“Going to the chapel and you’re gonna get married…” (As I sing along to this it’s probably not a bad thing you can’t hear me…my son always tells me to stop when I start warbling in the car. I never thought I was that bad!)
Picture it now…you’re in your wedding dress, all ready to go and get married. You sit, perhaps a little fidgety, with your dad in the back of the car, palms are sweaty and your cheeks hurt a little from smiling so much already. Your dad makes a few comments and then realises you’re feeling a little nervous and maybe this is the time is to be quiet and reflective. He grabs your hand and gives it a squeeze. The car makes it’s way smoothly along the road on the way to the venue and pulls up outside where your bridesmaids are waiting to help you out of the car. You have a moment to prepare before you walk to meet the man who will be your husband very soon.
This might be what you expect when you think about that journey to the wedding ceremony. The feelings don’t change, but the mode of transport can be as unique to you as you want it to be. There are now so many options to choose from, be it something quirky and fun or something vintage and elegant. The most important thing is finding the right one for you. The lovely thing about the couples whose weddings I photograph is that they put their own unique spins on the different elements of their wedding, including the transport. They all choose what’s perfect for them, whether it’s classic, modern, speedy or just weird and wonderful!
The vintage car
There is a classic wedding car. Something like a Rolls Royce or Bentley with a simple white ribbon tied on the bonnet and flowers on the parcel shelf adds a sense of old-time glamour and a wonderful sense of occasion. It makes for great photos if your wedding photographer can climb in the front of the car and take photos of you and your dad travelling to the ceremony, and then you and your new husband arriving in style to the reception. The vintage Rolls-Royce create the perfect backdrop for classic black-and-white photo opportunities, you can see a few examples below.
Jennie & Edward travelled in an uber elegant black 20/25 Rolls Royce. Here’s the link to their beautiful Moor Park Mansion wedding.
Sophie & David also chose the 20/25 Rolls Royce, but they had a black and white one. Have a look at their gorgeous Woburn Abbey wedding.
Emma & Fraser chose the most beautiful Rolls Royce Silver Cloud III to travel to the wedding at All Saints Church in Putney and to the ceremony at Thames Rowing Club. Making the most of the lovely experience!
Don’t think its just the bride who gets to ride in the beautiful cars. At Jess & Nick’s summer wedding at Hampton Court Palace, the groom arrived with his ushers in a Daimler DS420.
At Leah & Jim’s laid back DIY countryside wedding, the bride arrived with her mum in a Beauford Open Tourer vintage car with a soft top and blue ribbons curled on the door handles.
Caroline & Simon had two cars for their Hatfield House wedding. Both were owned by the groom and had been lovingly restored. One was driven by him to the church and the couple drove back in the same car after the ceremony.
If you love a vintage car but wanted a different spin on it and fancied something a little less grand you can’t go wrong with a Morris Minor or a VW.
There’s so much Volkswagen love with my couples, and I think that’s because they combine the right amount of vintage, rustic, sense of occasion, quirkiness and a touch of fun.
Warren and Andy hired a white Beetle to arrive at their Hatfield House wedding.
For couples who like vintage but prefer something a bit different, take a look at this wedding at Notley Tythe Barn where Nicola & Karl organised his’n’hers VW Camper vans! The colours look great, particularly with the pink wedding dress!
Laura & George hired both a VW Beetle and VW camper van for their rustic garden party wedding, so the bride and bridesmaids could travel in style! I think they look so pretty together, with the cars decorated with purple ribbon.
A VW bus was also the vehicle of choice for Lauren & Tom for their rustic countryside wedding in West Sussex.
A vintage bus
This is a fantastic way to ferry the wedding party and the wedding guests from A to B. I’ve photographed weddings where the guests travel by a classic Routemaster bus specifically kitted out for weddings. The Routemasters tend to be better for longer journeys than other vintage buses! They can also be great for London weddings where you want to do a city tour at the same time.
At this elegant Moor Park Mansion wedding, Jennie & Edward arranged for a vintage bus to take their guests from the church to the reception venue, cracking open the champagne on the way.
For an option that’s a little bit different, Becky & Alex found a vintage green bus just like the one from the Audrey Hepburn Galaxy chocolate advert! Seriously, I love this bus. It was the perfect way to transport their guests to The Walled Garden at Cowdray for their wedding reception.
Other transport ideas
One of my couples chose to make the most of the fact they had a few different venues for their intimate London wedding. They made it a big part of their day by hiring different transport to fit with each part of the day. Eman travelled from The Sanderson, where she got ready, to the wedding ceremony at The Langham Hotel in a fabulous vintage car. After the wedding, they did a London tour for their guests in a vintage red London bus. The finale to the day was a powerboat ride on the Thames to transport them to the restaurant where they were spending the rest of the evening. This was not just any old boat either, it was the Sunseeker Superhawk that featured in the James Bond film, “the World is Not Enough”. A seriously cool way to arrive at your reception!
