Wedding anniversary traditions

By Hallmark staff on July 21st, 2021
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Celebrating anniversaries has always been a popular custom. Early reasons to celebrate were linked to cycles of life: seed time, harvest time, the changing of seasons and life events—the wedding, for example. The anniversary of the wedding day became a legitimate reason to celebrate.

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According to Hallmark research, the custom of associating silver with the 25th wedding anniversary and gold with the 50th wedding anniversary appear to have originated in the Germanic region of Middle Europe. The silver anniversary included a husband giving his wife a silver garland when they had been married 25 years. On the 50th anniversary, the husband gave the wife a wreath of gold.

Currently, two diamond anniversaries are celebrated—one at 60 and one at 75 years. The 75th anniversary is the original diamond anniversary and the 60th was added when Queen Victoria (English Empire Monarch) celebrated her Diamond Jubilee on her 60th anniversary of accession to the throne in 1897.

Want to learn more about anniversary traditions? Check the list of traditional and modern anniversary gifts by year.

Did you know?

  • More than 2 million marriages occur in the United States each year. (Source: National Center for Health Statistics, 2009)
  • Couples often keep the anniversary cards they give to each other, and the resulting collection becomes a chronicle of their love over time, according to Hallmark consumer research.
  • 50th anniversary cards are popular and have been since 1991 when World War II couples began reaching their 50-year milestone.
  • Hallmark began creating wedding and anniversary cards in the early 1920s.
  • A Hallmark wedding-vows renewal card was first offered in 2001, reflecting the trend in vow renewal ceremonies.