We hear it all the time ‘why is it so much more expensive for a wedding’ or ‘as soon as I mention wedding, the price goes up’. This is possibly true, but have you ever stopped to wonder why?? I would like to use this blog post to try and demystify this strange phenomenon.
Let’s think about your wedding. It is a big deal. Some may say the most important day of your life. Many brides have been dreaming of this day for many many years, how they are going to look, how they are going to arrive, the colours, the layout, the venue, the timing on the day, the photos… on and on the list goes. There are a lot of things to think about, a lot of things to consider. With this comes the stress and expectation of perfection.
When you book us for a wedding, you have the choice of a number of horses and carriages, you can choose how to incorporate our services into your day. The type of horse or horses, and the carriage you like best. We do our very best to match the picture in your head. Preplanning routes, deciding on the best approach, meeting with you to work out where to park. Meeting with you for you to meet and choose your horses, test sit in the carriages, discuss placement of just married signs, or flowers or ribbons. Planning how we contribute your wedding is a big deal.
Behind the scenes work that makes weddings possible
Did I mention the cleaning? For a wedding there is cleaning. Washing, polishing, trimming of horses. Painting their feet, removing the poo stains, keeping them clean for most of a day. Washing, polishing shining of harness. Plumes, ribbons, bridal lace. Washing, polishing, vacuuming of carriage. Transporting of carriage, then cleaning again. Dry cleaning of suits, polishing boots, then trying to keep it all schmick while hitching up and getting in preplanned location. Remember, we are aiming for the perfection you have dreamed of.
This takes time. When we arrive at our preplanned location for your wedding, we have already been working for hours. This isn’t including the time we have spent driving to your location, which we always allow double the length of time it actually takes, just to allow for incidentals. Your wedding is an important day, and we pull out all the stops to make sure we are where we are supposed to be, matching the picture in your head, without fail. Following your wedding (where you have us for up to 2.5 hours all included) we need to pack all this away and drive home. More time. Weddings for us are usually a 12 hour day.
The difference between weddings and other events
Now, lets compare this to a ‘casual’ booking- a wine tour, a leisurely jaunt, a bear hunt, a Christmas light tour… these are fun days, but they are not THE DAY. If we are late, it isn’t a snowball effect ruining the most important day of your life (not that we are usually late, but there is less of a crisis if we are). You probably won’t notice if the horse isn’t sparkly clean, we certainly don’t need to worry about the dry cleaning. Yes we try to present nicely, but certainly we don’t need to spend the amount of time in preparation. While we try to bring the horse you want, we may substitute for a different horse, depending on a myriad of reasons. In this scenario we are not under the pressure to match the picture in your head.
Then there is the weather. If you have us booked for your wedding, and the forecast is yucky, we do everything in our capabilities to carry on. Whether this be rearrange the pick up point in consultation with you at the last minute (for the benefit of the horses AND the bride), or whether this is standing with our horses under the veranda of a nearby house waiting for the thunder storm to pass (yes, we’ve been there). If its a ‘casual’ booking- we will reschedule- can’t do that for a wedding!!
“But I don’t mind if you aren’t sparkly clean” I hear you say. Well here’s the thing, you are having photos taken. Hopefully these photos are displayed with pride for many years to come. Other people see your photos, other people form an opinion of how a horse and carriage should be presented for a wedding. Our involvement in your wedding is a reflection of our service. We can not be seen to be any thing less than perfect.
At the end of the day, it comes down to this. We will not substitute our quality for an inferior service, to save a few dollars. We are proud of the service we offer, and we charge in order to be able to afford to offer this service.