It’ll be alright on the night…*

A wedding wouldn’t be a wedding without a bit of drama, and our last two weddings both had a bit of drama to add to the proceedings!

We’re happy to say that so far, the weddings we’ve been involved in have been mostly drama free, apart from the odd split seam on the day, requiring emergency needlework, or a bit of family politics doing their best to spoil a couple’s day.

In their respective ways, these two weddings, each had something out of the ordinary which could easily have rocked the boat.

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Our first couple were the lovely Victoria and Tom. We were hired to make three journeys to Our Lady of Perpetual Succour Church in Nottingham, with Bridesmaids and then the Bride herself and her Parents. This was to be followed by taking the married couple on to their reception at the glorious Pumping Station at Ollerton.

Our normal practice is to do a dummy run of the route a couple of weeks or so before the date to check timings and identify any potential problems on the day. However,  a few weeks before the date, a concerned bride contacted us to say that her route to the reception was on the road and at the exact time that the Tour of Britain bike race would be on that route, and that road and possible alternative side roads, would be closed on a rolling road block for up to an hour.

After doing considerable research, we couldn’t see a viable option that didn’t involve going miles out of our way and possibly taking as much time as getting caught in the roadblock itself would, so the couple decided to bring their ceremony time forward as much as the Church would allow, and then preparing  to make a quick getaway from the Church to get to the venue.

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On the day, hearts were in mouths and fingers were crossed, but the actions taken did the trick and we got through just before the riders got there, much to everybody’s relief!

This was our first wedding at this fabulous venue and it really is something special.

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It was formerly a water pumping station and is now a dedicated wedding and events venue situated on the edge of Sherwood Forest, and we’re looking forward to being involved in more weddings there.


Our next bit of drama involved the wedding of the lovely Kev & Maria. On the face of it, it was straightforward, as our role was to take the groom and his Mum and Groomsmen to the ceremony venue at Mapperley Farm near Ilkeston, and then take the married couple on to their reception at a different part of the farm.

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We arrived at the pick up address to collect the group, only to find a rather upset Groom, who the previous evening had fallen on his face and done some superficial facial damage, but more serious damage to his teeth. We can all only imagine how we would have felt in his situation, the night before his marriage. At this point the Bride was unaware of the drama!

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We get to see some diverse venues and this too was a new one for us, It’s still a working farm which has converted a barn for wedding ceremonies, and also has accommodation in the Farmhouse for now, but with plans to convert further barns to add even more rooms.

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Their reception was just a short drive away in a marquee on the farm, but we took them to nearby Shipley Park for some time out on their own before they rejoined the throng for the rest of their special day.

*The title of this post was thought of before hearing the news today of the passing of the great comedy writer, and presenter of the TV programme with the same title as the post, Denis Norden. RIP Denis.

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Have Taxi – Will Travel!

There are a few reasons why Wedding Car companies tend to operate in relatively small geographical areas, local to their base. For one, many Wedding Cars tend to be old classic vehicles and there’s a need to protect them and keep the mileage as low as possible. We know of one company which takes its precious car close to the pick up point on a trailer and then loads it up again after the wedding.

Because Betty’s unique in the region, we get enquiries from all parts of the East and West Midlands, and as she’s designed to cope with a lot of mileage, (up to a million miles was the original brief, apparently), we’re happy to travel further afield within reason, and not just close to home.

This was emphasised during our last three weddings, as one was right on our doorstep from start to finish, another was all in and around Lincoln, and the other one was a mixture of the two – a pick up close to home and travelling to the venue some way away in Mansfield.


 

The last of these was the wedding of the lovely Laura & John.  The pick up address was in Risley, which is just up the road from our home (and Betty’s) in Long Eaton, and the wedding venue was Mansfield Manor Hotel, which funnily enough is in Mansfield!

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The lucky couple won the use of Betty in our Prize Draw at Colwick Hall last year. They’d made other arrangements for the Bride’s transport, but happily .accepted Betty as a means of getting the Bridesmaids to the venue.

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Unfortunately for everyone, given the wonderful summer we’ve had, it rained on their day and no-one was lingering outside for photos, and we weren’t able to get any of the Bride or Groom with Betty, and just this rather poor quality one of the Bride with her Bridesmaids.


