What does my wedding chauffeur do when he is not driving me around?

In general your wedding car chauffeur has nothing to do during the ceremony. It’s quite commonly seen that chauffeurs are standing by their car chain smoking or reading a newspaper or a book or they go off to the pub for a drink and maybe some lunch.

But our philosophy at Lea Cars is to give a complete service and help in any way we can. So what do our chauffeurs do during the ceremony? It varies a great deal.

If our chauffeurs are not the photographer or videographer for the wedding then there are various duties we have. One is to look out for latecomers. Normally at a wedding, sometime after it has started, some guests arrive late and be totally stressed out. They may have had a row in the car, blamed each other for getting lost or for the road works and for being late. Our job is to calm them down, reassure them and encourage them to slip in at the back and give them a wedding booklet if there is one. Quite often they are reticent about going in but we quietly open the door and show them to their seats at the back. They are invariable very grateful.

If it is raining or threatening to rain and there are plans to do the photography outside after the ceremony we will watch the clouds and judge whether it will rain or not. We then advise the photographer accordingly. It may be that he/she decides to take photos inside until it stops on the basis of our advice “it will rain for about 10 minutes then it should stop.” Photographers are very appreciative of this intelligence.

Very often the cars need to be repositioned during the ceremony. They will be as we stopped them to let our passengers out for the ceremony but they may need to be parked in such a way that they look their best, are ready for the off and leave plenty of room for guests to throw confetti.

Another thing we do is to spruce up the car. We may have driven for quite a way and after the ceremony there will be a crowd of guests around the car and it needs to look its best. So we will get the rags out and maybe the polish and clean it as much as is necessary.

The drinks need to be got ready too. It is rare that we will not provide drinks to the newlyweds and to the passengers of second cars after the ceremony unless we are at a venue where the reception and the ceremony are all in the one place. In this case we will generally take the newlyweds for a 15 minute drive for some private time and present them with drinks from the hotel staff.

If the reception is elsewhere and we have two cars then we put the appropriate drinks and glasses in each car at this point and get the champagne ready for pouring.

But a main thing we do is photography. Sometimes we are the official photographer at the wedding and then we will be photographing the couple during the ceremony and the register signing etc. If we are the second photographer, often using the bride’s or bridegroom’s camera or phone, then we will still be taking photos but less of them.Very often – around half of the weddings we do – we are the videographer and of course duringthe ceremony our chauffeur is at the front videoing the entire proceedings.

Where possible we make ourselves useful on the basis that all the things I have mentioned don’t cost us anything – we are there anyway – so why not?

Check out your wedding company and see what their chauffeurs do during the ceremony.

When should I expect my wedding chauffeur to serve me the champagne?

The traditional drink to toast a newly married couple is, of course, champagne but it does not have to be only served during the speeches. Many wedding cars firms offer the couple a bottle of champagne for the journey from the ceremony venue to the reception. Some firms charge extra whilst many like LEA CARS include it in the package.

But how and when should it be served to you ? What options do you as a wedding couple have?

Firstly, it does not have to be champagne. Many do not like it and we have served Schloer, Peroni, Stella and other drinks in champagne glasses many a time. The important thing is that the couple can toast each other, quench their thirst and have a chilled refreshing drink of their choice to help relax them. Yes – chilled is important.

May I also add that good wedding car firms will serve chilled drinks – champagne or whatever is wished for – to the occupants – bridesmaids, parents, best man, etc. – of the second or third car on the way from the ceremony to the reception. It helps to relax everybody after the emotional ceremony and put people in a party mood. Why not?!

When should you want the champagne to be served?

Well – the most common time – 90% of weddings – is after the confetti and before getting into the bridal car to leave. After the ceremony, if the weather is reasonable – the couple and all the guests are outside mingling around chatting, being photographed, being videoed, congratulating the couple and a glass of champagne would just get in the way. If the bride is very thirsty at this stagethe chauffeur will provide a bottle of chilled water served in a glass or plastic cup for a quick swig!

Also if the couple have drinks in their hand whilst the confetti is thrown then the drink will be not worth drinking as it will be full of confetti! No after that is best. But equally the popping of the cork – held in the hand of course – and the pouring of the champagne into two cut glass flutes by the chauffeur provides a spectacle for the couple and guests alike and is an excellent photo and video opportunity. After the chauffeur has presented the couple – calling the bride Mrs and her new married name – with their drink then they can toast each other and perhaps have another kiss. Probably to the applause of the crowd! Then some more mingling followed by getting into the car to be waved off.

En route the chauffeur will stop and top up the couple’s glasses as necessary and sometimes a couple will finish the bottle! If it is raining then the champagne is opened and poured outside the car so that the couple,from inside the car, can see it happening and it is then is served to them in the car. Sometimes it may be served inside the wedding venue itself if the weather is bad but churches on the whole are not too happy with that.

