Wedding anniversaries in the USA
Grooms and brides - the longer a marriage lasts the more in awe you are how is it possible that two people are with each other for so long. After all, there are no perfect people so these couples have to somehow learn to live with an imperfect person. But the number of happy and old marriages proves that it is possible and the eagerness and joy of young marriages give hope for the future. Therefore, to celebrate such marriages, gifts were, and are, presented for wedding anniversaries. Of course, the bigger the anniversary, the greater the gift. Obviously, nowadays, the gifts are completely unrelated to that traditional list because of the modern assumption that a gift has to be useful and not symbolic as it was in the past. Therefore, wedding anniversaries have been given names after traditional gifts presented to the couple. See the list to learn what were these gifts.
The first anniversary was never considered as a very important. That is why paper was presented to the couple. Notice, that with each anniversary the gifts consisted of more and more valuable goods, which is why the first one was rewarded by paper, the value of which is rather low. On the way to the next yardstick, 5th anniversary, cotton, leather, and linen were given respectively. For the aforementioned 5th anniversary, wood was given. Notice that although wood has never been significantly valuable it symbolizes toughness and resilience. Therefore, people recognized five-year old marriages as more durable than the younger ones. On the was to the next yardstick, iron, wool, copper, and pottery were presented. Notice how the value of gifts increase steadily over these nine years. Then, on the 10th anniversary, couples were given aluminium. Again, another symbol of durability and something much more valuable then wood. Another presents on the way to the next milestone included: steel, silk, lace, and ivory. Notice how long a marriage had to wait to get gifts that are very often presented for the first five anniversaries. Then we reach 15th anniversary which was celebrated by presenting crystal. From that point, people no longer recognized the importance of anniversaries that were not the multiple of five. Therefore, the next celebration was held during the 20th anniversary. This time, china was presented to a couple. Image, a couple had to wait 20 years to get one of the most popular presents even for the first anniversary.
The next one was the 25th anniversary - the silver one. Marriages that old were cosidered to be finally strong and durable enough to be worthy of the most valuable substances. That is why silver was goven to for this celebration. Then, there is the 30th anniversary which was ornamented by presenting pearls. The 35th year of marriage was rewarded by giving jade to a couple, for the 40th one, ruby. If the marriage managed to last for another five years it was rewarded by sapphire.
And in this way we have finally arrived to the most popular anniversary, the 50th one that is called also the golden anniversary. As the name implies, gold was given for that occasion, a substance that has always been considered to be one of the most valuable ones. But that is not the last anniversary on our list. People who managed to be with each other for 55 years could cound on getting an emerald gift. Five years later, it was a diamond, the most valuable precious stone in existence. Obviously, it was not that easy to get there simply because of the fact that relatively rarely both spouses live for so long. But that is still not the end of the list. Although in the US the 70th anniversary was not traditionaly celebrated by any specific gift, in the UK platinum was presented, the most precious metal we know. In the US, on the other hand, the 75th anniversary wasofficialy recognized and guess what was presented - diamond and gold. Finally, if a marriage managed to last for 80 years in the UK, and therefore in some places in the US as well, it could count on getting an oak. Now, you may ask yourself why oak, diamonds and gold are much more valuable. But remember that these gifts were also symbollic and what else, apart from an 80-years-old marriage, symbolizes resilience and stability as well as an oak tree does.
As you have probably noticed, the second half of this list has made it to the modern times. Only the beginning of it was altered, as it was already mentioned, because of the change of focus from symbolism to utilitarianism. But you will probably agree that even the bigger reward than gold, diamonds, and other valuable things is your spouse's love that have been accompanying you for so long.