Wedding Anniversary Traditions in Decline

15 Oct 2015

Forget diamonds, pearls and rubies wedding anniversaries arent what they once were 

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About to present your partner with a sentimental traditional anniversary gift to celebrate a marriage date? Youll be one of few according to a new study

Research by One4all, the Post Office gift card, has revealed that newlyweds shouldnt expect to have landmark anniversaries marked with traditional gifts, as more than half of Britons are ignorant of the celebratory customs.

- 55 per cent arent familiar with traditional anniversary milestones like silver, ruby, gold, etc.

- Only 10 per cent like to exchange traditional anniversary gifts

The research found a further 61 per cent were unaware that ruby wedding anniversaries one of the most well-known milestones are celebrated after 40 years together, and only 10 per cent give and receive presents which tie into the traditions.

Almost one in two believe old-style anniversary gifts like rubies, diamonds and pearls neglect male tastes, and one in 10 feel they are old-fashioned.


In 2015, Britonstop ways of celebrating anniversaries are exchanging cards, having dinner or an evening out, going on a romantic short break and gifts that reflect their partners tastes and interests. Exchanging gifts which tie into the traditions trailed into fifth place.

Despite these traditions declining in popularity, romantic Brits are not neglecting key milestones in their relationships only 4 per cent regularly forget their anniversary, while just 6 per cent have to remind their partners their anniversary is coming up.

Aoife Davey, marketing manager at One4all, says: While I can believe that many British people are choosing to commemorate their anniversaries with gifts and celebrations which are more in keeping with 21st century tastes, it is really quite surprising that the old anniversary traditions have fallen so significantly off our radar as a nation.

From this data, its clear that many couples are opting to go for more personalised gifts and methods of celebrating, which is nice to see. Diamonds, pearls and rubies are beautiful and decadent, but they wont be everyones cup of tea, and even stunning gems like this can seem impersonal if theyre not what someone is into.

As gifting experts, in order to achieve the best reaction possible from loved ones, wed encourage people to consider how their choice of gift    whatever it might be, traditional or not    fits into their husband or wifes tastes, and try and match it to them as closely as possible.

Despite the decline of traditional wedding anniversaries, Britain continues to be a romantic nation. 68 per cent of adults believe they will be with their partners forever, with women proving slightly more romantic than men, with 5 per cent more feeling this way.    

25-34 year olds are the most likely to forget wedding anniversaries, with just over one in 10 claiming to do so regularly.

While the over 55s are often among the closest to some of the most major landmark anniversaries, they are also the most likely to shun traditional anniversary gifts in favour of exchanging gifts which are more personal.

Sheffield is the UKs most romantic city, with 81 per cent believing they will be with their current partner forever.

The One4all Gift Card is available to buy from Post Offices nationwide and online at, and can be spent in more than 22,000 stores across the UK.





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