Planning my wedding. What should I book first?

| Wedding planning

This is a busy time of year for brides to be.  So many decisions to make.  Where do you start?  Here’s a few suggestions…..

1. Do you want to hold the reception and the ceremony in the same place?

There are two parts of your wedding to organise, the wedding ceremony and the wedding reception. A church wedding is still the favourite choice for many couples but a civil wedding gives you more options.  If you choose a church wedding, consider how far the church is from the reception and how you’re going to transport grannie!  Speak to Brides’ Cars and with our experience we can give you lots of advice.  If you’re considering a civil wedding, you have the option of choosing a venue that will host you’re your wedding ceremony and your wedding reception. There’s lots to choose from. A current list of venues in Cambridgeshire is available on line.  Don’t worry if you still want to have the pleasure in riding in a special wedding car, Brides’ Cars have a special package for one venue weddings….

Brides Cars

2. How many guests will you invite?

Like all things when you’re thinking of getting married the comment will always be “well it depends”. If you’ve set you heart on a church wedding following by a reception then find out how many the church holds and how many the venue can cater for. If you have a set budget in mind then the number of guests will be dictated by the cost of catering for them.

3. Do you want to celebrate close to home?

Is it important that your friends attend your wedding or would you prefer that your elderly relatives don’t have to travel far? If you find a venue of your dreams on the internet you will probably find that your friends and family will make the trip especially if you can negotiate a good deal for their accommodation.

Wedding Car Hire Cambridgeshire

4. What time of the year would you like to get married?

If you have a particular venue in mind, is it available when you want to hold your wedding? Would you consider a winter wedding? A fur lined wedding hood for your dress? Pictures in the snow? Or would you prefer the probability of sunshine for your photographs? The weather in the UK is unpredictable and you can’t guarantee that it won’t rain but with good planning it won’t spoil your day.  Don’t worry about the weather if you’re hiring Brides’ Cars wedding cars as we have lots of umbrellas available.

5. What’s the theme of your wedding?

An intimate wedding can keep the costs down and a princess wedding can cost thousands but it’s fun deciding upon the theme of your wedding. John Lewis have some great suggestions:
Homespun charm: Look for pretty local churches and village halls that can be hired for relatively little money but adorned with flowers, bunting and decorations to reflect your theme.
Rural romance: Weatherworn barns can be made to look incredible with wreaths and fairy-lights. Lofty ceilings and wooden rafters will give the celebration a warm, historical feeling and ensure photos look stunning.
Stately glamour: If your budget will run to it many stately homes and castles tend to offer themselves as wedding venues. Obviously these come in all shapes, sizes and styles but most will add a fairytale atmosphere to your special day.
Contemporary chic: Brides and grooms may choose to shun all things vintage in favour of sleek hotels and contemporary venues. Modern-feeling weddings can now be held in all manner of locations from football clubs to permanently docked ships.

6. How many rooms does the venue have available to the guests?

You might think it a good idea that more rooms mean more fun but if everyone is spread over a number of rooms, who is going to see you dancing your first dance that you’ve been practicing for months? On the other hand if you’d like to have a games theme for your wedding then lots of rooms means more flexibility and possibilities.

7. What time is the venue allowed to play music until?

If you are planning on a late night for your guests then ask when the music needs to be turned off. Some out of town venues will allow music until 1.00am but some will ask you to pull the plug at 11.00pm. Make sure you ask if this is important to your plans.

8. Are there going to be other weddings at the same time as yours?

Even if you are in the main room you might find that if the venue is licensed for weddings that they may be holding a second event in another room. This might not be a problem if you know about it in advance but it might not be your preference to share the venue with another bride.

9. Accommodation

It can be very convenient for you and your guests to stay in the wedding venue but be aware that some of your guests may wish to retire early. As if there are rooms away from the disco and consider a venue where the accommodation is in another part of the complex. Consider arranging accommodation at a nearby hotel and laying on transport.

10. Communication

Make sure that you don’t take this decision on your own. Talk to your other half and be prepared to compromise if you have different ideas. Are you looking for a summer wedding in a marquee, a relaxed and contemporary barn wedding venue or a formal and elegant country house or hotel?

