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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red carpet

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

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

And the Oscar goes to…

In our limited experience, no two weddings are the same, as in each instance there are always different people, different venues, different budgets even, and each couple puts a different stamp on their special day. So each wedding is a new experience for us.

Recently, though, we had a completely new and unexpected experience, courtesy of a friend of ours, Disability Awareness Consultant Richard Shakespeare. Last year, Richard allowed us to use an article of his in this blog post Will you marry me. The article was about access to wedding cars for people with a disability.

Vidshoot2As a result of that contact, Richard asked if we’d like to be involved in a video he was creating. Recent Government legislation, means that all Taxi and Private Hire drivers in England and Wales, have to undergo Disability Awareness Training,  and Richard intends to use the video as a module in the Training Course he is creating to meet this need. We are always happy to help Richard, plus it gives us a chance to further show Betty off, even if out of context!

A small industrial unit was hired, and Richard, Betty and Terry Simmons, from eLearning Plus, who was in charge of the production of the video, met on a Monday morning to create the masterpiece! Hollywood, it wasn’t! There was no magnificent set, but by clever use of close ups, Terry made the background irrelevant, with the focus being on the process and the equipment.

The purpose of the video, and hence Betty’s involvement, was to show in specific terms for vidshoot3fellow TX Taxi drivers, and in general terms for drivers of all other Private Hire Cars, the basics of aiding people with varying degrees of disability, into and out of the Taxi. We’ve heard first hand from Richard, the negative experiences people with disabilities have when using Taxis, and hopefully this training will address that.

Knowing Richard, and with Terry’s filming and editing skills, we’re sure the video will be of great use and be an essential part of his Training package.

I’m ready for my close up Mr De Mille!

Credits:

eLearning Plus

Richard Shakespeare

White Taxi Weddings

Will you marry me?

I Recently met with Richard Shakespeare, Disability Consultant, Business Owner and Training expert at Richard Shakespeare Disability Consultants Limited. We met so that Richard could check out our London Taxi Wedding Car, to see if it was suitable for use as a wedding car for people with disabilities, or limited mobility.

He then wrote an article for his LinkedIn page, and he’s agreed that we can share his article here:

Richard“Without doubt one of the biggest questions you can ever ask or be asked is “Will you marry me”

Recently Andy Poole who runs White Taxi Weddings near Derby contacted me. Andy was in the process of starting a wedding car hire business, this in itself is not especially unusual but, his question did make me think. Using a former London Taxi Andy and his wife Jules wanted to help make a wedding day all the more special. Andy wanted to know if I was aware of any accessible wedding vehicles or if I thought there might be demand for one.

According to a leading website the wedding industry is worth billions of pounds to the UK each year and over 50% of us would consider hiring some form of transport for the big day.* The way in which we think about weddings, marriage and partnerships has changed in recent years. Only this week I read an article via the Daily Mail Online about another Derby based business who will be hosting the first ‘social media wedding’ in the UK. With over 40% of us thought to use some form of social media in planning our wedding, it is fair to say that the team at Status Social could really be onto something.

Everybody dreams of having the perfect day surrounded by friends and family as you start your journey with the person of your dreams. The more I thought about Andy’s question the more intrigued I became. I could see how I would plan the wedding, what kind of suit I would like and could even come up with ideas for the all-important honeymoon but, I couldn’t decide what I would do for transportation on the big day!

Andy has purchased a 1997 London Taxi and had it very tastefully refurbished, the vehicle still has all the elegance you would expect from a wedding car but is just something that bit different. “Betty” as Andy affectionately calls her is equipped with a range of ramps and grab handles which would make it easier for a person with a disability to get in and out of. If you need to use a wheelchair during your special day then this vehicle could be a viable option for you or for other people wanting to enjoy the occasion with you.

I recently met with Andy to take a look at his vehicle for myself and to explore just how accessible it might be if I were to be planning a wedding. I met Andy on a gloriously sunny day, the ideal day for a wedding in fact.

Upon entering the car for the first time the first thing that struck me was just how nice the car looked. Yes, it did of course look like a taxi but then that is part of the charm. Adding a beautiful red leather interior and a few other finishing touches Andy and his wife really have created something really quite remarkable.

Ramp3To find out more about White Taxi Weddings please visit the website by clicking here. Or if you fancy a social media wedding you can contact Status Social by visiting the website.

*Figures courtesy of the 2015 Wedding Report. http://www.confetti.co.uk/wedding-report

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