London weddings are great, particularly when there are London-specific details such as a London cab, like Anna & Baz’s travel-inspired wedding at BMA House.
I do love a country wedding, but as yet haven’t had one with a tractor as a mode of transport. This would be so much fun for country weddings! Imagine you and all your guests hopping onto the back of a trailer full of hay bales and flowers. If you and your new hubby are heading off on the tractor together you could even add a Just Married sign.
Perhaps you’re not moving venues from your ceremony to your reception, or it’s a short distance to the reception venue, you could walk to the reception. When Natalie & Simon married at Woodhall Manor it was just a short walk through the gardens to the ceremony.
There’s something very lovely about having a procession from the ceremony to the reception with all your wedding guests walking behind.
Bride, Olivia, walked from her mum’s house, where she got ready, to the church at the end of the main street.
If you’re keen cyclists, then you could hire a tandem bicycle or choose a colour-coordinated pair. If you like vintage, you might like to use bicycles as props (you know, the ones with the straw baskets on the front) and then cycle off into the sunset for your wedding portraits with “Just” and “Married” on the backs of each of your bikes.
Eliza & Tom did just this. They brought their tandem bike along to the wedding and rode back to their hotel (less than a mile away) on the bike at the end of the evening!
If you’re getting ready in the same place as you’re holding your wedding, you may not need to book any wedding transport, but a golf buggy certainly makes for a cute wedding portrait and a fun way to wander the grounds of the reception for photos. Heather & Jay did just this at their wedding at Leeds Castle.
In some cultures, it’s traditional for the groom to arrive on horseback. This is not for the faint-hearted (and only for those who are able to ride), but it is a really striking way to arrive! I was lucky to photograph a wedding in Italy recently where the groom did just that.
Pinterest always makes for wonderful inspiration, so have a browse and see what sparks your imagination. If you’re getting married outside and near water, you could consider arriving at your ceremony by boat! Either a James Bond-style speedboat (like Eman & Colin did) or perhaps more romantically by rowboat. A rowboat would make for the most wonderful photos and it’s definitely something I would love to see at a wedding of mine.
Do you have a penchant for sports cars? Perhaps a two-seater would be a cool way to speed away from your wedding (think Kate & William at the Royal Wedding when William drove them in the red sports car). If you’re the sort of couple who likes a more rock’n’ roll approach, then why not choose a short dress and climb on the back of a motorbike or Vespa! If you’re really keen on the motorbike idea but want the long dress, you could get a sidecar. I love the idea of travelling by tuk-tuk – perfect idea for travel-lovers, although not for those with a long journey. Travelling by motor rickshaw or pedicab would be such a fun way to arrive at your wedding!
Groom, Ross, has his own Harley Davidson but asked to borrow his mum’s on the wedding day because she lived closer to the venue. They didn’t travel on the bike but really wanted a few photos on it.
If you’re looking to wow your guests, what could add more drama to the day than arriving in a helicopter? Check with your venue and also with the charter company to see if there are any restrictions though! On a recent episode of Don’t Tell the Bride (don’t hate me, it’s guilty pleasure tv!), there was a wedding where the groom was in the Army and had arranged for the bride to arrive by plane and then by a tank. On the day, she refused to get on the plane and the tank was a VERY unique way to arrive at the wedding! With all these kind of options, you must make sure you are properly comfortable with the idea and it’s right for your wedding day. Definitely not a choice for everyone, but if there is a reason why it’s right for you then embrace it. Make your wedding transport unique!
Remember the practicalities of whichever wedding transport idea you go for:
• If you’re going for a more popular option, book months in advance.
• Does your wedding transport suit the theme of your wedding?
• Consider where you want to spend your budget.
• How are your wedding party travelling to the venue? Make sure they don’t get stuck!
• Practice climbing in and out of the car (or riding if you’re going for a two-wheeled option) in a dress that is the same length as your wedding dress if you can.
• Considering the timings of your wedding day to account for unexpected delays such as bad traffic.
• Create a playlist for your journey to help you prepare for the day ahead.
Speaking as a photographer, don’t forget to save a seat in your car for me. Taking photos of you on the way to the ceremony or in your first moments as a newly married couple is a lovely thing. Take the opportunity to have a glass of champagne, relax and enjoy the journey.
All these different methods of wedding transport give great scope for fun, stylish and unique ways to arrive and travel to the wedding and reception. Hope they give you some ideas.
Thanks for popping by. Enjoy!
Car companies featured in this post: Lord Cars