Monday, May 24, 2021

Why A Bride Puts A Sixpence In Her Shoe

I was so concerned with the little things in our wedding planning. It wasn't the big things that worried me, but the small things. Like, why a bride puts a sixpence in her shoe.

Wait. You don't know about that?

Okay Hang on. It's like that poem.

Something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue.

When I was trying to figure out what the heck to use for each line of the stanza, I learned there was a follow up sentence: with a sixpence in her shoe.

But ... why?

Have you ever wondered WHY a bride puts a sixpence in her shoe? Find out the reason from

Why A Bride Puts A Sixpence In Her Shoe

Who gives the bride a sixpence?

One telling of the legend is that back in the day, this sixpence was part of the dowry paid to the groom by the bride's family. But I didn't really like that idea.

Mostly because I don't like the idea of a dowry. I mean, sure, yes, back in the day that worked for people. The dowry was paid to the groom, and his family, in exchange for them taking care of the bride for the rest of her days.

But, something tells me Destiny's Child and all the women making their own money and all the mama who profit dollars throwing their hands up would have a problem with that.

(And if you completely forgot the song Independent Women dominated the charts after that Charlie's Angels movie, then that last line made no sense).

So I didn't like that explanation, and I only heard that once anyway, so I had to dig a little deeper.

What does the sixpence signify?

What I found when I kept looking was that the father of the bride is actually the one to put the silver coin into the bride's left shoe. It's a way of him wishing prosperity upon her and the marriage.

How cute is that?

The tradition also says the sixpence doubles as a bride's "something borrowed" since she is borrowing the coin from her father. I guess he asks for that sweaty, smelly, shoe-lived coin back at the end of the night. Maybe he needs to pass it along to the next daughter getting married.

Honestly, though, I think any traditions with a daughter and her dad are just so special, so I really love the idea of this one.

Where should I put my sixpence shoe?

If you do decide that you want a little extra luck on your wedding day and prosperity in your future, you should put the sixpence in your left wedding shoe.

How much is a sixpence worth?

According to Wikipedia, a sixpence, also known as a tanner or sixpenny bit, is a British coin that was worth six pence.

Which, logically, makes sense. But also means nothing to this American.

Wikipedia continues and says that's equivalent to one-fortieth of a pound sterling or half of a shilling.

Which still, means nothing.

In 1980, a sixpence was worth 2 1/2 new pence. And then I think people got tired of all this because the coins were retired in June 1980, before I was born.

Where can you buy a sixpence?

At least that's the easy part. You can just buy a sixpence online.

Do I have to use a sixpence?

If you're really following tradition, your dad must hunt down a sixpence for you, put it in your shoe, and send you on your merry way down the aisle, slightly leaning to the left.

But, if you just want a little symbolism, you don't have to use a sixpence. You can just go with a regular ol' American penny.

Do most American brides put a sixpence in her shoe?

If I'm being completely honest, this is one tradition I skipped. I wasn't sure that I could walk in heels with a coin inside -- but some people might actually tell you they're not sure I could walk in heels.

I did just fine walking in heels, by the way. Although we did change to matching Converse for the reception.

I also don't know any other bride who actually put a sixpence in her shoe. I also don't know anyone who is insanely wealthy. So go with the sixpence just in case?

What about the rest of the something borrowed poem?

Skip the sixpence, but definitely go with the rest of the something borrowed poem. That's a really easy tradition to accomplish.

Want to know how I did it?

Something old ... jewelry lent to me from my mom.

Something new ... a new Alex & Ani ring. Although a lot of brides consider their wedding dress their something new.

Something borrowed ... my friend Nicole's garter belt.

And something blue ... that garter belt again. Nicole actually used it as her something blue, so that worked out perfectly for me.

What wedding traditions should you keep?

I am a sucker for a good wedding tradition. I think they're so important. A father walking a bride down the aisle, the first dance, the groom not seeing the bride before the wedding ... I'm a big supporter of all of them.

I actually have a whole post about why wedding traditions are so important. And if you're on the fence about a couple of them, I think reading that post will definitely sway you to decide to keep the traditions, even if you're trying to be a non-traditional bride.

Pete even wrote a full post about why the groom shouldn't see the bride before the wedding. I'm not sure he was completely on board with that idea until our wedding day. After that, he figured out why that's a really important tradition.

If you're wondering about traditions, with 21 wedding traditions and superstitions, so give that a read when you get a chance.

And if you have any family traditions -- like songs your family loves, a specific flower in all the bride's bouquets, etc. -- you'll definitely want to incorporate those into your wedding planning. You don't want to buck any family traditions because that's something you'll definitely regret.

BRIDAL BABBLE: Will you be a bride who puts a sixpence in her shoe? Let us know in the comments.


  1. Never knew that was the ending. Even if you put the coin in your shoe by itself, I would think that would hurt. Would taping the coin to the bottom of your shoe count?

    Aria H.

  2. I think i would tape it just like Aria said.

  3. This is so fun! What a neat tradition to start!

  4. This is so neat! Wish someone had sent it to me when I got married ;)

  5. this is the first time I saw this idea

  6. Lol i think its for good luck to keep it in your shoe. i think i would do it. just from being curious what would happen but this is really nice to keep

  7. I love that it has the tradition written on the back of the card! And i'm pretty sure, or at least hoping, that you don't put the envelope in your shoe!

  8. I have heard of this before, but I dont know of anyone who has done this!

  9. I've never heard of doing this, but I don't think I will be.

  10. I have never heard of this but it seems really neat!

  11. I love the back of the cards! I think tradition is what makes these events so much fun! We are doing a vow renewal in a few months and there is so much we are learning about why we even do them.