What is the correct usage between the following?

  • A wedding anniversary
  • A marriage anniversary?

What differences are there, if any.

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  • 3
    Marriage Anniversary is just plain wrong. Wedding takes place once, marriage lasts (for life, or for a while sometimes). – Kris May 22 '14 at 5:16
  • 1
    They have the same relation as your day of birth and your life. – Oldcat May 22 '14 at 18:07
  • Does that mean, while congratulating one should say "Congratulations on your wedding" rather than "congratulations on your marriage"? – Sandeepan Nath May 17 '16 at 7:18

Marriage refers to the relationship, the long term sharing of two lives. Wedding refers to the specific ceremony that unites two people in marriage.

The idiomatic usage is to talk about a "wedding anniversary" which is to say the anniversary of the day on which the ceremony took place.


Google books has 4,160 results for marriage anniversary.
And 422,000 results for wedding anniversary

It appears from the few books I scanned that the former is more common, but not limited to, Indian English.

Anita smiled as she watched her four children scrambling around, in preparation of her thirty-fifth marriage anniversary. She could hardly believe that thirty five long years had passed that she and her husband, Dharmendra got married.

One Sunday school class in our church worked to gather beautiful reception decorations for twenty-fifth and fiftieth wedding anniversary parties

Wikipedia recognizes wedding anniversaries as the proper term to describe the anniversary of the day on which you were married.

A wedding anniversary is the anniversary of the date a wedding took place. Traditional names exist for most of them: for instance, 50 years of marriage is called a "golden wedding anniversary" or simply a "golden anniversary".


Though used interchangeably , these two words carry very different meanings. Wedding is an occasion, whereas a marriage is the long journey after the wedding.

So wedding anniversary makes sense but marriage anniversary doesn't.

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