05 Jun Horse Wedding: Ideas, Decorations, Pictures
Horse themed weddings are the dream of every avid equestrian. For me, the idea of having my horses nearby as I tied the knot was something I couldn’t resist. So my husband and I decided to go all out and have a horse-themed wedding. If you’re looking for inspiration for your own horse wedding, here are some tips and ideas to get you started.
Here’s what you’ll need for a horse wedding: Elegant equine-related decor, horse wedding photos, a venue that is suitable for horses, well-behaved horses, and a trusted horse handler nearby at all times.
Now that you have a general idea, let’s dive into the details of having a horse-themed wedding.
Horse Wedding Decor
When it comes to wedding decor, the world of horses has a lot to offer. From horseshoes, hoof picks, and stirrups to bits, leather straps, and show ribbons, there are many decor ideas you can come up with for your horse-themed wedding.
Horseshoes are the go-to for just about any type of decor. We had our reception at my parents’ house, and my parents are obsessed with horseshoe furnishings. They have wine bottle holders, decorative trees, and coat racks all made out of horseshoes. These offer a quick and simple tie-in to the horse theme.
Show ribbon can be turned into vintage looking wreaths and stirrups can become candle holders. There are plethoras of decor options you can create from horsey-items.
Horse Wedding Photos
Your wedding photos are important because they will help you remember one of the most special days of your life; if your wedding is equestrian-themed, including some horses in the shots is a must. There are a few things to keep in mind when it comes to involving an equine in your pictures:
A Dirty Horse + A White Dress = Not Good
Something that most people instantly correlate with horses is dirt; this doesn’t mix well with the pristine appearance that weddings try to uphold. Before you take your wedding photographs or even interact with the horse in your wedding dress, plan to have the horse properly bathed. Not only will this help to keep your dress clean, but it will also make the horses photo-ready!
A Wedding Photographer With Horse Sense
My now sister-in-law took our wedding photos. Not only is she a great photographer, but she took the time to study how to photograph horses in order to capture the perfect picture. If you plan to include horses in your wedding photos, having a photographer who can capture your horse at its best can make or break the photos.
Think about it; do you ever want a picture of your horse with its ears pinned back as it looks sideways at you, or do you want a picture of your horse with its ears perked up and its neck majestically raised?
Getting the Horse’s Attention
In order to keep the horse’s attention while photographing, you may want to consider finding someone who can solely dedicate their time to waving their hands in the air, rustling bags, or jigging about behind the camera. This was my brother’s job at our wedding; he stood behind the photographer and called the horses to look in his direction and perk their ears up.
This might seem like a small detail, but having someone keep the horses’ attention can make a big difference in the quality of the photos.
Wedding Venues Suitable for Horses
If you plan on having an equestrian-themed wedding, you will want to keep in mind whether or not the venue you choose will be suitable for horses. We had the majority of our wedding festivities at my parent’s property, where they have a few horses. This made it quite easy to include the equines in photos and in post-ceremony fun.
Have an idea of exactly how you want horses involved in your big day. There are many high-end stables that double as wedding venues; this would work great for someone who wants to be immersed in the world of horses on their big day. A barn venue is another choice that can easily create the atmosphere needed to portray the “barn-life.”
If you want to include your own horse on your wedding day, see if venues would allow you to trailer them in. If you happened to have chosen a venue that isn’t quite suitable for a band of horses, maybe opting for a simple carriage ride to drive you away from the ceremony will do.
A Trusted Horse Handler
If you plan on having a horse present, it’s important that there is someone around who can handle the horse, whether its during photos, pony rides, or during any downtime. A wedding environment can be exciting and nerve-racking for a horse; there is a lot of activity happening that may cause them to get worked up.
A trusted horse handler can step-in if things go awry. If a venue is allowing you to trailer your horse in, they may require that you have an experienced horse handler on hand. They may require you to clean up any mess the horse makes or pay for any retribution the horse may destroy. Having a horse handler at your wedding who can watch after your horse while you’re busy can help keep you in the clear when dealing with the wedding venue.
Horse Wedding Ideas
When it comes to a horse wedding, there are plenty of ways to include your horse and your horse theme in general into all of the festivities. Here are more ideas you might consider for your horse wedding.
Pony Rides for Children
Kids are obsessed with horses, and if they see one at your wedding, they’re going to want to touch it and ride it. You may as well feed their desire by offering pony rides for the children. Many times, the idea of kids at your wedding is forgotten until the big day. Usually, children won’t have anything to do at a wedding. Pony rides will be a great way to entertain the kids and let them have some fun!
There’s just something about a bonfire. Maybe its how cowboys slept by the fire as their horses stood watch or maybe its the tailgate gathering after a foxhunt, but a bonfire just has a way of bringing people together. This is a great way to enjoy the company of your wedding and trade your horsey stories over the fire.
Horse-related games are a great way to entertain your crowd as well as tie-in your theme. You can have a horseshoe throwing pit, a Pin the Tail on the Horse board, or even something more simple like putting boardgames on hay bales. Instead of the wedding shoe game, you can play the wedding horseshoe game. Include horse trivia at the dining tables for your guests to take a crack at. The list goes on and on!
Horse Themed Gifts for Groomsmen and Bridesmaids
Incorporating your horse-theme into your gifts for your groomsmen and bridesmaids will give them something to always remind them of your day. I’ve seen gifts like cowboy hats or cowboy boots, and I’ve also seen leather bracelets with a bronze engraved plate. If your party is horse-minded like you, you can even go with pieces of tack or a bucket of supplies. (I’m not joking; horse people love that stuff.)
Other Ways to Include Horses In Your Wedding
Your Ride to The Aisle
What better way to cope with your nerves about walking down the aisle than to ride to the aisle on your horse! This will make a unique grand entrance for your guests to witness.
A Horse With a Ring
Have your horse be the ring-bearer! There’s no better way to solidify the relationship between your equine and your spouse than to carry the ring down the aisle that they’ll place on your finger!
Show Off Your Riding Skills
Instead of a first dance, why not a first ride? Practice a routine with your future spouse beforehand that you can showcase at your reception. This is memorable, fun, and will probably get a good laugh.
Thank you for reading! If you’re looking for decor for a horse-themed home, you can check out some of our favorite ideas here.
I’m a lifelong horse trainer and horseback rider who’s passionate about teaching others about the things I’ve learned. I grew up competing in numerous English horseback riding disciplines and am now a certified equine massage therapist. I currently own three horses.