Exactly two years ago, on October 14, 2012, I married my best friend under the lamp posts and hanging Spanish moss of Jackson Square Park in New Orleans, Louisiana, and became Mrs. Jonathan Freeman.
Crazy thing is, it seems like it was just yesterday! So much has changed in the past two years it’s hard to wrap my head around it all – Jonathan is in the Navy now, we have a beautiful daughter and another one on the way, we purchased our very first house.. if you’d told me all of this on that beautiful lamplit evening two years ago, I wouldn’t believe it!
Our Victorian Era Anniversary Traditions
Jonathan and I agreed at the very start of our wedding plans that we would like to incorporate the Victorian Era custom of gifting one another according to the traditional yearly “themes”, and giving the traditional anniversary flowers for our future wedding anniversary celebrations.
The tradition of giving specific anniversary gifts based on the number of years a couple has been married dates back to the Middle Ages, but the Victorian Era (1837-1901) was especially focused on creating traditions. Although no one is certain how the traditional list of symbolic anniversary gifts originated, the gifts according to year are pretty well established.
For the first year, the traditional anniversary flower is the carnation, and the first anniversary gift theme is paper. So Jonathan and I bought a beautiful bouquet of multi-colored carnations for our home, and we purchased our custom hand bound wedding photo album as the “paper” gift to one another.
Second Year Traditional Wedding Flower: The Lily
This year, for the second anniversary, the traditional flower is the lily, and the traditional gift is cotton.
During the Victorian period in the 19th century, there was a flower language boom that meant certain flowers were associated with expressing particular feelings. That means that sending someone a bouquet delivered a very specific message based on the flowers’ meaning. There was no need for words – the recipient could decipher the intended message merely by the blossoms chosen.
The lily is associated with holiness, faith and purity. The purple lily specifically denotes passion.
While Jonathan and I picked out the purple lilies on more of an “oooh shiny” factor, rather than thinking of the symbolism behind the petals, it all seems rather fitting. I’d say each of the meanings apply to our relationship this second year anniversary.
This past year has been filled with so much uncertainty that we have pretty much been living on faith. Faith that we would end up wherever God wants to take us in the Navy. Faith that we would be able to purchase the home of our dreams. Faith that our daughter would grow strong and healthy and that we’d continue to find generous breast milk donors for her. Faith that our second child would be safe in my womb and be the little person God wants to put in our lives to grow our family.
And with all this increase in faith, we have found a renewed passion in seeking God, in living for Him, and for growing stronger as a couple and as a family unit. So passion, faith, holiness and purity? It’s been the theme of year two for the Freeman Family!
Second Year Traditional Wedding Gift: Cotton
As for the traditional cotton gift: Jonathan and I had originally planned to buy a luxury set of Egyptian cotton bedroom sheets, or a new comforter, or new pillows, or big fluffy bathrobes. But we literally bought every single one of those things when we moved into our new house. We were just so excited to be in our new FIRST home, that we went out and splurged on one another!
So when it came to buying a mutual “cotton” gift for one another, the only thing we could think that would be both sweet AND practical was.. wait for it.. 100% cotton kitchen towels.
Now this gift is much more romantic than it seems. Not only did we need dishtowels (ours are overused and threadbare) but cooking together is one of our favorite ways to bond and spend quality time together. And in our new kitchen, with the floating center cutting board island, we can work side by side chopping, mixing, sautéing and simmering to our hearts content. With these adorably artsy “His” and “Hers” kitchen towels, we can work side by side with our own towels marked out! Cute, no?
I am still so desperately and hopelessly in love with my husband. We’re still starry-eyed kids at heart, daydreaming about how we’ll fulfill the rest of the 75 traditional wedding anniversary gift themes. And there is no doubt in my mind that we will. Happy second anniversary Jonathan!
“Once in a awhile, in the middle of an ordinary life, love gives us a fairytale.”
(QUICK UPDATE: My blog has been temporarily on hold as I focus on building up my business website at Gingi Freeman Photography!)