Wedding Shoes | Bridal Shoes
From having your bridal shoes united while walking beneath the aisle allegedly to easy the future birth pains to putting on Chinese lotus shoes decorated with detailed instructions upon how to consummate the marriage, bridal shoes have always had rather superstitious role in wedding ceremonies in many cultures around the world.
Footwear has a rich history of being the center of various fortunate practices. From playful traditions to the customs encouraging wealth, those first steps of the just married couple are viewed as setting those in the direction of successful, fruitful and happy union.
Choosing a Bride
Choosing a bride by her shoe belongs not but to the fairy tales only. Just as Perrault’s Prince Charming ultimately found his fair maiden Cinderella by her petite glass shoe, men in ancient china selected their wives by examining their elegant handcrafted shoes.
As far as the embroidered designs had certain meaningful clues about a bride’s wealth, her social and educational background. A matchmaker demonstrated the brides’ to the suitors. After a match was made the nuptial arrangements began to be made.
Shoes as Wedding Gifts
In some ancient cultures he bride was supposed to be presented with a symbolic pair of shoes by her groom who was thus supposed to take care of her and pledge his devotion. In Netherlands, e.g. grooms were to carve wooden shoes with complicated scrollwork and Gothic script. Zuni Indian men were responsible leather footgear for their brides.
In India, one of the most expected gifts received by the brides is a pair of elegant shoes. She receives that gives from her groom’s younger brother. The gift is presented during a wedding ceremony held under a Hindu nuptial canopy.
Footgear is however not but for Indian brides only. The groom’s wedding shoes are to be elaborately adorned too. He is to take them off during the wedding ceremony to pay protective groomsmen costly ransom. Armenians are said to play the same tricks on their wedding ceremonies.
A Lucky Coin in the Shoe
Perhaps most of the brides are familiar with that tradition – “Something old, something new, something borrowed something blue”. Brides around the world walk down the aisle having coins put into their bridal shoes to secure their happy and prosperous marriage. Victorian brides had a sixpence in their left shoe as a part of their dowry present.
However since 1967 sixpence coins have not been issued, revived interest in this funny tradition inspired some wedding businesses to produce sweet keepsakes and replicas, though many nowadays brides use a penny coin instead.
Such a lucky coin is usually transformed into keepsake after the wedding ceremony is over and becomes either a dangling pendant, bracelet charm or a part of some ring setting. In several European cultures mothers pass such keepsake coins down to their daughters prior to beginning of the wedding ceremony.
This tradition has numerous variations. E.g., those Scandinavian brides who carry such a silver coin in the left shoe. A bride ensures this way that she will never go without the things necessary for her happy family life.
For a today twist on the classic wedding style, some bridal footwear designers line the shoes’ inside in blue; sometimes they imprint the phrase “I do” on the shoes’ outside.
Classic American wedding shoes are as a rule silk or satin to compliment the wedding dress fabric. They are often ornamented with sparkling crystals. However the white color symbolizes death in Far Eastern cultures, brides generally put on white wedding shoes with accents of color representing the hopes they pin on their happy and prosperous future.
To bless the union with fertility and longevity, the brides of Longquan region of China's Zhejiang Province don lively pink or orange slippers which are handmade by a granny living with the family for at least three generations.