Thursday, 12 August 2010

Wedding Anniversary Gifts, The Early Years

Hi Anne-Marie from Handmade by Amor here. Summer time is a great time to list bridal items in your shop. So it follows that it’s also a good time to consider wedding anniversaries too.

Though unhitched (yet still open to the ya heeeear me Prince Charming?), I find symbolic wedding anniversary gifts a little intriguing. It can do no harm to know what represents each year of wedlock, even if only for tagging purposes. So I thought I’d do a series of articles around the subject and see what related goodies are on offer from the Crafty Ireland Team.

The origin of symbolic wedding anniversary gifts dates back to the middle ages. Apparently the tradition began in the Germanic region of mediaeval Europe. Up until the 1930s, only the early years of marriage and the big milestones were represented. Over the last 80 years the ‘official’ anniversary gift lists have expanded to include the years in between. This is, admittedly, largely due to the retail industry.

Naturally, customs vary from culture to culture. I am basing this series principally (and loosely) on traditions in this corner of the world and the USA. I will not, however, be exploring each and every anniversary year or I will die an old maid at my keyboard.

In the USA, paper is traditionally associated with the first anniversary and cotton is given on the second. It is the other way round in the UK and Ireland, cotton being first. However, there seems to be leeway to follow either list in this country.

A search for cotton items turned up this unique wedding pillow from Barbara Murray.

Cotton is a natural fibre derived from the cotton shrub. It was first cultivated in the Indian subcontinent circa 7000 years ago. Spun into a thread or yarn, today it is the widest used natural fibre around the world. Cotton was first woven in Ireland in the late 18th century.

Seemingly this material represents durability and versatility, qualities said to help cement the marriage.

Well, your beloved wont be sprinting away if you give him this ‘running man’ t-shirt from Green works.

And listen up men folk, though pearls are well established as the gift for the 30th anniversary, they are also the gem for the 1st one. This post on types of pearls may be of use.

Modern gifts for the first anniversary now also include all sorts of domestic appliances and clocks.

The word ‘paper’ comes via the Egyptians who made a writing material from papyrus leaves. However, it is the Chinese who are credited with truly inventing the first paper as we know it.
Paper is said to represent growing strength in the relationship. I gather it has something to do with interwoven fibres.

It was hard to choose from all the fabulous paper items on offer, but this collage from Iris O’Connor caught my eye.

If your beloved is a dog lover, this oh-so-cute painting by Diana Marshall may appeal.

If you are taking the jewellery route, red Garnet is the gem for the second anniversary.
Modern gifts for year two lean towards china or porcelain such as these tasteful porcelain coasters by Living Ginger Designs.

Finally, I found lots of beautiful handmade cards and wrapping paper from the team. This vintage card from Mariposa Vintage made me chuckle.

If you are celebrating, then all that remains is to bid you a Happy Anniversary!


  1. I want those coasters.

    Great post, Anne-Marie!

  2. Wonderful article, and such great gift ideas!

    I can see an article emerging about gifts for the still unhitched ;)

    *tries to kiss that frog...mwhaaah!*

  3. What a well written article!
    Of course I had to look up 13th wedding anniversary and apparently my better half was supposed to give me frilly undies aka 'Lace'

    I think I want to kiss that frog too....what happend to him Purls????

    off to investigate the above mentioned shops---->

    And thank you Anne-Marie for including my collage ♥

  4. Love your theme, better get smooching that frog if you are hoping to find a prince charming out there though they might be in short supply!
    Thanks for including my naughty puppy painting.

  5. Cool stuff, that card from Mariposa is hilarious. I was just in Oughterard last month, it's awesome how Etsy has spread to all these little corners of the world

  6. Really enjoyed reading this! Very cool finds!

  7. Thanks a million for including a set of my Porcelain Coasters- they do make a great Anniversary or wedding present and I have sold a few for that very reason...great article

  8. What an interesting post, thank you. See some of you this Saturday?

  9. thank you and to those featured, you're welcome. I found so many lovely items I got distracted and nearly forgot I was 'researching.'

    And you know, Mr Froggie has his merits and is quite a charming cheeky chappy ;-)

  10. That frog hopped away! Hrmph!

    Yay, roll on Saturday! Dublin here I come :)

  11. Interesting article and the logic behind some of the traditional anniversary gifts.

    Cool finds too from the team - but then we are a talented bunch ;)

    Thanks for including my running man.

  12. I making the most of your post a considerable measure.1st wedding aninersary Presently the photograph cover is additionally a superb 1st wedding aninersary for a recently wedded couple.

  13. Ah! This was definitely needed. I am getting married next month in one of the San Francisco wedding venues and I have already started about the anniversary gifts. I will have to bookmark this page for future. Thanks a lot for sharing this post, I will have to think less now.