Where to Buy Bridal Horseshoes in Australia
Bridal horseshoes or wedding horseshoes are regaining popularity as unique wedding gifts for the bride or the happy couple. Whether given for luck, fertility, or protection, a bridal horseshoe is a true gift to remember or a keepsake to be passed down from generation to generation.
Bridal horseshoes are available in Australian wedding shops like Bridal Bling, Aussie Wedding Shop, and Me Collections as custom-made keepsakes. Some brides and friends of the couple also opt to craft their own bridal horseshoes, with a little help from their local craft stores.
Whether you’re thinking of making one for yourself as a new tradition for your own family or are simply curious about this unique tradition, this guide is for you.
Why Do You Give a Bride a Horseshoe?
Before the Christian religion took hold, a wedding horseshoe was traditionally given to brides because its shape is similar to that of the crescent moon, which is associated with fertility. Why this association was so powerful, we just don’t know! There is no definite historical reference for this, but there are a few strong theories.
The Mayan goddess Ix Chel is both a moon and fertility goddess, which could explain the crescent moon imagery. The Greek goddess Artemis is also a goddess of the moon, childbirth, and the hunt (which could explain the horseshoe).
Over time, the Victorians adapted this ancient custom and gifted horseshoes for good luck to newlyweds, while the Romans believed that the lucky U-shape protected the bride from evil spirits.
In modern times, the horseshoe has simply come to mean good luck, and it’s considered a traditional wedding gift. Some believe that the luckiest wedding good luck charm is a horseshoe cast from iron, as the forging process is the perfect marriage of earth and fire.
Who Gives a Horseshoe to the Bride?
Children are usually the ones to present a horseshoe to the bride at a wedding, sometimes assisted by an adult. In Ireland, flower girls or page boys usually give a horseshow to the bridge as part of the ceremony.
Traditionally, as soon as the couple is announced as married, the child walks up to the bride to give the horseshoe. The bride then holds the horseshoe along with her bouquet as the couple walks down the aisle and out of the venue.
If there are no kids at the wedding, the horseshoe can be given by the maid of honour or one of the bridesmaids. This can make a bridal horseshoe a special gift to the bride from the bridal party or maid of honour on the big day.
Are Horseshoes Still Given at Weddings?
This really depends on the couple or the beliefs of their family and friends. Like many old-fashioned wedding traditions, gifting a horseshoe at a wedding is coming back into fashion as a sweet and romantic custom.
If it’s a family keepsake, a bridal horseshoe is always passed down and never just kept by the one couple. This is especially true with real or vintage horseshoes. However, many people want to keep their bridal horseshoe as a wedding keepsake along with other special mementos from the day.
Now, there are also decorative fabric and pearl-laden horseshoes used as an up-to-date alternative. These are gaining popularity especially in rustic and romantic weddings or for classic Southern brides.
Hence, this old-school tradition continues in the modern era and is embraced by many newlyweds, with lots of examples of bridal horseshoes on Instagram and Pinterest. These horseshoes serve as unique wedding keepsakes or good luck charms for the couple’s happy day.
If you want to wish someone luck, a wedding horseshoe is a unique and creative wedding gift. If you’re unsure how the couple will respond to this, it might be better to give the horseshoe as a typical wedding gift instead of presenting it in front of the crowd right after the I dos. A nice engraved wooden box from Hand Crafted Gift Boxes would complement a lucky horseshoe wedding gift and make it more appropriate for modern couples.
Where to Buy Bridal Horseshoes in Australia
To buy bridal horseshoes, you can go the traditional route and get an actual horseshoe from shops like Farrier Shop, Mustad, Costin Horseshoes, and Combined Farrier Supplies. If you have an actual modern or vintage horseshoe, you can simply go to a craft store and decorate it to fit the wedding motif. See below for some great tutorials on how to make your own wedding horseshow.
