Wedding Anniversary Gift Lists By Year
You can see it pays to stay married as the gifts get more expensive the longer you're married. First year paper, eighth year bronze, twelfth year silk...see what I mean?
It seems Corporate Gifts South Africa the 'symbolic gifts' can differ in different countries. For example, in the UK the 1st Anniversary is cotton and the second is paper.
In searching through the Internet I looked up some of the symbols and what they mean or rather symbolize...remember the silver wreath symbolizing harmony?
Paper was selected for the 1st Anniversary because it symbolizes the strength you get when you interlock fibers to make paper. The 2nd Anniversary of cotton is said to be because cotton is associated with prosperity and durability. Leather for the 3rd Anniversary is again due to it's durability. Seems durability is a good theme to use for wedding anniversaries.
On squidoo.com Ladymermaid wrote, "The traditional fifth year wedding anniversary gift is one that is made from wood. Wood was selected for the fifth year of marriage because wood represents strength and a solid relationship. It was believed that both of these qualities were representative in a marriage which had successfully survived for five consecutive years."
On marriage.about.com I found that the 10th Wedding Anniversary symbol of tin signifies flexibility and durability in a marriage. Just like tin which can be bent without being broken.
If you review all of the gifts you can see they are either a material or an element (like the pearl, ruby and diamond.) I have been unable to find out why these things were chosen other than the explanations I have listed above. They seem to have been chosen for their symbolism. Giving a gift of paper doesn't necessarily mean you are going to give someone a package of paper plates! You could give anything from a book to tickets to a Broadway show to stay in the 'paper' tradition.