How to Celebrate a Wedding Anniversary

Linen represents the fourth wedding anniversary, and it is relatively easy to choose a suitable gift. Many items are available in this versatile material. Perhaps you yourself are celebrating a linen wedding anniversary. Or you are looking for a gift for friends or family. You are sure to find some ideas here. Of course, you could also use this opportunity to purchase an item with the relevant flower or gemstone. This would be a thoughtful touch.

Wedding Anniversary Gift Ideas

Why is Linen the Gift for a Fourth Wedding Anniversary?

Linen is an unusual choice for an anniversary. There are several suggestions as to why this is. Firstly, it is an absorbent material. It symbolises that after four years together, a couple can absorb any problems or issues within their marriage. Linen also has anti-allergenic properties and therefore represents a couple wishing to protect each other.

The History of Linen

Linen is from the fibres of the flax plant, which grows all over Central Asia and the Mediterranean. Ancient Egyptian mummies are famous for linen wrappings, to symbolise their wealth. Its initial use was string before the invention of spinning, allowing for clothing materials. The plants require soaking in water which rots the outer stem, exposing the useful linen fibres, ready for use.

The Road to Riches

When woven in a dense manner, linen is particularly strong and durable and was useful as sails for Roman boats as early as 500 BC. Etruscan soldiers in Italy also wore it like armour. Flax became a valuable resource for trade in the middle ages, especially in Germany, where it was the reason for the wealth of the Fuggers family, who were the richest in Europe at that time.

Fourth Wedding Anniversary

The Decline and Rise in Popularity

The popularity of linen continued into the 19th century, when it was still handwoven in people’s homes, adding to its luxurious connotations and exclusivity. With the advent of the industrial age, linen fell out of fashion with cotton and synthetic materials as an alternative. It is only really in the last few years that its value has been recognised, and now people are enjoying the feel of linen again.

Great Gift Ideas for a Linen Anniversary

Linen has a variety of purposes, with plenty of choices for an appropriate anniversary gift. A personalised linen print is a thoughtful idea, with the couple’s names and wedding date. Linen covers and throws are available in a variety of designs and can have a personal touch, such as the Mr and Mrs Penguin cushion cover. High-quality linen bedding and pillowcases make a thoughtful, chosen to match a bedroom’s colour scheme. Embroidered tablecloths and matching napkins may be suitable for a social couple who enjoy hosting dinner parties.

Which Flower Symbolises a Fourth Anniversary?

The attractive and well-known flower, the hydrangea, symbolises the fourth wedding anniversary and can be found in various shades of blue, pink and purple. Pink hydrangeas mean “you are the beat of my heart”, making them an ideal romantic gift. Of course, you don’t have to give the flower itself, as many items can be found with a hydrangea decor theme. Some examples include jewellery, vases, art prints, placemats and scarves. Fine bone china printed mugs will make a welcome gift for any home, and you can read my review of a set here.

Wedding Anniversary Gift Ideas

Facts About Hydrangeas

Astonishingly, archaeologists have found fossils of hydrangea bulbs, which date back over 65 million years, in America. However, cultivation didn’t begin until the Japanese took an interest in the flower and its ideal use for landscaping. Europe saw the arrival of hydrangeas in 1736 where their large pom-pom shaped flower heads appeared in all the best gardens in society.

Fourth Anniversary Gift

Hydrangea Meanings and Symbols

Hydrangeas have many different meanings according to which country you are in, and which colour you choose. In Japan, the flower is an apology, expressing regret and sorrow. It follows the example of emperors who would present hydrangeas to young maidens. In Europe, they symbolise arrogance and left on people’s doorsteps to indicate that a rude person lives there!


Is There a Gemstone for the Fourth Wedding Anniversary?

The recognised gemstone for a fourth wedding anniversary is the blue topaz, a pretty crystal which does actually come in other colours as well. It is one of the hardest minerals, meaning that it is ideal for carving or engraving, making for some unique jewellery items. My particular favourite is the snowflake Swiss blue topaz pendant. Most obviously, it can be found in necklaces, rings and bangles but other items can be embellished with blue topaz, including key rings, clocks and keepsake boxes.

Wedding Anniversary Gift Ideas

Blue Topaz

This pretty stone is actually rarely found in the earth and is often produced synthetically. Its name comes from the Greek word Topazios, which describes the largest of a group of islands in Egypt, popular with divers. In Egyptian mythology, blue topaz is the symbol of Ra, the giver of life and Sun God. Naturally occurring topaz is pale blue in colour, but the most valuable examples are pink, red and orange. Strangely, some of the deeper coloured stones have been found to be radioactive!

