Something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue, & a SILVER SIX PENCE IN HER SHOE.
Did you know that the end of that rhyme is a silver six pence in her shoe? And if you did, do you know why you are supposed to put a silver six pence in your shoe on your wedding day?
But where did this tradition come from?
What is a six pence?
The sixpence was a a British form of currency worth a 40th of sterling, or six pence. In England, the first sixpences were struck in the reign Edward VI in 1951 and continued until they were obsolete in 1971.
How did the six pence tradition begin?
In the middle ages, the people were very superstitious. They believed that much of their life was controlled by evil spirits. Anything they could do to ward off those spirits was wise. They felt that those evil spirits were particularly active during rites of passage, such as weddings, so it was important to use good luck charms to keep the bride and groom safe on their wedding day. Any type of talisman from a horseshoe to a lucky coin was considered a good omen.
During the early 1600’s it was customary for the Lord of the Manor to give his bride a piece of silver as a wedding gift. This was symbolically represented by a sixpence coin. It later became a tradition to include a sixpence in the dowry that was given by the bride’s family to the groom. That tradition of the sixpence as a symbol of good luck continues today.
Some families have passed down the same sixpence through the generations to continue the hope for good luck to future brides. It’s also nice to seek out a sixpence minted in the year of your parents or grandparents wedding, birth years, or some other important family occasion.
So on your wedding day don’t forget your something old, something, new something borrowed, something blue, and a silver six pence in your shoe.