Coins play a part in wedding ceremonies in many different cultures and countries. From the bride and groom exchanging coins to show their commitment, to wedding guests giving coins as gifts, we’ve picked out some examples of wedding ceremonies from around the world:
A world of tradition
In Great Britain, the bride traditionally wears ‘Something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue.’ But what is less well known is that the rhyme ends ‘and a silver sixpence in her shoe.’ For many years, the father of the bride would slip a sixpence into his daughter’s shoe before she walked down the aisle. The sixpence stood for good luck, and to show that the father wished his daughter prosperity in her marriage.
In Great Britain, silver coins are placed into the popped champagne or wine corks and given to the bride and groom as a memento of their special day.
Sweden has its own version of this tradition. Before a wedding, the bride’s mother gives her daughter a gold coin to put in her right shoe. The bride’s father then gives her a silver coin to put in her left shoe. The coins symbolise their wish that the bride will never go without money.
In Lithuania, the wedding guests bring silver dollars, half dollars and quarters with them and throw them onto the dance floor. One of the coins is marked with the bride and groom’s initials. At the end of the first dance, the wedding guests pick up all the coins for the newlyweds and put them in a clear vase. Whoever picks up the initialled coin gets to have the next dance with either the bride or the groom.
In Spain and Latin America, the groom gives a coin to his bride after the rings have been blessed. The coin symbolises his willingness to share all that he has or will have in the future. The bride keeps the coin as a family keepsake. If the couple go on to have children, the bride will give the coin to her eldest son to give to his own bride.
In Poland, instead of confetti, wedding guests throw coins over the married couple after they leave the ceremony. The pair then pick up the coins together as a symbol of their new unity