Have Trunk Will Travel, Inc.
             Wedding Elephants


Frequently Asked Questions:


What does an elephant do at weddings?

The elephant usually transports the groom during the baraat in a traditional Indian wedding.  The groom rides the elephant and follows a procession of friends and family, occasionally stopping for people to dance.

 

How much does it cost to have an elephant at a wedding?

The cost to have an elephant at a wedding depends on the location and choice of saddles and decorations.  Contact Kari at (951) 943-9227 or kari@havetrunkwilltravel.com.  We are located in California so when e-mailing be sure to give your city and state.

 

How much time do we have with the elephant?

As long as it takes to do the baraat, up to one hour. The elephant will be dressed and ready to begin at the agreed upon time.  If you would like the elephant available for photos or if your baraat runs late additional time is $500 per hour.

 

What decorations/accessories come with the elephant for weddings?

The standard saddle is covered with a decorated blanket and has a matching headpiece.  The groom sits straddle the elephant’s back as if he were riding a horse.

(See “Saddle” page)

 

We also have a more elaborate “grand howdah” which is like a seat on top of the elephant.  The cost for the grand howdah is an additional $500.00. 

(See “Saddle” page)

 

Can a nephew or niece ride with the groom on the elephant?

It is possible to have an additional rider depending on weight, terrain and your saddle choice but please be sure to make arrangements with us in advance.

 

What kind of licensing do you have for the elephants?

We are permitted, licensed and inspected by the United States Department of Agriculture-APHIS Animal Care and by the California State Department of Fish and Game-Animal Welfare division.  In addition we carry a Captive-Bred Wildlife Permit and a Convention on International Trade of Endangered Species permit from the Department of the Interior.  We follow the regulations and guidelines of the American Zoo and Aquarium Association, The Elephant Managers Association and the Elephant Husbandry Resource Guide from the International Elephant Foundation.

  

What permits is the customer responsible for?

You are responsible for getting permission from the hotel or venue to have the elephant there as well as any local animal services permit that may be required.

 

Do local Animal Services Agencies usually require a permit for the elephant? 

The rules and requirements are different in each city or county.  Some use a local humane society; some go through the police department and some contract with Animal Service agencies.  Sometimes there is a charge for a permit that you are responsible for.  It is a good idea to check on local regulations before you decide to get an elephant.  Ask us about your city or county.

 

Will you work with our wedding planner and hotel personnel regarding having an elephant at the venue?

Yes, we can handle questions, insurance matters and indemnity forms by telephone and e-mail. 

 

Do you have insurance for the elephants?

Yes, we have a total of $5 million in insurance, a $2 million liability policy with a $3 million umbrella.  We can provide a certificate at no charge.  If the venue requires being added as additionally insured there is a $150 charge.

 

Can we feed the elephant an offering before the baraat?

Yes, elephants are herbivores and eat fruits and vegetables.  Good choices are bananas, apples and carrots.

 

Who is responsible for cleanup?

We take care of any cleanup and never leave a mess.

 

Is any special training needed for the elephants that are featured in weddings?

The elephants chosen for weddings and events are those with sweet natures and social personalities. They are acclimated to noise, people, music, cars and are used to doing shows, parades and special events.

 

How do I get on and off the elephant?

You climb up to the saddle or howdah on a ladder.  You dismount from the howdah on a ladder.  You may dismount from the standard saddle from a ladder or we can have the elephant kneel down and you can slide off with the help of your groomsmen.  (see “Saddle” page).