Wedding buses and cars Scotland: recent newlyweds tell us about their big-day transport choices

Vintage cars, quirky double-deckers, sleek saloons… there’s a vehicle out there to match your wedding theme and style, as Nicole Conner discovers

Rachel and Daniel Marjoribanks booked three cars from Ultimate Private Hire

Rachel and Daniel pose with their Ultimate Private Hire cars
Rachel and Daniel loved the cars at Ultimate Private Hire, especially the Rolls-Royce Phantom and the vintage models. (Photo: Chic Photo)

“Having older-style cars was something I’d always wanted for my big day as I just love the way they look,” bride Rachel tells us. “It was my mum who suggested checking out Ultimate Private Hire – she knew someone who’d used the company before and been really impressed.”

After going to view the vehicles at Ultimate Private Hire’s Stirling showroom, Rachel was sold – and so was the groom. “Daniel was ready to book as soon as he realised he could get a Rolls-Royce Phantom,” laughs Rachel. She opted for the custom-built 1920s-style Branford Elite to transport her to the ceremony, and the couple also booked a 1930s Viscount Landaulette, with space for five passengers, for their wedding party.

The cars were immaculate and exactly what Rachel had imagined herself travelling in. The company was also very accommodating when the couple had to reschedule their wedding at Carlowrie Castle three times due to Covid.

Rachel and Daniel pose in their Ultimate Private Hire wedding car
The couple were all smiles on their big day with the excellent service they received

“The drivers were great – nothing was a problem for them,” recalls the bride. “Daniel was impressed too – he said that from arrival to drop-off, the chauffeurs for his and the ushers’ car were very helpful: they lent a hand getting the kids settled in and buckled up, and chatted to him like it was any other day and not the biggest of his life, which he said really calmed his nerves.”

Making the effort to view the cars in person is Rachel’s top tip when scouting out transport options. “I had seen some cars at wedding shows but Ultimate Private Hire was the only company I arranged to visit,” she says. “Once we’d seen their cars and got a feel for them by spending a moment sitting in them, we booked straight away. We couldn’t have been happier.”

Tom Johnston and Pete Thomson hired a Routemaster from The Red Bus

Grooms Tom and Pete with their vintage red Routemaster from The Red Bus
Left: Pride ribbons were added to the front, along with a personalised sign; right: Tom and Pete wanted a fun ‘day out’ feel for their wedding – and that’s what they got. (Photo: Richard Campbell Photography)

When Tom and Pete began thinking about transport for their wedding, they drew up a checklist to help them work out what they needed. They wanted their day to be relaxed; they were keen to show off some of Scotland to guests who’d travelled from overseas; and they wanted everyone, especially their youngest guests, to have fun. Hiring a Routemaster from The Red Bus fitted their ‘day out’ vibe.

“We had originally looked at hiring a coach but we were quite surprised by how much it cost,” recalls Tom. “The vintage option wasn’t much more expensive and came cus-tomised for our wedding. The Red Bus staff were also far more informative and helpful than standard coach hire places.”

After rescheduling twice due to Covid (“which was no issue for owner Sam, who was hugely helpful,” Tom adds), the couple chose to marry on the Maid of the Forth ferry, with the bus taking guests to South Queensferry.

The Red Bus' Routemaster at South Queensferry
The Red Bus took Tom and Pete and their guests from the ceremony on the Firth of Forth to the reception in Edinburgh

Once the ceremony was done, the bus took everyone back to the Glasshouse Hotel in Edinburgh for the reception. “The bus waiting for us while we were on the ferry was included in the hire rate, as were the flowers, ribbons and the personalised bus sign – which you get to keep!”

A real standout, everyone agreed, was the staff: they hooked up the couple’s music to the speakers for a party vibe; there was an onboard ticket conductor in vintage uniform who handed out souvenir bus tickets; and they arranged to have a Pride ribbon decorating the front of the bus.

“The journey from the ferry into Edinburgh felt like part of the experience rather than a boring necessity,” smiles Tom. “The flexibility the company gave us made it feel like ‘our day’ rather than just a bus ride.”