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The summer is a really special time of the year for me. Not only is it the height of the wedding season but it is also when I celebrate my own wedding anniversary with my lovely husband. We had such a beautiful wedding day spent with all our friends and family and we love to look back on the day with great fondness.

Celebrating your wedding day (and more importantly the passing commitment of your marriage) is often celebrated with a specific gift based on the number of years you have been married. This tradition dates back to the Middle Ages and the gifts relate to bringing luck to the couple. The gifts increase in value to reflect the time that the couple have invested in their marriage and each other.

To mark our anniversary my 87 year old Nan (despite being self-titled Mad Nan) always gets it right with our anniversary gift. She still relies on her trusting diary and with the aid of the lists at the back can easily identify which gift corresponds to which anniversary. This year she bought us a beautiful pot plant, last year was leather bookmarks, before that was a sewing kit with cotton reels in it and she gave us books the first year.

I’m truly lucky to have seen both sets of my grandparents reach their diamond wedding anniversary (60th). A feat that will be harder for our generation to achieve so readily. Until their passing, it was a joy to see my grandparents walking down the promenade holding hands, or squeezing each other’s knees and still so much in love. On my wedding day, my grandfather (he’s now nearly 92) gave me away and his advice to a long and loving marriage was good communication. He said to keep talking about everything and never to go to bed on an argument.

I remember going to many silver and ruby family anniversaries as a child and thinking that it was such a long amount of time to have spent doing anything. They were always amazing occasions and sometimes the only time we saw some of our distant relatives. One set of my grandparents always had big wedding anniversary parties. I went to their 30th, 40th, 50th and 60th parties and it was so special to celebrate with them and see how much everyone had changed every 10 years. When my grandparents had their 50th anniversary we put together a big food hamper and had great fun collecting together any food and other products with gold in the title (Gold Blend, All Gold, Golden Syrup, Golden Wonder, St Ivel Gold, Golden Grahams etc. You’ll be looking now next time you’re in the supermarket!)

Lots of couples nowadays are choosing to renew their vows more often and have another wedding celebration, as well as having anniversary parties to mark milestone years.

Meanwhile, some other popular trends include buying your new spouse an 0th anniversary present which is a gift to celebrate your wedding day such as cuff links, jewellery or a photo album.

Another way to celebrate long marriages might be with an anniversary dance at a wedding instead of throwing the bouquet. This is when you ask couples to all enjoy a dance together on the dance floor. One by one, the couples are asked to sit down during the song based on the length of their time together. The last couple on the dance floor will be the longest-married couple and they receive the bouquet. What a wonderful way to celebrate their togetherness!

If you don’t have a paper diary with those handy reference pages then you might want to take a look below at our compiled list of both traditional and modern themes. Some of the gifts in the traditional column have options depending on which side of the pond you want to take inspiration from! There are also lists in my Mad Nan’s diary for which flowers to give as gifts depending on the wedding anniversary year, as well gemstone gifts per year. What a font of knowledge my Nan ends up being!

Year Traditional Modern
1st Paper Clock
2nd Cotton China
3rd Leather Crystal / Glass
4th Fruit / Flowers OR
Linen / Silk
5th Wood Silverware
6th Iron / Sweets Wood
7th Copper / Wool Desk Set
8th Salt / Bronze Linen/Lace
9th Willow / Pottery Leather
10th Aluminium / Tin Diamond
11th Steel Jewellery
12th Silk / Linen Pearls
13th Lace Textiles/Fur
14th Ivory Gold Jewellery
15th Crystal Watches
20th China Platinum
25th Silver Silver
30th Pearl Diamond
35th Coral Jade
40th Ruby Ruby
45th Sapphire Sapphire
50th Gold Gold
55th Emerald Emerald
60th Diamond Diamond
65th Blue Sapphire Blue Sapphire
70th Platinum Platinum
80th Oak Oak

Whether you’re celebrating your 0th anniversary, 25th, 30th, 40th or planning to make a new anniversary then we wish you a very happy one.