The reason the 80th anniversary is symbolised by oak is probably due to the fact that oak trees are well known for living to a great age and also for being particularly robust, capable of surviving in serious storms far better than many other types of tree. Maybe the symbolism of oak, then, is that those who have achieved an 80th wedding anniversary have not only achieved a great age but will have often triumphed against adversity over the course of those 80 years.
Interestingly, the anniversary gifts list comes full circle at this point with the couple receiving similar gifts to those that they got on their 5th anniversary which would have been commemorated with wood. A suitable gift may be a Welsh love spoon, hand crafted symbols of love and unity which can be bought in a number of online shops. These are small and represent excellent value for money as an oak gift as well as being more reasonable than a large piece of furniture. Most people who will be celebrating this anniversary will have moved into a nursing home and so will not need any larger oak pieces.
The only couple to have achieved this wedding anniversary in the UK say that they did not celebrate it with any big party but simply had a quiet weekend together as they usually do. This is perhaps the most suitable way of celebrating an anniversary of this type as any couple celebrating this anniversary are likely to be in their 90's and so may not enjoy a large party.
At this age, the couple will be entitled to a special letter from the Queen if they live in the UK. In the US they will be entitled to a letter from the President and in Australia from the governors office. They may also get a visit from local dignitaries and local and national journalists who may very well be interested in writing up the story of a very uncommon wedding anniversary. You may even enter the record books for your respective country and it would be nice if a family member were to research whether or not this were the case.
However you celebrate, an 80th wedding anniversary is a very special occasion which happens far less often than one in a million. It's worth bearing this in mind as you come up to the special day and reflecting on how fortunate you are as a family to be celebrating this special occasion.