Choosing the right car for your wedding can be a very daunting task for some people. There are so many types and styles of cars available from genuine “old” vintage cars to modern saloons and limousines. The choice can be huge and where do you start?
Firstly it is important to decide on what style of car you want and this can often be determined by your bridal theme for your wedding. If your wedding is going to have a traditional theme with a church ceremony, followed by a reception at a grand hotel or Hall, you may prefer to choose a vintage or classic style car such as a Rolls Royce, Bentley or Beauford that is in keeping with the traditional style. If however your theme is more modern, perhaps a civil ceremony at a Registry office followed by drinks at a local hotel, you may feel the a more modern or functional saloon car such as a Mercedes, Jaguar or Baby Bentley is more appropriate.
Once you have decided what style of car you want, work out how many people you need to get from A to B and this will help you decide on how many cars you will need. It’s no point choosing a single two-seat vintage style car if you have 8 bridesmaids. Ideally you want all your bridesmaids to arrive together just before the bride arrives. A two seat car would have to make several journeys shuttling bridesmaids two at a time and clearly this is not ideal. Even a simple 5 minute journey to the church can take about 15 minutes turnaround time for each pair, meaning your first bridesmaids may have to go to the venue an hour or more before the ceremony just to give enough time to do the remaining journeys… and of course we need to leave time to get the bride to church on time as well. The best option here if you do have a few bridesmaids would be to take a two-car package. A main bridal car for the bride & father, or whoever is accompanying her to church, and a second car to take the bridesmaids. There are many companies who specialise in two car packages with matching coloured or styled cars although bear in mind that the main bridal car is the one that will feature in your wedding album.
The second car ideally needs to match the bridal car in style & colour and offer flexibility to ensure everyone gets to the venue in good time. There are many cars available but it is often best to choose a limousine that will hold up to seven.
Examples being the modern Mercedes 7 seat limousines or a “classic” Daimler DS420.
Or you may even fancy an American 8 seat stretched limo – great for the kids.
You may not have that many bridesmaids but it will give flexibility if you need extra space. Don’t forget the bride’s mother!! And remember the bride’s father may need a seat to go on to the reception venue after the ceremony.
Many companies will also offer a small discount for booking two cars.
What colour of cars you choose may be a secondary concern and is of course a matter of personal preference. White, cream or ivory is very traditional but silver is proving very popular these days too. One thing to bear in mind is how the brides dress will look with the cars in the photos. If the brides dress is white then next to a white car the dress may not stand out and the photos may look stark. A white dress next to a cream or ivory car may give a better result. Conversely an ivory dress will look best against a white car. Think also of the upholstery in the car. Again cream or beige/brown or neutral colours look best on photos whereas green leather for example may not look very suitable. Grey is an ideal neutral colour but it’s all a matter of personal taste. Most companies take a lot of time & effort keeping their cars looking immaculate inside & out so this brings us on to the next point…
Always go and see the cars you are interested in or ask for lots of photos if you’re unable to attend in person. It’s easy to disguise problems with carefully taken pictures so seeing the cars close-up is worth the time it takes. That way you can see the cars, sit in them, check out their condition both inside & out and be in a much better position to make the right decision as to which car (or cars) is best for your needs on the big day.
Just a point about replica or ‘kit cars’ – many brides will want “the genuine” article so maybe will choose a classic Rolls Royce, Daimler or a Bentley, all very popular and very traditional for weddings. But bear in mind that these cars may be 40, 50 or 60 years or more old and can suffer from mechanical or electrical issues due to their age. Most companies will spend fortunes on maintaining their fleet but you never know when the unexpected may occur and the older the car is the more likely it will suffer from issues or at worst a breakdown.
There is an alternative in “replica” cars. These are cars built on modern chassis with modern engines and mechanics but built in a vintage style. A typical and very popular example is the Beauford. These are based on Ford or Nissan engines with modern chassis and built using fibre glass panels to imitate the 1920/30’s look and style. The car is actually designed to imitate the 1929 Duisenburg but also looks very much like a vintage Bentley.
The advantage of these cars is simply that you get the vintage appearance but with modern mechanics and electrics which makes them much more reliable with far less risk of breakdown. Most companies will have contingency plans in place if the worst does happen but it’s often better to choose a car with less risk and these replica or kit cars are a very good option. They look the part and are very reliable. Another example is the ‘Regent’ wedding car which is based on an FX4 Black cab chassis.
So you’ve chosen the style, type and colour of car you want and decided on how many cars you will need, what next? Choose a reputable and professional firm and discuss fully your requirements with the company you choose – make sure you include details of every journey needed, how long the cars will be needed for, how far apart the church & reception venues are or if the ceremony & reception are all taking place at a single venue, whether you want to go via a park for additional photos or visit a cemetery to place a bouquet on a loved one’s grave, and the number of passengers on each journey. If you’re having a ceremony at a Hotel, do you want the car to wait until after your ceremony so you can have photos with the car or even a short ride out. Do you want a celebration drink in the car for your journey to the reception venue. All these factors are important and may have a bearing on the final price agreed for the hire. Additional journeys requested later after a price has been agreed may incur an additional charge so it’s important to include everything up front.
Once you’ve agreed a price it is normal to pay a deposit when you book the cars and obtain a receipt. The company should then contact you a month or so in advance of the wedding to go through all the details again and confirm times etc and you would normally be expected to pay your final balance at this time although all companies work slightly differently. Some may prefer the final balance in cash on the day which is not uncommon but it’s your choice on how you want to pay.