 

Next up was the wedding of the lovely Kelly & Craig, which all took place locally, with a pick up in Beeston and the wedding and reception in The Village Hotel, Chilwell.

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For their wedding we were back to taking the Bridal party to the venue, and the weather was back to being good. At least on the outside, Kelly was at the relaxed end of the Bridal stress spectrum and took it all in her stride, including the red carpet being laid out for her on her arrival.

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The wonderful Attenborough Nature Reserve is just by their Hotel, so we took the couple and their photographer there for photos after their wedding, and then back to the hotel for them to enjoy the rest of their first day as Husband & Wife.

The total mileage from and back to our base was 11, yes eleven!


 

In complete contrast was the wedding of the lovely, Zoe-Nicole & John, which from our base and back was 130 miles in total.

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Betty had an early start to get to the pick up point in Heighington near Lincoln, to collect first of all some family members, and then the Bride and her Mother & Father. The Mother of the Bride is confined to a wheelchair, so Betty’s inbuilt wheelchair ramp was used once more at a wedding. With the wheelchair securely in place, there was still room in the rear cab for the Bride and her Father.

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It was a Church wedding this time and what a gorgeous Church it was in the nearby village of Washingborough. We were all treated to the bells being rung after the wedding too, which is a bit of a rarity at weddings these days.

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What followed was a lovely journey through Lincoln, going right past the famous Cathedral, where another wedding was taking place, and on to Hackthorn Hall Estate, where the couple were holding their reception in the Walled Garden.

All in all, more variety for Betty and she’s looking forward to even more over the coming weeks!

For more information about our services, visit our website here

Weddings in August

It’s been a busy few weeks with weddings, so it’s time to catch up on our most recent couples.

Variety is the spice of life again, as no two weddings are ever the same, and these weddings vary by where they are, the type of venue, the wedding theme, and of course the couples themselves!

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The first of them was back to our most popular venue, Hazel Gap Barn, Bushby, the furthest north we went, and it was for the wedding of  the lovely Lucy and Luke. They were getting married and having their reception at Hazel Gap, so we were hired just to take the Bridal party to the venue. There were nine of them altogether, and quite a few bags and a baby buggy, so it needed three journeys from the nearby Hotel where they were staying.

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It was just eight minutes away, so it took around 50 minutes to get them all there, and as there’s a Bridal suite at the venue, the Bridal party could wait out of sight until the Bride herself, and her Dad arrived. Because we didn’t have to wait until after the ceremony, we didn’t get to meet Luke.

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Our next lovely couple were Alicia & Sam, and their wedding was right on our doorstep! Theirs was a Church wedding at All Saint’s Church, Sawley, which is just a couple of miles from where we live, and it has a wonderful tree lined drive leading to it, and many times I’ve driven by there and thought how lovely it would be to be hired for a wedding there! Their ribbon colour was navy which always looks good on Betty.

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Their reception was at Breadsall Priory, which has the distinction of being the oldest building in the whole of the global Marriott Hotel chain! There was a frisson of excitement when we arrived as the Leeds United football team were staying there prior to their match with Derby, and their team coach was out of this World! We think Alicia was hoping for a selfie or two with some players!

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Three weddings in three days followed, and it was the first time we’d done that. It’s not hard work, it just takes a bit of organising to make sure all of the different requirements are met. And of course, it’s important to give each one the special attention it deserves.

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First up were the lovely Katie & Stuart, and their wedding was all taking place in Derby. We collected the Bridal party from the Midland Hotel by the station, and took them to Royal Oak House, just five minutes away. We had to wait up a while as several of the guests were still not inside, but a bit of friendly cajoling got them moving, while the Bride was kept out of sight.

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They all looked fabulous with a colour scheme of blush pink and grey, and Betty’s ribbons were matching and again they looked good on her. One of the main Taxi ranks in Derby is right by Royal Oak House, so there were lots of ‘Bettys’ around as they were waiting for fares. This was the life Betty knew for 15 years before she came to us from London.

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It was just a short drive again to The Venue, which funnily enough was the venue for their reception!


