Welsh Wedding Traditions
Today I’m looking at the tradition of giving love spoons with welshlovespoons.com. This tradition is thought to date back to the seventeenth century and they were traditionally carved by men to present to young women as a way of asking their girl of choice out or showing affection. It is thought the spoon showed the girls’ father or family that he was good husband material – that he could carve wood and provide for her (grrrr). The earliest known Welsh love spoon dates back to 1667 and is on display at one of our favourite wedding venues, St Fagans Museum of Welsh Life (I’m now dreaming of proposals by it. Pleeease say this has happened to one of you!)
These days love spoons are generally given as gifts and presented at weddings, births, christenings and for anniversaries. As I’m sure you’re aware there are many different symbols and meanings associated with the spoons. Symbols are carved into the wood and, collectively, hold a little message. I remember my father giving me a silver love spoon necklace when I was a little girl which was meant to prevent my heart being broken. Of course, I did have my heart broken but I can honestly say that I wasn’t wearing it at the time and I’m sure it wouldn’t have happened if I had been.
So let’s have a look at the different meanings and ways you can incorporate love spoons into your wedding. Predominantly, these are the main symbols you will find carved into them.
Wheel: supporting a loved one
Caged balls: the number of children hoped for
Birds: going away together
Stalk: a new birth
Chain: a wish to be together
Diamond: wealth and good fortune
Key, lock or keyhole: security (I will look after you)
Knot: eternal love
Twisted stem: togetherness
Dragon: the protective symbol of Wales
In terms of incorporating this tradition into your day, there are many ways you can do so! You could present your husband or wife-to-be with a bespoke spoon as a gift they can cherish forever. If your budget allows you can buy personalised spoons in bulk to give as favours. You may choose to have spoons made for your bridesmaids, groomsmen or parents to say thank you. Or you could put one on your gift list if you’d like one for your own home to remember your day! Left it too late for your wedding? Your fifth anniversary is the one requiring a wooden gift .
If you don’t have the time or expertise to carve love spoons for your guests or loved one, shame on you (although I may be able to help). Luckily, living in Wales, you can buy gorgeous spoons on your doorstep. Or for those further afield, they are readily available online too. Here are my picks…