It’s every equestrian’s dream to have their horse be a part of the wedding day because you love your fiancé dearly, but you’ve probably loved horses longer. You’ve seen pages upon pages of Pinterest brides snuggled up with their horses -- or even the brave ones sitting astride.
I, too, dreamed of having my horse, Justin, in my wedding. When I was deep in the trenches of wedding planning, not having him involved felt akin to not inviting a key family member. It took some strategy, but the photos we have make it 100% worth the effort.
If you're heading down the aisle soon and have decided your horse must be there, here are a few of my tips to make that a reality (or not!).
First consider your own horse. What’s his temperament? If he’s hot, reactive, and easily riled up, having him there might not be appropriate.
Next, think about your venue. If you are getting married at the barn (lucky!) then this is more easily achievable. But the pet policy of your venue likely doesn’t extend to include equines. Instead, maybe take some of your portraits at your local barn if it’s close by.
You’ll also need to decide how involved you want your horse in the big day. When my friends asked if I would be riding my horse down the aisle, I laughed out loud. I knew that wouldn’t be a situation with a positive outcome, and frankly I didn’t want to get bucked off in front of all my wedding guests. So, I opted to have him brought over for photos after the ceremony.
If you want to make this dream a reality, you’ll need grounds crew. Thankfully, a friend volunteered to clean my white horse so that he sparkled the day of. If you’re going through all the trouble to have the horse involved, you might as well make sure he’s photo ready.
Dad being a good sport.
Because my wedding was at my parent’s farm, I already had my horse onsite. But someone still needed to bring him over from the barn to the photo areas. That person was my dad. Bless his heart, he ended up holding a kite on the way over, but if he was scared or bothered, he hid it well.
Finally, talk to your fiancé about your big plans. Mine knew that horses were a non-negotiable part of our relationship, but honestly thought I was a bit bonkers for having one involved on our wedding day. Despite this, he agreed. That is until halfway through the horse photos when he left because he, “felt like a third wheel.” I obviously married a non-horse person.
The magic has worn off for my husband.
Despite the hurdles, I would do it all over again. There's nothing more magical than horses on your wedding day.
Photos by Ashlyn Cathey Photography.