Wedding Shoes Tips

Why does a bride put a penny on her shoe?

Sometimes the history of wedding traditions becomes murky as it is passed down from generation to generation. The rhyme "Something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue, and a sixpence in her shoe" dates back to Victorian Britain and is thought to be the origin of the tradition of the bride hiding a penny in her shoe. 

The fate of a single penny, as the rhyme implies, will determine the couple's financial stability and happiness. The bride's mother would save a penny every day until her daughter's wedding, at which point she would give the bride the accumulated sum as a gift.

Numerous modern brides have their wedding penny made into a stunning piece of jewelry. Many brides still place lucky pennies or other coins in their shoes on their wedding day. There has been a British coin called a "sixpence" since the 1530s. The value of this coin is equivalent to six pennies.

As before, people during this time were very superstitious and widely held the belief that evil spirits were present and waiting for an opportunity to take over and control human affairs. The number of evil spirits was thought to increase during rituals like weddings. The couple decided to keep the sixpence as a lucky token in the hopes that it would bring them future success and happiness.

The Scottish thistle is featured on the reverse of the sixpence coin. This is also significant because it explains why a sixpence is considered a lucky charm. The northern European Danes attempted an invasion of Scotland in the 1200s.

They went after the sleeping people while it was still dark out. Unfortunately for the sleepers, many of the raiders were not wearing shoes, so when they stepped on the thorny thistle flower, they cried out in pain.

The thistle was considered a lucky symbol by the Scots, who began including it on the reverse of their coins around the year 1400. The Latin phrase "Fid Def," an abbreviation for "Fidei Desfensor," which means "defender of the faith," can also be found on the reverse of Scottish coins.

After 1967, production of the sixpence ceased. This means that any type of coin can be used by the bride, with the result being an association with "wealth and prosperity."

Table of Contents

In what way is the sixpence relevant to nuptials?

Briefly said, the custom of the groom receiving a sixpence as part of his dowery present dates back to the latter half of the 17th century. The tradition of placing a penny in the bride's left shoe as a good luck symbol on her wedding day grew over time.

Ways can be found. Sixpence coins can be purchased from a number of online vendors at a price that is both competitive and convenient. Get the coin and put it in your left shoe as the custom dictates. Set a new custom by putting the coin aside. Share it with your nearest and dearest, your friends, and maybe even your future daughter!

What does each of them mean? 

Something Old – This is a treasured family heirloom that the bride will wear on her wedding day and continue to treasure long after the ceremony is over. One typical instance is jewelry. The couple's something old represents the things they've learned and grown to value from their individual lives that they'll bring with them into their new life as husband and wife.

Something New – This is to serve as a metaphor for the new life that the couple intends to start together when they get married. The giving and receiving of wedding rings frequently serves as a metaphor for the beginning of something fresh.

Something Borrowed – This is something that was borrowed from another couple who are happily married. The lending of an item to the couple is done in the hopes that it will offer them continued happiness throughout their lives together.

Something Blue – Having something blue on your person is a sign of love, as well as purity and loyalty. Everything that, in the past, a bride was expected to represent.

True Tales from the Legends of Old

For the happy couple, the sixpence stands for an abundance of luck and riches in the years ahead. The six-penny coin first appeared in circulation in the British Empire in 1551. And A Sixpence claims that in the early 1600s, the king of the manor handed a sixpence to the bride as a wedding present.

However, by the late 17th century, the sixpence was commonly given to the groom by the bride's parents as part of the dowry. During the Middle Ages, when people believed that malevolent creatures were more prominent during rituals of passage, the penny was seen as a lucky charm, as described in Silver Sixpence.

Check out Vines of the Yarra Valley Wedding Venue for your ultimate wedding reception.

Various Foreign Coins

Parents in Sweden often express their hope that their daughter would never lack for material goods by gifting her with two coins: one gold and one silver. It is customary to place the gold coin in the right shoe and the silver coin in the left.

