On Christmas Day, I proposed to my girlfriend of just over three years. I did this through a video montage that took me quite a while to put together, hence my lack of articles on here of late. Because I know you’ve all been wondering anxiously why I just seemed to vanish; your lives empty and your souls deflated as you sought desperately for something to fill the void left by my lack of sharp wit and insight on all things wrong with British car culture. Hahahaha! Ah, it’s good to laugh at yourself from time to time... *sob*
Anyway, it didn’t take long before we started planning the big day. We’ve already booked a venue and have now started trawling through various websites and Facebook pages for ideas on decorations, stationery, food, entertainment, clothing and all the associated paraphernalia. On an unrelated topic, I am currently selling my kidney if anybody’s interested. Whilst it’s inevitable that we will have different opinions on these things from time to time - through which we will ultimately compromise and go with her idea anyway - we have always shared the same thoughts on one particular aspect of any decent wedding: the car!
A wedding car, to my mind, is one of the most important considerations of the big day, particularly for the bride. More people will see your transport than the wedding dress as you waft through the scenic route in opulence and luxury to one of the biggest events of your life. Whilst being chauffeured, you naturally want to be relaxed and cosseted, perhaps with a light touch of air conditioning on a warm Spring day to ensure you keep cool, calm, collected and ready to dazzle your guests as the door glides open to reveal the blushing bride in a scene akin to a Hollywood star pulling up to the red carpet. Cars like the Mercedes S Class, Jaguar XJ, Maserati Quattroporte and Bentley Flying Spur with a subtle ribbon draping the bonnet are all examples of the kind of sumptuous carriage that should precede every exchange of vows.
You may recall the episode of Top Gear where Jeremy, James and Richard played wedding chauffeurs for the day and, whilst of course they generally fucked it up by being late and getting lost along the way, the cars they chose were all stunning inside and out (well, just inside in the case of the ugly-as-sin Porsche Panamera). This is what wedding cars should be.
So why, in this day and age, do a surprising number of couples insist on being dragged, bumped and thrown around to the chapel in a rusty old bucket of shit?! Perhaps this is just my entitled millennial side talking but a wedding car should not smell of burning oil or look like the wheels might fall off at the sight of a pebble in the road. Of course, it doesn’t even have to be old to make me froth at the mouth in despair. There are a few categories of abomination that I often see pottering about with the ribbon sellotaped to the roof and bonnet. They are:
The Vintage Car
I really cannot get my head around this phenomenon. The insistence of some people to go through the torture of being bounced around in an old, slow, noisy, smelly, un-air-conditioned, crashy and downright awful harking back to the “glory days of motoring” is little short of staggering. I take umbridge with these glorified shopping trolleys for the simple fact that they are not up to the job of making a bride feel special. Yes, it may look pretty (an opinion which is very much subjective and not shared by myself - every single one looks like it was designed by someone with a fetish for square metal boxes). However, the cramped, hot and uncomfortable interior coupled with the wooden suspension surely does nothing to scream “this is the best day of my life”, but rather “I took out a five year loan for this shit?!”
Please, stop doing this to yourselves. It won’t even please great Uncle Fred with a shot of nostalgia anymore. Nobody living now was around when these dinosaurs were on the roads. Which is also the only reason I can fathom as to why anyone would choose the next nail on my list:
The Old Rolls Royce
I followed one of these once down a country lane. It was on the way to a wedding as I could see the ribbons and the veil of the bride and everything. Nothing gets past me. And I couldnt get past IT; the smoke that was pouring from its so-ancient-it-should-be-in-a-museum exhaust made it impossible to see anything coming the other way. The smell it produced was absolutely putrid. I can only imagine what it must have smelt like sat in the back seat (which was undoubtedly upholstered in the finest cracked beige leather).
I actually saw it again a few days later on the Himley Road. Well, on the side of the Himley Road. The bonnet was popped open with steam billowing from the engine. Inside, a very disgruntled bride and her father sat like lemons, no doubt ruing the day they chose that heap of steaming shite over a new BMW 740i. Still, I suppose it still has a bit of class about it, which is more than can be said for:
Come on, people! Seriously? Are you on your way to your fucking secondary school prom?! Talk about My Big Fat Gypsy Lack Of Taste! Still, I suppose it’s not boring, unlike:
The Mundane Saloon
I mean this really is tragic, isn’t it. If the budget doesn’t stretch to a nice car for your big day, that’s fine, just don’t bother. But please don‘t ask your Uncle Dave if he wouldn’t mind awfully blue-tacking a bit of ribbon to his Vauxhall Vectra and driving you to the church. Get a fucking taxi or something. And no, your friend with his seven year old Mercedes C180 is not a valid substitute.
Trust me, everyone who sees you trundling to your nuptials in one of these comas on wheels will harbour no other thoughts but ones of pity. And is that really what you want?
The VW Camper
For much the same reason as the old Rolls Royce, the only difference being that the Rolls was at one point a luxury vehicle.
Matching Smart Cars
I would hope that I don’t have to explain this one.
JDM / Modified Cars
Perhaps a controversial one for this site, but these are the wedding car equivalent of hairstyles. You’ll look at the photographs in ten years time (you know, when you may have fucking grown up a bit) and ask yourself, “what was I thinking?!”
Now you may all have different opinions on this, and indeed that’s fine; the world would be a boring place if we were all the same. But don’t come crying to me when you spend more time with an RAC technician than your new spouse on your wedding day.