And I believe that in most cases the majority of brides assume they’ll hire a limo to get them around on the big day. That’s hardly universal, of course. There are women who would consider their wedding day incomplete without arriving in a horse-drawn carriage. Others can’t imagine spending the money on just getting from point A to point B and take their own or a family member’s car. Yeah, that would be me. I wasn’t making a grand entrance. I helped set up the site in my wedding gown. Arriving in my father’s trusty Nissan was plenty good enough for me. Mr. Twistie and I left in his classic Mustang that he drove every day back then. It was a nice car, but nothing specially worked out for the day.
But there are practicalities to be considered that may make the family car a bad idea. You may have dreams of making a spectacular entrance that won’t be satisfied by a mere limousine.
And of course we’re never against fabulous around here… so long as taste, budget, and legal issues have been considered properly.
Is the family car for you? Well, that depends. Are you making an entrance, or are you making an ENTRANCE? If nobody is going to see you arrive, it doesn’t matter much what style of car you show up in. If you’re having the wedding and the reception in the same space, it matters even less because then you aren’t even dealing with how the getaway car looks until you leave the reception. This makes a great case for saving the money on renting an expensive vehicle… but there’s still an exception to the rule that ought to be considered: How big is your gown compared to the car?
On a recent episode of Bridezillas, much comic gold was mined from the efforts of the bride to get into the family car on her way to the wedding. You see, it wasn’t a very large car, but her gown and veil were both sizable, to say the least. She was trying to cram a large hoopskirt and cathedral length train into a compact car, and it just didn’t fit. Then she had to reel in miles of veil.
See, I fit in my father’s compact car because I wore a dress with a fairly narrow skirt, no train, and no veil. I still would have fit with a fuller skirt or with a short veil, but no way would a hoop have ever fit in that car. So if you plan to wear a very large skirt, a long train, or a very long or very pouffy veil, do consider renting a limo. Otherwise, consider dressing on site, if that’s a practical choice.
Another thing to consider is your nerve level. If your dress isn’t big, your nerves are calm, and you’re a good driver, the family car could suit you just fine. If, on the other hand, you expect to be a bundle of nerves… even if you’re wearing a mini shift dress and no veil, it still might not be a bad idea to leave the driving to a professional. You don’t want to get into an accident on the way to your wedding.
Of course, a car is far from your only option for wedding day transportation. There’s the aforementioned horse-drawn carriage. There are other motorized vehicles, such as a bus for the whole wedding party, a rented classic car such as a Model T or a fifties convertible. There are boats, if your wedding is on or very close to the water. There are motorcycles, if you ride. I even saw an episode of Four Weddings Canada recently where the bride and groom arrived at their reception via vintage plane. There are traditions in some countries that dictate how one or both parties ought to arrive. In India, for instance, it’s traditional for the groom to arrive riding a small, white horse… though I have also seen (on television, not in person) a variation where the groom decided that horse wasn’t grand enough and he rented an elephant for the occasion.
Or you could go green. Bicycles can make for a fun entrance, though I would definitely recommend a short gown in that case!
I love this pair on their bicycle built for two found at Green Wedding Shoes.
Not a bike rider? Consider a tradition that’s popular from France to Japan, Korea to New Orleans, and have a wedding parade on foot.
(Illustration via A City Wedding)
If you have a convenient place to meet up, a short walk either to the ceremony venue, to the reception, or the both the ceremony and the reception, and a little help on hand for guests or wedding party members with mobility issues, this can be a fun way to share the joy of your wedding with anyone who happens to be passing by. It doesn’t cost anything, it’s easy on the earth, and chances are it will lead to both great photographs and great memories.
How you get where you’re going is limited mostly by your imagination. Chances are that if you can imagine it, there’s a way to make it happen.
Besides, isn’t getting there half the fun?