As wedding planners as well as a wedding car firm we help the couple think through these various options to make a decision as to what they want to drink and when.

Where possible we make ourselves useful on the basis that all the things I have mentioned don’t cost us anything – we are there anyway – so why not?

Check out your wedding company and see what their chauffeurs do during the ceremony.

When looking at testimonials on wedding cars firm’s websites what should I be looking for?

An important task when searching for the right wedding car firm is to look at testimonials. No firm ever puts bad testimonials on their leaflets or websites but there can often be quite a difference in tone. So have a good read of them because they can tell you quite a lot.

Most testimonials say “nice clean car, polite friendly smart chauffeur, friendly service” or similar. Complimentary but quite bland and non-specific.

Now read some of the following – they are quite different – as it is the Testimonials that testify to what Richard Lea, proprietor of Lea Wedding Cars, calls the “Lea Cars Difference”.

“We can honestly say that when Lea Cars arrived on the day of the wedding with their two beautiful cars and their camcorder they were a supplier of a service. But when they left, they left as friends”. William Glass

“At the reception many people came up to me and asked me “Where is your uncle?”. I had to explain that that was not my uncle but the wedding car chauffeur Richard”.

“You were simply the best service I have ever received (either professionally or personally) from any company I have ever dealt with.” Stephen Blair.

“We can’t recommend Lea Wedding Cars enough. From the start, they were a pleasure to deal with, and on the day itself the Jaguar and Stuart, our driver, were both on top form and looked absolutely resplendent, both drawing huge compliments from our guests. The car was superb, the drive was smooth with plenty of time allowed for shuttling myself, the bridesmaids and my lovely bride to the wedding from various locations, and making sure we made it to the door without the on-off rain touching any of us. Stuart was also excellent with both the company’s camera and my own, providing some of our favourite shots of the whole day and surely earning himself double pay! On the biggest day of our lives, Lea Wedding Cars made one of the trickiest parts run absolutely perfectly. If you’re planning a wedding or know anyone that is, look no further. Thanks again to everyone involved.” Kev and Jess Robinson.

“Our wedding was perfect and Lea cars played a huge part in that. With the multiple trips to and from the ceremony, our chauffeur filming our wedding and the personal touches of 2 glasses of champagne Lea cars had thought of everything. Simply Fantastic!!!!!. I don’t think there’s enough I can say to do your company justice it was a brilliant day made perfect by your company :-) Thank you”.

“Hi there. We have just received our copies of the wedding DVD today and oh gosh I cried it was that lovely. Thank you ever so much for everything you did on the day for us”. Mel and David Dryden, Lancaster and Morecambe.

There are dozens more on the website and social media pages so if you wish to hire the best wedding car service in North West England – and it costs no more than other firms – then look no further than Lea Wedding Cars based near Preston.

General FAQ’s

Q.1  How much do the cars cost to hire for a Wedding?

Ans. 1 The guide prices are on the prices page and these can vary either up or down for the reasons explained on the Prices page.

Q.2 Are there any hidden extras?

Ans. 2 There are two potential extras and only two.
a) Whilst videoing your wedding is part of the price package, if you want us to convert the film files on a camcorder’s SD card – either yours or ours – on to a DVD or blu-ray disc that is £100 extra. That is what we have to pay our technician who often takes 9-10 hours to do it. For this you get a DVD or Blu-ray disc – up to three – having a professionally edited film of your wedding with photos, music and a menu added and in a special presentation box for you to treasure.
b) The other one is if you want to be collected from the reception venue at the end of the evening to be taken to an hotel or airport.

Q.3 How long do we have the cars for?

Ans. 3 As long as you want to get you to the ceremony venue and then to the reception venue doing as many journeys as you wish and as are practical.  We allocate the car and chauffeur all day to you.

Q.4 How many cars do we need?

Ans. 4 You have to decide who you want transporting and  how long each of the journeys is. Then if you require more than one 4-passenger wedding car then you can have two or more cars, use a 7-passenger Limousine or use a friend’s car. Your choice.

Q.5 We need two cars, possibly three, will they all match?

Ans. 5 Some couples feel that matching cars is important whilst many feel that unmatching cars is better. We have two ivory cars, two greeny blue cars and two royal blue cars. They match in pairs but by using coloured ribbons almost any combination can match.

Q.6 How many people do the cars take?

Ans. 6 They all carry 4 passengers expect the Mercedes Limousine that can carry seven passengers and the Jaguar Sports car that carries one.

Q.7  Can we use one car to first take the Bridesmaids and come back for the Bride?

Ans. 7 Yes. In fact the one car can take the bridegroom and best man first, then take bridesmaids, flower girls and bride’s mum next – possibly in two trips – then take the bride last.  Four or five journeys to the ceremony venue is quite common depending on distances.

