As I mentioned in my previous diary entry, my knowledge of most things car-related is somewhere in between very limited and totally non-existent, but this aside, cars for the day had to be chosen!
Most elements of our wedding are pretty traditional, so I really wanted a vintage type car to take Dad and me to the church and then Mike and me to the reception. We also needed cars for rest of the bridal party, so with both sets of parents, five bridesmaids and best man, that’s three cars plus the vintage car.
To find wedding car suppliers we followed the same routes that we’ve done before and got together a list of companies to contact. We started by looking on Confetti for transport suppliers. Most companies seemed to supply either modern or vintage cars, rather than both. As vintage cars seem to be more in demand, we concentrated on finding this first.
Our reception venue is half an hour from the church. For some vintage cars, apparently this distance was a problem. Call me a cynic, but if half an hour is too far for the car to drive, maybe they shouldn’t be hiring it out! Seriously though, it is something that you have to let the car owners know when you enquire about availability.
Most suppliers’ quotes included the cost of a chauffeur as well as the car itself. Some places will offer to decorate the car with either ribbon and/or flowers inside. Although some companies quoted this as an optional extra and others ‘included’ it in their price, but there didn’t seem to be much difference between the two price-wise.
Most of the companies that we contacted seemed to be individuals who owned just the one car and in many cases it sounded as if this was a ‘husband and wife team’, where the wife did the decorations and the husband was the chauffeur. Although the service that you would get from these companies would be really good because it would be a lot more personal, my neurotic side (I won’t say ‘half’ – it’s at least 95% of me that’s neurotic) said that if something happened to that car on/before the day, there wouldn’t be a ‘back-up’ or replacement.
With this in mind, we all went to visit a local firm to view the cars that they had – apparently quite a few. When I rung the guy to make the appointment he sounded really nice, if not a little eccentric. When I asked for directions he told me the name of the road and said: “I’ll be waiting for you at the castle and will even have the flag flying for you!” I didn’t think much of it; laughed it off and said I would see him soon. On the way there I was telling Mum, Dad and Mike about the whole castle thing – as in “every man’s home is his castle etc” and we had a bit of a laugh about it.
Capture the car castle
When we pulled up, it really was a castle – more of a ‘two-up two-down castle,’ but a castle nonetheless, complete with turrets, a suit of armour inside the front door and, as promised, a flag flying! We were greeted by a really nice guy who showed us around the grounds. Every few yards there seemed to be a clearing with a few cars parked there. We passed a fountain with a World War II missile as the centrepiece and a large anti-aircraft gun, covered in camouflage gear that, so we were told, was originally on a Navy ship in the First World War and was then removed to London to shoot down aircraft. It was so surreal! Finally we came to two large marquees where there must have been at least thirty cars to look at, all in fantastic condition.