Wedding Anniversaries

Anniversary gifts-5thThe exchanging or giving of wedding anniversary gifts is a tradition. So much so there is a list of ‘traditional’ anniversary gifts based on the number of years married and then the list of ‘modern’ anniversary gifts for each year.

The list does each year from #1 to #15 then every five years. On this date, August 27th – is my 31st wedding anniversary. A gift of pearl (traditional) or diamond (modern) would be for a 30th anniversary, but what of the next four years? You can research it online. For the 31st – it is a time piece.

Anniversary gifts

This tradition has its beginning in medieval Germany where, if a married couple lived to celebrate the 25th anniversary of their wedding (which was rare), the wife was presented by her friends and neighbors with a silver wreath to congratulate them for the good fortune that had prolonged the lives of the couple for so many years. On celebration of the 50th, the wife received a wreath of gold. Over time the number of symbols expanded and the German tradition came to assign gifts that had direct connections with each stage of married life. The symbols have changed over time and with different cultures.

anniversary-BakemanIn more recent times we do think of couples married for 70 to 80 years. The record of the longest marriage goes to a New York couple; Daniel F. Bakeman and his wife Susan Brewer Bakeman who were married 91 years and 12 days. Their wedding was August 29, 1772 – yes before the American Revolutionary War! His wife died in 1863 at the age of 105 and Daniel in 1869 at the age of 109.

A living couple with the next longest are from England. They are Karam and Kartari Chand, who married December 11, 1925 making them married over 88 years.

A special service in the United States is to get anniversary greetings from the US President in office. anniversary-invitation If you have a relative or yourself who will have a 50th or longer anniversary, contact the White House Correspondence Office’s fax number — 1-202-456-2461  or send a written request to: Greetings Office at the White House, The White House, 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Washington, D.C. 20500. Provided all details; full names, wedding date, anniversary number, address of the couple and your name and phone number.

Be creative in ideas for a couple celebrating an anniversary. A special ornament with the wedding date is nice. anniverary photo Also a cake decorated with icing of their wedding day photo. Or encourage them to get new professional photos taken of the couple.

anniversary-heartsEach anniversary is a treasure. See who on your family tree was married the longest.

Photos: Fifth Year Anniversary gift – wood and Daniel F. Bakeman.

Related genealogy blogs from

Family History at Your Wedding

Female Ancestors


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