Welcome to Charismatic Car's advice page.
Obviously we are biased and think that we provide the perfect wedding cars for your special day. However, we have tried, as far as possible to give some unbiased advice to help with your choice of bridal vehicle.
- How many people need to go in the bridal vehicle(s)?
- How big will the dress be?
- What will the weather be like?
- How long is the journey?
- Are you going to look dignified exiting your chosen vehicle?
- Do any of the passengers have ability or other issues?
- Looking good?
- Why not use your friend's classic car?
This may sound like a basic question but it is an important one. If the journey is short, say less than ten minutes, then using the wedding car to do two or even three trips is not unreasonable.
If the journey is much more than fifteen minutes we would suggest a single trip only, which may mean that you need two or more cars.
When selecting the wedding cars you hire it is important to consider carefully how many people they will comfortably take. You will also need to consider the size of the people you plan to transport, if they are six-foot-five rugby players, then trying to squeeze four or them into a car billed as three to four seats would be a little mean.
Some dresses are bigger than other and some cars are smaller than others. You may have always dreamt of arriving at the church in an Aston Martin DB5 or a Mini Cooper but even a moderately large dress is going to make that tricky. If your perfect day includes a gorgeous huge dress then you and the dress may take up two or even three passenger places. If you are a fan of voluminous dresses or very long trains then the size of the vehicle door may be an issue you have to consider. A number of pre-war vehicles have surprisingly small doors, which even modest dress may struggle with.
All brides hope for good weather on their wedding day. However, in England, it is something that cannot be predicted or relied upon so your vehicle needs to be able to accommodate glorious summer days or chilly, grey, rainy ones. Vehicles that are open to the elements, without the option of some kind of hood will always be something of a gamble whatever the season. Always have a look at the vehicle with the hood up - you might not like it !
If you opt for a winter wedding then the weather is an even greater consideration. An open topped vehicle in December would be a very bold but foolish move! Most pre-war vehicles do not have any heating so this may be something worth considering if you are looking at a pre-war car - for shorter journeys this may not be a significant issue, but for longer journeys it is worth considering.
All our vehicles will easily cope with long journeys to the church. If you are hoping, for example, to use one car to transport eight people in two separate journeys then the journey time is a very important consideration. Even if the trip is only twenty minutes, then a round trip will be at least forty and if you allow enough time for dignified loading and unloading of passengers then the first group will need to arrive about an hour before the second bridal group.
For almost all motor powered vehicles distance will not be an issue for the vehicle itself. However, an open topped vehicle is unlikely to deliver the bride in perfect condition if there is even a short dual carriage way or worse still a motorway section to the route. Even twenty miles per hour in an open vehicle can destroy a well-built wedding hair do!
A horse and carriage may seem like a lovely idea and it is if the journey is short. Ascot carriages (a business we recommend) states the following: "We recommend carriage journeys are no more than 2-3 miles each stage, with a maximum distance of 6 miles in total, as a 2 mile journey can take 20 minutes." So even if you can find a company willing to cover larger distances you could be looking at over an hour for even a fairly short journey.
Whatever vehicle you chose for your wedding day we strongly recommend that you try getting into and out of the vehicle - you have to imagine that you are wearing your wedding dress whilst doing so basically you need to try a vehicle on for size. Also ask yourself will everyone who uses your vehicle on the day be able to get in and out and remain dignified?
It is important to consider how easily your passenger will be able to get in and out of the vehicle you are hoping to use. Suppose you are transporting elderly relatives then getting them in or out of a Ferrari may be difficult and undignified. Similarly at the other end of the spectrum a Humvee may require a ladder for entry or exit for that elderly great uncle…
OK, this is a real car snobbery point, but it may be one you want to consider. There are "replica" classic and vintage cars out there. Although you may not be able to tell the difference, there is a good chance that some of your guests will spot that it is not the genuine article. If any of your guests are car connoisseurs then a Ford Sierra dressed up to look like a vintage car will look exactly like modern Ford in fancy dress. These cars can look nice enough to the untrained eye, but from the purists point of view they are rather disappointing.
This may be an option you have considered and will obviously save you money and you may have a friend with a lovely car. However, it does put a lot of stress on the friend - getting to the church on time is a huge responsibility. Also there is a good chance, if they are doing the driving, that they will miss the wedding and possibly some of the reception. Furthermore, if they get it wrong then the friendship may well be tested to the extreme! They may sell the car before the wedding, it could break down, you may have a row etc.etc. Every year we pick up bookings where similar things have happened. As a rule, where your special day is concerned, leave it to the professionals because you will have a contract with them that you certainly do not have with a friend.
As a footnote to all this we would recommend leaving it to the professionals for almost all things concerned with your wedding. I have been the only photographer at two of my friend's weddings, it is a stressful thing to do and my experience was that it was rather like not being there as you are "working".