The Ultimate Guide to Including Your Horse in Your Wedding 

guide to including your horse in your wedding

From a knight in shining armor to the prince arriving on horseback, horses have always been central to a good love story. These majestic creatures can’t help but capture our attention with their beauty, spirit, and symbolism. From fairy tales to royal processions, horses have been a part of joyous celebrations for centuries!

So if you’re a die-hard horse-lover, and particularly if you own your own horse, you may even be considering including your horse in your wedding. 

After all, your big day is not just any other day; it’s a special celebration of love, loyalty, commitment with your nearest and dearest. And what better way to symbolise it than in the presence of your best four-legged friend?

Embracing Equestrian Wedding Elegance

For those who cherish the equestrian lifestyle, having your beloved horse participate in your wedding can be an especially meaningful addition to an already very special celebration.

Even those who aren’t complete horse fanatics are often drawn to the allure of horse-themed weddings. From stunning photoshoots to the fairy-tale entrance of a horse and carriage, these magnificent creatures add a layer of unique charm and timeless elegance.

But including horses in your wedding goes beyond mere aesthetics. It’s a way to honour the bond you share with these magnificent animals and incorporate their essence into your celebration while ensuring they’re happy to play the role. 

Our ultimate guide to including your horse in your wedding will cover tips, inspiration, and considerations for both your horse and your guests.  

How Do I Incorporate My Horse into My Wedding?

If your horse represents a special place in your heart, doesn’t mind a crowd and has a fairly placid temperament, then there are a few options for involving them in the wedding. Read on for our tips and considerations to help your big day run smoothly.

Pick a Horse Friendly Wedding Venue

If you want to incorporate your horse into your wedding, then naturally one of the first steps will be hunting for a pet-friendly wedding venue. Some great outdoor options allow your horses to be a part of your ceremony, like rustic ranches, tranquil vineyards, and scenic countryside estates! 

Many coastal beach destinations make for a very horse-friendly venue to celebrate your wedding. You’ll just need to check with your local council to see whether any restrictions are in place or permits are required if you’re planning to ride your horse on the beach.

Have a Barn Wedding 

Barn weddings offer a blend of rustic charm and elegance, making them an increasingly popular choice for couples. Many barn wedding venues already have horses on site, but you can certainly get in touch to see whether they are happy to accommodate your own horse.

If the space allows, you could even organise a graceful dressage display as guests arrive or during the reception. This not only adds a touch of elegance but also showcases your love for horses and makes for some great photo ops! The stables might also offer some fun photography ideas for your wedding shoot as well. 

Capture the Moment with Your Horse

incorporating your horse into your wedding

While horses may not have the best smile, they’re still quite photogenic!

Be sure to hire a photographer who has worked with horses before and knows how to capture their breath-taking beauty! Imagine the beautiful shots you’ll get: posing in your bridal gown with your horse by your side, candid moments in the stables, or even a playful nibble on your bouquet. These photos capture the essence of your bond with your horse, adding a unique and heartwarming touch to your wedding memories.

Pro-tip: If the venue or timing doesn’t allow these shots to be taken on the actual day, you could certainly consider scheduling a separate wedding photo shoot with your horse. This is a great way to ease stress on the day, both for you, your photographer, and your horse – and you won’t have to worry about getting your wedding dress dirty before the reception

Can My Horse Walk Me Down the Aisle?

If Bella or Spirit have the temperament to walk you down the aisle, then it’s a wonderful idea!

While the idea itself is charming, keep in mind that it needs to be practical and safe for you and your guests, so this will largely depend upon your type of venue, your horse’s temperament, and whether you’ll have sufficient assistance in the form of a stablehand or other experienced person to step in and look after your horse during the ceremony. 

Rather than keeping them at the front of the altar where they might get a bit antsy or start grazing on your bouquet, it’s probably a good idea to have their handler lead them out again before you exchange vows.

Can I Arrive on Horseback?

Picture yourself, adorned in your wedding attire, riding towards your new beginning on your decorated horse. Flowers in its mane, a sparkling bridle, the two of you creating an enchanting vision.

If you’ve been dreaming of making an entrance that leaves your guests in awe, arriving on horseback does just that. And if you and your horse are comfortable with that option, go ahead!

(It’s also part of tradition in India that the groom arrives on a horse at his wedding!) 

However, if you’re not an experienced rider or aren’t game to try horse riding in your wedding dress, a horse-drawn carriage offering a fairy-tale vibe might be more your thing. A number of services offer different types of carriages to match your wedding theme, ensuring your arrival is nothing short of spectacular.

