The wedding horseshoe

The horseshoe is commonly used in equestrian sports as protection of horses’ hoofs. Traditionally, it is known lesser for its practical attributes and more spiritual ones. Recognized as a symbol of good luck the crescent shaped metal talisman is believed to also guard off the evil eye. Legend stems from a story of the Archbishop of Canterbury. St. Dunstan. Once a blacksmith, he was asked by a cloaked horseman to re-shoe him rather than his horse. The blacksmith knew only of one person with cloven heels for feet; the devil himself. St. Dunstan saw this as an opportunity to protect his brethren. With a red hot poker the blacksmith tortured the devil until he agreed never to step foot into a household with a horseshoe.

The wedding horseshoe

Image: Dreamstime

Silver horseshoe present
Picture: Theknot

Symbol of good luck

The wedding horseshoe is used as a symbol of good luck. The luckiest ones are made of iron due to the welding process: utilizing both fire and earth. It is offered as a wedding gift to the newlywed couple for them to hang in their new household. In previous times, the horseshoe tradition was most valued by Christians of Anglo-Saxon, Eastern Orthodox and Roman Catholic origin.

Silver horseshoe

In Scotland, it is tradition for the youngest family member to present a silver wedding horseshoe to the Bride before she leaves the Church. And in return, the Bride offers the youngest boy a present.

Diana with horseshoe
Picture: Huffingtonpost

Wedding dress

Irish Brides are once said to carry an actual horseshoe during their wedding. Nowadays Brides all around the Globe are opting to implement a more subtle version of the good luck token to their weddings: A small horseshoe amulet made of fabric or porcelain stitched to the wedding bouquet or a pendant worn around the wrist. Princess Diana is said to have had stitched a small 18 karat gold diamond encrusted horseshoe into the waistband of her wedding dress. Another way of incorporating the good luck charm in an understated fashion is to have small horseshoes on napkin rings.

Horseshoe Gift

Horseshoes as a gift

The shape of a horseshoe is said to resemble the moon crescent, the Greeks were said to offer Newlywed couple’s this gift for fertility. If hung with the prong upwards, the horseshoe is meant to give masculine energy and when hung downwards feminine energy is believed to flow through.

Couples aren’t waiting to receive horseshoes as gifts but are taking initiative in incorporating the symbol in many creative ways. For instance, the game of horseshoe, a popular backyard game, has become an activity for guests to play during the wedding reception. The goal of the game is to toss the horseshoe so it rings on the stake meaning it must be hooked to the stake. The person doing so wins the game and if none do; the winner is judged as the person with the horseshoe closest to the stake.

Wedding horseshoe
Diamond Horseshoe
Wedding gift

Horseshoe for the guests
Guest seating

Bling, Bling

The horseshoe is readily becoming a statement piece taking on a more “blingbling” approach. Amulets are being embellished with pearls, precious stones and ribbons. Horseshoes offered as wedding gifts are often engraved with the Bride & Groom’s names and wedding date.

A perfect start

Couples are now giving guests horseshoes as wedding favors in hopes of giving their close ones a little bit of good luck as well as receiving it. A perfect start to a marriage!

Escort cards

Horseshoe escort cards are also being gifted as favors: Some couples are tying in the horseshoe symbol to their wedding theme. This couple has their wedding on St. Patrick’s Day and included a horseshoe on guest seating nearest to the aisle:

Wedding horseshoes shop:

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