14 Jan 2016

Wedding Anniversary Traditions (Part 2)

Reaching a quarter of a century as a married couple is a major milestone, and the wedding anniversaries that follow are proof of true life-long commitment.

Naturally, the materials traditionally associated with each anniversary have a higher intrinsic value as the years pass, and a reference to their symbolism will always add a special touch to any present or celebration.

Beyond the material itself, elements like colour or play on words can be original angles to take into consideration, as can an emphasis on building new - and unforgettable - memories.

Nowadays, couples often decide to celebrate important anniversaries by organising a special holiday. We highly recommend Mr & Mrs Smith to inspire you with destination ideas and to assist you in organising the perfect stay. We particularly appreciate the way they introduce their 'collections' and subtle trip alternatives, which will no doubt contribute to designing a very memorable trip.

For many, celebrating a special wedding anniversary is the perfect opportunity to gather close friends and family for a beautiful evening, and perhaps even to renew their wedding vows.

There are of course many venues around the world that would be the perfect setting for such occasions. In London, we are spoiled for choice but we have identified the following dedicated venues ideal to host these special occasions:

Rosewood London for a contemporary British aesthetic:

The Lanesborough for classic Georgian splendour:

Brown’s hotel for understated elegance and a piece of history- American president Theodore Roosevelt stayed at Brown’s before marrying Edith Kermit Carow in 1886 — their wedding certificate still hangs in the hotel.

- Twenty-five year anniversary: silver

Silver is a precious metal with a symbolism attached to the moon and its feminine energy. In the context of a wedding anniversary, it represents subtle strength in the sense that spouses are flexible enough to be molded into something better, but strong enough to keep their own identity and character intact.

For her: a silver piece of jewellery with a truly beautiful symbolic element: Georg Jensen’s Infinity Bracelet.

For him: we love these versatile silver cufflinks by Alice Made This that can be worn in different ways for different looks

For a truly spectacular gift that he or she will treasure and appreciate every day, be sure to also consider unusual presents such as a very special piece of art or furniture.

As an example, we think that Waterford’s prestige collection offers plenty of alternatives with crystal accents. We are completely smitten with this stunning contemporary vanity table that will no doubt take her breath away.

- Thirty-year anniversary: pearl

Pearls symbolise wisdom acquired through experience and for the wearer they represent purity, integrity and loyalty.

For her:

Coco Chanel famously said: 'A woman needs ropes and ropes of pearls'

Pearls are classic, timeless and they will complement any woman’s accessories collection.

Chanel has a great selection of pearl fine jewellery and we particularly love this emblematic ring:

For a subtle take on pearls, we love the idea of an present with details in mother-of-pearl such as this contemporary watch by Chanel.

- For him:

In the recent years, men have started looking more attentively at their appearance and wellbeing. Treating him to a special grooming or spa treatment is an experience he might appreciate, especially if he has been feeling stressed at work? We love the approach and concept of Gentleman’s grooming at Bulgari Spa.

Alternatively, you may consider treating him to a new fitness and health regime through the innovative Framework at Bulgari’s Workshop Gymnasium.

- Forty-year anniversary: ruby

Ruby is a stone of nobility, considered the most magnificent of all gems, the queen of stones and the stone of kings. Ancients believed it surpassed all other precious stones in virtue, and its value exceeded even that of the Diamond.

For her:

Ruby’s deep and captivating tones make up for beautiful pieces of jewellery. We love this contemporary ring and dainty ruby necklace from Anoushka

Anoushka necklace

For him:

The ideal present for amateurs of red wine, you may consider offering these delightful bottles of Bordeaux presented in a superb wooden case?

Fortnum's wine

If wine is a common passion, you may want to consider a romantic trip to a traditional French château situated in the Beaujolais region! We love the setting of the Château de Bagnols in France but there are plenty of other options to consider in South Africa, Tuscany or California that will transport you to ruby-wine heaven.

Chateau de Bagnols

- Fifty-year anniversary: gold

Gold is a precious metal that is linked to the masculine energy and the power of the sun. In the context of a wedding anniversary it could be considered as a symbol of success and achievement in the marriage highlighting higher ideals, wisdom, understanding and enlightenment.

For her:

There is plenty of jewellery made out of gold, however it is important to consider the significance of the selected piece.

We love the special meaning of this beautiful locket pendant by Astley Clarke, in which a small photograph can be inserted:

Astley Clarke Locket

For him:

Perhaps not as easy to find a present with a subtle touch of gold for a gentleman, but we think that these beautiful cufflinks by Alice Made This would be a smart addition to his wardrobe.

Gold cufflinks_0

Alternatively, a precious anniversary coin by The Royal Mint in a limited edition would mark the occasion in a more solemn way.
Royal Mint coin

Most couples celebrating their gold wedding anniversary have reached their seventies or eighties. Later in life materialistic interests tend to take a back seat and more 'simple' physical presents can be considered as alternatives to mark such occasions.

For couples who know each other so well, presents depend greatly on the spouse’s taste and loves. By the time they are marking this anniversary, spouses hopefully know exactly what each other would appreciate most.

For diamond and platinum wedding anniversary presents, anything from a favourite perfume, a beautiful bouquet of flowers with a handwritten letter or a fine dining experience surrounded by loved ones might just fit the bill.

If the wife is a great lover of jewellery, perhaps her husband might consider a unique piece, such as a vintage item from the decade in which the wife was born.

If the husband is an avid sports fan, perhaps attending a sophisticated tournament such as Wimbledon or the Queen’s club might be a memorable experience that he would treasure.

Ultimately, even though wedding anniversaries are rooted in great traditions, the way the couple chooses to celebrate is very much a personal affair.

Ines da Silva, fashion professional, style and image adviser exclusively at Debrett's.

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