From the white dress, the something borrowed, the something blue - weddings are steeped in history and tradition. Everything, from the flowers to the champagne, is meaningful and has a specific purpose.
Beyond the well-known traditions – like the white dresses modelled after Queen Victoria - there is a strong and largely unknown history associated with weddings. An example? The history of the humble wedding chauffeur.
Wedding chauffeurs – and wedding cars – hold a very important role in any wedding. They are responsible for getting the entire bridal party to the ceremony and reception in safety and in style. But the history of their rise to prominence in the wedding world is hard to trace.
The word chauffeur is derived from the French word stoker, as the first chauffeurs had to stoke the steam-powered engines of the earliest cars – similar to the old-timey steam-trains.
In those early days of chauffeuring, the chauffeur was expected to be a skilled mechanic. This made sure they could handle anything and everything that came their way – from breakdowns to flat tyres.
But even before cars were a thing, the bridal party would often be chauffeured to and from their wedding – but instead of cars, they arrived via horse and carriage. However, these carriages were seen to be easily targeted by evil spirits, which could end up haunting the relationship. To combat these superstitions, wedding carriages were adorned with bells to scare off any and all evil spirits.
Early wedding chauffeurs were pretty much only used in wealthy upper-class weddings. Why? Cars were expensive, and hiring a driver was too.
Today, this idea of luxury lives on.
Everyone, especially on their wedding day, wants to have their own slice of luxury. Wedding chauffeurs were and are a great way to get that slice. There is something extravagant about hiring a vehicle – perhaps hiring your dream car, or perhaps imagining a life when you never have to drive again.
Since then, the wedding chauffeur and car rental industry has boomed. No longer just for the rich and famous of the world, everyone can have the dream transportation and dream driver for their special day.
As cars became more accessible to the masses, many traditions have sprung up regarding the wedding vehicles – the bride arriving late, the tin cans or shoes tied to the back of the car, ‘just married’ scrawled on the back window.
Weddings chauffeurs and cars today
Soon-to-be-married couples today are choosing to forego tradition, in favour of injecting their personalities into every major decision. In this day and age, the perfect wedding car (and chauffeur) for you may not be the most traditional one.
Today, there are so many ways to arrive at your wedding in style. From classic cars to stretch limousines to horse-and-carriage to vintage busses.
For the effortlessly cool and bohemian, a popular choice is the kombi van. With its beachy reputation and relaxed vibe, a kombi van is the perfect, modern alternative for those looking for something different, fresh and iconic. Plus, those brides with big dresses don’t have to worry about how they will squeeze their dress into the backseat with them!