Guests at a Lithuanian wedding are welcomed into the family through an age-old ceremony. The guests toss silver dollars, quarters, and half dollars on the dance floor, with both bride and groom's initials written on one. A coin bearing the couple's initials is hidden somewhere, and the lucky finder has to dance with the happy couple after the first dance.

Helpful Advice and Techniques

Silver sixpence coins are popular wedding favors, but you won't find them at the bank. A freshly minted penny, possibly from a special year, is another option. Pennies are readily held in closed-toe shoes, but brides who opt to wear open-toed shoes may want to secure the pennies with tape.

If you don't want to wear shoes, you may establish a new tradition by hiding the currency in your underwear. It is common for many wedding customs to be passed down from moms to daughters. A penny in the bride's shoe, according to one of them.

Here, we'll break down the history of this age-old custom and offer some suggestions on how you might tastefully include it in your big day. A sixpence in her shoes was originally part of the popular rhyme about what a bride should have on her wedding day.

This rhyme originated in the Victorian era, when the penny, and more specifically the Irish penny, was seen as a sign of the couple's prosperity. However, sixpence was eventually replaced with a penny for practical reasons.

There is, however, an alternative rationale for the custom of placing a penny in your shoe on your wedding day. Many people attribute the origin of this practise to the Scottish penny wedding.

In order to have a reception following the ceremony, visitors at this type of nuptials were asked to bring a dish or drink to share. However, throughout time, this custom evolved into visitors presenting presents that contributed financially to the couple's wedding expenses.

Many European countries continue the custom of placing a coin in the bride's shoe on her wedding day, however the custom has morphed in some places. In Poland, for instance, instead of confetti, coins are showered upon the newlyweds.

When the bride and groom dance during a wedding in Lithuania, people traditionally scatter coins across the floor. The intention behind these coin-related traditions, which can take many forms, is always the same: to bring financial success to the newlyweds.

Remember these guidelines if you plan on following the tradition of placing a coin in your shoe to bring good luck. The first step is to place the penny in your left shoe. It doesn't matter if you're wearing open or closed shoes; tape the coin to the inner of the arch of each. The penny will stay put and you may dance the day away without worrying about it falling out.

You may take this theme even farther by using pennies in other aspects of the event. For the groom, you may select from a variety of unique penny cufflinks. Guests at your bridal shower would appreciate a sixpence or a penny necklace bearing your initials.

Once the wedding is over, what should you do with the pennies you stuffed into your shoe? To reuse it as jewelry, many brides drill a hole in it. If this penny was given to you by your mother or mother-in-law, it is yours to keep.

At the time of her wedding, you will give it to your daughter or future daughter-in-law. By the way, you can claim to have begun this custom in your family if you are the first member to find the coin in their shoe.

Check out our blog post on other traditions and colours to avoid wearing to a wedding.

wedding shoes

Does putting a sixpence in the bride's shoe bring luck in other places?

  • In the United Kingdom, the bride is expected to wear "Something old, something new, something borrowed, and something blue." Less well-known, though, is the final line of the rhyme: "and a silver sixpence in her shoe." Before the bride walked down the aisle, the groom would traditionally place a sixpence in her shoe. The sixpence symbolised the father's best wishes for his daughter's happiness in her marriage and good fortune.
  • Traditional wedding favours in the United Kingdom include silver coins hidden inside of opened bottles of champagne or wine.
  • This custom also exists in Sweden. Mother of the bride traditionally gives her daughter a gold coin to place in her right shoe before the wedding. The groom then places a silver coin in the left shoe of his daughter-to-be. They give the coins to the bride in the hopes that she will never have to worry about money.
  • Wedding guests in Lithuania traditionally bring silver dollars, half dollars, and quarters to the reception and toss them on the dance floor as a form of decoration. The bride and groom's initials are engraved on one of the coins. When the first dance is over, the guests collect the coins and place them in a glass vase as a gift for the happy couple. Whoever picks up the coin with the newlyweds' initials dances with them next.
  • After the rings have been blessed, the tradition in Spain and Latin America is for the groom to present a coin to the bride. That he's willing to give away everything he owns and will own in the future is represented by the coin. The coin becomes an heirloom for the new bride's family. The bride will give the coin to her eldest son to present to his future wife if and when the couple has children.
  • As the newlyweds depart the ceremony, visitors in Poland traditionally shower them with pennies rather than confetti. After that, as a sign of their newfound solidarity, the couple picks up the coins together.

