“ Brick House Farm, Bowley Lane, Bodenham, Hereford, HR1 3LG „
KC Horse Rescue is an organisation based in Hereford that cares for horses and ponies that have been neglected.
For 15 years they have provided food, shelter, expert care and most importantly love for these poor animals.
Part of the funding for carrying out of this work comes from the carriage service they provide for weddings and funerals.
I discovered them 3 years ago whilst planning my wedding. My fiancée had always wanted a horse drawn carriage but I feared that she'd end up like Daisy - "It won't be a stylish marriage, I can't afford a carriage". I was all set to book some fairly bog-standard wedding cars when Google turned up this little gem.
I rang them, spoke to a very polite lady who took down all my details and rang me back within 15 minutes with a quote. It was very reasonable, in fact it was only about £25 more than the car I was about to hire. I can't remember the exact price & don't want to guess (it's been a long 3 years) but I can remember being happily surprised.
When I booked I had a choice of how many horses I wanted to pull the carriage - 1 or 2 and as I chose to have just one (as it was for a relatively short distance) I even had a choice of the colour of horse. I could choose the colour of flowers on the carriage and even the colour of the jackets that the footman and driver would wear.
The carriage comes with a hood in case it rains and can seat up to four people. KC provide a Mercedes Benz for the remainder of the bridal party if required.
I explained to them that I wanted this to be a surprise for my wife-to-be, who thought that I'd booked a car, and they made sure that they only contacted me at agreed times to help keep things a secret.
They travelled to the venue a few days before the wedding to assess the distance the horses would be travelling, the condition of the roads and to make sure the route I'd suggested was suitable for the horses. They also use this visit to ensure that there's somewhere suitable to park the horse box out of site so that it won't impact on any wedding photos or, in this case, spoil the surprise.
It's this attention to detail and thought that impressed me about them.
As the wedding was in October they brought along umbrellas and the carriage they used had a hood available but fortunately the weather was perfect and sunny.
My wife was amazed when the horse and carriage pulled up outside her parents house and had a wonderful ride to the church with dozens of people waving and cheering at her. My father-in-law looks so proud sitting next to her (on the photo's, I was nervously biting my nails in the church at this point) and my mother-in-law and 3 bridesmaids were nice and comfy in the merc.
KC Rescue kept the horses happy and calm outside of the church during the ceremony (and as this was a full length Catholic ceremony they were there for a while) and then I finally go to see what I'd spent my money on. The horse was beautiful & elegant and the carriage was amazing. The staff helped my new bride and myself up onto the carriage and we sat there for an eternity as all of the relatives pointed their cameras at us time and time again.
The horse didn't flinch at all the commotion and the flash bulbs.
Finally we were able to head off. We were given complimentary champagne and glasses and away we went.
Now a horse and carriage doesn't exactly break any speed limits so we held up traffic quite a bit on our 20 minute journey but all of the drivers around us actually seemed genuinely happy for us and were waving, smiling and giving us the thumbs up. The sun was shining, we had champagne and were being treated like royalty. It was definitely a better option than going by car.
Unfortunately the venue for our wedding reception was 20 miles away from the church so I'd arranged for the horse and carriage to only take us a few miles down the road where we did transfer to my dads car for the remainder of the journey. This was for two reasons, firstly you can only expect a horse to pull the carriage so far and secondly if we had travelled the full distance it would have taken us so long that our guests would be so hungry by the time we arrived that they might literally eat a horse.
At every stage the KC staff were polite, efficient, well groomed (as was the horse) and professional. I would recommend them to anyone planning a wedding without hesitation.
According to their website they are happy to travel the length and breadth of the country so it shouldn't matter how far from Hereford you are.
As well as providing wedding carriages they will do funerals (though I would hope without the champagne) and can provide assistance with breaking in of horses and riding lessons.
If you use them, you'll not only get a terrific service but you'll also be helping care for sick horses.
Thoroughly recommended & here's where to find them: http://www.kccarriages.co.uk/id2.html
Providing services for wedding, funeral and horse riding lessons.