This Might Be the Most Gorgeous Equestrian-Inspired Wedding Ever

NINA FEDRIZZI

When Chelsea Bowen’s husband Richard, who hails from the U.K., needed an extra groomsman to step in for his marriage across the pond, the couple called on someone they knew could pinch-hit in a crunch: Chelsea’s 12-year-old OTTB, Exeter (“Exy” for short). Although Chelsea (né Gammon) is already known to HC readers as the proud owner of a mustang named Folly, for her June 6th nuptials, Folly, for tameness issues, opted to sit out of the ceremony, but made an appearance for photos afterward (because #theresoneineveryfamily). Held in a barn in Glenmoore, Pennsylvania, the wedding had all the necessary equestrian accoutrements, and that includes a horse tuxedo. Get ready to swoon.

“All three of my bridesmaids ride,” says Bowen. “My sister, Corinne (the brunette), had a horse of her own when we were growing up, but doesn’t ride much anymore. Caitie, my maid of honor (technically matron of honor), has been riding all her life, and now works at After the Races, an organization that rehabs and re-homes OTTBs. Amanda is an advanced level eventer and trainer.”

5-With-Bridal-Party

Exy and the bridal party. (©Jennifer Green Photography/ Courtesy of Chelsea Bowen)

“I’ve had [Exeter] nine years and got him right off the track. He can be a very difficult horse under saddle (he bucked off my maid of honor once, but happily lets her son Logan do leadline on him), but is a gigantic puppy on the ground. I do hunters and jumpers on him, although he much prefers trail rides and hanging out with his girlfriend, Folly.”

Bride-Full-Dress-

Chelsea and Exy. (©Jennifer Green Photography/ Courtesy of Chelsea Bowen)

“Everything was held on our property and the neighbor’s in Glenmoore. The reception was in [the neighbors’] barn, which used to be owned by my grandparents.”

Outide-Reception-Hall

The reception barn. (©Jennifer Green Photography/ Courtesy of Chelsea Bowen)

“We chose to have [Exy] as a groomsman instead of riding him because I had seen all that can go wrong when brides ride horses. This was definitely the drama-free choice.”

3.-With-Little-Boys

Guests take pictures with Exy after the ceremony. Ring bearer Logan, seen here, has ridden Exy in a leadline class. (©Jennifer Green Photography/ Courtesy of Chelsea Bowen)

“I knew I wanted a horse tux for [Exy] since I got engaged two years ago, but had a hard time finding someone who would make one. A friend of mine, Meghan Bell, agreed to make me one, and it turned out so well!”

Groomsman-1

(©Jennifer Green Photography/ Courtesy of Chelsea Bowen)

Buck Davidson and Andrea had [a saddle guestbook] at their wedding, and I thought it was a great idea when I saw the picture. [This] was one of my father’s old saddles from his riding days.” 

4-Wedding-Gallery-

The wedding “guestbook”. (©Jennifer Green Photography/ Courtesy of Chelsea Bowen)

“It was wonderful to have everything in one place, where I could get pictures taken with my horses and have Exy as part of the wedding (with the option to pop him back in the field if it got to be too much for him).”

Reception-Hall

Inside the reception barn. (©Jennifer Green Photography/ Courtesy of Chelsea Bowen)

Table-Numbers

Horseshoe table numbers Chelsea made herself. (©Jennifer Green Photography/ Courtesy of Chelsea Bowen)

“Folly is doing really well! She has started schooling cross country jumps, loves going for gallops along corn fields, and even gave her first pony ride! She loves trail rides, and is learning tricks (like the bowing she did in her Fourth of July picture with the flag). We’re taking things at her pace and enjoying the journey. It’s amazing how far she’s come in the past year.”

Folly-1

Chelsea and Folly. (©Jennifer Green Photography/ Courtesy of Chelsea Bowen)

“[Richard] grew up with sisters who rode, so he’s happy to hop on and go on a trail ride with me every now and then.”

With-Groom

Chelsea, Richard, and Exy. (©Jennifer Green Photography/ Courtesy of Chelsea Bowen)

“The wedding was on the day of the Belmont. In true horse-person fashion, we had the cake-cutting stopped because we just HAD to watch American Pharoah make his bid for the Triple Crown. Our wedding photographer says that the series of pictures she got of our reactions when he won is one of her favorite wedding moments.”

(©Jennifer Green Photography/ Courtesy of Chelsea Bowen)

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