The London Connection

We make a lot of the fact that Betty is a London Taxi, known throughout the World as the iconic Black Cab, and that she spent all of her working life on the streets of the Capital.

We feel there’s a bit more romance to her story than if she’d just been operating in the provinces, where many of her kind see out their time. It allows us to fantasize about just who of the great and the good might have traveled in her over the years!

London

And that seems to work in our favour, as it’s certainly no coincidence that our next three weddings each have a strong London connection. Over 10% of our bookings to date have this connection and they fall into two categories:

1 – the couple, or at least one of them currently lives and works in London and is coming back to the region where they grew up and where family still live, to get married

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“We planned our midlands wedding from London which caused some logistical problems with other suppliers but Andy was fantastic”

2 – the family once lived in London and feel that hiring Betty gives them a trip down memory lane.

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“we originally come from London, and we thought a London cab would be a good touch for a wedding car”

The first category is the most common for us, but both give us the opportunity to explore our common ground.

For instance, in one of our weddings this year, the Bride (in the picture above) and her family had moved to Lincolnshire from Chingford, North East London, many years before, and we were able to make that connection even stronger by letting them know that Betty was originally from Chingford too!  Her previous owner Eddie, lived there and that’s where they started out from each day. Another coincidence was that the Bride’s name was Becky and as a young girl she couldn’t say it properly and called herself Betty.

Our Betty is unique in the East Midlands as the only white London Taxi used purely as a wedding car, which is why we tend to operate over a wider area than most wedding car companies. London Taxis are built to do a lot of mileage, so we’re quite happy to go anywhere within reason.

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It also helps that we have another company local to us in Nottingham Blackmore Commercials which hires out vintage London buses for weddings and events, and they now have a black London Taxi too. We’ve worked together with them a few times where the couple have gone for the complete London transport theme. The second of our three forthcoming weddings will have both Taxis and a bus which will be a first for us and it should look great!

London2

As many Brides have found out, this versatile vehicle, built to perform a specific function in a major City environment, not only ticks the “different” box, but it just happens to be very practical as a wedding car too!

For more information about us please visit us here

 

Our Autumn Weddings

One of the joys of being involved with weddings, is that each one is unique. The principle is always the same, that a couple have a wedding ceremony somewhere and invite their family and friends to share their special day, but each couple is different, the guests are different, no two journeys are the same, and the style can vary a lot from wedding to wedding. However, patterns or duplication sometimes emerge and in our last eight weddings, this has mostly been the case.

Our first two couples with some connection were Sarah & Ryan and Kate & John. The similarities for them were distance and weather.

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In Sarah & Ryan’s case, their ceremony was at St John’s Church, Perlethorpe, with their reception at Hazel Gap Barn, our most popular venue. Although we’ve been hired for many weddings at Hazel Gap, we’ve always picked up and traveled North to it, but on this occasion the enquiry came from further North in Doncaster, which is out of our normal area, but we didn’t want to miss out on another wedding at this venue, so we gladly accepted it and were pleased that we did!

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If Doncaster is the furthest North we’ve been, for the wedding of Kate & John, we headed to our southernmost point at Warwick House, Southam in Warwickshire for the reception, after their wedding took place at St Mary’s Church Coventry. We took the Bridesmaids and Mother of the Bride to the Church first and then Kate and her Father.

Another connection between these two weddings was the weather, as they were the two wettest days we’ve had so far, and all of our umbrellas were in action, but in both instances the Brides were stoical and didn’t let it spoil their day! We wish them both well!


 

Our next two couples, Vicky & Eddie and Emma & Dom, had the ceremony venue in common as both couples got married at Bridgford Hall, West Bridgford, and the weather was kind to them all!

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Vicky & Eddie are from West Bridgford, so the the journey with Vicky, her children and her Mother was short, although we had to get to the Hall through a public car park as the normal entrance gates had been trashed by a bin lorry a few days previously. We then took the newlyweds on to The White Horse in Ruddington for their reception.

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The journey to Bridgford Hall  from Sandiacre was a bit longer for Emma and her Father for her marriage to Dom, and by this time the gates had been repaired. This was a very relaxed, unfussy couple and we’ve no doubt they enjoyed their reception after we’d taken them to The Victoria in Beeston.


 

The same Church, St Matthew in Darley Abbey, was the connection for Phoebe & Pete and Claire and Simon, and they were two consecutive weddings for us as they were just five days apart, and coincidentally, both had the same photographer!

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Phoebe traveled from Langley Country Park, Derby for her wedding to Pete. Our first role was to take the Bridesmaids to the Church and then return for Phoebe and her Father. Although the day was dry, it was very cold and Phoebe especially was very appreciative of the warmth inside Betty after standing outside the Church for photos for quite some time. The journey to Blackbrook House, Belper for their reception, was long enough for both husband and wife to thaw out!

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Claire’s journey to the same Church with her Mother, Father and two Bridesmaids was even shorter for her marriage to Simon and although it was still cool it was at least dry and nothing like as cold as for the previous wedding. Claire told us she’d had some anxiety about the day in the build up, but she was as cool as a cucumber on the day!  Afterwards, we took them to The Farmhouse at Mackworth for their reception.


 

We’re struggling to come up with a connection for our final two couples, so we won’t force it!

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Firstly, we were hired just to take the Bride, her Mother, and her two young Bridesmaids from Heanor to the Carriage Hall Plumtree, where Leanne was to marry Matt. The ceremony and reception were at the same venue and on these occasions we don’t get to see the Groom unless we’re hired to wait until after the ceremony for photos with Betty. We weren’t on this occasion but the journey there was long enough to have a chat with Leanne and get to know a bit about her and her family.

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And finally, the lovely couple were Lauren & Matt who were married at St Chad’s Church, Lichfield, with their reception at the Mercure Hotel, Newton Park, Burton. The journey to the gorgeous Church wasn’t far and once again we took Bridesmaids and Mother of the Bride first, and then the Bride, her Father, and we believe it was her Grandfather as well.

This couple have the distinction of having our longest period from booking to the wedding date, so far! Laura hired us in October 2016, our very first year, and waited for nearly two years for her day to come around. It was worth it for us and we hope it was for her too!

Eight weddings, eight different couples, and eight totally different experiences, and we’ve loved them all!

 

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

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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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.

Zoe Church

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

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