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Getting to the church on time

PUBLISHED: 11:49 09 September 2014 | UPDATED: 11:49 09 September 2014

Lucinda and Peter Thompson-Daw

Lucinda and Peter Thompson-Daw


It is the most important day of your life - so making a memorable entrance is part of the unforgettable experience! The right mode of transport can help relax the bride’s nerves on the way to the church as well as showing off to your friends and family once you have tied the knot. MARK WHITCHURCH discovers more

Ronnie the camper vanRonnie the camper van

When it comes to wedding transport, the choices are as wide as your dreams and as deep as your pockets. To help the creative juices along, we chatted to three couples that have exchanged vows in the South West this summer to find out what wild, flash and wonderful machines they chose to enhance their wonderful day, as well as coming up with some less conventional forms of wedding transport ourselves.

Chris and Catherine Stephens chose to hold both their wedding and reception in the beautiful grounds of Tortworth Court, north of Bristol. However, not wishing to miss out on the opportunity to experience the high life on their special day, the happy couple arranged for the latest Rolls-Royce Wraith to make a guest appearance in their photographs.

‘Such a stunning looking car,’ enthuses Chris. ‘It added that perfect wow factor to our photographs.’ The Wraith’s rakish profile with suicide doors opened to expose the sumptuous leather interior and intricate wood detailing which looked rather at home in the foreground of the grand Victorian mansion.

A contemporary approach to the traditional and some may say ‘obligatory’ Rolls-Royce wedding car, the Wraith was more of an accessory to bride Catherine! ‘Painted in the same deep blue as the dresses worn by my bridesmaids – surely wedding accessorising doesn’t get any better than this,’ laughs the new Mrs Stephens as they prepare for another photograph.

Looking for an alternative approach to whisk Carly Butchers to her retro-themed blessing she called on a friend to bolt a passenger seat into his racing Mini Cooper S and wake up the village of Congresbury near Weston-super-Mare. ‘The experience was certainly noisy and thrilling but never scary,’ laughs Carly, who has been married to Paul for 10 years. ‘Renewing our vows allowed us to take a less formal approach to the day and the Mini seemed a real giggle as I had one as my first car!’

Dressed in a sharp blue 60s styled suit husband Paul adds: ‘They certainly made an entrance as they raced up the church driveway, a great bit of theatre to kick off our memorable day.’

For Lucinda and Peter Thompson-Daw it was more of a formal affair, with the right wedding car to suit the right venues. The couple finally agreed on a 1948 Rolls-Royce Silver Wraith Touring Limousine. ‘I was taken by the coachwork, which was completed by Hooper & Co,’ recalls Pete. Choosing to travel from their village church to the Suspension Bridge in Clifton for their dream photographs, Lucinda laughs as she remembers concentrating on looking the part and then slipping off the shiny leather seats as the car descended Park Street!

‘A magical experience. We felt a like a king and queen arriving in a vintage Rolls-Royce to applause from family and friends ahead of our reception and evening party. A very memorable part of our big day,’ the couple reminisces.

Whilst not every bride is interested in cars, all are looking to make an entrance on their big day. Grooms take note! Unique and obscure machinery only adds to the theatre of the occasion. Remember, this is your moment in the limelight, so make the most of it!

Classic car fan and entrepreneur James Britton is hoping his 1968 VW camper van will attract those looking for a chilled out style of transport to get to the church on time. ‘Buying Ronnie was an adventure in itself,’ recalls James. ‘I just couldn’t find the right van in the UK; they were all so rusty. So my wife Sarah and I hopped on a plane to California and found just what I was looking for. We had a great time cruising along the west coast before flying home and the Camper followed soon afterwards by sea. We have done a couple of wedding so far and it’s been amazing to see the looks on the faces of the wedding guests when we cruise into view!’

If you are looking to make a more sophisticated statement, maybe opting for a chauffeur-driven Aston Martin is in order. From DB5 to DB9, a word with the Aston Martin Owners’ Club could see the bride or groom arrive at the church, stirred but not shaken. Approaching a classic car club direct could save you money, or if you are looking for an established service, the Haynes Motor Museum offers a wide range of chauffeur-driven classics to choose from.

If two wheels are more your style, how about arriving mean and moody on the back of a Harley Davidson? Or if you have your own licence, why not hire the machine of your dreams; arrive as a knight of the road, then leave with your partner on the back? Very rock and roll! Riders of Bridgwater offer a tailored service to suit your taste and riding abilities.

So as you can see there are infinite ideas to arrive in style, ensuring your entrance is as memorable as tying the knot itself! n

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