A Sixpence In Her Shoe?
If you are in the wedding professional industry, have planned, or are planning a wedding, chances are you have heard the phrase “Something Old, Something New, Something Borrowed, Something Blue, & a Sixpence in her Shoe.” And, if you are a “traditional” bride/couple, it is more than likely that you go through that phrase like a checklist and make sure you have each piece in place on your wedding day. But what does all of this actually mean? In this blog, we will delve deeper into these traditions that mean so much to so many brides.
SOMETHING OLD –
The phrase originated in Lancashire, England during the Victorian Era. During this time, superstitions ran high, and people were always trying to come up with things that would ward off these superstitions, especially those that accompanied a couple on their wedding day. This part of the phrase symbolizes continuity, as well as the traditions that have been passed on throughout the generations. It is thought that our ancestors surround us and protect us from evil spirits.
Something Old Ideas:
· Wearable Items:
o Photo of Grandparents
o Antique or Vintage Jewelry/Hair Accessories
o Relative’s Wedding Dress
o Piece of Mother/Grandmother’s Dress
o Using Father’s Tie in Décor (i.e. wrapping the bouquet)
· Other Items:
o Older Venue
o Vintage Car
o Family Bible
SOMETHING NEW –
Simply put, this part of the phrase symbolizes being optimistic for what the future holds. Learning from the past, and looking towards the future with the ability to continue to carry on the traditions of the past.
Something New Ideas:
· A New Perfume
· New ‘Signature’ Lipstick
· New Initials Monogrammed on a Handkerchief or Necklace
· New Lingerie
· New Haircut
· New Jewelry
· New Shoes
· New Wedding Dress
SOMETHING BORROWED –
This part of the phrase symbolizes a token given to the bride from happily married couples in order to bring joy, luck, and happiness to the new couple.
Something Borrowed Ideas:
· Family Bible
· Cake Cutting Set
SOMETHING BLUE –
Going back to superstitions mentioned above, one superstition that was carried throughout generations is the one of the “EVIL EYE.” The “EVIL EYE” was a curse that was passed onto the bride through a malicious glare of a guest, a former lover, anyone wishing anything but happiness for the new couple. The curse was said to cause infertility in the bride, making it so no that future generations could continue. Blue is said to use to ward off evil spirits, including the “EVIL EYE.”
Along with the warding off of the superstitions, the color blue also symbolizes purity, fidelity, and love. And, in Christian weddings, blue is also said to represent the Virgin Mary, who is often depicted wearing a blue robe.
Something Blue Ideas:
· Couple’s Names Embroidered in Blue Thread on the Inside of the Dress or on a Handkerchief
· Blue Sapphire Jewelry
· Blue Flowers
· Blue Nail Polish
· Blue Shoes
· Blue Ribbon/Wrapping Around Flowers
A SIXPENCE IN HER SHOE –
A sixpence is a British coin which was first minted in the mid-1500’s. It is a coin that equals 6 pennies. Again, during this time, people were very superstitious, and believed that evil spirits lurked everywhere, ready to take over and control everyone’s lives. During ritualistic events, such as weddings, it was believed that the evil spirits were even more abundant. The sixpence became a good luck charm for the couple, which would symbolize future luck, wealth and prosperity.
The back of the sixpence coin depicts a Scottish thistle. This, too, carries meaning in the reason for the sixpence good luck charm. In the 1200’s, the Danes from northern Europe attempted to invade Scotland. Under the cover of darkness is when they attempted their attack on those sleeping. However, many of the raiders were bare-footed, and when they stepped on the thistle flower, which has thorns, they began to howl out in pain, thus alerting those who were sleeping. The Scottish believed the thistle to be good luck and began putting the flower on the back of their coins in the 1400’s. Also on the back of the Scottish coins is the Latin phrase, “Fid Def,” which is an abbreviated form of “Fidei Desfensor,” which translates to “defender of the faith.”
Unfortunately, the sixpence was no longer made after 1967. Because of this, a bride could really use any type of coin, as the thought of “wealth and prosperity” will follow.