Exactly why do we give a “lucky” horseshoe to the new bride on her wedding day?
We love traditions!
A lucky horseshoe… so what’s that all about?! When you start to plan your wedding, you learn pretty quickly that the day is full of little traditions and symbolic links with our past. Some of them, like for example, wearing a white dress, are central to our wedding experience. But most of us pick and choose or adapt these often quite quirky old customs to better suit our modern lives.
However, many traditions do endure, and they are what help to make the big day so special. Throwing confetti would be a great example! The gesture is said to bestow love, luck, and fertility upon the marriage. Most of us don’t think about that during the confetti moment but we wouldn’t want to miss it!
Explaining the Symbolism of a Lucky Horseshoe
Lucky horseshoes are a meaningful gift and an ancient symbol of good luck. For Christians the meaning behind horseshoes comes from St. Dunstan. He trapped the Devil inside a horseshoe and said he would only release him if the Devil swore an oath to never cross the threshold of a Christian home that was protected by a horseshoe hung above the door. Consequently, a horseshoe was given to a bride to take to her marital home and the newly-weds would be protected.
We can trace the positive symbolism of horseshoes all the way back to ancient times. The shape of a horseshoe meant that we associated them with the crescent moon. Therefore we imbued them with some of the moon’s mythology and regarded them as a symbol of fertility.
The Victorians loved their symbolism and are responsible for most of our wedding traditions! They sought to fill the wedding day with meaning and omens of good fortune. In this instance female family members would give a horseshoe to the bride in order to bring good luck to her marriage. In addition, sometimes they would get a child to give the lucky horseshoe because they thought this was particularly beneficial in terms of fertility. Moreover, the Victorians considered the luckiest horseshoes were those cast from iron – a perfect marriage of fire and earth. And they would select a used horseshoe because the metal had absorbed the horse’s strong energy.
Lucky Horseshoes Today
We tend not to take symbolism so seriously today, but we still think of horseshoes as lucky! If you look through old family photo albums most people will find pictures of a newly married couple stood outside the church – groom with a floral buttonhole and bride with her big bouquet and lucky horseshoe. If you are very lucky your mum may still have hers in a treasure box. Some say, if her marriage was happy, she should pass along the heirloom and her good fortune will travel with it!
Many people will claim not to be superstitious but “do it just in case!” and certainly the act giving of a ‘lucky’ horseshoe to the bride seems to be in that spirit!
Handmade wedding horseshoes from The Real Flower Petal Confetti Company
Our lucky horseshoes are brand new and made of aluminium. (Most importantly, that makes them clean and light to carry!) But our customers also used our pretty handmade horseshoes as part of “Something Old, Something New, Something Borrowed, Something Blue” – another meaningful bridal wedding tradition. Certainly, one of our most popular horseshoes is the one with blue flowers!
Our horseshoes are lovingly handmade with pretty ribbons and paper flowers. They are available in a selection of different colourways including beautiful blue flowers, simple white designs, popular pink shades and also seasonal options like rich autumnal coloured flowers. Take a look… In addition, we often offer a few limited edition or even totally unique designs! If you have any questions or special requests, please do get in touch.
A bespoke handmade wedding horseshoe.
Remember – it’s very important that a horseshoe is not turned upside down or all the good luck will fall out. On the other hand, if you are Anglican, Eastern Orthodox or Roman Catholic, you should hang a horseshoe with the ends pointing down so that good luck can flow out into your home… the choice is yours!
You can browse and buy from our horseshoes collection here.
Wishing you the very best of luck in your marriage!