Whether you plan to arrive at your wedding on a tandem, in a vintage car or in a horse drawn carriage there are certain considerations, such as cost, distance and style, which may affect your choice. Unless you are fortunate enough to live close enough to your church or wedding venue to be able to walk there, you will need at least one vehicle to get you to your place of marriage. As well as being functional, this provides a wonderful opportunity to make a grand arrival.
When deciding what transport you will require for your wedding you should consider the distance to the venue from your home. If you live close enough, only one vehicle may be necessary, which can do more than one journey, taking your bridesmaids and mum first, and coming back for you and your giver away. Clearly, for venues further away, more than one vehicle will most likely be required.
Transport to the Wedding Venue
Your bridesmaids are the first to leave for the ceremony and your mother will either travel with them or follow directly after. You and your father will follow later, arriving a few minutes before the ceremony is due to start.
It is the best man’s responsibility for getting himself and your groom to the church on time and is one of his more important duties. The ideal time for them to arrive is at least thirty minutes before the ceremony is due to start. Generally the best man drives to church in his or the groom’s own car, or arranges a taxi. No doubt he will ensure that apart from getting there on time, he allows enough time for a quick stop for a ‘nerve-calming’ drink on the way!
After the Ceremony
The wedding car will be waiting to take you both to the reception and, if there is a second car, this will transport your bridesmaids. It is not uncommon for your bridesmaids to be accompanied by the bride’s mother/parents, although, more practically, your father’s car is often left at the church earlier in the day so that he can drive himself and you Mum to the reception. Guests are responsible for their own transport between the church and reception, although it may be necessary to arrange lifts for elderly/disabled guests or those without a car. It is essentially the responsibility of the best man and the ushers to ensure that everyone gets to the reception with the minimum of fuss, but it would be wise to check requirements beforehand.
Traditionally the bride and groom say their goodbyes and leave the reception in a car that has been thoroughly decorated, with tin cans, old shoes, balloons and the essential ‘just married’ sign. However, nowadays many couples spend their wedding night at the hotel of their reception and leave for their honeymoon the next morning. Bearing in mind the drink driving laws, this would be a preferable choice. However, if you are leaving for your honeymoon directly after the reception, unless one of you has agreed not to drink, it would be a good idea to arrange for a friend or relative who will not be drinking to drive you to your destination. Be prepared beforehand and make sure that your car is full of petrol and, if you are staying overnight at the reception hotel, that it is left there the day before.
If you are leaving your reception by taxi or mini-cab it should be booked in plenty of time before the wedding day, especially if you need to get to a particular place, such as an airport, by a certain time. Occasionally, if the taxi company is advised that the car is for newly weds, they may allow the car to be decorated to a point, but you will need to check this out first.
Traditionally, it is your groom’s responsibility to organise and pay for your going away transport.
Types of Transport
You can arrive at your wedding in all manner of transport from a vintage car, to a helicopter, but there are certain considerations you need to take into account such as your budget, the distance between your home and venues, the style or theme of your wedding, and even the weather, all of which may affect your choice. Listed below are the various forms of transport you may wish to consider:
Wedding cars are traditionally large, luxurious limousines such as Rolls Royces, Daimlers and Mercedes and are easily obtainable from wedding car companies. However, if the car you want is something special or unusual – a vintage car or an open top Rolls Royce perhaps, these are available from specialist companies, and may involve a bit of extra phoning around. Some vintage car enthusiasts will hire their cars out for weddings and perform the role of chauffeur themselves, most often dressed in a uniform that is in keeping with the era of the car. However do make sure the car is properly licenced by land transport NZ, as there are some additional restrictions for hiring vehicles in New Zealand.
While most limousines are black, grey or white, they are available in other colours, although these may be harder to find. However, white, cream and specialist cars are very popular and can get booked many months in advance, so you will need to make an early decision and book promptly.
Before you make a final decision on a more unusual type of car you should take a few points into consideration particularly if you want a vintage car:
If the car breaks down, does the company have a replacement car they can call upon quickly.
Be sure that the interior of the car is big enough to accommodate you, your dress and the person you will be travelling with (the person who is giving you away). Some older style cars have very restricted internal space. Be especially careful if you intend on having a dress with a large skirt or long train.
As the law stands, you are required to wear a seat belt in both the front and rear of a car if seat belts are fitted. However, most vintage models only have them in the front or not fitted at all. This may be an important consideration if the fabric of your dress is easily creased.
Be sure to use a reliable and reputable company that will not let you down at the last minute. These can be found in your local telephone book, in the local press and at Wedding Fayres or check out the advertisers on our website. You should obtain quotations from several local companies, since you will find that prices vary.
Wedding car companies generally charge for the entire day. Vintage cars are by far the most popular for weddings and for a Saturday wedding during the peak season, can range from £295 to £365 for the day for local journeys. Extra mileage will be charged if your wedding is out of the area; generally a radius of 20 miles. It is worth noting however, that in most instances, a discount is offered for weddings on other days of the week, including Sundays and also the time of year. Wedding cars, such as a Silver Cloud or DS420 tend to be less expensive, from £195 to £250, making them more popular as second cars.