Planning a fairytale wedding? Marrying your prince charming? Then horse and carriage wedding transport may well be for you. However, there are many things to consider and work out before it can become a reality.
Distance and Route to Your Venues
First and foremost is the welfare of the horses themselves. Distance is your primary concern, as horses will only be able to draw a carriage for a maximum of six or seven miles. Ideally this should be split into two journeys of three to three and a half miles i.e. from home to church and then church to reception.
Another big concern is the terrain. Long hills will considerably reduce the distance the horses can go and steep hills are a real no-no. If distance or steep hills prove to be a problem then you need to consider hiring a nice classic car to drive you the rest of the journey.
Types of Carriage
Having decided that the route is okay (the carriage company will make the final decision) you must now decide on the type of carriage you require. This post includes a fairly comprehensive photo list of carriages generally available when hiring horse and carriage wedding transport.
Choosing the Right Company
Next you have to find a reputable carriage company that looks after the horses and trains their drivers and footmen properly. Reputable carriage companies will have a Certificate of Competence to comply with the Welfare in Animal Transport Order 2006.
They should also comply with the Code of Practice for Horse Drawn Vehicles. This contains guidance jointly agreed and reviewed by The Department of the Environment, Transport & the Regions, The British Driving Society, The British Horse Society, The Heavy Horse Driving Committee, The Joint National Horse Education & Training Council and the International League for the Protection of Horses.
Always visit the company before booking a horse and carriage for your wedding. You should…
- Look at the horses and make sure they look healthy and well cared for
- Try the various carriages they have for ease of access and dress room
- Check that the driver and footman come suitably attired
- Look at the horses’ transport and make sure it is clean and large enough for the number of horses needed for your carriage
- Make sure the company can dress the carriage as you wish
Guest post by David Jones of The Classic and Vintage Car Company
Landau: Westways Carriage Horses
Brougham: Flickr by Nikoretro (CC BY-SA 2.0 License)
Victoria: The Car and Carriage Company
Surrey: Learn to Carriage Drive
Vis-a Vis and Glass Landau: Premier Carriage
Royal Glass: Wedding Bureau