Wedding Cars and Transportation Information from Eclectic Choice


Wedding Transport – Arranging Your Wedding Cars

Eclectic Choice Home For your wedding day, you will be arranging for a number of experienced specialists to come together and each do their own part of your big day - and they each will know what is required in their specialist fields.  What we have prepared for you here is information on arranging your wedding transportation with specialist wedding car providers.  We don’t profess to be experts in all aspects of your wedding day, but we can assist with choosing and appointing the right transportation company for your wedding cars, and with our advice things should run smoothly on the day.

In the past, the bride's parents usually took responsibility for the financing of the wedding - many still do.  However these days, more and more couples are financing and organising the whole event themselves.  When you start out, organising a wedding can seem like one giant headache.  Certainly it’s a big task and a very important day where you don’t want any unwelcome surprises!  But it’s not that bad – wedding organising is a matter of common sense, mixed with a sense of logical planning and organisation supported by your family and friends.  Don’t worry – you have all these things already!

Start by running through the wedding day itself in your mind.  Imagine the different scenarios from the point of view of the bride, groom and your intended guests.  Where will they travel from, who can – or cannot – travel together, does anyone have any special needs, who can arrive at the wedding venue earlier than others (thus, having to wait longer for the ceremony), how will you transport those guests arriving by wedding cars provided by you from the wedding venue to the reception, will the bride and groom or anyone else require transport later in the evening?


Finding The Right Wedding Car Company

Your choice of wedding transport

There a many specialist wedding car companies to choose from, each with their own fleet of vehicles.  Your first consideration will be the sort of vehicle (or vehicles) that you choose for your wedding.  This is down to personal choice and budget – you can choose almost anything from a horse to a Masseratti!  Most people will make a choice from the general selection of the most popular forms of wedding transportation; horse drawn carriage, vintage cars, elegant cars and limousines.  

Horse and Carriage

If the horse and carriage appeals to you for the bride’s trip to the venue and for the bride and groom to leave afterwards, then you may also have to consider additional wedding transport for the groom to travel to the wedding, and for your bridesmaids, immediate family and special guests to get to the church or venue.  When planning to travel by horse and carriage consider the distance that you are expecting the horse to travel (from the bride’s home to the wedding venue and afterwards from the venue on to the reception), most carriage operators have a restriction on the total distance that their horses can travel.  Extra travelling time will need to be built in to your plans as the horses will cover the route at little more than a brisk walking pace.  Additionally, bear in mind that the route will need to be negotiable for the carriage – as well as the horses, so very steep hills, any cattle grids and busy traffic areas could be a difficulty.  

Vintage and Classic Cars

Some specialist wedding car suppliers have a bespoke fleet of vintage or classic cars for you to choose from.  Arrival and departure from the church or other wedding venue in one of these classic cars is a certain head-turner.  You will need to choose a specific vehicle when booking the classic or vintage car, as each one will be unique.  Bear in mind that these are, by their very nature, older cars so ask the operator what contingencies are in place in the event of breakdown.  

Luxury Wedding Cars

Most wedding cars, and most additional wedding transport requirements, are chosen from the top-of-the-range luxury car market from bespoke manufacturers such as Rolls Royce, Bentley, Mercedes, etc. Even if you have chosen a ‘special’ form of transportation for your wedding day, you will still have to consider how your bridesmaids and other special guests will travel, and that probably means hiring this type of luxury car for your main or additional transport.  The majority of weddings will utilise these cars to provide the total transport requirements for everyone, including the bride and groom.  

The Wedding Limousine

Stretched limousines have an established track record as wedding cars in America and are becoming ever more popular in other parts of the world.  They are luxurious and have the ability to carry a much larger number of passengers than most other cars.  Dressed with wedding ribbons in a coordinating colour they look the part!  The vast space in the passenger compartment easily accommodates the groom’s party (Best Man, Groomsmen, Ushers, etc.), a limousine means that the bride’s mother and the bridesmaids can travel together in one car and they will hold even the most flamboyant of wedding dresses.  At some weddings, the bride chooses to travel to the wedding along with her parents and bridesmaids as one party – this is ideal if the wedding venue is a long distance from home and could save time or the expense of an additional wedding car.  

Specialist Wedding Vehicles

Occasionally, the bride or groom (or both!) will have a wish to travel by a bespoke personal choice of transport on their wedding day.  Sports car transportation (Porsche, Ferrari, Masseratti, or one of many top makes of fast cars) to the wedding is increasingly popular with the groom, and some brides.  Often, this is the bride’s surprise gift to the groom on his wedding day.  Alternatively, one of the happy couple takes the opportunity to fulfill a long term desire to travel in a particular, and unusual, type of vehicle and the list for these is as differing as the people themselves – we have seen people arrive for their wedding by Tractor, Double-decker bus, London Taxi, Fire Engines, Helicopter, the list is endless!

Organising Your Wedding Cars

You’ll need to consider how many wedding cars you’re going to need for your wedding day, and of what type.  If you are able to book all of these with one operator it will make co-ordination easier, but if not, then most wedding car companies have enough experience to make sure that their involvement on the day is executed efficiently and in cooperation with the other cars that are attending.  You will need to consider the number of people you need to travel to the venue, the capacity of each car and the locations that they are travelling from.  Don’t try to overburden each car; there is only so much it will be able to do when you consider traffic conditions and the fact that you don’t want your special guests to have to wait around at the wedding venue for too long before the service.  

