(Courtesy ubettsrentaldesign.blogspot.com.au)

Who is the bride supposed to travel with in the car?

On the way to the wedding, the bride usually travels with her father or whomever is giving her away. On the way to the reception, she travels with her groom (hopefully you will have made arrangements so daddy doesn’t have to hitchhike to the reception).

How many cars should we hire for the wedding party?

This depends on the size of your bridal party. As mentioned above, the bride usually travels in a separate car to the rest of the bridal party. The groom and groomsmen need to arrive at the ceremony early so they can take their own cars or, if the venue isn’t far, the hire car could take the groomsmen first then go and pick up the bridesmaids. Whatever you decide on, make sure that there are enough vehicles to transport all of the bridesmaids and groomsmen to the reception. Three bridesmaids can usually fit into a sedan (depending on the size of their dresses) whilst stretch limousines can cater for between seven and ten people. Depending on how many bridesmaids and groomsmen you have, it could be possible for the entire bridal party to arrive at the reception in one stretch vehicle.

Should we hire vehicles to transport family members to the wedding?

The father of the bride will probably be in the car with the bride, but it’s up to you whether or not you want to hire additional cars to transport other family members. Some wedding car companies also specialise in charter minivans and/or coaches so you may be able to arrange a vehicle to pick up family members and out-of-town guests. Keep in mind that if you choose to go down this road, you will need to hire the vehicle for the duration of the ceremony and reception to make sure that all of the guests get home safely.

When should we book the vehicles?

Many wedding car companies are booked out between one and two years in advance, so it is important to start looking for a wedding vehicle as soon as you have set a date and found a venue. It’s a good idea to view the cars yourselves and compare quotes from at least three different companies before making a final decision.

How much should we budget towards vehicle hire?

Most wedding planning experts recommend spending 2 – 3% of the wedding budget on vehicle hire. As always, if you go over budget in this area, you will need to cut back in some other aspect of the wedding. Or, if you’re lucky enough to have a friend lend you their luxury car, you’ll have more money left over for other important things, like cake, or a first home deposit.

Should the car remain at the venue during the ceremony?

If you want to guarantee that you will have a way to the photo location and reception, it is a good idea to make sure that the driver waits at, or near, the ceremony venue. Some hire companies book multiple weddings on the same day and don’t allow for emergency situations. The last thing you want is to find that your driver has nicked off to pick up another couple, only to have broken down along the way, leaving you stranded at the ceremony venue. During your initial consultations with hire companies, make sure that your wedding is the only one the driver will be working that day.

We are planning on hiring a vintage car for our wedding but I’m worried that it might break down. Should I book a back-up vehicle, just in case?

If you are hiring the car through a reputable company, they should have a back-up plan in the unfortunate event of mechanical failure. During your initial consultation, it’s important to discuss the details of this back-up plan and see, for yourselves, the type of vehicle that will likely be sent to rescue you.

We’re having a summer wedding but want to hire a vintage car. Will it have air-conditioning?

Probably not. Some operators put air conditioning units in their vintage cars but it can put a lot of stress on the motor, unless it is fitted with a modern motor, too. It’s best to check these details with the car company before signing on the dotted line.

Is the car hire company responsible for providing umbrellas if it rains?

Some companies provide umbrellas and others don’t. It is important to discuss this before signing a contract. If they do provide them, it’s a good idea to discuss the colours and styles and ask to see a sample, if possible.

Our car hire company told us that they don’t supply the wedding car ribbon. What should we do?

In this case, you have two options:
1. Go to a different hire company.
2. Make your own ribbon. Surprisingly, this isn’t difficult to do. You only need to purchase a long roll of ribbon, in the colour of your choice, and a pretty bow or garland. The ribbon simply needs to be fed through the grill, or secured under the front-most point of the bonnet, and then pulled taut on either side. Open the car doors and secure both ends to the sun visor (or in that vicinity) with a few pins and then attach the bow or garland to the front point of the ribbon, where you fastened it to the grill or bonnet.

Will the car company provide the “Just Married” sign?

This is something you need to discuss with the company during your initial consultation. Some companies do provide a sign whereas most do not. If you have a creative friend or family member, they may be able to whip up a personalised sign for you and your sweetheart. Alternatively, you could look at making your own from some of the templates available online. Either way, it’s important to tell the car company that you would like to display your own sign so that you can both agree on a method of attaching the sign to the car without damaging it (the car that is, not the sign – although that is important too).

I’m going to be wearing a hooped ball gown. Will it fit in any kind of car?

To be frank, no. A mini or a VW bug will not be a suitable vehicle for you. You may even find that you will struggle to fit in the back seat of some sedans as the hoop may fiercely resist being squeezed behind the front seat. Depending on how large the hoop is, a side-seated vehicle, such as a stretch limousine, may be the best option for you.

Should we hire the car to take us to our hotel room at the end of the reception?

This depends on how long you have hired the car for and whether or not you can afford the additional hourly rate. Some companies have exorbitant overtime fees and you don’t want to feel pressured to leave your reception before you are ready to. You may find it is more affordable to have a friend drop you at your hotel or to hire a taxi from the reception venue.

Who should be responsible for paying overtime fees, if they are incurred?

As you will have probably paid all of the hire fees upfront, some companies expect overtime fees to be paid in cash, right then and there. It is a good idea to put the best man in charge of paying the driver’s overtime fees, should they be incurred. The last thing the bride and groom need to be concerned about on their wedding night is money.

We want to hire a horse drawn carriage. What type of services should be included?

As most horses are unable to draw a carriage behind them for long distances or along main roads, the hire company will most likely discuss a convenient pick-up point, rather than picking you up from home or your hotel. From there, the carriage service is much like a car service in that it is chauffeured, will allow you to arrive at the ceremony in style, and will transport you and your groom to the reception venue (again, dependent upon the distance between the ceremony and reception venues). Most horse drawn carriage services come with a uniformed driver as well as a footman who will attend to your needs, especially in assisting you in and out of the carriage without tripping on your dress.