1. Options & What to Expect
Award winning, beautiful horses and carriages for your wedding day
Each wedding is individual
We treat all our clients as individuals, so as much as we can explain on here about what your wedding day might be like, please remember that this is just a guide. As such the best thing to do is Contact Us. There is no pushy sale, we just friendly people who are happy to talk about the profession that we love.
How far are you travelling?
Our recommendation for travelling distance is to keep to 6 miles or less in total in the carriage. Journeys that are 2-3 miles each way is just about right as a two mile journey can take 20 minutes so we want you to arrive feeling fresh rather than rushed.
If the distance you want to travel is greater than this we can always meet you at a designated place along the route so that you can arrive at the venue in style. Similarly, we can pick you up from the venue so that you leave in style and return you to the same designated place.
We will always try our best to accommodate your route, however if it isn’t one that we have done before we will try and survey the route, check the terrain for steep hills and find horse box parking areas prior to accepting a booking. If we aren’t able to survey the route for any reason, we may not be able to accept your booking.
Ceremony and Reception Venue Drive
For when the drive between your ceremony and reception venue is less than the 6 miles (mentioned above). If longer there are alternatives; see below.
Before we set off we will have cleaned the carriage and horses so that when we arrive we will just need to unload and put the horses to. However with horses being horses, they often need extra final touches upon arrival so we normally leave 30-45 minutes to unload.
We arrive at your starting address about 10 minutes before the agreed departure time, travel to your ceremony venue and then wait (wishing you good fortune and a happy married life) while you get married!
Once married we will be ready to take you to your Reception Venue, leaving your ceremony venue in style. There will be plenty of time for photographs and confetti.
Once you arrive at your Reception Venue, there will be more time for photographs before we bid you farewell and hope you live Happily Ever After.
The Stunning Arrival
For when the total distance between your starting address, ceremony venue and reception venue is greater than 6 miles (mentioned above).
You can still choose to arrive in style by choosing our Stunning Arrival Drive. We would meet your car (which has collected you from your Ceremony address) at a designated starting address. As with the Ceremony and Reception Venue Drive above, before we set off we will have cleaned the carriage and horses so that when we arrive we will just need to unload and put the horses to. However with horses being horses, they often need extra final touches upon arrival so we will need to be at your starting address at least 1 hour before you arrive to unload.
You can then travel in style the remaining distance to your Reception Venue and we can provide you with Champagne (or a non-alcoholic alternative) to celebrate en-route if requested.
We can discuss with you how long this drive will last as it provides you with an excellent opportunity for some quality time with your new spouse before your Reception.
Upon arrival, at your Reception Venue, there will be plenty of time for photographs before we bid you farewell and hope you live Happily Ever After.
The Romantic Interlude
For when your Ceremony and Reception are at the same venue.
You can still enjoy a Romantic Carriage Drive. We recommend that the Bride and Groom take 20 minutes between the Ceremony and the Reception for some time to themselves. What better way that to drive around your venue in a horse and carriage with a drink of Champagne (or non-alcoholic equivalent) before returning to your guests.
It also gives you an opportunity for your photographer to take some beautiful photographs to treasure forever before we bid you farewell and hope you live Happily Ever After.
A Photograph Stop
We can add in a photograph stop into your drive if requested between the Ceremony Venue and Reception. Just ask at the time of booking.
Arriving on horseback
If you would prefer to you can arrive on horseback without the carriage! Our well trained horses can give you a stunning entrance. You will have a liveried groom to help lead you and there is always plenty of time for photographs.
10 Good to ask questions
A beautiful horse drawn carriage can be a fantastic addition to your wedding day, providing beautiful photographs to treasure and a stunning arrival to really make your day extra special. Having driven horse drawn carriages for HRH The Queen at Buckingham Palace, Marc Lovatt, Director of The Cavalry of Heroes, has suggested a few questions in this free guide, that you can ask any Wedding Horse and Carriage Company to help ensure a safe and enjoyable day
1. How far is the company willing to drive their horse and carriage in a day?
This is an important factor in ensuring both your safety and the safety of the horses. It is usual to drive horses for no more than 6 miles a day in total unless the horses are very fit, are pulling a light-weight carriage or travelling over flat smooth terrain. An experienced company will be able to tell you honestly whether your route is suitable for a horse and carriage and will recce the route before your big day. Some companies don’t recce the route preferring to chance that everything is ok – please be careful regarding any company that doesn’t recce their route. Tired and overworked horses who have been asked to pull a carriage for too long in a day can put your safety at risk; an experienced company will also be able to tell you about their horses and will have ensured that they are fit and able to work.
