The custom of celebrating anniversary weddings has, of late years, been largely practiced, and they have become a very pleasant means of social reunion among the relatives and friends of both husband and wife. Often this is the only reason for celebrating them, and the occasion is sometimes taken advantage of to give a large party, of a more informal nature than could be given under other circumstances. […]
Upon these occasions the married couple sometimes appear in the costumes worn by them on their wedding day, which they have preserved with punctilious care, and when many years have intervened the quaintness and oddity of the style of dress from the prevailing style is a matter of interest, and the occasion of pleasant comments. The couple receive their guests together, who upon entering the drawing-room, where they are receiving, extend to them their congratulations and wishes for continued prosperity and happiness.
The various anniversaries are designated by special names, indicative of the presents suitable on each occasion, should guests deem it advisable to send presents. It may be here stated that it is entirely optional with parties invited as to whether any presents are sent or taken. At the earlier anniversaries, much pleasantry and amusement is occasioned by presenting unique and fantastic articles, gotten up for the occasion. When this is contemplated, care should be taken that they should not be such as are liable to give offense to a person of sensitive nature.
THE PAPER, COTTON AND LEATHER WEDDING
The first anniversary of the wedding-day is called the Paper Wedding, the second the Cotton Wedding, and the third the Leather Wedding. The invitations to the first should be issued on a grey paper, representing thin cardboard. Presents, if given should be solely articles made of paper.
The invitations for the cotton wedding should be neatly printed on fine white cloth, and presents should be of articles of cotton cloth.
For the leather wedding invitations should be issued upon leather, tastily gotten up, and presents, of course, should be articles made of leather.
THE WOODEN WEDDING
The wooden wedding is the fifth anniversary of the marriage. The invitations should be upon thin cards of wood, or they may be written on a sheet of wedding note paper, and a card of wood enclosed in the envelope. The presents suitable to this occasion are most numerous, and may range from a wooden paper knife or trifling article for kitchen use up to a complete set of parlor or kitchen furniture.
THE TIN WEDDING
The tenth anniversary of the marriage is called the tin wedding. The invitations for this anniversary may be made upon cards covered with a tin card inclosed. The guests, if they desire to accompany their congratulations with appropriate presents, have the whole list of articles manufactured by the tinner’s art from which to select.
THE CRYSTAL WEDDING
The crystal wedding is the fifteenth anniversary. Invitations may be on thin, transparent paper, or colored sheets of prepared gelatine, or on ordinary wedding note-paper, enclosing a sheet of mica. The guests make their offerings to their host and hostess of trifles of glass, which may be more or less valuable, as the donor feels inclined.
THE CHINA WEDDING
The china wedding occurs on the twentieth anniversary of the wedding-day. Invitations should be issued on exceedingly fine, semi-transparent note-paper or cards. Various articles for the dining or tea-table or for the toilet-stand, vases or mantel ornaments, all are appropriate on this occasion.
THE SILVER WEDDING
The silver wedding occurs on the twenty-fifth marriage anniversary. The invitations issued for this wedding should be upon the finest note-paper, printed in bright silver, with monogram or crest upon both paper and envelope, in silver also. If presents are offered by any of the guests, they should be of silver, and may be the merest trifles, or more expensive, as the means and inclinations of the donors incline.
THE GOLDEN WEDDING
The close of the fiftieth year of married life brings round the appropriate time for the golden wedding. Fifty years of married happiness may indeed be crowned with gold. The invitations for this anniversary celebration should be printed on the finest note-paper in gold, with crest or monogram on both paper and envelopes in highly-burnished gold. The presents, if any are offered, are also in gold.
THE DIAMOND WEDDING
Rarely, indeed, is a diamond wedding celebrated. This should be held on the seventy-fifth anniversary of the marriage-day. So seldom are these occurrences that custom has sanctioned no particular style or form to be observed in the invitations. They might be issued upon diamond-shaped cards, enclosed in envelopes of a corresponding shape. There can be no general offering of presents at such a wedding, since diamonds in any number are beyond the means of most persons.
PRESENTS AT ANNIVERSARY WEDDINGS
It is not, as before stated, required that an invitation to an anniversary wedding be acknowledged by a valuable gift, or indeed by any. The donors on such occasions are usually only members of the family or intimate friends, and may act at their own discretion in the matter of giving presents.
On the occasion of golden or silver weddings, it is not amiss to have printed at the bottom of the invitation the words “No presents,” or to enclose a card announcing—
“It is preferred that no wedding gifts be offered.”
INVITATIONS TO ANNIVERSARY WEDDINGS
The invitations to anniversary weddings may vary something in their wording, according to the fancy of the writer, but they are all similar. They should give the date of the marriage and the anniversary. They may or may not give the name of the husband at the right-hand side and the maiden name of the wife at the left. What the anniversary is should also be indicated.
The following form will serve as a model:
A proper variation will make this form equally suitable for any of the other anniversary weddings.
MARRIAGE CEREMONY AT ANNIVERSARY WEDDINGS
It is not unusual to have the marriage ceremony repeated at these anniversary weddings, especially at the silver or golden wedding. The earliest anniversaries are almost too trivial occasions upon which to introduce this ceremony. The clergyman who officiates may so change the exact words of the marriage ceremony as to render them appropriate to the occasion.
Our Deportment, by John H. Young