The tradition is observed, albeit differently, in many other nations than Great Britain. Traditionally, Swedish brides' mothers give their daughters a gold coin, which is then placed in the bride's right shoe before the wedding. Unlike the customs of Great Britain, where the groom pays for the wedding, the bride's family pays, and the couple shares in the riches.

After the rings have been blessed, the tradition in Spain and Latin America is for the groom to give a penny to the bride. This coin represents his openness to sharing his present and future resources with you. There will be a tradition of giving this currency to the bride of the firstborn son.

Poland and Lithuania also have their own versions of the custom. Around the world, a coin appears to represent more than just a monetary unit. It's common for the bride's dress to be the focal point of the entire wedding. But the shoes are still crucial, as they have long been the focus of numerous cultural beliefs and traditions.

Although the line "Something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue" is well-known among brides, the addition of "and a silver sixpence in the shoe" is less common knowledge.

It is said that placing a coin in the bride's wedding shoes will guarantee a happy marriage, though I can't imagine that this tradition is particularly practical. The sixpence is no longer legal tender, but a penny or other coin might be used in its place if the custom must be maintained.

And a silver sixpence for your luck

Good fortune and financial security in matrimony are symbolised by a silver sixpence. The father of the bride typically presents her with a silver sixpence in her shoe on her wedding day. Traditionally, the groom will place the silver sixpence in his daughter's heel as she walks down the aisle.

A silver-sixpence wedding, then, is what? It's a time of great fortune and success. The sixpence represents the father's hope for the couple's future happiness, love, and success.

Check out our top picks for Wedding Jewellery here to add that finishing touch to the perfect bridal look.

Conclusion

The tradition of the bride hiding a penny in her shoe can be traced back to Victorian Britain and the sixpence. As the rhyme suggests, the couple's financial security and happiness hang in the balance of a single penny.

In fact, many brides have their wedding penny transformed into a beautiful piece of jewelry. Grooms have traditionally been given a sixpence as part of their dowery gift since the second half of the 17th century. In recent decades, it has become customary to give the bride a penny to place in her left shoe on the day of the wedding.

Multiple sellers on the Internet offer sixpence coins at reasonable rates. In 1551, the six-penny coin became the first in circulation throughout the British Empire. The traditional rhyme about what a bride should have on her wedding day used to include "a sixpence in her shoes."

This old song goes back to the Victorian era, when the penny, and especially the Irish penny, represented success and prosperity. The tradition of the groom putting a coin in the bride's shoe on her wedding day is still practised in many European countries.

Coins are thrown at the newlyweds instead of confetti in Poland. In Lithuania, it is customary for guests to sprinkle coins on the dance floor as the bride and groom celebrate their new union.

In the United Kingdom, it is customary for the bride's father to slip a sixpence into the bride's shoe before the wedding. Both Sweden and Spain have a tradition that is very similar. Silver coins are traditionally brought by guests and scattered on the dance floor as a decorative element at receptions in Lithuania.

A silver sixpence is a traditional wedding day gift from the groom to his daughter. It is customary for the groom to insert the coin into his future bride's heel as she walks down the aisle. Having a silver-sixpence wedding means that the happy couple will have a lot of money and a lot of success in their lives together.

