Get me to the church on time

Arriving for your wedding ceremony in a chauffeur driven vintage or classic car will make you feel extra special and the right car will look fabulous in your wedding photographs. Here, I Do Wedding Cars offer some tips for ensuring you hire the perfect vehicle.

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There is more to a wedding car than just a set of wheels to get you to the church on time.

If your father is giving you away, it can be a poignant and emotional journey, giving dad chance to spend precious time with his little girl on her big day.

After the ceremony, your drive to the reception will be the first journey you take as husband and wife and one of the few times you will spend alone together all day.

So, it is vital to ensure your car is absolutely perfect.

Always view the quality of the transport you have chosen – don’t just rely on the lovely pictures in the brochure!

We all know the power of Photoshop, and you don’t want a nasty surprise on the morning of your wedding.

We had a bride recently who had been to view a cream vehicle and discovered the inside was carpeted in bright blue, which ruined it for her – but she would never have known if she hadn’t checked it out first.

Double check legroom and be sure that the interior of the car is big enough to accommodate you, your dress and the person you will be travelling with. Some older style cars have very restricted internal space, so be especially careful if you intend on having a dress with a large skirt or long train, or if the groom or father of the bride is particularly tall.

Always ask what additional services are included. Do they offer ribbons and flower arrangements for the car and music for the journey for example? Little things like this make a difference, so be prepared.

As the law stands, you are required to wear a seat belt in both the front and rear of a car if seat belts are fitted. However, most vintage models only have them in the front or are not fitted at all. This may be an important consideration if the fabric of your dress is easily creased.

Make sure you have the cost, collection address, collection time, ceremony time and the venue details all agreed in writing. Some companies charge by the hour and if your ceremony or photographer overruns, you could be landed with a hefty bill.

We charge a flat fee, no matter how long you keep the vehicle, because we don’t think it’s fair to penalise the bride and groom if there is heavy traffic or the photographer gets particularly carried away.

Ask about the attire of the chauffeurs. Our chauffeurs wear a uniform and a hat if required, but I saw a driver recently who was unshaven, smoking and unbelievably scruffy – if you are planning on making a big entrance make sure everyone is looking at the bride and not the driver.

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Always ask what the contingency plans are in case of a breakdown – you don’t want to be stuck high and dry if the car breaks down. Our cars look vintage but they have modern engines – however, if you are hiring a very old car ensure you check the terms and conditions for what the plans are in case of mechanical failure.

Equally, ask what their plans are if the weather is severe. In five years of business we’ve never had to use our back up vehicle – until very recently during the heavy snow. It was simply not safe to take our cars out and so we had to use a 4X4 instead. It was a brand new white hybrid Lexus, which we ribboned up and it looked amazing. The bride was a bit disappointed at first, but we had to think of her safety and getting her to the church on time and in one piece.Remember to ask the wedding car company if they have the correct insurance, not just car insurance but public liability insurance to cover for accidents to your dress etc.

Also, check if you have exclusive hire of the cars as you could be delayed at the church or registry office and you need to make sure the wedding car hire company is not in any hurry to attend another wedding after yours. Our cars only do one wedding a day – so they look pristine for each couple.

We have a fleet of four vehicles to chose from, although Elanor is our most popular; a four-door, long-bodied Beauford convertible in Old English White.

If you want the car to be a star on your wedding day – and a real talking point with your guests – then you may want to consider Evie. She was made by Beauford for Universal Studios and driven by Brandon Fraser in the movie The Mummy Returns.

She makes any bride feel like a movie star on their special day!

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Sarah Davis

Written by Sarah Davis

Hi I'm Sarah the Wedding and Events Manager at Shottle Hall, I have been working here at the family business since May 2010. My blog posts and articles are a mixture of wedding related content and the latest business events and activities taking place here on the Shottle Hall Estate.

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