Bridal Shoe Traditions

It is often the wedding dress that gets the most attention on a wedding day, but the shoes are just as important, as they are historically the focus of many superstitions and practices across different cultures.

Most brides are familiar with the phrase ‘Something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue’ but how many know that this saying is completed by ‘and a silver sixpence in the shoe’?  It is believed that a coin inside the bride’s wedding shoes ensures a prosperous marriage…although I am not sure how physically comfortable the bride would feel on the day! Obviously, sixpences are no longer in currency, but those who still wish to uphold the tradition may use a penny or another coin.

bridal shoes

There are many variations of this tradition around the world, including Nordic brides who wear a silver coin from their father in the left shoe and a gold coin from their mother in the right shoe. It is believed that this ensures that they have everything they need for a happy life.

Another bridal tradition, which appears to be out of a fairytale is selecting a bride by her shoes. Reminiscent of Cinderella and Prince Charming with the dainty glass slipper, men in imperial China would choose their brides by examining handcrafted shoes. The embroidered designs would contain hints to eligible bride’s wealth, education and social class, from which a match would be made by a matchmaker.
bridal shoe traditions

A bridal shoe trend with Turkish roots, is signing the sole of the wedding shoes. Traditionally all single females would sign the soles of the bride’s shoes and at the end of the night, whoever’s signature was most faded would be thought to be next to marry. An alternative to catching the bouquet!

bridal shoe traditions

There are many more traditions from all over the world including some older and less well-known traditions, such as throwing shoes at the newlywed couple, the groom tapping his new bride on the forehead with the heel of her shoe to show authority over her, and the bride throwing her shoes instead of her bouquet! I think we can all see why these traditions might have died out!

If you have any bridal shoe traditions, we would love to hear about them! We are always excited to hear about any quirky weddings or practices…especially if they involve Perfect Bridal Shoes!

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