Love, Luck & A Horseshoe?

15 Feb

HorseshoeI was talking with a good friend of mine the other day who was asking me for some bridesmaid etiquette advice. She is a bridesmaid for an old high school friend and has been put in charge of one of the many traditions that the couple is incorporating into their Irish-themed wedding, decorating the horseshoe! Sounds like a funny tradition, but here’s the story: the Horseshoe has long been a symbol of good luck in cross-cultures. Irish tradition has it that a horseshoe given as a wedding gift to the bride and groom and kept in their home will bring them good luck. The horseshoe must always be hung like the letter “U,” so that the luck doesn’t “drip out.”

Along with this tradition, the horseshoe is decorated by the friend(s) of the bride and groom with no input from them.

So… if you search the term ‘Decorated Horseshoe’ on Google Images you Horseshoe_Ribbonwill find…. Well, a lot of hideous horseshoes that one couldn’t possible give someone on their wedding day!

Being the “crafty” one… the thought of decorating a horseshoe was intriguing, so I went online to get some ideas. I found some that were better than others, but nothing that did what I wanted it to do. It is nice to have their names and wedding date on it. Or an Irish saying like “Love, Luck & Laughter”. I like it when there is a beautiful ribbon attached to hang it.

I am going to think on this over the weekend and decorate a horseshoe to display on here in the coming weeks. In the mean time, share with me some of the good ideas you have that I might incorporate into my “project” … I would love ideas on how to decorate a horseshoe with some style!


2 Responses to “Love, Luck & A Horseshoe?”

  1. Lisa February 27, 2009 at 4:25 am #

    You could purchase a few flowers that are in the brides bouquet (they will have to be silk) such as: rose petals, four leaf clover, Irish belles, etc. It may be a good idea for the bridesmaids to wrap a few four leaf clovers together and have the bride tuck them into her bouquet, attach to her hanky or press in her bible for luck! Carrying Irish flowers is also an Irish tradition. You will need to trim the silk flowers in small pieces and glue them on the horse shoe…then decoupage or use a craft glaze to seal it. At the wedding.. put the decorated horseshoe at the sign in table with instructions for all family and friends to put their initials on the back in permanent marker! Use the ribbons from her bouquet to hang the horseshoe in a special place in their home . Another idea , would be to get a picture of the couple, laminate it (at kinkos for $1.00)
    trim the picture to fit inside the horseshoe…instant picture frame!!!

    Did you know that Irish couples also have a bell at their sweetheart table. To present a bell to the couple is a beautiful tradition. The couple keeps the bell in their home and when anger or fighting begins in the marriage, one of them rings the bell to remind them of their vows they took on their wedding day ! What a great why to say I am sorry! Ring that bell!



    […] Irish brides carry a horseshoe for luck. Modern Irish brides use porcelain horseshoes or tie a fabric version on their wrists. Make sure the horseshoe is turned up so that the luck doesn’t run out. Alternatives are to have the flower girl or ring bearer carry the lucky horseshoe or to decorate the wedding cake with horseshoes. A popular Irish wedding tradition is to give horseshoes as wedding gifts. After the wedding, be sure to hang the horseshoe turned up over your front door for continued good luck. Check out my post on the Wedding Horseshoe Tradition. […]

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