Particular anniversaries, wedding or otherwise have different meanings, each celebrating the milestone of the particular anniversary based on meanings that have evolved over the centuries and represent the different stages of the relationship. We have put together an overview of these anniversary meanings and how they are represented by different flowers and colours.
Traditionally called the Paper anniversary and more recently the clock anniversary, this anniversary celebrates the year of adjustment. Paper symbolises the strength that comes from the interlaced connection of the paper's threads. Clocks symbolise that love is forever, or in the words of Henry Van Dyke "For those who love, time is eternity".
When choosing flowers for the 1st anniversary you should look for orange or yellow flowers and depending on availability, pansies. The pansy's name comes from the French word pensée which means thought or remembrance.
By the time the second anniversary arrives you would have spent a significant amount of time with your partner, so this anniversary is all about comfort and the beautiful memories of what has been and the promise of what is still to bloom. As such this anniversary is symbolised by gifts of cotton or china.
Look for red flowers to celebrate this anniversary coupled with neutral and elegant colours. The ideal combination would be red gerberas and roses with pink lilies.
The third anniversary is all about strength and durability because the relationship has lasted a key foundational period, resilient to what has happened and the direction of the relationship firmly established. This anniversary is therefore symbolised by leather or crystal.
Colours for this anniversary are whites or jade green. Singapore Orchids, which represent maturity, refinement and strength make them the perfect choice for this anniversary.
Known traditionally as the Flower anniversary, the fourth anniversary celebrates the blossoming partnership that has started to flourish - which is why flowers are synonymous with this anniversary.
Sending any type of flowers suit this anniversary so look for her favourite flower, or look for flowers with a spectacular bloom, such as lilies. Blue or green are the colours associated with this anniversary.
The fifth anniversary, like the third anniversary is a time to celebrate the strength of the relationship that has continued to grow. More specifically, it is time to celebrate a solidified partnership - so wood is traditionally associated with this anniversary. Silverware is also a synonymous gift for the fifth anniversary representing the connection that has formed whilst sharing meals.
Pink, blue and tourquoise are the colours for this anniversary. The flowers of choice are dasies, which represent sheer joy and noting the simplicity at the heart of a relationship.
The sixth anniversary focuses on joyfulness and is an anniversary where you should celebrate the relationship by spoiling each other with sweet gifts like candy or chocolates, or basically anything that has sugar in it.
Any cheerful colours or sweet smelling flowers are the best choice with Lilies, or in particular the Calla Lily being a perfect choice.
Representing the seventh anniversary year is copper or wool. Copper traditionally is linked with prosperity, good luck and good fortune. Wool represents the comfort, durability, security and warmth that a relationship that has lasted this long brings.
Yellow and off-white colours bring the meaning of this anniversary to life. Depending on the time of year Freesia's or Sunflowers can be the ideal flower to send. If these are not available then yellow roses are also a great choice.
Symbolising strength and warmth this anniversary is a time to reflect on what brought you and what brings you closer together and recognise how special your union truly is. Traditional gifts for the eighth anniversary are those made from bronze or pottery. For a more modern option you can choose gifts made from lace or linen.
When buying flowers for the eighth anniversary Singapore Orchids are a great choice and also flowers that come in a ceramic pot.
Like the third anniversary, Leather is the gift of choice for the ninth anniversary symbolising the strength and durability of the relationship.
Singapore Orchids, which represent strength, are the ideal flowers to send for the 9th anniversary.
The tenth anniversary is one of the more significant anniversaries as you've reached the first decade of the relationship. For this anniversary you traditionally give gifts made from tin or aluminium, or for a more contemporary gift you can choose diamond jewellery – as a relationship that lasts 10 years is as durable and beautiful as a diamond.
Silver and blue colours are generally associated with this anniversary and when choosing flowers look for something that represents joy, cheerfulness and happiness like tulips or daffodils.
The twentieth anniversary is the next big anniversary to celebrate. Gifts should focus on beauty, elegance, dedication and endurance such as gifts of china.
Emerald green or white signify the colours of this anniversary. Lilies are the flower of choice to represent this significant milestone.
Known as the silver anniversary, spending a quarter of a century committed to a relationship should be a significant celebration. Some choose to renew their wedding vows but spending the evening remembering all that you have experienced together over a candlelight dinner and Champaign is also a great way to spend this anniversary.
To celebrate with flowers you should send red roses, which can also be coupled with champagne and chocolate to complete the romantic day. Alternatively look for flower arranges with Iris's, which brings hope and valour to a strong union, blessing the wisdom of the years.
Pearls and Diamonds are the gifts associated with the thirtieth anniversary. These gifts symbolise the longevity and beauty of a relationship that has lasted thirty years. Sending two dozen red roses with champaign and chocolate is the classic choice for this anniversary or look for lilies or sweet peas. Both these flowers allude to the lasting pleasure in a long union, and celebrate its potency
40th Anniversary is for ruby gifts
The ruby anniversary is a special anniversary marking forty years together. Rubies are thought to possess an eternal inner flame which is a symbol that the partnership is still very alive and strong.
Ruby red is not surprisingly the colour for this anniversary so sending luscious red roses will bring out the passion and romance that you still have for each other on your fortieth anniversary.
50th Anniversary is for golden gifts
The golden anniversary is the most special and often the most significant of all the anniversaries. It is a time to not only celebrate the connection you have together but also to celebrate the lives you have touched and all that you've experienced together.
Yellow represents faithfulness making yellow roses the perfect addition to complete your gifts to each other on this important anniversary.
Flowers are a romantic expression of love. They are fresh, young and beautiful when first picked, and then over time the colour gains in intensity and the essence is strengthened as the youth falls away from the bloom. Something gained, something lost, rather like life.
Love, like flowers, has an early burst and a slow maturation. Marriage, and its anniversaries, marks the journey of both individuality and togetherness.