Do give some consideration to the fact that your guests may be a little less concerned with the timing than you have been when planning it – it’s not unusual for the car to arrive to collect them only to find that they delay it for a further 10 – 15 minutes because they weren’t ready at the allotted time!  If you need help with planning the schedule for the wedding cars most vehicle operators will be happy to assist and draw on their experience and knowledge. You may also wish to consider, before contacting the wedding car suppliers, if you require a car to take the bride and groom from the reception to the honeymoon hotel later in the evening - or if you need to arrange airport transport for your honeymoon trip.

Finding The Right Wedding Cars Supplier

When you have decided on your wedding cars it’s time to locate a responsible, experienced operator that you can trust with your wedding transportation.  This is much easier said than done!  Personal recommendations are always a good place to start, but if you don’t have this advantage there are alternatives.  Try an internet search for ‘wedding car hire your-area’ or a local telephone directory listing under ‘Wedding Cars’.  When you have established that particular companies can supply the cars of choice, then you need to start narrowing down the options until you find the one that’s right for you.  The important thing to remember is to book your wedding cars as early as possible, as the most respected companies are likely to have taken bookings months, even years, ahead for their wedding vehicles.

So how do you decide who to trust with your wedding transport?  Compile a list of questions to ask each of the potential suppliers and you will be left with enough information from each of them to make your choice.  Here are a few suggestions of what you may wish to ask:

First of all, do they have the cars available for your wedding date?

Age and condition of the cars you are interested in?

The number of passengers each will comfortably accommodate?

The chauffeur’s qualifications and experience?

Are the chauffeurs uniformed?

Type of insurance cover? (eg. Public liability, Passenger liability, etc.)

What provision exists in the event of a vehicle not being available on your wedding day?

What happens in the event of a breakdown during your wedding transport?

Do they offer ribbons (and do you get to choose the colour) and floral arrangements in the cars?

Is music provided in the cars, and can you supply it / choose it?

Are the cars equipped with umbrellas in case it rains?

Do they offer champagne in the car for the bride and groom as they leave the wedding ceremony?

Will the car(s) remain at the wedding venue during the service? (You don’t want them leaving for another hire and risking your delay afterwards)

What about additional charges if the wedding over-runs the estimated time that you have booked the cars for? (Most operators will build in an allowance for minor delays)

Add your own questions into the list and then compare all of the answers that you have after speaking to everyone.  This should give you a comfortable list of comparisons from which to make your decision.

Having decided on your preferred supplier, confirm all of the booking details, times, addresses for collections / wedding venue / reception in writing.  Confirm the agreed price if the transport company hasn’t sent you a written quotation.  

Timing The Journeys To The Wedding

If you wish to time the wedding cars schedule(s), it may be worth drawing up your itinerary for each car and then driving the routes that the car will take on your wedding day.  If you do this on the same day as you plan for your wedding, at similar times, you will get a good indication of the journey times involved.  If necessary, allow for any local seasonal variations in traffic levels.  Don’t forget to build in an allowance for unexpected delays when planning the journeys, for example possible road works, accidents, bad weather, etc (but your guests themselves are likely to create the delays by not being ready to leave when the car arrives!).  If you are travelling by a particularly slower mode of transport, then make allowances for the speed of the vehicle.

Review the transport arrangements for your guests from the church / venue to the reception.  The bride and groom will travel together in one car (and normally they are the first to leave), but cars that have made a number of journeys to the church will have to be scheduled to shuttle people onwards to the reception – starting with the parents.  Your best man is normally charged with the responsibility of ensuring that all the guests have transport to the reception, so he will be in the last car to leave the church / venue.  It is worth noting that it is wise to advise your photographer of the time that you wish to commence moving to the reception – this is one of the main delays that are created after the wedding ceremony and is probably the single most cause of additional charges for over-running the allotted time for the wedding cars!  

Final Checks and Confirmations

Before the wedding day itself, double check your guest list and make sure that everyone has some form of transport to your wedding.  Ask the bride and groom’s neighbours to leave sufficient access and parking space for your wedding cars (and turning space if necessary – a limousine is over thirty feet long).  Re-confirm the transport booking arrangements with the wedding car company.  Obtain the mobile phone number of the bride’s chauffeur and ensure the best man also has it.  Provide details of the route between the groom’s home and the venue, the bride’s home and the venue and from the wedding venue to the reception, although most companies won’t require this, it’s a safety net in the event that a car becomes lost. 

Finally, relax and enjoy your special day, leaving the professionals to do the job that you have asked of them.  Good luck for the future.

Andrew Shaw has years of experience in supplying wedding cars to all kinds of weddings and wedding venues.  Practical advice on planning, arranging and booking your wedding transportation.  Details of his UK operation can be found at Chariots Wedding Cars

The average wedding takes over 250 hours to coordinate!  

You will have worked hard to create your own perfect wedding day.  With the right planning, you can be a guest at your own wedding knowing that the time and effort you have put into the planning will pay off.

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