Wedding Traditions: A penny for your shoe (and keychain!)

“Something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue and a sixpence in your shoe.”

Wedding traditions date back to the dawn of time, and because they’re so old, we sometimes forget why we do the things we do on our wedding day.  So, why do brides put a penny (formerly a sixpence) in their shoe?  One root of this tradition is the Irish belief that a penny, particularly an Irish penny, would lead the bride and groom to prosperity.  Back in the day, a sixpence was used to ensure the wealth and good fortune of the couple.  In some European cultures, this penny was saved by the bride and later given to her daughter on her wedding day.  This wedding tradition may also have gotten its start from the Scottish Penny Wedding.  The penny wedding involved guests bringing food and drink for a celebration after the ceremony.  Eventually, the penny wedding evolved into guests giving the bride and groom gifts to help towards the cost of the wedding celebration.

Today, brides often have the penny they carry in their shoe turned into a piece of jewelry as a talisman of good luck and fortune to be worn throughout their marriage.  Pats Design sells custom pennies on which she stamps words, dates and shapes.  You can wear them in your shoes, attach them to a necklace or bracelet, or use them on a keyring.  They work well as wedding keepsakes, but can also be used as party favors, anniversary presents or gifts for anyone in the bridal party.  Pats Design also works with brass, stainless steel and copper to make other custom stamped pieces.  Check out her work on Etsy if you’re interested!  Here are some examples of her custom wedding pennies:

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