2. Who will be your coachman on the day and what is his/her driving experience?
See if you can meet the person who will be your coachman on the day and ask them questions about his/her experience. Driving isn’t easy and takes a lot of training – primarily how to act and make sure people and horses are safe if the unforeseen happens (this can only be gained through years of experience driving). Sometimes the person you are speaking with isn’t the person who will be with you on the day as some companies have more than one coachman, and some will have trainees with less experience, so best to know who will be in charge of your safety on the day. You can also check on the British Driving Society Commercial Register the experience of your coachman although a quick check is to look at photographs and see whether the person is driving with one rein in each hand or is driving in traditional coachman style (both reins in one hand). Traditional coachman style is the way professional carriagemasters are trained to drive.
3. How many footman will be present on the day?
I often get asked how many footman should be present on the day and I would suggest that the absolute minimum is one very experienced footman (plus the coachman) for a pair. When you consider a team of four horses then more footmen are required. The footman plays a vital role in keeping control of the horses from the ground and under British Driving Society rules no carriage should operate without a footman.
4. What insurance do they hold?
I sincerely hope that you have the best possible experience with your horse and carriage ride on your wedding day however if the worst should happen, it’s better to know up front rather than afterwards what insurance is in place. I won’t bore you with details about inadequately insured companies! Often this is what a disreputable company will cut back on in order to give you a really cheap price (I’d say sub £600 in the current market). I would never undertake an event without being fully insured.
5. Do they have a WATO certificate to transport horses safely?
It is a legal requirement that if you are transporting horses commercially (horse and carriages for hire are a commercial activity) then the driver needs to have a certificate to prove that they comply with the Welfare of Animals in Transport Order. Just ask to see a copy, that way you know that the company isn’t putting the welfare of the horses at risk when they are travelling to you.
6. Are they a part of The British Driving Society Commercial Register?
It isn’t essential to be a part of The British Society Commercial Register however I find it a very useful list to belong to. To be part of the register each coachman needs to have provided certificates of their competency to drive a horse and carriage, insurances and WATO certificate to the BDS in order to be added to the list.
7. Can you visit their yard and meet their horses?
This is a request that can normally be complied with, within reason, and it is often good to see the standard of the environment where the horses live daily and how well the carriages are kept. Also to see your horses – I’ve heard tales of people expecting horses to arrive to see small ponies on their big day. Also that the carriage was a lot smaller than they expected. I normally try and accommodate people where I can to visit our yard, however when we are very busy this may not be possible.
8. Are you the only event that they have booked for that day?
I am pleased to say that I have only ever booked one wedding on any one day however, unfortunately, it can happen that a company will book more than one wedding on a day, so can appear rushed and distracted. This is not a good position for either party to be in, so just check that you are the only event booked for your big day.
9. What happens in the event of bad weather?
Horses are waterproof but brides often are not! So I would encourage you to find out what your chosen company’s bad weather plan is just in case the British weather is it’s normal unpredictable self. Also, what happens if the event venue is changed or the carriage ride can’t happen because of extreme bad weather (expect for the best, plan for the worst).
10. What extras are included and are you going to be charged anything on the day?
I think that this applies to most suppliers, however best to find out all the charges in advance. You don’t want to find out that the champagne you are drinking is a hidden extra charge (with us it certainly isn’t as it’s our gift to you on your Wedding Day to wish you a happy ever after as we love being a part of someone’s wedding).
We really hope that this guide has been useful in making you feel more secure and knowledgeable in booking your Horse and Carriage for your big day. If you have any other questions or are at all concerned about any part of hiring a horse and carriage for your big day, then Marc has kindly said that he will answer your questions, so please don’t hesitate to contact him by emailing email@example.com.
2. See The Carriages
With over 40 carriages to choose from you’ll be spoilt for choice! Our collection is split into two parts; Elegance Collection and Historical Collection. Our elegance collection offers exceptional value with carriages reserved especially for weddings; and our historical collection of authentic period carriages used for filming but also available for weddings.
3. Extra Choice
It’s all in the details! We love small details and when added together we hope they will bring you many fond memories from your big day and lots of fun during planning. From the colour of the plumes, to a just married sign not to mention the horses themselves and the carriage.
4. Prices & Booking
Different packages are available with special availability reserved for local weddings. Find out about our pricing and how to book. From the excellent value Elegance package to our Historical and bespoke packages. If you would like to know more about having a horse or carriages at your wedding then please don’t hesitate to contact us and we’ll be happy to help.
5. Make an Enquiry
Enquire about availability for your wedding day. If you would like to know more about having a horse or carriages at your wedding then please don’t hesitate to contact us and we’ll be happy to help. The more detail you can give us up front the better we’ll be able to help. Fill out a message to us here.