Selecting the most appropriate car for your wedding can be a really daunting task for some people. There are so many sorts and styles of cars available from genuine “old” vintage cars in order to modern saloons and limousines. The choice can be huge and where do you start?
Firstly it is important to decide on exactly what style of car you want and this is frequently determined by your bridal theme for the wedding. If your wedding is going to possess a traditional theme with a church ceremony, followed by a reception at a great hotel or Hall, you may prefer to choose a vintage or classic design 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 city ceremony at a Registry office accompanied by drinks at a local hotel, you may feel the a more modern or practical saloon car such as a Mercedes, Jaguar or Baby Bentley is more appropriate.
Once you have decided what style of vehicle you want, work out how many people you should get from A to B and this will help you decide on how many cars you will require. It’s no point choosing a single two-seat vintage style car if you have 8 bridesmaids. Ideally you want all of your bridesmaids to arrive together just before the particular bride arrives. A two chair car would have to make several journeys shuttling bridesmaids two at a time plus clearly this is not ideal. Even an easy 5 minute journey to the church can take about 15 minutes turnaround period for each pair, meaning your first bridesmaid 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 right here if you do have a few bridesmaids would be to take a two-car package. A main wedding car for the bride & dad, or whoever is accompanying the girl to church, and a second car to consider the bridesmaids. There are many companies who specialise in two car packages along with matching coloured or styled cars although bear in mind that the main bridal vehicle is the one that will feature in your wedding ceremony album.
The second car ideally needs to match the bridal car in fashion & colour and offer flexibility to make sure everyone gets to the venue within good time. There are many cars available but it is often best to choose a limousine that will hold up to seven.
Illustrations being the modern Mercedes 7 seat limousines or a “classic” Daimler DS420.
Or you may even fancy an American 7 seat stretched limo – perfect for the kids.
You may not have that many bridesmaid 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 wedding reception venue after the ceremony.
Many companies will also offer a small discount for booking two cars.
What color of cars you choose may be a secondary concern and is of course a matter of private preference. White, cream or ivory is very traditional but silver will be proving very popular these days too. One thing to bear in mind is how the brides gown will look with the cars in the photos. If the brides dress is whitened then next to a white car the dress may not stand out and the pictures may look stark. A white dress next to a cream or ivory car may give a better outcome. Conversely an ivory dress will appear 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 buckskin for example may not look very ideal. 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 searching immaculate inside & out which means this brings us on to the next point…
Generally 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 difficulties with carefully taken pictures so viewing the cars close-up is worth the time it takes. That way you can see the cars, sit within them, check out their condition both within & out and be in a far better position to make the right decision about which car (or cars) ideal 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 incredibly traditional for weddings. But bear in mind these cars may be 40, 50 or 60 years or more old and can experience mechanical or electrical issues due to their age. Most companies will spend fortunes on maintaining their fleet however, you never know when the unexpected may happen and the older the car is the much more likely it will suffer from issues or in worst a breakdown.
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There is an alternative within “replica” cars. These are cars built on modern chassis with modern engines and mechanics but integrated a vintage style. A typical and very well-known example is the Beauford. These are depending on Ford or Nissan engines along with modern chassis and built using fibre glass panels to replicate the 1920/30’s look and design. The car is actually designed to imitate the particular 1929 Duisenburg but also looks just like a vintage Bentley.
The advantage of these vehicles 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. Additional will have contingency plans in place when the worst does happen but it’s often better to choose a car with less risk and these replica or package cars are a very good option. They look the part and are quite 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 would like and decided on how many cars you will need, what next? Choose a reputable and professional firm and discuss completely your requirements with the company you choose – make sure you include details of every journey needed, how long the cars will be necessary for, how far apart the church & reception venues are or if the ceremony & reception are all occurring 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 plot, and the number of passengers on every journey. If you’re having a ceremony at a Hotel, do you want the car to wait until after your ceremony so you can possess photos with the car or even a brief ride out. Do you want a celebration drink in the car for your journey to the reception venue. All these elements are important and may have a bearing on the final price agreed for the hire. Additional journeys requested later after a cost has been agreed may incur an extra charge so it’s important to include almost everything up front.
Once you’ve agreed a price it really is normal to pay a deposit when you book the cars and obtain a receipt. The company should then contact a month or so in advance of the wedding to undergo 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 somewhat differently. Some may prefer the final balance in cash on the day which is not uncommon but it’s your choice on the way you want to pay.