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Want to make it to the church on time? Don’t want your wedding party stuck trying to hail taxis? Dreaming of arriving in style? You’ll need our top tips for hitting the road
Illustration: Barbara Spoetter Words: Mike Fletcher
What other events are taking place? If it’s graduation season or the day of a major sporting occasion, you should book formal vehicles up to nine months in advance.
However you arrive at the service, why not leave for the reception together on a Routemaster bus or by boat along the river? Out-of-towners may not be familiar with your chosen location, so lay on a shuttle bus to and from their hotel. Consider a dedicated ride for your bridesmaids and groomsmen. They’ve worked hard, so why not treat them to a retro camper van or party limo?
The internet is awash with firms offering chauffeur-driven cars of distinction. Make a shortlist, chat to them over the phone but, when it comes to putting down a deposit, do it in person. That way you can assess the fleet and actually sit in a car similar to the one you’ll have on the big day. Remember that the back seat needs enough room for your dress and your dad.
Do a dry run at the same time and day of the week as your wedding. Are you likely to get stuck in school-run traffic? Are there roadworks or one-way systems? Once you’ve decided on your route, tell your driver the day before or when he arrives to pick you up. Give him detailed maps and contact numbers.
If you want a particular brand of Champagne waiting in the back of the Rolls-Royce, make sure you’ve had it written into the vehicle hire contract. The same goes for in-car music or the chauffeur’s dress code. Vintage motors may not have iPod connectivity.
Before relaxing to your favourite tunes in the back of an Aston, spare a thought for those travelling by shuttle bus. Treat them to a playlist of reception dance-floor fillers or a DVD from the engagement party.
Not every car-hire firm will allow tin cans, signs and flowers tied to bumpers, especially if your chosen vehicle is vintage. Make sure you enquire. Alternatively, use your own car for the getaway or perhaps a tandem bicycle.
Drive yourselves to the reception in a vintage classic. Put the roof down, turn the stereo up and take the long way round.
If your budget won’t stretch to transport for all, at least show that you’ve thought about it. Put an usher in charge of arranging taxis or organising Boris bikes. Make sure guests have been given walking maps or bus routes.
This article was first printed in Square Meal Weddings, 2014