What Not To Wear!

How not to dress as a Wedding Car Chauffeur!

Where are Trinny and Susannah when you need them?

Having chosen to go down the unconventional route in my new Wedding Car Hire business, and going with an ex London Taxi instead of the more normal Classic or Vintage Car, it would make sense to continue that theme when it comes to dressing in my role as Chauffeur. (Warning Klaxon: there may be the odd bit of stereotyping coming up!)

BecksConvention is that a Chauffeur’s hat is added to a lounge suit, giving a quasi uniform look – for some reason ladies seem to like a man in uniform (Richard Gere, you have a lot to answer for!) And it would be a no-brainer if we all looked like this, but the truth is I’d probably end up looking more like this!benny

 

 

Which begs the question, what do I wear?

 

Keeping with the London theme opens all sorts of avenues and gives the opportunity to pop in a few characters that we’ve heard of without necessarily knowing what they are, such as Costermonger, Barrow Boy, and of course who can forget Dick Van Dyke’s dodgy Cockney Chimney Sweep in Mary Poppins? These don’t cut the mustard though as suitable Wedding Chauffeur looks!

A possible contender is the Pearly King Pearly, here seen with a Cab (I’m not just throwing this together!) The Bride could be supplied with a song-sheet including such classics as Roll out the Barrel, Doing the Lambeth Walk, and even I’m Getting Married in the Morning, to ease the nerves on the way to the Ceremony!

OK – I’m getting slightly carried away!

SteedHowever, I’ve had another light-bulb moment, as I did over the cab, and this look ticks so many boxes once again! The Bowler Hat, as worn here by Patrick Macnee as John Steed in The Avengers, looking suave, urbane and the stereotypical London Gent! OK, he would have traveled in the back of the cab and not be the driver, but that’s just splitting hairs! It gives the quasi uniform look but still sets it apart from the norm!

I think some experimentation is called for though, as there’s always the possibility of this: freddie

Of course, we can take authenticity too far, and the truth is, it’s all about the Bride on the day and what her needs are, and if the request for the Chauffeur’s hat comes, then that’s what the lady will get! And you never know, she might be a Benny Hill fan!

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How it all Started!

The Genesis of my London Taxi Wedding Car

Some things are difficult to explain, aren’t they?

I’d reached retirement, after having worked all my life in a variety of careers, from Baker to the MD of a Specialist Insurance Company, and been fortunate enough to have got about a bit! Firstly, backpacking as a young man, and subsequently via air travel, with an acceptable amount of turning left at the top of the plane steps. The mid life crisis had _X0B9361wreaked its middle age havoc, luring me into running several international city marathons, (low point finishing behind the NSPCC Caterpillar in London!) and now onto similar challenges on a bicycle, but so far I’ve resisted the Harley and the ponytail! Also, I’d met and fallen in love with a wonderful lady, who three years ago became my wife and changed my World!

So, I had a lot to be thankful for, no real regrets, and I had no major boxes left unticked. There’s always something though and I do like a project!

I’d been retired about a year at the time of our wedding, and the day itself was just wonderful, and of course my focus was entirely on the day and my new wife, of course it was, but as a surprise for her, I’d booked a newly refurbished ‘splittie’ VW campervan called Dolly, through our caterers Darby and Joan Vintage. I can remember thinking then that being involved with a couple on what is probably and hopefully the happiest day of their lives would be a fabulous way to work and to do it by getting to drive something out of the ordinary was a bonus!

So the seed was sown then, but nothing came of it due to volunteer charity work I was involved in plus the bike challenges which were taking up a bit of time! However, there came a moment a few months ago when I thought, if I don’t do it now I never will, and it became then a matter of deciding which type of vehicle to use. All over the Country there is such a variety of vehicles available for weddings, from the Classic/Vintage, to the positively bizarre, (I give the vehicle turned into a Stormtrooper’s helmet as evidence!) that couples are spoiled for choice, so I wanted something that was different and preferably unique. Another important factor was it had to be practical as a wedding car, for a Bride with possibly a large and almost certainly an expensive dress!

White-wedding-taxi-TX11It was then I had the light-bulb moment of having a London Taxi; an iconic ‘Black Cab’; which ticked just about every box, in that it was different, classic in its own way, VERY practical with wide doors and lots of space, and certainly unique as far as here in the East Midlands of the UK is concerned (so far!) Cue feeling rather pleased with myself!

However, it needed to be more than just a cab taken from the streets of London, it needed to be transformed into a car fit for a Bride. And so, Betty, as my cab is now called, is currently undergoing a refurbishment in London, being sprayed Old English White, and fitted with burgundy leather seats, and new carpets. You’ve no idea how frustrating it is waiting for her to be finished, but I am sure the wait will be worth it in the end, and then the serious business of getting her gainfully employed begins!

(The photo of the cab is not Betty, although it’s exactly the same model and this is the template we’re using. If I could credit the owner of the photo and the cab, I would)

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