I work on a very part-time basis for The Hitching Company horse drawn carriages in Minneapolis. I am strictly on-call this summer, and worked for the first time on Saturday. My reservations for the day were for 2 weddings, back to back. One was extremely organized and well-done, the other, not so much.
The first wedding was really neat. It was at a Catholic church in NE Mpls. The carriage ride was a surprise to the wedding couple from the wedding party. The bride was SOOOOO surprised. Even though their ceremony started a little late, we were still able to get in their ride and pictures and everyone had a great time.
The second wedding was CHAOS. It was in S Mpls near Lake Calhoun. They seemed to have a wedding planner, but from what I could tell, she wasn't doing a very good job at keeping things running on-time. We got there with just enough time to unload the carriage and harness the horse, but were told to wait becuase it too was a surprise, but she came out and told us that the priest was late. So, we waited, and finally started working an hour after our start time. They also hired 2 limos from 2 different companies to follow the carriage for pictures. The bride didn't want to pay for a photo permit for the Mpls parks, so we didn't really have anywhere to go. No one knew what was going on, and the photographer was the most clueless of all. I don't have the name of the photographer - i kind of think he may have been a family friend. The planner was someone from Encore Events. This was my first experience with them, so I'm not sure if that was the norm, but if it is, I wouldn't recommend them to anyone. To me, the whole point of having a planner or coordinator is to avoid that kind of confusion.
My conclusion after all of this is that it can be really neat to surprise the wedding couple with a carriage ride after the ceremony, but the person trying to coordinate things really needs to know what they are doing.
On a side note - if you are looking for a unique transportation mode in Mpls or St Paul, check out The Hitching Company.