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Giving Horseshoes as Good Luck Charm

On your wedding day it is very likely that you will receive a couple of beautifully decorated horseshoes as gifts from some of your wedding guests. But what does this unusual tradition actually signify for the bride and groom?

The tradition of giving the bride a horseshoe following her marriage ceremony probably dates back to the Victorian period and it’s purpose was to bring good luck to the newlyweds for the duration of their lives together. However, it is possible to trace the horseshoe as a good luck charm even further into pre-Christian times, when the horseshoe was thought to represent a crescent moon, and was therefore a very potent fertility charm. As with many of our modern rituals it is almost impossible to accurately identify its roots, but in my opinion this is what makes them truly magical and romantic!

The Victorians placed a great deal of importance on superstitions revolving around good and bad omens, which were believed to foretell the success or failure of a marriage. These days we take far less notice of such things in our everyday lives; however the world of weddings seems to be one area where the observance of certain rituals and traditions is given extra weight. Brides, you only need to think about how you would reacts to breaking a mirror or to accidently seeing her partner on the morning of the marriage to accept that we still place importance in these traditions.

So how exactly are horseshoes incorporated into the average wedding day? Well, traditionally the bride would be presented with a decorated horseshoe by the female members of the family, particularly children. Having a child hand over the horseshoe to the bride is said to ensure her fertility, which would have been extremely important to the newlyweds back in the Victorian era. The bride should then carry the horseshoes with her bouquet for the formal photos, and should ensure that the horseshoes are displayed, along with the bouquet, for the rest of the celebration so that everyone can admire them.

The act of giving the bride a horseshoe appears to be coming back into fashion so if you have been invited to attend the wedding of a friend or family member this year, you may like to partake in this tradition in order to help keep it alive. If nothing else it will act as a talking point during which you can explain what the giving of horseshoes is all about. Hopefully, by bringing this tradition to the attention of your social circle you will ensure that you receive some good luck tokens on your own big day!

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