Every bride needs to think carefully about the car she hires for her wedding day. Some things to consider are not so obvious!
If you are getting married in summer, make sure the car has adequate air-conditioning! A lot of vintage cars do not have air-conditioning, or they have air conditioning that only has a very modest output. Any stretch limousine older than a couple of years will have a reduced capacity to keep occupants cool if it has not been re-gassed. Check with the owner and go and have a look at the vehicle you are hiring if you are booking a summer wedding.
The opposite applies for winter. Some old cars have no heating. Go and check the car you are booking for yourself, don’t take the owners word over the phone if you are not comfortable.
Some stretch limousines have a 5th Door or Bridal Door fitted. This is a large door down the side of the car that opens much wider than a standard door allowing much easier access for brides with large dresses/trains and their bridesmaids. It also allows for more room to make an elegant exit from the car by swinging your legs out and then standing from that sitting position.
Be careful booking an S.U.V. (such as a Hummer) for your wedding. Although larger in size there are impracticalities for a wedding. They have steps to get into them as they sit much higher, and many a bride has tripped in her heels getting caught in the dress when entering or exiting. Make sure the driver, groom, father or bridesmaid is there at all times to ensure your safety. These vehicles whilst larger on the outside are based on a truck chassis. Their ride is much harsher, they can often have less head-room and less leg-room than a standard limousine. Go and have a look at what you are hiring before you financially commit.
When considering a stretch wedding car consider your venues. Some churches and reception centres cannot accommodate all vehicles. You don’t want to have to do a hundred metre dash in a thunderstorm to get into the church, or into the reception.
Living in Melbourne, Victoria, I get brides who ring me and ask if my cars can go up Mt. Dandenong. Some companies refuse to do weddings in this location. Some older cars have trouble with the incline, and nearly every stretch limousine requires care on the decline due to brakes overheating under heavy loads. If your wedding is in a challenging area, ask your limo provider before you book if they are aware of the location.
Ask your limo company if your chauffeur will be suitably dressed and well presented. I am disappointed at stories of brides being upset when their chauffeur turns up in a pair of jeans, or dressed in blue suede shoes trying to look like Elvis. (Yes, this has happened)
Lastly, have a contingency plan! The latest and newest car is not guaranteed to be trouble free. I had a 2 week old limousine break down with a faulty battery. I have had a bridal party of 12 in a stretch limousine heading to the reception when an offending vehicle side swiped the stretch putting it off of the road. Ensure you have your mobile with you, your friends and family contacts in the phone and some back-up vehicles available in case of emergency.