You’ll be all revved up and raring to go with our expert advice on how to choose your wedding-day transport
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Whether you’re a serious petrol-head or someone who rides her bike everywhere, you should set aside some time to research your wedding transport. You might not be able to tell a Ford from a Fiat or a Merc from a Mazda, but sorting out your travel plans so you have a stress-free journey to your wedding service is a key part of the day – don’t sweep this part of the prep under the car.
First off, look into the different options out there and narrow down your choices. Most of us don’t race around the streets in a vintage car (however much we might like to), so your wedding day is a chance in a lifetime to take a spin in a classic motor. Vintage Beaufords and Rolls-Royce are among the most popular vehicles on offer, with their luxurious leather interiors and ultra-stylish look. As well as being a practical way of getting you from home to the venue, vintage cars have the added advantage of always looking great in photographs. “Many couples choose to have their service and reception in the one place now but we will stay until after the service to give them the opportunity for photographs in the car with a glass of champagne,” explains Teresa Doherty of Erin’s Chauffeur Drive (erinschauffeurdrive.co.uk).
If you’re lucky enough to get a bright sunny day, you might even be able to take the top down on a convertible number to make a truly special entrance.
Arriving at your wedding to the sound of horses’ hooves is an amazing experience. You’ll feel like a real prince and princess
If you’re aiming for the whole fairytale look, a horse-drawn carriage could be the option for you. “Arriving at your wedding to the sound of horses’ hooves and at a gentle pace is an amazing experience,” smiles Lorraine McIndoe of McIndoe Horse Drawn Carriages (mcindoehorsedrawncarriages.com). “You will certainly attract lots of admiring glances and feel like a real prince and princess.” Lorraine Stewart of Studlearoyal (studlearoyal.co.uk) agrees: “We provide horse-drawn carriages which gives brides the spectacular entrance they deserve, catching the eye of both guests and onlookers alike.” After you’ve exchanged vows, travelling in a horse-drawn carriage together is a romantic way to spend your first moments with each other as newlyweds. This works best if you’re not travelling too far, of course – horses are a lot slower than cars, and it could mess up your day’s schedule if the journey is too long.
While vintage and retro styles of transport are perennially popular for wedding celebrations, you might want to go in a different direction and opt for something altogether more modern. Sleek, stylish Jaguars and Mercedes exude luxury and classy elegance, and they’ll give you the ultimate in comfort on the way to your date with destiny. Laura Bruce, of Bruce Wedding Cars (brucetaxis.co.uk), has some stylish cars on offer: “We have new models of Mercedes S and E Class, Jaguar XF and Range Rover Sport cars in elegant silver, ensuring you arrive in style and luxury,” she says. Capital Cars’ fleet of Mercedes, meanwhile, is a smart option to transport you. “Our vehicles are popular cars that provide high-class transport,” explains Stephen Rose of Capital Cars (capitalcarsscotland.co.uk). Modern cars can travel for long distances in great comfort, and can often accommodate more passengers – ideal if you’ve got lots of bridesmaids, as Stephen Rose advises: “Some larger bridal parties may need to book several vehicles, and we tailor each booking to allow comfort for all those travelling.”
You don’t have to stick to posh cars, though; there are all sorts of cool alternatives out there for hire. What about a Volkswagen camper van, a pink limo or an American Chevy? There are even tartan cars to rent if you’re looking for a truly unique option.
Whichever you decide upon, there are a few key questions to ask your supplier, not least how regularly their vehicles are serviced and maintained. “Before you make a booking I would highly recommend you view the cars to check their quality,” states Laura Bruce.
“Ask who maintains their vehicles,” adds Graham Ogg of West of Scotland Chauffeur Drive (westofscotlandchauffeurdrive.co.uk). “Do they have an in-house mechanic caring for these valuable cars?”
Another factor to consider is how long it will take to get you from A to B. Most companies will do a practice run before the day so they’re aware of any roadworks or changes to the route that could affect the timing. “We visit the week before the wedding to confirm routes, times and parking, and this visit is included in the price quoted,” explains Lorraine McIndoe.
It’s always best to leave yourself a bit of extra time so you’re not running into the ceremony flustered but will instead be able to take the time for a few deep breaths before you glide up the aisle. “It is important to remember that what may be a 20-minute journey on a normal day could be 40 minutes on your wedding day. People coming to see you off will want to take pictures, while getting the bride and the all-important dress safely inside the car adds time to the journey,” says Laura Bruce.
While transport might not be at the very top of your planning list, give yourself a good few months, if not longer, to get your supplier confirmed. “You should start thinking about booking a horse-drawn carriage as soon as possible after you set the date. Fridays and Saturdays fill up especially quickly,” explains Lorraine McIndoe.
Teresa Doherty agrees: “As soon as you know your date, you should research your cars, especially if your wedding is in the summer months, and book up at least 12 months before your date.”
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