With every passing year, wedding anniversaries require an appropriate gift for the happy couple. This age-old tradition can be a bit of a headache, particularly when there don’t appear to be any suitable, and yet romantic, gifts. Take the second anniversary for example, and you might be disappointed to find that cotton is the expected gift. Not exactly awe-inspiring is it? However, there is always something appropriate for all tastes and budgets. Don’t forget, each anniversary also has its own particular flower and gemstone too, opening up a world of ideas. Here are some cotton wedding anniversary ideas for all budgets.
The History of Cotton
Unbelievably, archaeologists are finding pieces of cotton cloth in Mexico that are over 7000 years old. Research reveals that cotton was in use in India and Egypt 3000 years BC, but was not available in Europe until the arrival of Arabian traders with their goods. By around 1500, cotton was available throughout the world.
Cotton played a huge part in the Industrial Revolution In the United Kingdom, particularly with the invention of the “Spinning Jenny” by Richard Hargreaves. This machine was able to spin eighty threads at once, leading to increased productivity. The industry grew rapidly and by 1821, there were 66 cotton mills in the city of Manchester alone. Today, it is the most used fibre in the world.
Why Cotton is the Gift for a Second Anniversary
So, why is the second wedding anniversary represented by cotton? It has strength and longevity, and the giving of this gift symbolises the desire for the marriage to remain strong. Other suggestions include the fact that the threads of cotton have a tight weave, and therefore it represents an inner connection within the marriage. Cotton fibres are also very flexible, and their adaptability relates to being aware of another person’s needs.
Low-Cost Cotton Gift Ideas
Cotton itself can be a low-cost material, with plenty of gift options available. Personalised bath towels are a nice idea and a little unusual, sure to be a talking point. Matching cotton bathrobes can be inexpensive, and again, can be personalised for a thoughtful touch. Cotton does have its own unique fragrance and is ideal for reed diffusers, adding a lovely scent to the home. For something unusual, a cotton macrame plant holder might fit the bill, ideal for green-fingered friends and relatives.
Luxurious Gifts for a Cotton Anniversary
Egyptian cotton bedding is the ultimate in luxurious gifts for the home and a delightful idea for any couple. It has a unique softness, using only handpicked cotton, and is available in top-class hotels all over the world. A personalised cotton canvas makes a unique piece of art, perhaps printed with the couple’s wedding vows or the lyrics to their favourite song. It is also possible to choose any gift.
For something unusual and memorable, yet still sticking with the cotton theme, why not consider a hotel break? If it’s your anniversary, you could stay at the Charles Cotton Hotel in Derbyshire for two nights of luxury. Following a full cooked breakfast, you could explore the beautiful Peak District, England’s first national park. Vouchers are available if you wish to treat somebody else to this unique experience.
Which Flower Represents the Second Anniversary?
Sweetly scented lily of the valley is the flower of the second wedding anniversary. My personal recommendation is a pair of stunning lily of the valley earrings and you can read my review here. When it comes to gifts, using lily of the valley is a common decor theme, making it easy to find something appropriate. For example, hand-painted glass, scented candles and home furnishings, such as cushions or throws, will be a welcome gift for a second anniversary.
Lily of the Valley
The lily of the valley is a perennial plant which returns every year in May and June to the woodland floors of the United Kingdom. Its spike only has the white bell-shaped flowers on one side, which droop towards the floor. Strangely enough, this beautiful flower is highly poisonous, especially when the red berries appear, which is not terribly romantic, is it? It is often the subject of folklore tales, featuring nightingale birds and fairies. It signifies the return of happiness and was featured in the bridal bouquet carried by Princess Grace of Monaco.
The Lily of the Valley in Songs and Poetry
This pretty flower has been mentioned both in various song lyrics and in poetry. One of the most well-known is by the British rock band Queen and was featured on their album. The lead singer Freddie Mercury sang all the vocals and played the piano on the record. A song named Lily of the Valley was written in 1881 for the Salvation Army and was later covered by the Country and Western star, Johnny Cash.
The most famous poem featuring this iconic flower was written by Paul Laurence Dunbar who was from Ohio in the United States. He also wrote many books and even the lyrics for a musical that appeared on Broadway. The composer Tchaikovsky composed a poem about the lily of the valley while in Florence, Italy and declared that he was terribly proud of it.
What is the Gemstone for A Cotton Anniversary?
Garnets are the gemstone for a second wedding anniversary, and come in many colours, with deep red being the most popular. They were commonly used in the Late Roman era, often set in gold, which makes a striking contrast. Garnets can be expensive, but synthetic versions are now available, for those on a budget. Jewellery inset with this gemstone is the most obvious gift, easily found in necklaces, rings and cufflinks. I have some suggestions here for garnet gifts. Garnet crystals can be used as decor and are said to promote courage, creativity and joy.
The End of Another Year
The first two years will have flown by for the happy couple, and they will now have established their own domestic and work routines and settled way of life. With many more years of marriage to come, we rapidly approach the third anniversary. Whether you choose to buy them a gift of cotton, lily of the valley or a garnet item, you can help them celebrate with this selection of cotton wedding anniversary ideas for all budgets.