Custom Wedding Coins: An Ancient Tradition

Rick Cundiff

Rick Cundiff

Custom Wedding Coins: An Ancient Tradition

Custom wedding coins are an ancient wedding tradition that has become increasingly popular in recent years. Coins add an extra romantic and spiritual aspect to the ceremony.

The Origin of Custom Wedding Coins

The tradition of wedding coins, also known as unity coins, dates back to ancient Rome. Roman custom included the bride and groom breaking gold or silver into two equal pieces, to signify their intent to marry.

The custom evolved over the centuries. As practiced today in some Hispanic, Latino and Filipino cultures, the custom is known as “las arras.”

Traditional las arras at a wedding today involves 13 gold or silver coins placed inside a decorated box. With the tradition especially popular in Catholic wedding ceremonies, the number of coins represent Jesus and his 12 apostles.

Another common explanation indicates the coins represent each month of the year, plus a little more to give to the poor.

The Custom of Presenting the Coins

The custom wedding coins are typically presented to the officiant by a designated coin bearer. After the officiant blesses the coins, the groom presents them to the bride. The coins and their ornate box or pouch represent the groom’s promise to provide for the family, and the bride’s acceptance represents her vow to honor their blessings. For both, it is a symbol of their pledge to share life together.

Coin Styles

Wedding coins can be simple or ornate. Plain gold or silver coins are common, but they can be engraved with a symbol of the couple’s commitment, the wedding date or anything else they may wish. The coins can become family heirlooms, and it’s common for family members such as godparents to pass them down to the bride and groom as well.

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