To overcome the common problem people faced as to what to give one’s spouse each year, an American author by the name of Emily Post, who wrote on the topic of etiquette, was the first to recommend a list of anniversary gift themes which was published in 1922 in her book titled 'Etiquette’.
In that book, she listed suggestions for the first anniversary, followed by the fifth anniversary, and then every five years or so up until the 25th, and concluded with the 50th wedding anniversary.
The American National Retail Jeweler Association expanded on this list in 1937 by filling in the missing years up to the 14th wedding anniversary, and the subsequent multiples of five up to the 50th year.
These gift suggestions for each year of marriage are today referred to as the 'Traditional' themes for each anniversary.
Most commentators on the subject will add that neither the Traditional gift list or Modern gift list is better than the other.
It all boils down to the recipient’s tastes and interests, and the sentiment the giver wishes to convey, as to which list for that particular year yields the more appealing option for them.
Specific flowers and colors have also come to be associated with each wedding anniversary year.
There do not appear to be any consistent sources for these themes, so the table in this section lists all key flowers from a number of reputable sources that stipulate what the flower is for each anniversary.It is possible that any variation in the nominated flower for a particular year may represent the region of the world in which that particular flower came to be endorsed.In addition to the specific flower for each anniversary, the rose, considered the floral king of romance, can be substituted for most anniversaries if so desired.From the 20th wedding anniversary onwards, traditional gift materials are not offered every year; typically only every five years or so.The modern list differs in this respect, whereby a gift material is suggested for every year, at least up until the 30th anniversary, which possibly signifies a couples’ need to continue investing as much effort as possible into sustaining the commitment and romance in the later years of marriage.As such, the table in this section predominantly lists the gemstones according to the AGTA.