Content Summary

  • The rhyme "Something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue, and a sixpence in her shoe" dates back to Victorian Britain and is thought to be the origin of the tradition of the bride hiding a penny in her shoe.
  • Many brides still place lucky pennies or other coins in their shoes on their wedding day.
  • There has been a British coin called a "sixpence" since the 1530s.
  • The number of evil spirits was thought to increase during rituals like weddings.
  • The couple decided to keep the sixpence as a lucky token in the hopes that it would bring them future success and happiness.
  • Briefly said, the custom of the groom receiving a sixpence as part of his dowery present dates back to the latter half of the 17th century.
  • The tradition of placing a penny in the bride's left shoe as a good luck symbol on her wedding day grew over time.
  • The giving and receiving of wedding rings frequently serves as a metaphor for the beginning of something fresh.
  • The six-penny coin first appeared in circulation in the British Empire in 1551.
  • And A Sixpence claims that in the early 1600s, the king of the manor handed a sixpence to the bride as a wedding present.
  • However, by the late 17th century, the sixpence was commonly given to the groom by the bride's parents as part of the dowry.
  • During the Middle Ages, when people believed that malevolent creatures were more prominent during rituals of passage, the penny was seen as a lucky charm, as described in Silver Sixpence.
  • Silver sixpence coins are popular wedding favors, but you won't find them at the bank.
  • It is common for many wedding customs to be passed down from moms to daughters.
  • A sixpence in her shoes was originally part of the popular rhyme about what a bride should have on her wedding day.
  • There is, however, an alternative rationale for the custom of placing a penny in your shoe on your wedding day.
  • Many people attribute the origin of this practice to the Scottish penny wedding.
  • Many European countries continue the custom of placing a coin in the bride's shoe on her wedding day, however the custom has morphed in some places.
  • Remember these guidelines if you plan on following the tradition of placing a coin in your shoe to bring good luck.
  • Less well-known, though, is the final line of the rhyme: "and a silver sixpence in her shoe."
  • Before the bride walked down the aisle, the groom would traditionally place a sixpence in her shoe.
  • Traditional wedding favors in the United Kingdom include silver coins hidden inside of opened bottles of champagne or wine.
  • After the rings have been blessed, the tradition in Spain and Latin America is for the groom to present a coin to the bride.
  • The coin becomes an heirloom for the new bride's family.
  • Traditionally, Swedish brides' mothers give their daughters a gold coin, which is then placed in the bride's right shoe before the wedding.
  • After the rings have been blessed, the tradition in Spain and Latin America is for the groom to give a penny to the bride.
  • It is said that placing a coin in the bride's wedding shoes will guarantee a happy marriage, though I can't imagine that this tradition is particularly practical.
  • Good fortune and financial security in matrimony are symbolized by a silver sixpence.
  • The father of the bride typically presents her with a silver sixpence in her shoe on her wedding day.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Before a wedding, the bride's mother gives her daughter a gold coin to put in her right shoe. The bride's father then gives her a silver coin to put in her left shoe. The coins symbolise their wish that the bride will never go without money.
The culprits, also known as the sisters, cousins and other female relatives of the Bride, then loot the shoes and find a discrete hiding place for them. Their objective is to achieve monetary gain later on following the marriage ceremony when the Groom needs his shoes to leave the venue.
In Victorian England, the bride was given a sixpence coin to put in her shoe for good luck. Carrying the coin into her wedding day was thought to attract wealth and it was believed to be most effective if it was placed in the shoe by her father.
“In today's modern world, the symbolism of the wedding coins represents a promise of prosperity in the couple's marriage, as well as a promise to always protect each other's wealth.”
These days we tend not to take this too literally, but horseshoes are still one of the more meaningful wedding day keepsakes. After the confetti throw, an older lady of the family will often give the newly married bride a gift of a decorated wedding horseshoe, to bring good luck to her new marriage.
Scroll to Top
Google Rating
4.7
Based on 167 reviews
Facebook Rating
4.8
Based on 201 reviews
js_loader