There is a selection of handmade wedding horseshoes available on Etsy and Gumtree (and if you’re looking to DIY, Etsy and Gumtree are good sources for inspiration, as well.) Then there are also local Australian stores selling customised bridal horseshoes.
- Bridal Bling creates personalised acrylic or wooden horseshoes with laser-cut details for the name of the couple and the date of the wedding.
- How Divine also offers lucky horseshoe wedding keepsakes that can be handed down from one generation to the next.
- Aussie Wedding Shop has a more modern take on wedding horseshoes, offering pearl horseshoes, dainty silver ones, and even horseshoes made from fabric with gems or a locket.
- Me Collections also has a collection of lucky horseshoes made of fabric and diamantes, pearls, and brooches.
- Something New sells wedding horseshoes in fabric (padded satin, ribbon-wrapped, gathered satin, pleated satin and paper-lined) or resin.
- B Free also has a bridal horseshoe made from ruffled fabric.
- The Bridal Room also has lucky horseshoe keepsakes in fabric, beads, and ribbon. Each one is unique. No two horseshoes are alike when made by The Bridal Room.
- Wedding Wish also has a variety of horseshoes as wedding good luck charms, like a glass horseshoe charm with diamante, pearl ones, and satin horseshoe bridal keepsakes.
It would be great to give a personalized holder for the horseshoe to the couple after the wedding. You can have a custom keepsake box made from Hand Crafted Gift Boxes or a keepsake bag from Belle and Co.
How to Make a Bridal Horseshoe
If you’re planning to make a bridal horseshoe to gift, one thing to keep in mind is you want the bride to be able to hold it in a U position. This position is believed to ‘catch’ good luck.
If you’re getting an actual horseshoe, you can simply tie a ribbon at both ends of it. Measure the ribbon so that the charm hangs nicely when held—like a quaint purse! Then, you can decorate the curved part of the horseshoe to fit the wedding motif. Ribbons and flowers usually adorn bridal horseshoes, but you can be more creative with it. Some people add feathers or gems and jewellery.
For a more romantic vibe, you can opt to create a horseshoe from fabric like satin, lace, or organza. You can buy a horseshoe cardboard template at large craft shops or create the U-shape with a wire. Then, decorate as you please! Just don’t forget the ribbon or string so that the bride can hold it.
A big advantage of doing a DIY bridal horseshoe is that you can use whatever material and colours you want, so the DIY route works well for themed or colourful weddings.
To make your horseshoe wedding keepsake more presentable, gift it in a personalised wedding keepsake box and decorate with a beautiful ribbon.
What to Do With Horseshoe After the Wedding?
There are two ways to hold onto your wedding horseshoe.
The first (and traditional) option is to hang it on your doorway. In Scotland and Ireland, this is a common practice because the horseshoe signifies good luck. Hanging it on one’s door means attracting good luck to the home. Sometimes it is also believed to be hung for protection. You can also display it in your home, hung on a wall or on a mantlepiece.
If displaying it is not really to your style, you can store it in a wedding keepsake box. A custom box from Hand Crafted Gift Boxes would be perfect to store not only the lucky horseshoe but possibly other wedding trinkets or wedding good luck charms. The boxes are made sustainably Forestry-certified and slide open easily so you can conveniently check and enjoy your precious wedding memories.
Which Way Should a Horseshoe Be for Luck?
A lucky horseshoe should face upwards, so that it looks like it ‘catches’ the good luck. One way to remember this is that the horseshoe should be smiling!
How Do You Clean an Old Horseshoe?
To clean an old horseshoe, clean surface dirt off with a toothbrush or a scrubbing brush, then with a steel wool sponge. After that, soak it in vinegar for a day or more depending on how bad the rust is, or use a lemon and salt solution for three hours or more. If the horseshoe is heavily rusted, use a commercial rust remover or a citric acid and hot water solution for 12 hours, then scrub it with a brush. If you want to polish it, you can use an angle grinder or sandpaper. You can paint it with metal polish or spray it with clear varnish for the final touches.