My husband and I breed Welsh Ponies for a living. Our stallion, Brighton's Bonny Best (or Brighton for short), is a champion Welsh Pony and many people come from all over to bring their mares to us for breeding. A few few months ago, we got an unusual request from, Heather girl whos family keeps their Shetland Pony mare at our barn. It seems that mom and dad had the idea to breed Maple (the Shetland Pony) to our stallion so Heather would have another horse to ride when she got too big for Maple and then both her sister, Emily and she could ride together. There was only one hitch, neither of the girls wanted Maple to have a baby if she wasn't properly married. It sounded like fun and I knew Brighton would love the attention. He enjoys showing off and is very good around children.
The girls mother decorated a white halter with yellow ribbon roses, fake pearls and attached a white veil to the brow band and cut two holes for her ears. The girls braided real roses, lilies and daisies into the mare's cream colored mane and a white lace bow decorated with silk roses at the base of her tail. They helped me braid Brighton's black mane with white ribbon and I put a bow tie I had made out of scraps of black satin around his neck. The girls wore lovely yellow bride's maids dresses. Heather and Emily's mother wore a lovely linen pant suit and dad wore a suit and a carnation pinned to his lapel. It was his job to "give the bride away". I would hold Brighton's lead and officiate the ceremony.
Heather and Emily decorated the breeze way--the open space between the rows of stalls--with flower garlands and yellow ribbons. They had to be careful the garlands were out of reach of the horses occupying the stalls. The wedding march would be Pachalbel's Cannon which would be played on a portable CD player. The altar was just a four bales of shavings covered with a remnant of white linen and was decorated with a bouquet of red roses and carrots with the tops on.
When the music started, Emily and Heather walked down the aisle carrying bouquets of roses and carrots. Dad led Maple to the altar while a few words about love, respect, loyalty and life-long happiness. After I pronounced them husband and wife, I told Brighton to kiss the bride and he gently touched noses with her. She gave a little squeal, but otherwise was very ladylike. I took a some very cute photos of the bride and groom enjoying the bouquets of roses and carrots.
The girls fed their bouquets to the happy couple before they were returned to their stalls while the humans had a good, old-fashioned barbeque, wedding cake and lots of Champagne. After the braids, flowers and bowtie had been removed everyone blew bubbles at Brighton and Maple as they were led into the breeding shed.
When I first heard the idea, I thought it was a little silly, but after participated in my first equine wedding I found it was really fun. Everyone is anxiously awaiting Maple's foal.