How Much Does Horse And Carriage Cost?

It is virtually impossible to pinpoint the exact era should one trace the history of horse-drawn vehicles. However, it is important to take note that timelines can be simplified based on the discovery of two basic technologies: animal husbandry and the wheel. The first settlements sprang in 6000 BC, wherein humans have tamed every known beast of burden that thrives in a rural setting. By 3500 BC, the Mesopotamians discovered the wheel and it soon led to creating vehicles driven by horses for increased speed.

For thousands of years until the late 1800’s, the horse-drawn carriage was a standard form of transportation around the world. But ever since automobiles have become a global mainstream, horse-drawn carriages immediately became obsolete. Sadly, it wasn’t enough to just simply relegate its insignificance to a mere practical inconvenience.

Since recently, certain concerned groups (e.g. PETA) have relentlessly championed against the use of horse-drawn vehicles for ‘any purpose.’ However, several studies made strong points for debunking the myths linking carriages/wagons with animal cruelty. In this day and age, only three circumstances make horse-drawn carriages valid and important – Mennonite/Anabaptist communities, tourist recreations, and wedding events. The latter, in particular, represents an important component of the nuptials industry.

National Average Rental Cost

So, how much does a horse and carriage cost for a wedding? A straightforward and logical means of acquiring this historical-themed vehicle is via rental. Considering that modern social conventions have further discouraged this practice, the chances of getting this luxury feature gets slimmer.   Fortunately, there are renowned providers across the country offering solid quotes for horse and carriage rental prices. These are among the most transparent and visible entrepreneurs online:

horse and carrier ride

Bluebonnet Carriage

Location: San Antonio, Texas

Contact: 210-599-2474

Featured rates:

  • Downtown San Antonio: $250 for 60 minutes / $350 for 90 minutes
  • Special Events Wedding: $350 for 60 minutes / $450 for 90 minutes

Blue Ribbon Carriages

Location: Indianapolis, Indiana

Contact: 317-631-4169

Featured rates:

  • Mile Square Area: $400 for one hour / $125 per extra hour
  • On-location Weddings: $750 for one hour / $100 per extra hour

Brazos Carriage

Location: Godley, Texas

Contact: 817-723-2322

Featured rates:

  • Fort Worth Wedding: $250 one hour / $150 for 30 minutes
  • Outside Fort Worth: $300 one hour / $125 per extra hour

Magical Journey Carriages

Location: Omaha, Nebraska

Contacts: 402-453-6745

Featured rates:

  • Heartland Park (25 minutes): $45 for Standard / $40 for Cinderella
  • Deluxe/Riverfront/Skyscraper Tour (30 minutes): $60 for Standard / $70 for Cinderella
  • Grand Finale (60 minutes, all areas): $100 for Standard / $120 for Cinderella

Nottingham Shire & Carriages for Hire, LLC

Location: Atlanta, Georgia

Contacts: 678-621-3414

Featured rates:

  • 15-minute Tour: $50
  • 30-minute Tour: $100
  • One-hour Tour: $200

Old South Carriage Company

Location: Charleston, South Carolina

Contacts: 843-723-9712

Featured rates:

Royal Carriages

Location: New Orleans, Louisiana

Contacts: 504-943-8820

Featured rates:

  • Ride Royal VIP (30 minutes): $100
  • Ride Royal VIP (One hour): $200

About Buying Horse-drawn Carriages

How much does a horse and carriage cost for a wedding if one buys instead of renting them? This is the kind of question people would ask if they prefer owning a traditional vehicle they can pass on as an heirloom for several generations to come (see more of ‘refurbishing’ in the next part of the article). Considering their relative rarity, one should bear in mind that horse-drawn carriages aren’t cheap. Here are several pointers for smart purchase:

Two-wheel for novice riders

Choosing two-wheeled vehicles are beneficial for those who lack skills in controlling the horse’s reins. It provides easier maneuverability because it is less likely to flip over at sudden sharp turns. Although they are also cheaper (considering both the cost of the vehicle and one horse) than the bulkier 4-wheel carriages, they only allow seats for two people – the bride and the groom, with either of the couple holding the harness.

Buy from reputable manufacturers

It’s no secret that horse and carriage rental prices are relatively pricey for average Americans – worthy enough to be a challenging investment. Not only do renowned companies guarantee quality, they also have these other vital advantages:

  • Product liability insurance
  • Professional staff (engineers and mechanics)
  • Use of updated materials
  • Gratis inspection and repairs

Observe the horse-carriage-wheel balance

Another crucial factor that helps decide what vehicle to buy is the proportion shared by the size of the horse, the carriage and the wheel. The size of the wheel should be enough to support the weight of the buggy. The combined weight of both the wheel and the buggy will determine whether the type of carriage requires more than one horse. Pony & Carriage illustrates precise proportions for informative reference.

Do-It-Yourself Horse-drawn Vehicle

So, how much does a horse and carriage cost for a wedding if you are producing it one way or another? When it comes to quality, there are those individuals with enough skill and confidence to undertake such project. While a step-by-step procedure for completing this project is best left to the judgment of the owner, it always ‘pays’ to have a clearer idea of how much one would be spending.

Partial DIY for antique custom restoration:

two riding horses and their carrier

Building it from scratch:

To Buy or Rent a Horse

Of course, understanding horse and carriage rental prices would not be relevant without the animals driving it. If one does not opt to pay a time-based rate for carriage rentals, consumers may either lease the horse/s or buy one. It is important to bear in mind that the tenure for renting horses usually takes more than 14 days. Providing adequate food, shelter and care are at the customer’s full discretion. Here’s a good reference for estimated costs:

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