Selecting your wedding day transport can be as exciting and daunting as choosing your wedding venue; whether you choose to cruise to your church in a modern Daimler or roll up to your spectacular wedding castle venue in a vintage Rolls Royce, your chosen method of transport can enhance the day.
When first beginning to look for that perfect wedding car consider the fact that the traditional white limousine may be easier to find than a vintage Aston Martin, so telephone around until you find a company who has what you desire. Several wedding car companies will be able to offer you a range of cars, but take a look at their website to get an idea of what they have to offer.
Perhaps you have your heart set on having something unique for your wedding day, arriving by helicopter, open top bus, horse and cart or a bicycle drawn rickshaw, whatever you choose, be sure to check with your wedding venue if they will be able to accommodate your wishes. Before selecting you wedding car company make sure you check out their availability for your big day, if they charge by the hour or day (most companies have a minimum 3 hour booking period), if you will have sole use of that car for the day or do they try to squeeze two weddings a day in, what they will provide in-car for you (such as champagne, music, etc;) if they are willing to have ribbons on the car and if they will allow your guests the devilment of tying cans to the back for your departure.
You will need to pre-book your wedding transport at least six months in advance due to demand and if you are marrying in the height of summer you may need to get that booking in around nine months before the date. Some car hire companies who are very popular or have particularly rare cars may need up to 18 months advanced booking. Providing transport for the bridesmaids and groomsmen is becoming ever popular, so ask the car hire companies about obtaining similar cars in a colour matching your wedding car.
Some spectacular wedding venues can be off the beaten track, so thought may be needed as to how your guests will get home or to their respective hotels after the merriment. Local taxi companies will be willing to arrange for mini-buses or cabs to be sent to the location, or perhaps a chartered bus may be the solution to your guests getting safely away.
When planning the details always add at least half an hour to your journey time, this allows for traffic hold ups, road works, or any similar delays. It is always a good idea to plan the journey yourself and to drive the route on a corresponding time and day to 'get a feel' for how the traffic is, plus take notice of any planned events which may coincide with your date, so that you can make allowances for any eventuality.
Once you have discussed the details with your chosen company, visit them in person to finalise the details, that way you may be able to view the car you have selected, and also have a look at how well maintained the fleet is, making sure you avoid any unwelcomed surprises.
Ensure that the car hire company has a dress code for its drivers, has a list of emergency phone number for someone in your party and that you get a definitive signed contract for their services. Be careful to check that your chosen car is suitable for your needs; it is no good choosing a little vintage Wolseley or Riley and finding that your gorgeous dress will either not fit into it, or get horrendously creased because the car is too small, wedding transportation is supposed to be luxurious.
A bona fide, professional wedding car hire company will always have adequate insurance to cover commercial hire and transport of members of the public within their vehicles and will also discuss with you, the recommendation that you take out wedding cover insurance as an additional safeguard.
Countdown to your wedding day:
6 - 18 months in advance:
View, agree upon and book your wedding cars, ensure that there are no restrictions at your chosen wedding/reception venue for the type of transport you have selected.
3 months in advanced
Phone your wedding car company and check that everything is still satisfactory, there have been no ownership changes within the company and that your booking is secure.
1 month in advance
Inform your wedding car company of any changes you may have made such as location to be collected from, etc; and ensure you get such changes documented and proof sent to you in writing.
1 week in advance
Obtain an out-of-hours emergency number for your wedding car company to cover any unexpected emergencies. Check with your local Department of Transport to ensure there are no planned roadworks, street fairs, etc; to obstruct your access to your venue or cause delays.
1 day in advance
Make a final phone call to your chosen car rental company to ensure all is well, that your designated driver knows the route, the address he is coming to, and all timings are accurate. Make sure that their driver has your contact numbers, should he need them (you never know, a neighbour may park in his way and need to move their car.)