History of Anniversary Gifts
After hours spent in musty library stacks researching the 'Why' behind the materials and their years, this is what we've found...
"The practice of giving peculiar gifts on various wedding anniversaries originated in Central Europe. Among the medieval Germans it was customary for friends to present a wife with a wreath of silver when she had lived with her husband twenty-five years. The silver symbolized the harmony that was assumed to be necessary to make so many years of matrimony possible. On the fiftieth anniversary of a wedding the wife was presented with a wreath of gold. Hence arose 'silver wedding' and 'golden wedding.' This practice, borrowed from the Germans, has been elaborated upon in modern times"- INFORMATION ROUNDUP by George Stimpson (1948)
"Although the first anniversary is considered the paper or plastic one, the second, cotton and so on, it is not mandatory that the gift be of the "appropriate" material or composition for the specific year. The exception is in the case of the tenth (tin or aluminum) and twenty-fifth, which is known as the "silver anniversary." In these cases, the gift usually "goes" with the anniversary. For other years it is equally correct, and often more interesting, to buy what seems appropriate for the particular couple and carry out the theme in the wrapping or decorating of the package. Thus a gift for the seventh anniversary could be wrapped in copper-colored paper, a lace handkerchief might decorate the package for the thirteenth, and so on."-TIQUETTE FOR MODERNS by Elinor Ames (1965)
Do you have more information on the background of the other years? Just email us and we'd be happy to include it.