Originating in Spain, the 13 coins wedding tradition symbolizes Christ and his 12 apostles. This wedding tradition is usually associated with Hispanic families and involves the groom giving the coins (either gold or silver) to his bride.The coins, or arrhea, was a Roman custom of breaking gold or silver, one half to be kept by the woman and the other half by the man, as a pledge of marriage. This signified his willingness to support her. The tradition usually places the coins in an ornate box or tray, and this holds good wishes for prosperity. These coins become a part of their family heirloom.
The way the coins are traditionally used during the day of the wedding are as followed: coins are placed on a tray and handed to an assistant to be held until their specific moment in the ceremony. Near the end of the ceremony, the box and coins are given to the minister or officiant who places the coins in the box and hands them to the groom. The bride then extends her cupped hands to her soon to be husband, who will then pour the coins into her extended hands as a symbol of his unquestionable trust, confidence, and pledge to provide financially for them.
A typical Ceremony may sound something like this:
Officiant: “The symbolism of the 13 gold coins in this ceremony is that the groom recognizes his responsibility as a provider, and pledges his ability to support and care for his wife. Acceptance by the bride means taking that trust and confidence unconditionally with total dedication and prudence.”
Thirteen gold coins, will now be counted out to the groom.
“As I count out the 13 coins and place them in the grooms hands they also represent different values that the couple desire to share between themselves: love, harmony. cooperation, commitment, peace, happiness, trust, respect, caring, wisdom, joy, wholeness and nurturing. May these coins be a symbol of this couple’s mutual love, fidelity and trust. May these coins be a symbol of the Groom and Bride’s mutual love, fidelity and trust.”
Groom: “I (groom’s name) give you (Bride’s name) these 13 coins as a symbol of my unquestionable trust and confidence I place in you as my beloved wife. As we united our lives today I share all material responsibility with you.”
Bride: “I (bride’s name) accept these coins and assure you of my total love and dedication in looking after you, your possessions and my unconditional love.”
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