How Do I Choose the Best Car for My Wedding Day?
One of the more important visual aspects of your big day is your wedding car. Getting this right can be the hood ornament on a beautiful ride, so to speak, and for many couples it’s one part of the planning process that both you and your partner can have some fun with. When narrowing down your options, it’s important to consider all visual and practical aspects – including: the look, feel, budget and practical needs of your wedding day. Here are some points to consider.
1.TAKE TIME TO PLAN
Work out a budget ahead of time – 10% of your total budget is common. How many people are in your bridal party? Do you want matching cars? What is the distance you will need to travel? What time of year is your wedding – do you need heating or air conditioning? Consider the length of time you require the cars – include traffic, time for parking if several cars are being used, time for all of the bridal party getting in and out of the cars at photo locations. This takes longer with a large dress, and a larger bridal party.
Many companies have a minimum number of hours for a wedding booking. How many photo locations would you like? Take into account that if you have several cars, they all need to stick together, and be able to park together at each location. Would you like a late night pickup after the reception? Book well in advance, so you have more choice. September to April, and Saturdays are the most popular times. Many popular cars book out quickly. Also make sure you have exclusivity of the car for the day.
2. CONSIDER YOUR STYLE
What suits your (and your partners) personality? Do you want a sleek look? A glamourous look? Something sporty – or fun? Choose a vehicle that suits the tone and formality you would like to have for your wedding. Do you want to step out onto a red carpet? Think about the colour scheme – will the cars look good with the colours of the bridesmaids dresses or mens suits? Will they fit in with the style of the reception venue? Would you like a fast or a slow vehicle? Large or small? Modern or traditional? A muscle car? Cars with a theme, like movie cars? Consider the photos – cars can be a main feature of the wedding shots. Ask questions like what do the drivers wear, and think about the feel of the company and if they will suitably fit in to one of the biggest days of your life.
3. CHOOSE A PROFESSIONAL COMPANY
Reliability is paramount on your wedding day. Choose a company that is well established and reputable. Ask friends and family if they know of anyone they could recommend, and read reviews. Choose company that specializes in wedding car hire – a good start is to contact the local Wedding Car Association and select from one of their members. You will also want to ensure that the vehicles are safe – ask if the cars have seat belts, and if they are in good condition, well maintained and regularly driven. Check to see if the cars are licensed to transport wedding parties.
In Australia, vehicles are currently required to be licensed under government regulations. Ask if the drivers are fully accredited and experienced professional chauffeurs. They will ensure your day runs smoothly, will check out the route beforehand and have a reliable GPS and backup maps. If you decide to use a friends vehicle instead, make sure both them and the car are reliable, and have proper insurance. This is your big day! Read the terms and conditions, which should include a cancellation policy, what happens if you go over time, and what happens if the car breaks down. What other services do they provide? For example water, refreshments, umbrellas, and fans. Beware of prices that seem too good to be true – with cars, you usually get what you pay for.
4. GO AND SEE THE CAR FOR YOURSELF
It’s worth the extra effort to physically see the vehicles you will be hiring, and meet the people you are paying to transport you around on your special day. Check the condition and quality of the cars – do they look well maintained? Do the cars look clean? Who will be the drivers? It’s useful to actually see how much room is in the car. Large providers will have showrooms, but smaller companies will make the cars available on appointment, which makes it personal. Alternatively, visit wedding expos with cars on display.
As you can see, there is a lot to consider when choosing transport for both of you on your big day. However with some sensible planning, the right choice can enhance the whole experience of your wedding – make it much less stressful, even add some excitement – and great photos!
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