we booked our wedding there, they asked us right away if we wanted to have one, and I of course said yes.”
Location, Location, Location According to Podhajeccki, the pick-up and drop-off locations for a wedding can vary greatly. “There’s no absolute rule to this, as every situation has its own unique set of logistics, but typically if we were going to use the carriage for all points, we would meet the bride at her home, go to the location where the ceremony is, following which we would then go on to the reception.” However, there are many things that prospective brides need to take into account when determining where their pick-up location will be. “We get a lot
of calls from people who don’t really understand that horse and carriage is not the same thing as a car,” says Joseph. “Some people think that if it takes 20 minutes to get there by car, it shouldn’t take them that much longer with a horse-drawn carriage. Of course, a car goes on the highway, 65 – 70 miles per hour; obviously it’s impossible to take a horse and carriage on the interstate. So I like to tell people to keep their pick-up location, drop-off location, and final location within a reasonable distance.” Some brides may choose to be picked up at the ceremony site, and transported to the reception, while others may want to have their horsedrawn carriage solely make an entrance
at the ceremony. And, if your ceremony and reception site are far apart, that doesn’t mean you can’t still make it work. This was a roadblock that Shipp had to navigate around when booking her transportation. Instead of getting picked up at the ceremony, she met the horse and carriage a mile away from her reception site in an open field, where she had pictures taken with her groom before being brought over to the after-party. “My mother had called the people who owned the property beforehand, and they gave us permission to have the carriage company park there and have photos taken so we could have a little time to ourselves before the reception,” she comments. Another factor to take into consideration when choosing the location of your wedding is whether the town or city that you’re getting married in requires a permit for a horse and carriage. “For example, we’ve done weddings in downtown New Haven, and brides will often want to have pictures taken on the green,” says Joseph. “In order for us to physically go on the green with a horse and carriage, we need to have a permit, so we require the bride to get the permit.”
Safety First Finding the perfect venue that welcomes horse-drawn carriages and setting your date may seem like the
Types of Transportation
CINDERELLA CARRIAGE: One of the more popular carriages used for weddings, these vehicles are exactly as their moniker describes—similar to Cinderella’s horse-drawn carriage with a white exterior. Although they vary in size, the carriages can carry between two to four passengers, and be pulled by one or two horses. Clear curtains can be used in inclement weather. 68
| March 2013
VIS-À-VIS: According to Podhajecki and Joseph, these carriages are also more popular. Although they are manufactured in all colors, they are typically available for weddings in a choice of a black, white, or burgundy exterior, and can carry up to four adult passengers facing each other; they also have convertible tops, which can be used in most weather conditions, and can be pulled by one or two horses.
VICTORIA PHAETON: These carriages are manufactured in a variety of colors, but the ones with a white, black or burgundy exterior are more commonly seen in weddings. They carry approximately two passengers, have a small jump seat for a child or two, and can be pulled by one or two horses; a convertible top can be used for all weather conditions.
WAGONETTE: This larger mode of transportation can be used for bigger wedding parties, accommodating up to 12 or 14 passengers in a single wagonette; they are typically pulled by a team of horses, and generally have an open top, but most commercial carriage companies offer them with surrey-tops as well.
PHOTO: CAROLE MACDONALD
The variety of horse-drawn carriages offered for weddings can be as expansive as the options of dresses available to the modern bride. Beth Podhajecki and Elaine Joseph describe some of the vehicles most commonly used in weddings.
Your All-Breed, All-Discipline Resource