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.


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.


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.


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.



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


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!


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!

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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.


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!


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!


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!

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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!


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.


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’!


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!


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.


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.


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!


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!

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