• Cara Wagner

...A Sixpence For Your Shoe

Have you heard, "Something Old, Something New, Something Borrowed, Something Blue, A Sixpence For Your Shoe?" The phrase references outdated British currency, the sixpence*. This simple coin was minted 1551-1980, and originated in this marital instruction as as a wish for prosperity.



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When I was married in 2014, my Grandma Betty gave me a Sixpence. Her father, my great-grandfather, had given it to her on her wedding day. Rather than tucking into my shoe, which was a wedge sandal, I chose to have a small blue pocket sewn inside my dress where it was nested for the day.


I wasn't sure that I would be fortunate enough to have children, let alone a daughter. I figured saving my Sixpence would be a neat gesture for a niece, daughter-in-law, or cousin's daughter. Last summer when my husband and I welcomed the birth of our first child, a daughter, I thought back to that Sixpence and smiled. Even if my wedding dress was "weird" or let's be real, ends up being too short, there's something I can give her that will accomodate any size or outfit choice.


Let's hop in the Waaaaay Back Machine. Since 2008 I've been collecting some of the sweetest, most meaningful stories that came forward on a wedding day. I'll share some of my favorite ones below (as best as I can recall them). Who knows, maybe one of these lucky charms, thoughtful props, or meaningful tributes will work for you and yours too!


Music

I think the story went that these two men were affiliated/related to an/the Avett Brothers. Of course I've slept since 2009. This duo knew the bride and groom well and performed folk-infused music late in the evening at the reception. Whether they're part Avett we'll never know, but boy did they sound good! Music is a beautiful gift AND meaningful way to commemorate a special day.


I've heard the most incredible string quartets (I later hired them for my own nuptials), pianists, vocalists, and harmonica players (more on that later). Whether it's for a prelude, ceremony, reception, or private moment, music is a beautiful way to embrace the day.


Accessories

One of my brides (hey Lauren!) found this idea for bouquets. She knew she wanted clutches (they're traditional and ladylike) and real flowers (because they're so stunning) and figured, "why can't I have both?" She persuaded her florist to meld the two and this masterpiece was born. I love that one could use an heirloom clutch or homegrown flowers and incorporate their own meaning into this idea.


Bridal Party

Present-day weddings often have friends as bridesmaids and groomsmen. Why can't you pair your own children, nieces, nephews, siblings, and cousins into the bridal party? This is an inclusive way to blend new families too - everyone gets to know each other and bond over the wedding experience!

As we age we don't always have those that we love most standing with us on our wedding day. Cherish those you love most with their presence. Invite them to meaningful moments that you want to share with them such as zipping a dress, first look, or even a first dance. Just last Fall I watched a groom sit his mother down half-way through the mother/son dance and take his mother-in-law's hand. It just doesn't get any sweeter, folks.


Transportation

A first car, remodeled car, or even a borrowed car can make your day extraordinary. Especially if you enjoy road trips, working on vehicles, or spending time tinkering together. Did I mention they make an awesome photo prop? They don't have to be flawless - sometimes vehicles with imperfections are part of your story and every tiny detail adds to the originality of your story.

The reason I titled this header transportation is because you aren't limited to road vehicles. Water transportation is highly acceptable too! One of the most memorable weddings I can call to mind used boats to transport the bridal parties across the lake for a ceremony on a peninsula. It was one of the most memorable weddings (really, the boats were a footnote) because it was 150% true to the couple and something that branded them as something they loved enjoying together.

I've seen wooden wagons pulled by horses, limousines, a horse and carriage, golf carts, vintage cars, and even a tandem bicycle help a bride and groom get down the aisle. The world is your oyster!


Acknowledgements

Candles, a photo table with treasured images, and tiny photograph charms on bouquets are timeless ways to remember those who cannot be present. To some, it's like those people are still with us even when they can't physically attend. I have also seen reserved seating with photographs or a loved-one's memorabilia placed on the seat.


For the subtle or modern, a slide show, song, Bible verse, or quote are helpful to keep those we love top of mind too. Whatever you do, make sure it's something that feels fitting for you. People can always tell when you have planned little parts like that yourself.


Lights!

I once booked a wedding on the Fourth of July. I ONLY did this with the promise of an incredible firework show. The groom did not disappoint! He gave his wife a beautiful gift on their wedding day and had the kindness to share it with everyone else at their reception. It was truly magical!

Sometimes fireworks aren't in the budget. Sparklers are still a fun way to catch the warmly glowing faces of your favorite people as you leave your reception venue. It's not always about who isn't with you but who is.


Pro tips: get the extra long sparklers and ask everyone to leave a wide walkway for you to turn around and do a couple of passes. Your photographer and videographer will thank you later.

Finally, I've loved seeing the use of paper lanterns. Guests can write notes to those that they love, a wish for the future, or even something they'd like to let go. Everyone lights them together and releases them as a homage to a special evening.


Pro tips: Do not do this during a drought. Also consider how many will be released at one time and be sure to steer clear of power lines, trees, and houses.


For more on the other good luck charms (Something Old, Something New, Something Borrowed, and Something Blue), continue reading this article from The Knot.



Meanwhile, if you liked what you read here, be sure to explore more wedding-related posts on my blog .

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