Q.8 Do you do more than one Wedding a day with any of the cars?

Ans. 8 No. A car and chauffeur are only allocated to one wedding on any one day. We would not want delays or extras to cause problems. Stress free is our aim.

Q.9 Do you provide the cars for other functions?

Ans. 9 No.

Q.10 Can we view the actual cars?

Ans. 10 Yes – you can come here to Much Hoole, near Preston (PR4 4TD) any time by prior arrangement to view the cars and we will give you a small gift for your trouble. We are open 16 hours per day 365 days per year.

Q.11 Do all the cars shown on your website actually belong to you?

Ans. 11 Yes. The Morris Minor we cleaned 50 years ago when it was new and we have had the others for between 12 years and 2 years.

Q.12 Our Ceremony and Reception are in the same place do we need a car?

Ans. 12 Good question. If you are getting ready elsewhere then either or both the bride and bridegroom will need a car to get to the wedding venue. Maybe a wedding car will make this journey extra special and good in the photos.
But a very important use of the wedding car is for the couple to go for a drive after the ceremony and some mingling so that they can have a little time alone together otherwise the first time they are alone and can relax and share thoughts and chat is when they go to bed that night and by then they are very tired after a long and gruelling day.

Q.13 What do your Chauffeurs wear?

Ans. 13 Mid grey suits, black shoes, white shirts or blouses, and the men wear our company tie and a peaked chauffeur’s cap.

Q.14 Do the Chauffeurs do anything other than drive the cars?

Ans. 14 Where do I start to answer that question? Lots and lots of things although partly controlled by the couple.  Photography, videography, and being the couples PA for the day summarises it.  To get a more detailed answer can I suggest you have a look at the Services page and some of the testimonials.

Q.15 Some of your cars are new but some are quite old – do they ever break down?

Ans. 15 Yes – like anything mechanical.  But we aim to maintain the cars so well that they never break down – regardless of cost. But we have had about one breakdown per year on average.  Sometimes just a puncture.Sometimes more serious. We have a tried and tested procedure that is designed to minimise disruption to the wedding which can involve another of our cars and another chauffeur, a breakdown service, taxis, using guests cars or whatever is appropriate.

Q.16 How do we set about booking cars for our Wedding?

Ans. 16 You can send us an email or a message via the “Enquiry Form” on the website, or telephone us. We will need to know the date, car[s] that interest you and the venues for the wedding. We will then send you a quote by email. You can then telephone us to discuss, visit to view the cars or book the cars by sending £150 deposit and then we will post you a receipt. Simple.

Q.17 How far in advance do you take bookings?

Ans. 17 As far in advance as you wish.Two years generally.

Q.18 How close to a wedding can I book a wedding car?

Ans. 18 We have had bookings for weddings just a few days before the wedding and quite a few in the same month.

Q.19 What if things go overtime?

Ans. 19 We do not allocate any particular time so they cannot go over time.

Q.20 Can I pay with credit card?

Ans. 20 No – not now – sorry. We stopped taking credit cards recently as the charges became too much. You can pay by cash, cheque or bank transfer.

Q.21 Can children travel in the wedding car?

Ans. 21 Yes – any age. And often do. We provide apple fruit shoots for children.

Q.22 When does the hire time start and end ?

Ans. 22 When you want it to.

Q.23 Do you do weekday weddings ?

Ans. 23 We do weddings any day of the week and any day of the year.

Q.24 What areas of UK do you cover ?

Ans. 24 We have done weddings throughout England and north Wales including Bournemouth and London but none in Scotland or Ireland. We mainly do weddings throughout north west England from Wrexham and Stoke on Trent in the South to Carlisle in the north.

Q. 25 Do you do weddings outside of UK ?

Ans. 25 No.

Q.26 If we hire your wedding cars can we use private cars as well ?

Ans. 26 Yes – many do. And we can lend you ribbons and flowers for your own wedding cars too.

Q.27 What if we have to cancel our booking ?

Ans. 27 Then generally you lose the deposit of £150.

Q.28 Do you do late transfers after the reception has ended ?

Ans. 28 Yes – this is quite common to take the couple from the reception to an hotel. It normally incurs an extra cost.

Q.29 Are your cars available for special occasions such as wedding anniversaries,birthdays and other celebrations ?

Ans. 29 No.

Q.30 Who drives the cars ?

Ans. 30 Fully trained chauffeurs some of whom are trained photographers and videographers. Some have won awards for their exceptional standards.

Q.31 Can I book a wedding car as a surprise?

Ans. 31 Yes – this is quite common. And we will observe whatever we need to do to preserve the element of surprise. And we often photograph or video the surprised person as they see the surprise.

If you would like to book our services for your Special Day, please call us on either 01772 379753 or 07831 804520.