In the late-19th century (the Victorian era), English-speaking regions began to give gifts for anniversaries. This was in part because the Victorians started to marry for love and this worried the traditional, conservative society. The society elite were concerned that couples who married for love wouldn’t stay married and placed an emphasis on building love and commitment became paramount.
Fast forward to today - traditionally, there are certain gifts that are given by couples at specific anniversary years. For example, a first anniversary is celebrated with a paper gift and fifth anniversary is celebrated with wood. I imagine I’m not the only one who has referred to a list like this one to figure out what gift to give a couple for their anniversary.
Celebrating wedding anniversaries dates back to Ancient Rome and and medieval Germany. Gift giving for anniversaries wasn’t well documented till about the 18th century in Germany. Germans would gift a couple celebrating their 25th anniversary with a wreath of silver or gold wreath for the couple’s 50th anniversary.
Nowadays it is much more common for couples to create their own traditions and gifts to celebrate anniversaries. My grandparents gave each other a gift on the 16th of every month (August 16th was their wedding date) to celebrate their love and commitment to one another. Others go on a special date night, vacation, and some visit my studio to create an anniversary ring.
I love working with couples who are celebrating their anniversary! It is incredibly special to see these couples so deeply in love years after they’ve said “I do.” It is clear they feel love and commitment to each other as deeply as they did on their wedding day.