If you are getting married at an approved venue, you will probably be organizing the reception and the ceremony in the same location and if it is a hotel, then staying there as well so wedding transport will not be something you have to think about. But if you are getting married at a church or in a Register Office and then heading off to the reception then travel arrangements and vehicles are something of a top priority.
The normal form is for the bride to arrive at the church or Register Office with whoever is giving her away – often her father – with the bridesmaids and other members of the bridal party so perhaps also the bride’s mother, traveling in a second and maybe even a third vehicle. The bride will then leave with the groom in the main car after the ceremony and the bridesmaids and other members of the immediate party will return to their vehicles plus you will need one extra seat for the bride’s father.
What type of wedding vehicles are on offer?
Most brides opt for a car of some sort and there is a huge choice from luxury limousines to sports cars and classic vintage vehicles. If you have a theme for your wedding then you might want to consider more specialist vehicles like a motorbike or even a fire engine – for some people choice of vehicle can be all about the defining elements in their lives which are integral to this most special of days.
Sometimes you can do the wedding back to front particularly if you want to keep it a surprise. Invite all your guests to a party, even an engagement party, and then announce your wedding followed by the arrival of a bus to take them from the party to the church and back again. Choose from a whole host of traditional red London buses and vintage buses.
Marriage in a carriage
Some people fall in love with the idea of arriving at the church by horse and carriage and you don’t have to be a horsey girl to want to do this, it is the ultimate in romance. There are a variety of different horse-drawn options available from small, colorful carts pulled by a single pony through to open-topped landaus with a team of four horses.
It’s not unknown for some brides to turn up at their wedding riding their own horse but this will limit your dress choices plus you will need someone to look after the horse and then take him home after the ceremony.
Shanks’s pony is an old-fashioned term for walking and who could forget the iconic scene of the Scottish wedding in the classic rom-com, “Four Weddings and a Funeral” where the bride and groom walk along a magical candlelit path between the church and the big house after the marriage ceremony. Shame it didn’t last!
Walking is a lovely way to get to the reception but people need to be prepared for this so do tell them. What will you do if it is absolutely pouring with rain? What is the footing like? If this is a country wedding, will the guests need to walk on grass or maybe uneven paths? This could affect everyone’s choice of footwear including the brides.
- Specialist vehicles can have an impact on the bride’s outfit, if you are determined to turn up pillion style on a motorbike then how will you manage the issue with wearing a helmet and more importantly, what you are going to do with a long dress at risk of oil and dirt from the bottom of the bike?
- Open topped carriages and sports cars are a lovely way to arrive on a sunny day but you must have a wet weather plan. Don’t just think about the rain, even a light breeze can become a gale when you start moving even at sedate speeds, how are you going to manage your hair and makeup? You don’t want to arrive looking like you have been through a wind tunnel. Most brides think about the rain but it is easy to underestimate the wind
- If you are doing something unusual like transporting all your guests by bus then take into consideration the very elderly and young children in pushchairs – they all need to be able to get on and off the vehicle
- If you are walking between the church and reception or the Register Office and reception then you and the bridesmaids might want to consider a change of shoes. Make sure your guests know this is what is going to happen to put it on the wedding invitations. It may seem a short walk for you but could be some distance for the old or not so able-bodied guests. Small children can find a walk tiring even for a short distance
- Plan ahead, popular vintage cars and vehicles can be booked up to two year’s in advance especially for businesses that don’t just do wedding hire
- Make sure you remember your color scheme and the car doesn’t clash with your bridesmaid’s dresses
- Check out that no-one nearby will be allergic before you book the horse and carriage
- Think about the venue for the ceremony, the location for the reception and the journey between the two, in all weathers. That vintage bus might have seemed the perfect choice for your country wedding reception but that last half mile across a field could be impassable if it rains heavily on the day or beforehand
- Winter weddings always have to consider the weather. Vintage cars or just old-fashioned vehicles do not have modern traction control and four-wheel drive and can struggle on slippery roads and icy slopes
Think carefully about your choice of vehicle and always stress test your plan with different weather scenarios. Don’t overlook those members of the bridal party and wedding guests who may travel on this vehicle and remember the very old and the very young.