Lifestyle Magazine

Coins and Weddings: An Ancient Tradition Made New

By Claire

In the run up to the big day, most brides will have the ‘some­thing old, some­thing new’ say­ing thrown their way quite a few times. It is a tra­di­tion which we are all famil­iar with, and many brides today still choose to col­lect the four items of the mantra for good luck. But did you know there are actu­ally five objects in the orig­i­nal rhyme? The full rhyme, dat­ing back to the Vic­to­rian era, is as follows:

Some­thing old, some­thing new,
some­thing bor­rowed, some­thing blue,
and a sil­ver six­pence in her shoe.

wedding shoes Travers and Brown

Wed­ding shoes — photo credit Corn­wall wed­ding pho­tog­ra­phers Tra­vers & Brown

The place­ment of the coin in the bride’s shoe was thought to bring pros­per­ity to the future cou­ple. This con­nec­tion between coins and wed­dings is one which is actu­ally found across the world, and in some cul­tures coins are as much a part of the tra­di­tional as the rings and the white dress are to us.

A 16th cen­tury Eng­lish wed­ding tradition?

Although the rhyme is Vic­to­rian, an exam­i­na­tion of early mar­riage vows reveals that in Eng­land, the tra­di­tion could have existed as far back as the 16th cen­tury. The vows, first pub­lished in the Book of Com­mon Prayers in 1549, detail an exchange of rings, as well as ‘other tokens of spousage’ includ­ing ‘gold and sil­ver’. It was only two years after this, in 1551, that the first sil­ver six­pence was minted in Britain; so it is likely that these coins became a com­mon fea­ture in wed­ding cer­e­monies from this point onwards.

wedding rings

Wed­ding ring at Fred­die and Linzi’s wed­ding — photo credit Mandy Mead­ows

There are numer­ous exam­ples world­wide of coins hav­ing an inte­gral role in cer­e­monies. In Scot­land, it was often tra­di­tion for the groom to place a coin in his shoe, rather than the bride. An old Irish tra­di­tion was for the groom to present his bride with a coin just after the exchange of the ring, an action which was thought to sym­bol­ise finan­cial security.

This has been updated in mod­ern times to both bridge and groom pre­sent­ing one another with a coin fol­low­ing the rings.

Fur­ther afield, it is com­mon amongst Chris­t­ian His­panic com­mu­ni­ties for the new­ly­weds to receive thir­teen coins, rep­re­sent­ing Jesus and the twelve dis­ci­ples. In Indian cer­e­monies, the bride fre­quently scat­ters coins as she leaves her par­ents’ house to go and live with her hus­band. It is a sym­bolic ges­ture, express­ing her thanks for her par­ents’ gen­eros­ity and love up until that point.

Coins may not be a com­mon fea­ture in most West­ern wed­dings today, but The Royal Mint still design coins to be used as wed­ding gifts. A sil­ver six­pence makes an excel­lent alter­na­tive gift which is a nod towards tra­di­tion while also being quirky and unique.

Or, if you are hav­ing a tra­di­tional Eng­lish wed­ding then you may wish to incor­po­rate coins into the cer­e­mony itself to com­plete the five sym­bols of luck.

You Might Also Like :

Back to Featured Articles on Logo Paperblog

These articles might interest you :

  • Frank Turner, Sam Coffey, and Bad Cop / Bad Cop Takeover Toronto!

    Frank Turner and The Sleeping Souls played the middle show of a three-night takeover of The Phoenix Concert Theatre in Toronto on Thursday night, and things... Read more

    The 23 September 2018 by   Phjoshua
  • Our Favorite TV Shows of All-Time

    Even though we live in Los Angeles where the weather is nice most of the year, during the fall we sometimes just want to stay in, prepare a cup of hot cocoa... Read more

    The 23 September 2018 by   A Girl In La - Style Blog
  • Finished Boys Bedroom Makeover: Ethans Blue, White And Red Big Boy Room

    Finished Boys Bedroom Makeover: Ethans Blue, White Room

    Our little boy Ethan's, bedroom makeover is now finished and it feels so good to finally be able to say that! If you've been following our renovation journey,... Read more

    The 23 September 2018 by   Alex_bumptobaby
  • Will Our Inventions Make Us Irrelevant?

    Will Inventions Make Irrelevant?

    We have the tools to redesign life to fulfil our wildest dreams. But do we know ourselves any more, asks Yuval Noah Harari in his latest book 21 Lessons for th... Read more

    The 23 September 2018 by   Thinkibility
  • House of Indya

    House Indya

    The festive season is already knocking on the door. Am sure many of us including me obviously is active in binge mode searching for ethnic collections like... Read more

    The 23 September 2018 by   Chayanikarabha
  • How to Worsen Diabetes: Follow the ADA and CDA Advice

    Worsen Diabetes: Follow Advice

    If you have a new diagnosis of type 2 diabetes, or have been dealing with the condition for years, where's a natural place you might go for support and... Read more

    The 23 September 2018 by   Dietdoctor
  • Safely Stored Away

    Safely Stored Away

    A bit of a panic today when I saw that temperatures might go down to 3C tonight and tomorrow night.  Whilst I had started to move some of my tender plants... Read more

    The 23 September 2018 by   Patientgardener