Arrive in Style: Wedding Transport

Traditionally, the groom organises the transport & there are two things they have to think about – who to transport where and what sort of transport to use.  (The following assumes a church wedding, where the Reception is separate.)

Who to Transport 

Etiquette assumes that the bride and groom are still living with their respective parents (even though they may be living together), so the first time they travel together on their wedding day is between the church and Reception.  Traditionally, the groom will therefore have to cover the following transport arrangements: 

To the church

The bridesmaids and the bride’s mother travel together; and 

The bride and her father travel together, all in hired cars. 

The ushers should arrive first, before the guests; 

The guests (including the groom’s parents) should then arrive; followed by 

The groom and the Best Man. 

All these should make their own way to the church. 

The car carrying the bridesmaids and bride’s mother should arrive later, followed by the car carrying the bride and her father. 

From the Church to the Reception 

After the ceremony, the bride and groom travel to the Reception in the same car; 

The bridesmaids and the Best Man should try and arrive at the Reception before the happy couple, to ensure all is ready etc; and 

Both sets of parents should arrive before the guests so that they can all greet them upon arrival. 

There are therefore just two cars to be hired for both journeys. 

This assumes that there is adequate parking at the church.  However, you may barely be able to park the two hire cars there, let alone those of the guests, in which case you may like to hold a family meeting to discuss how to transport the guests between the two places – it would be a nice gesture to let them all park at the Reception venue and arrange a shuttle bus for them between the two. Depending on the budget and the theme of the wedding, you may, for instance, be able to supply a Routemaster or classic coach for them!

What Sort of Transport to Use 

This depends largely on the budget, but also on your taste and the theme of your wedding. 

Low Budget Options 

You could have a friend, relative or acquaintance who has a luxury car – your manager, perhaps, might be happy to drive you in their Jaguar or Lexus, or you could know a friend of a friend who owns a classic car.  In both cases, they may be happy to do it for petrol money, but it would be polite to invite them to the wedding!  If you are particularly interested in climate change etc., you might be able to find someone with a Tesla electric car to glide you around!

Horse(s) & Carriage 

This has two advantages – as well as being something that’s romantic and out-of-the-ordinary, it enables the bride and groom to leave the church first but arrive at the Reception after the bridesmaids and Best Man.  The lack of internal combustion engine also means that it’s both eco-friendly and less likely to break down!  There’s normally lots of room for the bride’s wedding dress, but they may not be as weather resistant and care should be taken when disembarking, as they aren’t as stable as a car. 

Limousine 

There are generally two types of limousine – the traditional European type, such as a Rolls Royce, Bentley or Daimler, or the type that is generally abbreviated to ‘limo’, a stretch version of an American car, like a Lincoln or Cadillac. 

There are two considerations here – (a) the number of bridesmaids’ dresses and the size of the bride’s dress, and (b) where in the country you are getting married.  There would be more legroom in a limo than a limousine, but a limousine would be a lot easier to drive around narrow country lanes – manhandling of something twenty feet long isn’t directly your problem, but it could be a physical impossibility to reach some locations when in a limo, in which case you may have to walk the last half-mile. In the rain. Uphill. 

Quirky 

The couple may want to include their interests in the wedding in the form of their transport – VW minibuses, Tuk-Tuks, Citroen 2CVs, Morris Minors and even stretch classic Minis are all available as quirky wedding transportation.