Adding a horse carriage rental to your wedding is a romantic and glamorous touch. There is simply something magical about arriving in a horse and carriage and your guests will be smitten if you choose to include one for your wedding transportation. You will feel like royalty for the day as you arrive or depart like Cinderella and Prince Charming. There are a few things to consider however, before deciding to engage a carriage.
Your rental should include a clean and shiny carriage and a driver in formal attire and a clean, well-groomed horse or horses. Some carriage providers may be willing to decorate their carriage and possibly the horses too with flowers or other adornments for you. Discuss the arrangements with the provider and you’ll find they’ll have helpful ideas of how they can help make your wedding dreams reality. You may wish to have the carriage transport the bride, groom and/or bridal party to the ceremony location, as well as transport them to the reception or away afterwards. Some carriage drivers will give wedding guests rides as well.
Probably the most important thing to consider is, the pace of a horse-drawn carriage is much slower than a car. While this allows you to savor the moment and have some quality time alone before the celebration starts, it also means you need to allow for extra time in your planning. And it means that if your reception is a considerable distance or several miles from your ceremony, a carriage may not be the ideal way to travel between the two facilities. One option instead of the bride and groom departing the ceremony together in a carriage is to have the bride and possibly the bridal party arrive at the ceremony by carriage making a grand entrance statement.
1. Incorporate the carriage as a surprise! Either the bride or groom organizes to have the carriage incorporated into the wedding but keeps it a surprise for their future spouse. It's amazing to watch the faces light up when they walk out and see a beautiful horse and carriage waiting patiently ready to escort them into their future
2. Become a Princess! Have the bride ride in the carriage to the ceremony escorted by her father or whomever is giving her away. After the ceremony, the bride and groom can ride away together and enjoy a few special moments before arriving at the reception.
3. Get full use from your carriage rental! Use the carriage to first transport the wedding party to the chapel before the bride arrives in the same carriage. The best man and ushers can then graciously escort the bridesmaids down the aisle and the brides escort or father can help her disembark and then proceed down the aisle.
“ After the ceremony, the bride and groom can ride away together! ”
4. Capitalize on the photo opportunity! Don’t forget about the photographer. Be sure he or she is aware of the schedule so you can make the most of these unique photo possibilities. You could even incorporate a time to actually take some pictures in the carriage before or just after your ride.
5. Incorporate traditions! In Indian Barat ceremonies it is traditional for the groom to arrive at the ceremony on a white horse bedecked in elegant finery and a Jewish wedding tradition involves the bride be led in on a white horse decorated in flowers. Many carriage providers are more than willing to try to accommodate your wishes and needs if they can. You may be able to ride in to the wedding on the same horse that later transports you both from the ceremony in the carriage.
6. Make your own traditions! If you have the carriage as part of your wedding, have it again on your first anniversary. You could hire the carriage to transport you to dinner or from a restaurant for a romantic evening ride reliving your wedding day again.
Typical costs: The cost of a horse and carriage rental typically depends on the length of time the carriage is needed, the type of carriage, the number of horses required and the distance the horses and carriage must travel to the event. Rates can vary from $300-$400 for one-hour locally to $1,500 - $1800 or more to rent an elaborate carriage for three or more hours for a far-away event that requires the horses and carriages be delivered by trailer. Many companies have a minimum booking of two hours because it takes hours to get the horses and carriage ready for an event. Additionally, gratuities are not typically included in the booking fees. Tipping the driver 12%- 15% is customary.
Having a horse and carriage for your wedding is a distinctively elegant addition. Without fail you’ll get lots of waves and happy smiles from well-wishers on your ride along city streets. You’ll feel like royalty as you ride along listening to the clip clop of your steed’s feet. And the one-of-a-kind memories you create will stay with you for your lifetime.
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