Seemingly the popularity of the wedding carriage is on the increase. Only the other day I saw three in the space of an hour, each filled with a blooming bride and a dapper groom. The wedding carriage comes in a variety of styles that allow the bride and groom a little escapism on their special day; from the full Cinderella style carriage to the more sedate and elegant processional carriage. It is easy to understand why the popularity is growing; the chance to be treated like royalty, being pulled by horses and attended to by coachmen is a powerful lure.
It is usually the case that the wedding carriage will be used by the bride and her father on the way to the wedding and also used by the happy couple once the ceremony has finished. The elegance of the carriage is hard to dispute although it should be remembered that this old form of transport does have limitations. Most carriages travel at a speed of around four miles and hour, or walking pace. This means that if your reception is a large distance away from the church or registry office a carriage may not be the best option. Most hire companies will advise that if the distance from the ceremony to the reception is more than four miles it is more advisable to use a car rather than a horse drawn carriage.
In terms of size the average face to face carriage will hold around four people although larger models are available. These larger models may cost more to hire but if you want the whole wedding party to experience the pleasure of being drawn by horses it is a necessary cost. The different designs of wedding carriage include open air varieties for sunny days and even glass enclosed models if you are less sure that the weather will be fair. Some companies, especially in snowy areas can supply horse drawn sleds for that perfect wintry scene.
The best way to find a carriage hire company is by recommendation, this way you can be assured of the service you will receive. There are however other ways to find companies; the internet, as always is a valuable resource as are local listings in the phone book and business directories. Naturally if you have booked your wedding in the summer months and at the weekend, advanced booking is a necessity. The popularity of carriages is large and hence during these peak times companies are inundated with requests for hire. As well as the summer months, holidays such a Christmas, New Years and Bank Holidays are also regarded as peak times. A premium may be added and booking could turn out to be troublesome.
If you want the carriage but cannot afford to hire it for the journey many companies allow couples to hire one purely for the wedding pictures. Normally a carriage, coachman and a quarter of an hour ride will be included for the price although services vary from company to company. The price is usually dependent upon the time of hire and the demand at that time, but for that timeless look of elegantly dressed horsemen and coachmen price should not really be an issue.
It is perfectly understandable that brides want to be treated like a princess on their special day. While the groom may be worried about the cost, making the wedding day memorable for the happy couple is the main concern. The hire of a wedding carriage is just an added expense on top of the list. For a journey however that will stay with you for life, paying for a carriage is ultimately worthwhile.
Marriage expert Thomas Pretty looks into why the wedding carriage is arguably one of the most important considerations for that special day.