Fourth Anniversary Gift

The Stone of Spirituality

Blue topaz is said to calm the emotions and is known as a stone to promote peacefulness and tranquillity. For those who consider that they have psychic abilities, it is thought to magnify these powers, allowing for inner guidance. Blue topaz is believed to encourage creativity and promote concentration while removing insomnia and thoughts of greed.

Four Years and Counting

The last four years will undoubtedly have flown by so quickly, full of memories and moments. Couples may have a family by now, and be settled into their domestic routine, but that is no reason not to enjoy celebrating their linen wedding anniversary. The first milestone anniversary, that of five years, will be here before you know it.

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12 thoughts on “How to Celebrate a Wedding Anniversary”

  1. That’s so interesting about the possible reasons for linen being the symbol of the fourth wedding anniversary. Marriage teaches us so many things. Learning to “absorb problems” is a good way to describe some of that learning. In the absorbing, we’re minimizing the potential negative effects of a problem, and in the case of marriage, it can actually make us stronger.

    On the practical side of choosing a specific gift, I think sheets and pillowcases would make a great gift for any couple because they do need to be replaced every so often — as we have discovered after more than 20 years of marriage! And an anniversary provides the perfect opportunity to get the best quality, so it will last a long time! 

    Thank you for this great idea of how to celebrate four years of marriage!

    • Hi – thanks for dropping by. Wow, more than 20 years, that’s a great achievement! I haven’t reached that anniversary yet, but keep reading. All the best, Diane 

  2. wow! I never knew that I wish I did on my 4th wedding anniversary. I love the details and the gift ideas, it would help anyone who is clueless about what to get. Good thing it’s an affordable one because by the 4th year most couples have at least one child and things could get hectic financially and physically. I will be waiting for the 18th wedding anniversary ideas, it will be in August for me 🙂 I love how you integrated gemstones in your gift ideas as well, I love them and believe in their power.

    Thank you for a well-detailed post!

    • Hi – thank you for your nice comments. Congratulations on your upcoming 18th anniversary, keep reading for gift ideas! All the best, Diane 

  3. Wow! What a cool website! 

    I have been with my husband for nearly 20 yrs, and we are approaching our 15th wedding Anniversary. We certainly celebrate every year, but honestly, we’ve never paid any attention to any of these traditional annual gifts!

    I can’t wait to see the additional years as you add them. I’ll be keeping watch for year 15!  🙂

    Will definitely be re-visiting your site. Thanks!

    • Hi – thank you for your nice comments. Congratulations on reaching nearly 15 years of marriage. I will be adding other anniversaries shortly, so keep reading. All the best, Diane

  4. Hi Dianne, 

    You just gave me an inspiration of making customized ran rests for couple’s homes with embroidery. 

    Your recommended gifts are so fascinating and well thought out.  A couple’s wedding anniversary is a good reminder of their memorable wedding day and a day to renew their marital vows. So the fourth wedding anniversary is a testifier to how much they have been able to accommodate each other’s shortcomings. 

  5. I really love the niche you have chosen… All things Paper and Cotton.  On your post Linen is a 4th Year Anniversary Item.  I really was not aware of that, thinking only gemstones represented wedding anniversaries.

    It just goes to show the wealth of information on the net.  Linen is also used for wrapping Egyptian mummies!  Wow!

    What I have noticed about linen clothing is that they are very hardy and last a long time.  Maybe this means, in anniversary terms, that a wedding and marriage will wear well.

    Thanks for sharing! 

    • Hi Stella – thanks for dropping by. I love to research old traditions and bring them to people’s attention. That’s a great suggestion as to why linen is used, it really makes sense! All the best, Diane  

  6. Great article,

    Pink hydrangeas are said to mean “you are the beat of my heart”. Wish I knew this 2 years ago when I had my 4th anniversary.  Been married 6 years now,  Found this article interesting as I never knew there were specific gifts meant for each year. Have you done other years for present s too:) would have to make the same mistake next anniversary

    sam Frederiksen webmaster at bestplace2

    • Hi Sam – thanks for your comments. Congratulations on achieving six years of marriage! I have done the first four anniversaries, so far, and will be adding to them, so keep reading. All the best, Diane


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