Wedding Anniversary Ideas

Originally a way of marking seasonal changes, it was in Medieval Europe that anniversaries evolved into a way of celebrating a couple’s commitment and dedication to one another. Like many modern customs, it was the Germans who founded traditions such as exchanging cards and giving flowers and sweets.

A change of season would have been marked in pagan tradition with the creation of a wreath assembled from seasonal foliage. Exactly when this gesture extended to anniversaries is unknown but by the middle ages, German ladies were presenting their friends who had been married for 25 or 50 years with silver and gold wreaths respectively. Clearly far from being a recent phenomenon, Victorian England found the concept of celebrating a couples commitment both quaint and appealing, developing what they perceived as an ancient custom into the internationally known and loved tradition that is held today.

Victorian England loved the tradition of gift-giving relating to the specific number of years the couple had been married for, with the gifts a way of recognising and rewarding stability and love. The longer the marriage, the greater that reward should be; hence the growing value of the gift, from tin on the tenth anniversary to gold on the fiftieth. It was felt that the gift should become more precious to reflect the couple’s deepening commitment to one another.

In 1897 Queen Victoria used the diamond to celebrate her Sixtieth year of reign, thus prompting the diamond to be used to mark sixtieth year wedding anniversaries. (It had previously been 75.) By the time of the inter-war years of the 20th Century the tradition had taken on a life of its own with fifth, twentieth, seventieth year anniversaries and literally every year in between!

The custom has continued to evolve from those Victorian sensibilities and it is not unusual for modern anniversaries to be celebrated with a ceremony and a renewal of the couple’s wedding vows.

In fact as the tradition grows older, the ways of marking the occasion tend to become all the more inventive. However, there are one or two ways which luckily, never get too old or too clichéd; a romantic night away in a top-notch hotel, being waited on hand and foot with just one another for company. What better way to celebrate an anniversary could there possibly be?

If you have a landmark anniversary coming up that you would like to celebrate with friends and family, simply contact British History Breaks with your brief and we’ll develop a bespoke and memorable event.

Wedding Party Inspiration

  • An a la carte dinner in one of Luton Hoo Hotel’s private dining rooms, with bespoke menus available for 12 to 120 guests
  • A medieval banquet at Thornbury Castle for 20 to 60 people with costumes available to help your guests get into the mood 
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