I was wondering why the 1st wedding anniversary is marked with a paper gift, I thought maybe it was something to do with the Victorians I have seen, who loved to send cards and give meaningful gifts. After a little web surfing, I found it was. According to an article in Time magazine BY MERRILL FABRY JULY 6 2017, gifts to mark the anniversaries began to be more popular as love match weddings became more popular. These matches were viewed as more unstable than the traditional arranged marriages so successful unions were worth celebrating. Merrill Fabry wrote that lists for Anniversary gifts started to appear in the 1800s,
“1859 edition, The (Old) Farmer’s Almanac counted off “one month from marriage makes a sugar wedding; one year makes a paper wedding” then wood at five, tin for ten, silver for 25, golden at 50, and diamond at 75”
The general opinion seems to be that paper represents the beginning of a marriage, your life together is a blank page for you to write your life events on. When you start out you don’t have much money and you might be starting out in your new home together. Longer lasting marriages are rewarded with richer gifts which seem to be the wrong way round to me. Wouldn’t it be better to give the more valuable gifts to the newer couple who are just starting out? It’s sad that bank cheques are being phased out, that would be a handy paper gift!
Thinking about it I suppose the main gift-givers would be the happy couple themselves, What about custom loo roll for the cash strapped, Or a cute carved book?
Just two of the ideas I found on Pinterest, there are many more suggestions for marking this marital milestone. The Victorians started a sweet tradition which I’m sure will continue if people fall in love and tie the knot.