The fashion of celebrating a succession of wedding anniversaries has passed its high tide and is on the wane. Nevertheless, the custom is not out, by any means. The tenth, twenty-fifth and fiftieth anniversaries, known as the tin, silver, and golden, are those most frequently observed.
The first anniversary of the wedding day gives occasion for a paper wedding; the second is cotton; the third leather. The fourth is omitted; the fifth is the wooden wedding; next to be observed is the tin, celebrating the close of the first decade. The next skip is to the china, when twenty years have elapsed; and the quarter century of wedded happiness is recognized in the silver wedding.
The wooden and tin weddings are occasions of great hilarity, and mean a general frolic. The former began years ago with the gift of a rolling-pin and a step-ladder. The gifts are of those practical, useful articles that replenish the kitchen, though handsome gifts are of course easily selected. Carved wooden boxes, handsome picture frames, articles of furniture, are at the service of those who choose to pay their price.
Invitations to a wooden wedding are sometimes written or printed on birch bark or thin strips of wood, or are engraved on cards which imitate wood in appearance. The refreshments have been served on wooden plates procured from the grocer. So far as possible the wooden idea is carried out.

  • Three days--Sugar.
  • Sixty days--Vinegar.
  • 1st anniversary--Iron.
  • 5th anniversary--Wooden.
  • 10th anniversary--Tin.
  • 15th anniversary--Crystal.
  • 20th anniversary--China.
  • 25th anniversary--Silver.
  • 30th anniversary--Cotton.
  • 35th anniversary--Linen.
  • 40th anniversary--Woolen.
  • 45th anniversary--Silk.
  • 50th anniversary--Gold.
  • 75th anniversary--Diamond.

Tin Weddings

Gifts for the tin wedding are of course in that material, and there is a wide range of choice. The tinsmith is often called upon to manufacture fantastic articles, anything to raise a laugh. Thus one couple were adorned, the wife with a set of tin curls, the man with a tin hat. A tin purse enclosing a check for "tin" was once presented to a tin bride on the occasion of her tin wedding. The freakish fancy of one's friends is generally much in evidence at a tin wed-ding. As at the wooden wedding, the bride cuts a wedding cake decorated with a monogram formed of the initials of her own and her husband's name, and the year of the wedding and of its anniversary. Refreshments may be served from tin dishes, and the guests provided with tin plates.

The Silver Wedding anniversary
Cards for a silver wedding are printed in silver, or in black on silvered cards--the former being in better taste. The form--which may be used for all with the variation of but one word--that designating the nature of the anniversary, is as follows:

Silver Wedding Anniversary Cards – Example

1885     Mr. and Mrs. Smith     1910
request the pleasure of your company on
Thursday, February the twenty-fourth,
at eight o'clock.
Silver Wedding.
George Smith     Anna Hall

As the couple who celebrate are generally in the prime of life, and their friends of about the same age, a silver wedding is usually a very enjoyable function. The many beautiful articles now made in silver afford a wide range of choice in the way of gifts, both valuable and in those inexpensive trifles that please everybody because so artistic. Silverware is marked with the initials of the married pair, often en¬closed in a true lover's knot. Toilet articles, pomade jars, silver jewelry, spoons, silver parasol and umbrella handles, picture frames in silver, rings and bracelets, besides the manifold pieces for table use, offer a wide individual range in choice and price.
The supper at a silver wedding is quite elaborate. The bride that was cuts a wedding cake in which a silver piece is baked; the person who gets it being expected to live to celebrate his or her silver wedding. Speeches are made, often an original poem read, and not infrequently the health of the pair pledged in a glass of wine.

Golden Wedding anniversary

Occasions for the celebration of fifty years of union are much rarer than any other. Nor are they wholly joyful. The aged couple are looking from "life's west windows" at a fast declining sun. A few short years and it must set for them. The festivities are usually planned and carried out by their descendants, who so far as possible summon to the celebration the friends of "Auld lang syne," the clergyman who performed the ceremony and any of the bridal party yet alive, and the dearest friends of the present.

Golden Wedding Anniversary Cards
in the conventional form are printed in gold letters; often a monogram formed of intertwined initials is placed between and a little above the years at the top of the invitation. The wedding cake has a yellow frosting, or if in white, the monogram and the years--1860-1910--are in yellow to represent gold.
Gifts in this precious metal are naturally circumscribed, but a gold coin is apropos, particularly if Fortune has been chary of her favors. In the seventh and eighth decade people have small use for bijouterie.
A golden wedding must be a sad anniversary to the participants. When they were wedded, they were looking forward, joyously; now they recall the past, its losses and trials and misfortunes. They remember the children who are dead, or far away; or the prosperity once theirs, but now fled. Few old folks would care to celebrate their golden wedding; it is usually some well-meaning grandchild who sees in it "an occasion." Often, too, the excitement, the fatigue, the unusual strain on mind and body, result in illness which sometimes proves fatal.

The Courtesies of the Occasion
There is no formal etiquette for any of these anniversaries. Friends, as they arrive, are greeted by members of the family; then, in the case of the elderly celebrants, are conducted to them as they sit side by side, and presented. Failing eyesight and dulled ears demand this. The congratulations are offered, and good wishes for the future. If any speeches are made, they should be brief, that neither the old couple or their guests be over-fatigued. The stay should be brief.

Wedding Anniversary Gifts
Gifts for the anniversary wedding are sometimes sent the day previous, sometimes carried in person. Anything fantastic is generally presented at the gathering, to contribute to its hilarity. The silver wedding gifts are nearly always sent in advance, and are displayed on a table, the cards of the donor usually being left on them. The recipients are to tender their thanks in person or by note.
Every effort should be made to have these festivities joyous. Especially should the wife subdue her emotion if the review of the years since her bona fide wedding day have seen the loss of beloved children. She must stifle her sad recollections for the sake of her guests.
The members of the bridal party, the more honored guests at the first wedding, the clergyman who officiated, are sought as welcome guests at the anniversary. The bride that was wears something she wore on the first occasion. If the wedding dress and the bridegroom's suit have been preserved they are worn--and wonderfully quaint they often look, so great the change in fashion.

Correspondence, Cards and Introductions, Dress for Different Occasions, Weddings, Christenings, Funerals, Etc.,
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Gifts, "Showers," Calls, and Hundreds of Other Essential Subjects so Vital to Culture and Refinement of Men, Women, School-Girls and Boys at Home and in Public.
Excerpt from the book:
Over One Thousand Tried and Tested Remedies from Mothers of the United States and Canada.