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  • Writer's pictureElizabeth Ready

Celebrating 16 Year Wedding Anniversary UK

What is the 16th wedding anniversary?

As with many anniversary milestones, the 16th wedding anniversary is associated with a particular symbol and gift. In the UK, along with other parts of the world, the 16th wedding anniversary is known for the gifting of wax.

Wild beeswax comb
Wild beeswax comb

What is the meaning behind the wax 16th wedding anniversary?

Wax might seem like an unusual gift to commemorate such a significant milestone, but when you delve into its symbolic significance, it becomes clear why it's associated with the 16th wedding anniversary.

Wax can be moulded and shaped, just as a marriage is shaped and moulded over time by shared experiences, challenges, and growth. The malleability of wax mirrors the flexibility and adaptability required to maintain a healthy and successful partnership for over a decade and a half.

Furthermore, wax is used in the creation of candles—a symbol of light, warmth, and guidance. In the same way, a marriage that has spanned 16 years is like a flame that continues to burn brightly, providing light and warmth even in the face of life's trials. The gift of wax serves as a reminder of the enduring flame of love and commitment that two people have nurtured and sustained throughout their journey together.

A contemporary twist on the traditional wax gift involves presenting beeswax-based skincare products, effectively blending the symbolic material into a gift that holds both significance while also being a practical and indulgent gift.

Why the tradition of associating wedding anniversaries with specific materials or items?

The tradition of associating wedding anniversaries with specific materials or items can be traced back to the Middle Ages in Europe. It is believed to have originated in Germany, where couples were given wreaths made of different materials as a symbol of their years together.

During the 19th century, Victorian England formalised this tradition with the creation of the "Anniversary Gifts by Year" list. A list that offered both traditional and modern gift suggestions for each year of marriage, helping to standardise the symbolic materials associated with various anniversary milestones.

The choice of materials for each anniversary year carries symbolic meanings that align with the qualities and growth of a marriage. These materials reflect the evolving nature of a partnership, from the blank slate of paper in the first year to the enduring endurance of wax in the 16th year.

Gifting with Bee Cosmetics

If you have reached the remarkable achievement of 16 years of marriage, and are in search of the perfect wax gift for your partner, discover our highly sought-after beeswax skincare gift sets. This unique collection includes handmade skincare infused with beeswax sourced directly from our own bee hives in Sussex.


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