If you’re a horse lover, there’s nothing quite so magical or unexpected as involving your favourite beast in your wedding. Whether you make an entrance on a horse – just like a princess – or let the little ones enjoy pony rides on your big day, horses are a magnificent way to transform your wedding into a fairytale event.
Dee Vodden, owner of Palomine Productions in Sydney, first rode a donkey as a three-year-old on Camber Sands beach in the south of England. Fast forward a few years and she has since studied horse business management, worked in all areas of the horse industry, including dressage, show jumping, racing and breeding. Now. she runs her own horse modelling agency and provides these glorious beasts for fashion shoots and events, especially weddings.
According to Dee, horses are the perfect addition to a wedding as they embody romance, beauty, strength and good fortune.
“The horse has special symbolism in many cultures across the world from the Native Americans to the Celts and everything in between. In Hindu culture, for example, a white horse is believed to be the latest incarnation of one of their main gods, Vishnu,” she explains. “In Chinese culture, the horse is equated with Gemini and represents practicality, love, endurance, devotion and stability – all the things one wishes for a long and happy marriage.”
Here are six great ways that you can incorporate horses in your wedding.
Make a grand entrance
Create a show-stopping moment on your wedding day by arriving at your venue, or even into your ceremony, upon a noble steed. However, Dee warns that while you don’t need to be a professional rider, it helps if you’ve had some horse riding experience in the past, so you can enjoy the moment and focus on your new spouse and guests, rather than worrying about controlling the horse.
She also suggests brushing up on your riding skills before the day of your wedding day, too.
Do a photo shoot
Create some truly magical memories during your photo shoot by taking shots with a beautiful horse.
“To make horse wedding photos a success, make sure you are really comfortable around the horse on the day. We are more than happy for you to visit your horse prior to the big day to get to know him or her,” suggests Dee.
If you want to sit on the horse for your photos, let your agency know about the details of your dress so they can prepare the horse beforehand and make any necessary adjustments, she adds.
Ideally, the agency will also be able to attend your pre-wedding photo shoot and meet you at the wedding venue on the day or mingle amongst your guests for more candid shots.
Hold your wedding at beautiful stables
If horses are an important part of your life, then holding your wedding at elegant stables with real horses could be a particularly special venue for your day.
Put on a show
“An elegant display of dressage as your guests arrive at the venue, or some heart-stopping show-jumping whilst the canapes are served could be just the ticket to make your wedding as memorable for your guests as it is for you!” Dee suggests.
Will you be inviting 'plus-ones' to your wedding?
Keep in mind that a dressage display or show jumping for entertainment would require a large venue with a flat grassy area or a horse property with a sand arena, she adds. Alternatively, a horse simply walking around with a rider dressed in a classy top hat and tails could be used in most outdoor venues. You may also need to think about parking for the horse float near the venue – that would require a space of at least 12 metres in length.
Let the little ones enjoy pony rides
It can be tricky entertaining kids during weddings, but cute pony rides would definitely go down a treat with the younger set on the day.
As part of her service, Dee ensures that she chooses the right horse with the right temperament for your wedding and each animal is always accompanied by an expert handler who will provide basic training and take care of the “dirty work” on the day.
Make a pony your ringbearer
Why not dress up your equine friend and consider attaching a small pillow to its collar to keep your rings safe? Your horse will need to be led by someone to the venue and again, your agency should be able to help select the right horse for you – one that has a gentle demeanour and won’t run away with your ring on the day.
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