Considerations for including your horse in your wedding

Easy, girl! Walking down the aisle with your horse or even arriving on horseback for your wedding can be a beautiful and memorable experience. But it is one that requires careful planning and preparation: from pet-friendly venues, commuting to and from the venue, to décor that your horse won’t try nibbling on! 

  • Be sure to communicate your plans to include your horse with your wedding planner, venue manager, and photographer.
  • Ideally, hire an experienced horse handler for the day. If your trusted family and friends are all there as guests, you wouldn’t want them to miss out on any of the festivities if they are busy attending to your horses’ needs.
  • Do a few trial runs to see how your horse reacts, especially if you plan to arrive on horseback. Mounting in a wedding dress with stilettos is a whole different ball game so practice and make sure your horse knows what to expect. You might wish to wear your riding boots and swap them when you reach the venue (or not – you do you!)
  • If your horse gets startled by loud noises or crowded spaces, it could react or simply refuse to walk right before the ceremony. To avoid chaos and upset, make sure you have a great handler on board, and have a backup plan, just in case!

Honouring your Horse in Your Wedding Ceremony

We appreciate that the above ideas might not suit horses with different temperaments. Or perhaps the logistics of bringing your horse to your wedding all seem a bit complicated. You don’t have to throw in the towel just yet. You can still honour your pet in your wedding ceremony with the below ideas (or check out this article for a further inspiration).

Display a Framed Photo of your Horse at your Wedding

Spirit can still join your nuptials “in spirit” by displaying a photo of them. Choose a beautiful framed photo and place it prominently, perhaps near the guest book or the entrance. Otherwise you can include some snaps of them in the photo slideshow.

This gesture is a subtle yet powerful way to include your horse in the festivities, making them feel present even if they can’t be there physically.

Arrange a Horse-Inspired Cake Topper

Your wedding cake is a central part of the ceremony. You can also use it to pay tribute to the importance of your beloved horse to you as a couple. 

Think about customising your cake with a silhouette of your horse between its layers. Or, place a pet-inspired cake topper on the peak. Picture a cute, polymer clay or marzipan figurine of your horse, playfully peeking out from the tiers. This unique touch not only personalises your cake but also symbolises your companion’s presence at your wedding.

Include Pony-Themed Reception Accessories

Add a touch of whimsy and charm to your reception with pony and horse-themed accessories. Custom-designed wedding stationary and place cards could incorporate your treasured stallion or mare, or horse wine charms can add a sweet and personalized touch. 

Distribute Equestrian Wedding Favours

Show your love for horses by incorporating them into your equestrian wedding favours. Horseshoe-shaped charms, sweets, or even candles embossed with horse logos might be your thing. Every time your guests use these items, they’ll be reminded of the joy and love shared on your special day. And let’s face it – if you’re truly horse mad, it’s likely a lot of your guests will be too (or will at least appreciate the theme, if they know you well!)

Other Ideas and Inspiration  

If you don’t have your own horse, but still love the idea of including some horse vibes while getting hitched, here are a few other ideas to consider.

Adorable Ring Bearer

Perhaps one of the most adorable ways to include a horse in your wedding is by having a Shetland pony play ring bearer! Just imagine, a mini-horse, adorned for the occasion, trotting down the aisle as your ring bearer, led by a bridesmaid or flower girl.

This duo will capture hearts and create a memorable moment that stands out. It’s a delightful, heartwarming way to include your love for horses in the ceremony, adding a charm that your guests will talk about long after the wedding day.

Up Close and Personal

If you’ve chosen a barn with stables for your wedding venue and the ponies love attention, design a space as a designated petting area where guests can meet and greet the horses.

Arrange Pony Rides for Kids

Keeping children entertained at weddings can be challenging, but pony rides offer a perfect solution. Not only will the kids be thrilled with the chance to ride ponies, but this activity also serves as a great photo opportunity and talking point among guests. 

This thoughtful addition ensures that children are happily occupied, allowing adults to relax and fully engage in the celebration. You could find a venue that has ponies on-site, or hire a pony-ride company to take care of it all for you, as long as your reception venue is agreeable. 

Bigger than Us

If horses are dear to your heart, your wedding is a great way to support them and raise awareness. Ask your guests to skip the traditional gift and instead donate to your favourite horse charity. Not only is this a great way to spread goodwill, but it can also be a touching tribute to commemorate a horse you have known and loved. 

From the cute to the creative, we hope this guide has inspired the horse-lovers among us. If you included your horse in your wedding day, we’d love to hear about it!   

Ellie Anderson

An avid animal lover and vet nurse-in-training. In my downtime you'll usually find me at my favourite pet-friendly hangouts with my precious dog Jasper sipping puppacinos by my side!

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