 

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The second of the three couples, was Lisa & Rob, who got married at Loughborough Register Office, and we were hired to make two journeys there, first with the Bride’s Mother and Daughter, and then the Bride and her Father. There were two unusual features to this booking – firstly, Betty was a surprise for the couple on the day, as she was booked without their knowledge, (fortunately they approved) and secondly, the theme for the Groom and Groomsmen, was Peaky Blinders, after the TV series, and they all dressed appropriately.

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Their reception was just a short drive away at the Ramada Hotel, but we took them for a drive around in Betty while they enjoyed their surprise glass of bubbly! We’d been asked to provide personalised ribbons, and we had them done in the font used on the Peaky Blinders logo as an extra little touch.


 

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The final wedding of the three, was of the lovely Danielle & Glynn. We were back down in Leicestershire, as they were to be married at Quorn Grange Hotel, Quorn, which was our most southerly point in this group of weddings. When we left home, it was raining and that continued most of the way down, but fortunately it had mostly stopped by the time we had to pick them up.

Our role was to take the Bride to the Hotel from Coalville, which was a lovely cross country route in a part of the world that we love. The colour theme for the ribbons was purple and these too were personalised with the couple’s names and the date of the wedding.

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Unusually for a single venue wedding, we got to see Glynn, as we were asked to wait until after the ceremony so the couple could have some photos with Betty, We found this lovely spot in the gardens at the Hotel which gave us some pretty good photos, so I’m sure their own photographer will have some great ones!

Five more weddings completed, with five more couple starting their married lives together, and five more lots of memories for us.

We thank them all for giving us the opportunity to be a part of their special day.

To find out more about our services, please visit here

Three Church Weddings

Historically, a Church is the traditional place for weddings, but since the amendment to the UK Marriage Act in 1995, Civil Ceremonies now account for around 60% of all marriages in the UK. Our limited experience reflects that, so it was unusual for our last three weddings to all take place in Churches, and across three denominations – Anglican, Methodist, and Catholic.

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Our first couple were the lovely Deborah & Mandla, who were married st St Nic’s Church, Nottingham. Our role was first to take the Bridesmaids, and then the Bride to the Church, from just a short distance away on Castle Boulevard.

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The reception was held some distance away at Kelham Hall, and instead of using the obvious dual carriageway routes to get there, we went via Southwell, driving right past the magnificent Minster. The relevance of this is that Deborah was recently ordained as a Vicar at Southwell Minster, and Kelham Hall was for many years a Theological College, before being converted into a Hotel and Wedding Venue.


 

 

Leiran & Anthony were our next couple, who were married at Birchwood Methodist Chapel, Somercotes. It’s fair to say this lovely couple had a bumpy build up to their special day, and we were supporting them through the many changes and  were pleased to play our part in them having their day at last.

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Leiran was given away by her Grandfather, who seemed to relish the role, and she was supported by her family and friends. The reception was held at The Derbyshire Hotel, South Normanton.

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Our third wedding was of the lovely Caroline & Danny, who were married at Our Lady & St Thomas Church, Ilkeston.

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We were hired once more to take the Bridesmaids to the Church, and then the Bride and her Father. This happens a lot with Betty as she’s capable of carrying five people at a time in the rear, plus lots of bags in the front, and sometimes, Bridesmaids don’t travel light! Caroline was at the relaxed end of the stress spectrum and took the day totally in her stride!

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Our final duty of the day was to take the newlyweds to their reception at The Erewash Valley Golf Club.


 

Those were our three Church Weddings – each different and very special in their own ways; each blessed with great weather on the day; and all of them getting our thanks and good wishes for their futures!

For more information about our services, please visit here

And it all came together..

The possibility of England’s young, inexperienced football team being in the quarter finals of the World Cup, on the day you choose for your wedding wouldn’t be at the top of most couple’s reasons for avoiding that date and we doubt it even crossed the minds of Samantha & John. To them, the 7th of July ticked enough boxes and the date was set.

This summer is different to many others though, and that’s just what did happen, and the time of the wedding ceremony, 3pm, turned out to be the exact kick off time of the game when England played Sweden for a place in the semi finals!!

As a result, we could imagine Samantha, along with many other Brides around the country, worrying about how they’d keep everyone focused on the reason that they’re there and not be distracted by events unfolding in Russia.

