Today we’d like to share a little information you might not know about wedding traditions by one of the country’s most traditional organisations – the Royal Mint. As you’re about to find out the silver sixpence has a very special yet oft forgotten place in wedding tradition and so, to make sure you have the best of luck on your wedding day, the Royal Mint have collected a limited number of authentic vintage silver sixpences struck between 1920 and 1946 to have with you on your big day. You can find out more information via the link at the bottom of the page but first let’s find out exactly why every bride should have one…
You’ve probably heard of ‘something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue’. But, did you know that it originally ended ‘…and a silver sixpence for her shoe’? And do you know what the other traditions mean?
To get more information, we asked the experts The Royal Mint to explain popular wedding traditions and how they came about.
Something old: This represents the bride’s link to her family and her past, which she carries with her as she enters into married life. Often a mother or grandmother will provide an item so that it’s a true connection to the family.
Something new: Symbolises the future and looks forward to the next chapter of the bride’s life as a married woman. This can be anything bought for the day – whether the dress, flowers or wedding ring – so it’s easily ticked off.
Something borrowed: This is an interesting tradition. The theory goes that the bride should borrow an item from a happily married woman, so that in borrowing the item she is always symbolically borrowing some of the happiness of the woman who loaned it.
Something blue: Many people assume that a white dress is meant to represent the purity of the bride, but actually it’s ‘something blue’ that symbolises faithfulness, purity and loyalty. This one’s often quite subtle – whether it’s blue nail varnish, a blue garter, or a small section of blue fabric.
…and a silver sixpence for her shoe: Traditionally, the father of the bride would place a sixpence in his daughter’s left shoe just before she walks down the aisle to wish her luck and happiness in her marriage. Since the silver sixpence was taken out of circulation it’s become harder to follow this tradition, but The Royal Mint has released a limited number of vintage silver sixpences struck between 1920 and 1946 so that the tradition can continue.
Chimney Sweep: There are lots of theories about the origin of this tradition, but in the UK it’s considered lucky to meet a sweep on your big day. This can be inviting them along as a guest, or even just shaking their hand on the day of the wedding. Some sweeps actually hire themselves out as wedding guests for this reason!
Horseshoe: The horseshoe is an ancient symbol of good luck – but as it’s ‘U’ shaped, it’s meant to be held upright to so that the good luck is kept in. The horseshoe can’t be turned upside down or the good luck will fall out. Some brides carry small horseshoes attached to their wedding bouquet, or use them as decorations during the service.
Spider on the wedding dress: Although most brides might think this as a nasty surprise, finding a spider on your wedding dress has always been claimed to be lucky in Old English lore. That said, we’re not sure how many people would keep it on to walk down the aisle!
If you’d like more information, or to purchase an authentic vintage silver sixpence from The Royal Mint to add a traditional finishing touch to your big day, you can find more detail here:http://www.royalmint.com/weddings