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A Guide to Wedding Horse & Carriage Hire

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There are many forms of wedding transport available to couples tying the knot these days, but few are more romantic than the horse & carriage. Around since Victorian times, these wedding carriages have endured the tests of time and come out the other end standing tall.


This article takes a look at the options, practicalites and costs of hiring a wedding horse and carriage for your big day.



What is a Wedding Horse & Carriage?

The term 'wedding horse and carriage' refers to the two or four wheeled wedding carriage that is drawn by horses and used to transport members of the wedding party on the big day itself. Typically with two to four seats, they are normally reserved for the Bride and Groom/Father of the Bride, but shop about, and larger 6+ seat carriges can be tracked down and used to transport the Mother of the Bride and the Bridesmaids if required


Wedding carriages travel at approximately 4-6 miles per hour and, for horse safety and welfare (as well as practicalities), travelling distance should be kept to a minimum - where possible busy roads should also be avoided. In all cases, seek the advice of the wedding horse and carriage operator for their input and advice.


One of the least likely modes of wedding transport to break down (unless the horse spots another horse in a passing field and get's frisky of course!), the wedding carriage may not be as comfortable as modern wedding cars, but they can, and often do, make much more of a statement. The vast majority of wedding carriages have suspension  and padded seating fitted (making them easier on the posterior!) but some don't. Be sure to check this out up front - especially if you plan to be on board for a little while.


With a dapper uniformed coachman, and sometimes a footman and groom to boot, the vast majority of wedding carriages will have a fixed roof or collapsable hood. That said, it is essential that you double check this at time of booking just in case mother nature decides to deal you a bad hand weather-wise.



What Styles of Wedding Carriages are Available?

A bewildering number of differeing styles of carriage were available in their hey-day, but these days a much smaller selection is available to couples tying the knot. The most popular wedding carriages currently available for hire include:


Weddingsday The Landau Wedding Carriage: A four-wheeled carriage drawn by two, sometimes four, horses. It will seat up to four wedding party members on two facing seats.


Weddingsday Vis-a-Vis Wedding Carriage: French for 'face-to-face' and very similar in look to the Landau, the difference being that it is expected that occupants will seat facing each other rather than side by side.


Weddingsday Stagecoach: A four-wheeled carriage historically used to transport mail and passengers in across American mid-west. A perfect option for any couple planning a Wild West themed wedding!


Weddingsday Wedding Pumpkin-Coach - A four-wheeled Cinderella-esque carriage shaped, unsuprisingly, like a pumpkin! White in colour and mainly metal/glass in construction, they can be tricky to track down this side of the pond and hence can sometimes be the most costly wedding carriage option.


Weddingsday The Hansom Wedding Carriage: Light, fast and far more agile than the other wedding carriages discussed above. They are drawn by just the one horse and can accomodate only two occupants. Unlike most other carriages, the coachman sits at the rear, behind the carriage itself.



What if I Just Want a Wedding Horse?

Your local riding stables may be willing to offer their services, but most will be reluctant as it takes a special horse with years of training to be able to perform such a duty. Your best bet would be to contact a specialist wedding/show horse operator and utilise their services.


A recent arrival in the UK 'wedding transport' market is the Asian Wedding Horse. Arriving at the ceremony on the back of a white horse is a tradtion that originates from the Punjab region in India, and Asian Wedding Horses can now be hired from various places across the UK. These beautiful white wedding horses (also known as Ghorie) are decorated in traditional Asian embellishments and cloth and make for a stunning entrance. Whilst an Indian tradition, many Asian Wedding Horse operators will be happy to discuss supplying their services to non-Indian couples.



How Much will a Wedding Horse & Carriage Cost?

As with all forms of wedding transport, the rental fees can vary dramatically. Factors such as distance to be travelled, length of hire, the carriage itself plus the number of drivers/footmen can all impact upon the final fee. Taking all this into account, the cost at the bottom end of the scale is comparable to car hire coming in at around the 300-400 mark. For more elaborate bookings, expect to pay three to four times that figure.



Related: We've a host of wedding transport articles on the site packed of of helpful ideas and advice, not to mention our wedding transport directory that's filled with suppliers of wedding cars, limousines and more. For help and friendly advice from like-minded couples, be sure to check out our weding transport forum.


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