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Samantha and her Bridesmaids were in good spirits though, when we picked them up to take them to Arnot Hill House, Nottingham for her ceremony. You always hope for good weather on the day, and like most days during the last couple of months or so, it was dry and hot – in fact it was very, very hot!

This wasn’t an issue until we arrived at the venue, to be met by a guest hurrying towards us saying we had to turn around as there was a delay due to the venue’s fire alarm going off, involving a turnout by the local Fire Service, who’d just left before we got there. It was a false alarm, but the wedding was going to be delayed by at least 30 minutes and we had to find a suitable waiting spot in the shade, so everyone didn’t cook in Betty!

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The venue is in a small leafy park so it wasn’t too difficult, nor too far away, so various runners were able to keep us informed of progress and let us know when we could put in our appearance, which ended up being after about a 45 minute delay!

This meant of course, that the quarter final game, against Sweden, now started before the ceremony would take place. A lot of mobile data was used in that period as many followed the team’s progress. As it happens, their progress was good and they won, which added to the good mood of the day!

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After the ceremony and photos, Betty’s final role of the day, was to take the newlyweds on to their reception at Mellish Rugby Club, Mapperley Plains, Nottingham, where no doubt the glorious weather and the right result in the football, ensured a great evening was had by all!

For information about our services, visit us here

 

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Seven Brides for Seven Lovers!

So far this year, we’ve written a blog post for each wedding that we’ve been involved with, and it’s something I’ve enjoyed doing, and the couples seem to have liked it too.

This came to a sudden stop in mid May as my wife and business partner in White Taxi Weddings, Jules, became very poorly and spent five weeks in hospital, during which time our lives were in turmoil! Thankfully she’s home now and recuperating, but it was a very difficult time.

The wedding bookings that we already had, went ahead as planned, and I’m fairly confident in saying that none of our couples would have been aware that anything was amiss, with one exception which I’ll mention in due course.

To make amends to these couples. I’m covering each of them in this post, and it will give me the opportunity to relive them from being in a better space.

It’s interesting to see them as a group of weddings, as it highlights the diversity we experience, yet almost take for granted. The venues involved included Churches,  a Register Office, a former Farm, a Castle, a grand Hall, and an Abbey.

We were hired single journeys for just transporting the Bridesmaids in a couple of instances, up to taking the Bride and her entourage to the ceremony venue and then the married couple on to their reception.

The areas covered were from near Warwick on once side, to t’other side of Mansfield.

Included in this collection was our first Bride in a wheelchair who was able to take advantage of Betty’s inbuilt wheelchair friendliness!

And one Bride, who quite rightly will stay anonymous, kept her nerves at bay with frequent swigs from her hip flask!

Gemma & George were the first lovely couple and we were hired to take the Bridesmaids only to Colwick Hall. We did wait there until Gemma arrived so that she could have photos with Betty, and she and her Bridesmaids looked fabulous, and the sun shone!

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This was followed by the wedding of the lovely Emma & Matt, in Stoneleigh Church, Warwickshire. We took the Bridesmaids first and then the Bride and her Father, and then brought the Bridesmaids back to the hotel and then the married couple.

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We were back on more local territory for the next wedding, of the lovely Jo & Aleister. who got married at Amalfi White, Melbourne. Our involvement was taking the Bride, her Mother, and her young Bridesmaids/Flower Girls to the venue only. The young girls loved travelling in Betty and said they felt like Royalty!

The wedding was on the 31st May, which was our anniversary date, and I mentioned this to Jo who quite naturally asked if we were doing anything to celebrate, and I mentioned that we were unable to go out as Jules was in hospital. Jo was very understanding and passed on her good wishes. Hospital visiting times meant I had to go straight from the wedding to visit Jules and parked Betty in all her wedding glory in the car park, and I stood out like a sore thumb on the ward in my ‘uniform’!

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Another Church wedding followed for the wedding of the lovely Steve and Maria. We collected the Bridal party from Lumb Farm, Ripley and took them to the Church in Rainworth, and then the married couple back to Lumb Farm. The journey time back was over 30 minutes and I noticed that other guests’ cars were following us, rather than overtaking Betty who doesn’t really do speed!. I mentioned this to Maria, who is Portuguese, and she said it’s the tradition in Portugal that no car overtakes the Bride!

