning of Wedding Anniversaries, "For the first anniversary, the fragile, transitory symbol of paper represents the delicate nature of a new relationship." For the couple who weathered a long-distance relationship by writing love letters, celebrating their paper anniversary might mean exchanging personalised stationary sets. A thoughtful gift from a husband who knows that his wife loves flowers, but hates to see them wilt, might be a long-lasting vase of paper roses. A wife might get her husband of one year tickets to a favourite sporting event or concert. Other traditional first year wedding anniversary gifts might include a cookbook, a magazine subscription or an invitation to a weekend getaway.
The traditional gift associated with the fifth wedding anniversary is wood. As suggested on the Perfect Anniversary Gifts website, give a married couple seeds to plant a tree together. Explain in a card that an oak tree should signify the strength of the couple's union or that a pine tree, "whose boughs never wither, represents [the couple's] ever-living love for one another." Other gift ideas for the fifth anniversary include a piece of wooden furniture, a wooden jigsaw puzzle, a wooden photo frame or a hiking trip in the forest.
The traditional gift associated with the 10th wedding anniversary is tin or aluminium. According to Ann Field and Gretchen Scoble, "Although tin itself is a soft metal, it forms alloys with other metals ... creating durable goods of pewter or bronze." This mix of two weaker things to create something strong makes tin an ideal symbol for marriage. Gift ideas in celebration of the 10th anniversary include a vase of aluminium roses, or an aluminium vase full of fresh roses, a tin case full of tasty treats or a personalised aluminium plaque displaying the couple's last name and the anniversary date.
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- The Meaning of Wedding Anniversaries; Ann Fields and Gretchen Scoble; 2004
- Perfect Anniversary Gifts: Fifth (5th) Anniversary Gift Ideas
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- Perfect Anniversary Gifts: Tenth (10th) Anniversary Gift Ideas