The days of the obligatory Rolls Royce have long gone and couples are now opting for more and more creative forms of wedding transport – which, not also get the guests talking, but make for priceless photo opportunities.
There are, of course, a few things you need to consider before booking, such as how many people you’ll need to transport. Is it just you and your father or the whole bridal party? And how are the groom and best man planning on arriving too?
You’ll also need to work out whether you need transport just to the ceremony and reception, or whether your new husband will be hitching a lift after the ‘I dos’ too.
For many couples, the only time they will travel in a chauffeur-driven classic car is on their wedding day. While it is the most traditional form of transport, there are plenty of options to suit the style of the happy couple, from an elegant Austin Princess and resplendent Rolls Royce Silver Cloud to the sporty Jaguar E Type and sleek Aston Martin DB6.
Most will only have space enough for two however, and some can even be self-driven, so if your husband-to-be is a bit of a speed demon, perhaps he and the best man could hire an edgy ride to arrive in, before he whisks his new bride off for a spin after the ceremony.
Sporty numbers can come in an array of colours and add a pop to the proceedings, while more traditional motors will come in white, cream, navy and silver, which fit in well with an elegant theme.
Gloucester-based Nostalgia Wedding Cars has a fleet of six classic cars for hire ranging from a 1932 Austin Ranelagh to a 1963 Alvis TD21.
Its wedding service includes a personal uniformed chauffeur, decorations on the cars and either half a bottle of Champagne or a bottle of wine to make sure you start your special day with a bang.
Not only are limos flashy and fun, but they are huge and perfect for big bridal parties. Normally seating up to 10, or even 20 if you opt for a Hummer, everyone will feel like a VIP stepping out of a limo and there will be plenty of room for the dress too.
Comfortable and perhaps more reliable than its vintage counterparts, most limos come with Champagne, flowers and ribbons as standard – and you can even pop in your own CD to calm down the nerves as you head to the ceremony!
Vintage cars are romantic, iconic and all the range these days, and therefore can be a little more difficult to book. If you’ve got your heart set on a VW Beetle, quirky Indian Ambassador or impressive Virago Deville, then be sure to book well ahead, because the rarer the car, the more likely it is to be snapped up months, sometimes years in advance.
Add to the vintage vibe with a ‘Just Married’ plaque, some tin cans and pom poms, and be sure to ask your photographer to take some glamorous shots with the car after the ceremony. But above all, check the reliability of the vehicle, there’s nothing worse than breaking down on the way to the church and making him wait even longer!
If you’re planning a retro-themed wedding or just want to make an impression when you arrive at your venue, the 1946 Hudson Commodore 6 Sedan from Forest of Dean-based Little Miss Vintage Cars a unique choice for rockabilly fans.
The oh-so-cute cream Ambassador Classic, made by Hindustan Motors in Calcutta, India from Kushi Cars , has been beautifully restored by owner Suzi Goodman and features a traditional India-inspired interior with sumptuous red and gold fabrics and tassels aplenty.
Retro-themed weddings are complete with a rocking VW Campervan, which are not only cute and colourful but roomy and affordable too. The whole bridal or groom party can have a ball in a super cool camper, which not only evokes the best of that British bygone era but can be decorated to suit your theme.
Available on a self-drive or chauffeured basis, campervans provide fun photo ops, whilst also offering brides and grooms on a budget a more unconventional honeymoon with the freedom to travel and stop off anywhere they like in the country.
For those thinking of a spring or summertime celebrations VW 'Do' Weddings' teal campervan, Bert, is a charming way to arrive in style. The beautifully restored 1967 split screen van is based in the Forest of Dean but can travel across Gloucestershire to be part of your wedding day and will certainly make an impact when you arrive at your venue.
For the bride who really wants to make a high-flying entrance worthy of a Bond girl, hire a chartered helicopter and ensure all eyes are on you. The ultimate in luxury and opulence, helicopters are possibly the most expensive form of wedding transport, but offer a once-in-a-lifetime experience – and a handy way of avoiding traffic.
Some helicopters can seat up to eight people and not only provide a unique backdrop for photos, but offer the happy couple the opportunity to squeeze in a spot of sightseeing after the ceremony and that nice alone time before the reception.
Besides a hefty budget and possible fear of heights, the major thing to consider when hiring a helicopter is whether your venue can accommodate one; if local travel laws apply; and, of course, if there is enough space for your guests to see you make your grand entrance.
Heliflight, based at Gloucestershire airport, offers a range of options for couples wanting to make an entrance in style. The Robinson R22 takes just one passenger making it ideal for the bride or groom while the most popular choice with couples is the Bell Jet Ranger which can take up to four passengers.
If you have a lot of guests to ferry around for the day, a bus could be the perfect choice, giving everyone the option of having a celebratory tipple or two without having to worry about who’s driving home. Vintage buses are perfect if you want to inject a bit of nostalgia, while coaches are ideal if you want to transport a large wedding party from A to B.
For a farm, field or country-themed barn wedding, consider donning your wellies and hopping on the back of a tractor to the ceremony or reception.
While you might be able to ‘hire’ a tractor in the conventional sense, ask the friendly local farmer if he wouldn’t mind cleaning up his combine harvester, popping a few hay bales on the back, stringing up some bunting, and playing chauffeur for the day – for a small fee, of course.
Passersby will undoubtedly stop to take photos so prepare to be centre of attention with nowhere to hide – and expect a bumpy ride!
Arguably the icing on the cake for the ultimate fairytale wedding, trot to the church in a horse drawn carriage and feel like royalty for the day. If it’s good enough for Wills and Kate…
Do bear in mind that while this may be a romantic option, a horse and carriage can only really cover a couple of miles at most and is much slower than a motor, so if you’ve got your heart set on the clip-clop of hooves, this could dictate where you hold your wedding.
Some carriages can hold up to six people, taking care of dad and your bridesmaids, and most will have a hood just in case the heavens open. Plus, it’s more affordable than you may think, costing around the same as a chauffeur driven car, but be aware that due to its popularity, a horse and carriage can get booked up to two years in advance and will only cover a certain radius.
By Shelly McCatty
Sunday 11 January 2015
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