Most sources agree that the 8th Anniversary is traditionally celebrated with a Bronze or Bronze-themed Gift. (Although some sources claim it to be pottery or salt - at least in the UK.). And each year has a different theme.
But why is this? And where did these lists of themes come from?
Of course, wanting to celebrate the annual marriage date has probably been around for many centuries, and evidence of this even dates back to Ancient Rome. And certainly, large milestones like the 25th or 50th Anniversary certainly would have been lavishly celebrated, likely with precious metals like silver or gold amongst some.
The idea of celebrating yearly with different gift themes probably originated in the Victorian era, when love was becoming something more than an "arrangement"; something that could (and should) be celebrated.
It is not certain where the traditional gifts come from, but looking at the list, it is clear that with each year, the theme increases in stability and rarity, to represent the strength and longevity of the marriage. In both the UK and the US, Paper or Cotton are used to celebrate the first two years, moving onto Leather, Silk, Wood, Iron, Copper, Bronze and Steel. It is when we reach the milestone of 60 or even 75 years that we are presented with stronger, even more precious and more lasting materials like Diamond, Gold and even Oak -- Quiet beautiful when you think about it.
In later years this list has been padded out and adapted and there are even modern versions. So even if it's not your 8th Anniversary, then unless you are a stickler for tradition, buy something you know your spouse will love! On the other hand, showing your loved one you have gone to the effort to looking into the tradition and history of anniversaries will also be appreciated.
So in short, Bronze is used to celebrate the 8th Anniversary because, well, Bronze is stronger and more precious than paper or cotton... but less so than Gold or Diamond!
We hope you've enjoyed reading about traditional themes behind wedding anniversaries! Feel free to browse our shop to find the perfect gift for your loved ones. Thanks for reading :)