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The geographical tour continued as we were back in Derby to collect the Bridal Party for the  wedding of the lovely Cat & Chris and take them to Elvaston Castle, which is now owned by the local authority and well past its glory days. They’ve created quite a special place for the ceremony to take place in though,and the grounds are fabulous, with a secret garden which in this instance had beautifully decorated Tipis for their reception.

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We’ve promoted Betty as wheelchair friendly for quite some time and Shanna-Leigh was our first Bride to take advantage of this for her wedding to Simon. The lovely couple were marrying at Royal Oak House, Derby, and we were taking the Bride, her Mother, and Sister. Shanna-Leigh is used to getting in an out of Taxis in her wheelchair, so that made the whole process very easy.

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The final wedding in this period was of the lovely Charlotte & Bradley, who got married at Calke Abbey, again near Melbourne, which is now a National Trust property. Weddings are held in the old riding stables which provide a blank canvas for each couple to create their own space and style.

We were originally hired to take the Bride and her Bridesmaids to the Abbey, but we were gazumped when a relative bought an open top Bentley, and offered it to the couple for their transport. We were still involved as we took the Bridesmaids and Mother of the Bride instead. The Bentley was a fabulous car but it turned out to be a two door 2+2, with very little room in the backseat for the Bride in her gorgeous dress. I think everyone ended up happy on the day though, which is the main thing!

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One thing which was constant throughout this time was the weather, which is not something you can normally say in a British summer! When you consider the beautiful places we get to visit and the lovely couples who hire hire us, it’s no wonder we love our job!

For more information about us and our services, please visit us here

All the lovely people…

… where do they all come from? Asked The Beatles. Well, the East Midlands it seems, as our couples, almost without exception, have been the loveliest of people, which makes what we do feel like anything but work! And our latest couple, Christina & Ricky are no exception, as they were genuinely lovely and it was a real delight being a part of their day.

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We were first contacted by Christina in 2016, as she’d decided she wanted a London Taxi as her wedding transport, and then she set out to find one. As Betty is the only white London Taxi wedding car in the area, she naturally discovered us, even though at that time we’d only been in existence a few months! Because we offer the option to take Betty to the couples for them to see her, we got to meet Christina and future hubby Ricky at their home.  They obviously liked Betty and booked her there and then for their wedding at one of our favourite wedding venues, the stunning Hazel Gap Barn.

Their wedding date was the 5th of May 2018, which coincidentally was one of my BIG birthday dates, although I didn’t tell them that until after the wedding, as the day was all about them and quite rightly. Because of that connection though, this wedding on this date had been at the back of my mind ever since the booking date, and I couldn’t wait to share my big day with them!

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The details of the venues changed slightly during the interim period, but we were hired to take the Bridal party from their new accommodation, a lovely lakeside lodge, to Hazel Gap Barn in time for the ceremony.

 

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They were blessed by the weather, as it was warm and sunny, and after some photos by the lake at the Lodge, we took the Bridesmaids, Flower Girl, and Mother of the Bride to the venue and they all looked gorgeous in their dresses.

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Next it was the turn of the beautiful Bride and her very friendly Father, and it would be more difficult to find a more relaxed and unstressed Bride than Christina, who took the whole thing in her stride!

We always try to please and do our bit to make the couple’s day special, but it’s very satisfying when you get positive feedback from them. This particular review from Christina has us almost blushing!

“Outstanding service from the beginning until the end!! My husband and I got married on 5th May 2018 and we used Betty to transport myself and my bridal party from our accommodation to our wedding venue. Ever since our first encounter with Andy and Betty we felt reassured and completely looked after. Out of all of the wedding suppliers we used, Andy was the most genuine and kindest supplier and provided first class service from the booking procedure right up until taking us on our big day and he even sent us a few photos after. Andy thought of all the fine details to ensure we were comfortable and Betty was dressed with beautiful flowers and ribbons. I would highly recommend this service to anybody. It wasn’t just a mode of transport but it was a truly enjoyable experience and we wish Andy and Betty every success in the future. Thank you to white taxi weddings for making our day even more special.”

So in the end, everyone was happy which doesn’t get any better, does it?

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