The Leather Anniversary?

This article is about the meaning and history of the 3rd wedding anniversary. If you are looking for 3rd-anniversary gift ideas, click here.

I know that the 3rd wedding anniversary is not the most lauded and talked about anniversary. It is way overshadowed by the 5th, 10th, 25th, 50th, and honestly any number divisible by 5. Nobody thinks “Wow, what a special day it will be when we will have been together for 3 years” on the day of their wedding. They are looking with bright eyes towards the Golden Years of being old and in love together. But the 3rd wedding anniversary, despite being overlooked by the masses carries with it a lot of symbolism. The traditional 3rd wedding anniversary theme is “The Leather Anniversary”, and there is some really cool history behind that.

A Little History

Anniversaries as a concept were originally created to commemorate you surviving the hardships of life for another year. This specifically was with birthdays, where it was literally a celebration of survival. Life expectancy wasn’t near as high hundreds of years ago, and each year was an exciting celebration. The tradition of celebrating a year of success later moved to weddings, where each year you celebrate another wonderful year of being together. It started out just being for the 25th and 50th anniversaries; big milestones where husbands crowned their wives with silver and gold laurels respectively. Then it trickled down and we started celebrating all the years of marriage, each with their own symbolic theme.

So How Does Leather Play In?

1st year

Look how happy they are! Not a care in the world!

This is where things get romantic…well sort of. Now we all know of marriage as a wonderful and life changing event where tears of joy are shed, and the young couple is as in love as can be.They run off together on theirĀ  honeymoon and life is just like a fairytale! Now the first two anniversary themes are paper and cotton. Not exactly substances knows for their durability and strength. I think that is because statistically, there haven’t been a whole lot of trials yet to force your marriage to strengthen.

Fast Forward A Bit

3rd Year

Life settles in, and life is tough. But at least your lives are tough together.

After three years of marriage, you are starting to come out of that honeymoon phase where everything is perfect and nothing will ever be difficult again. Financial problems start to settle in, children may start coming along etc. Basically at three years, the strength of marriages traditionally starts being tested a bit. Not saying that you stop being in love, but your love has to become deep rooted, and strong regardless of the difficult circumstances you may be placed in. Leather is incredibly strong and flexible, and these attributes are ingrained deep into the fibers of the material. In fact, the sturdiest part of the leather is even called the grain. That is where the word “ingrained” comes from. It is when something is so deeply rooted that it becomes a part of the grain, or the structure of who we are. Thus, the 3rd wedding anniversary became the leather anniversary, to symbolize the durability, flexibility, and strength of your marriage, and to show that over those first years of hardship, you have internalized these characteristics until they have become a part of who the two of you are together. The leather, which lasts longer than the human lifespan, symbolizes that the marriage is strong and will last more than just a few years. It symbolizes that your marriage will last forever.

Pretty romantic, right?

Now that theme was probably a way easier anniversary to get a gift on back in the 1800s, and some people have come up with “modern alternatives” to fuel commercialism and make it “more convenient, but since when is marriage convenient? Plus that symbolism and sentiment is just too much for me. Maybe I’m just a sucker for traditionalism, but a gift that symbolizes the strength of your marriage is as romantic as it gets. And it is actually still incredibly easy to get special 3rd wedding anniversary gifts for him or for her! Just like anything else, it all depends on if you know where to look. Click here to read through some 3rd Wedding Anniversary Gift suggestions, or you can jump straight to our product reviews and look around. I have tried to compile an extensive list of gift ideas and quality products, but if you have any cool ones that I forgot, let me know in the comments. Perhaps your suggestion will be just what someone else needs to make their spouse’s day!