Most important – book your wedding car well in advance!  We look forward to hearing from you.


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Wedding fair season

| Wedding Cars, Wedding Exhibitions, Wedding planning

Getting married is so exciting.  I know. I’ve been there!  It’s also a bit of a whirlwind of organising and decision making.

Anstey Hall Cambridge
Anstey Hall Cambridge

We meet most of our couples at our house and let them come and view the cars and meet Doris (our Labradoodle) and join us for a cup of tea and a biscuit.  However, we also like to chat to our couples at wedding fairs.

Doris Doodle
Doris Doodle

We attend about four fairs each season and this year we’ve been to Anstey Hall near Cambridge and the Burgess Hall in St Ives.  Two completely different venues in different locations.

Our next wedding fair is at the Oliver Cromwell Hotel in March and then our final one for this season is Hinchingbrooke House in Huntingdon.  They’re both local to us but we meet people from all over the region which is great as we cover the whole of Cambridgeshire as well as adjoining counties.

We love being part of our couple’s special day and we hope we meet you soon.

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It’s not all about the wedding car…..

| Wedding Cars, Wedding planning

Supplying wedding cars is not all about the car.  We accept that it could be chosen because of the colour or the size or the location of the company but we think it’s also about the service.

We recently received the following testimonial which hasn’t mentioned the car at all.  We hope you’ll be able to enjoy the same service and we look forward to hearing about your forthcoming wedding.

“Joan and Tony, I just wanted to say a huge thank you for the excellent, professional service you provided for Charlotte and Ollie’s wedding yesterday.  Tony, you were a star!  The perfect calming influence that both Charlotte and I needed before the ceremony and so patient and helpful (especially with the photographer’s ladder, etc.)  The day was a spectacular success and you played a major part in making it so by taking away the stress at the most tense parts of the day…. The bottle of water was a life saver by the way!  Thanks again.  I will be recommending you to everyone I hear of who is planning a future wedding.”

29th December 2015

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A cheese cake?

| Wedding planning

We recently met one of our future grooms in Ramsey and he mentioned that he had everything in hand for the wedding.  Don’t Tell The Bride came to mind seeing as we’d been chasing him for final pick up details for weeks.

He then said that the only thing left to do was to purchase a cheese cake.  I thought this was an odd choice of cake for a wedding but suggested that he should try the Windmill Bakery in Ramsey.  “Not that kind of cheese cake!”, he exclaimed.  “What other type of cheese cake is there?”, I asked.

There began my education regarding cheese cakes.  He and his fiancée are great cheese lovers and they’d seen pictures of a cake made of cheese and wanted one for their evening buffet table.  He planned to visit the Stamford Cheese Cellar to purchase the cheeses and then, once assembled, they would be decorated with “a few grapes”.

Our Wedding Cakes of Cheese are created bespoke to ensure your day is as special as it should be!
courtesy of Stamford Cheese Cellar


The Stamford Cheese Cellar offer bespoke Wedding Cakes of Cheese.  They can either be a simple three layer cake or a stunning six layer cake.  Think of all that cheese!

They suggest that you visit their store in Stamford to sample the different cheeses on offer or you can request a sample box to be sent to you.

The cheeses can then be decorated with fruits or flowers or both.  They can even supply a traditional fruit cake base to the cake so it covers all tastes!

Cheese cakes have become increasingly fashionable over the last few years.  The British Cheese Board said in a recent post that “cheese wedding cakes are the latest trend for weddings and are getting more popular by the day, with cheese manufacturers across the country experiencing increased demand for these savoury delights.”

So why are they so popular?  They’re certainly different!  They can also be very beautiful especially if decorated with fruit, flowers, feathers and ribbons and can be customised to suit your colour scheme.  They’re also unique.

Images provided by HRH Big Cheesecake Company, The Cheese Shed and Dewlay
Images provided by HRH Big Cheesecake Company, The Cheese Shed and Dewlay


“Cheese wedding cakes offer a delicious alternative to the traditional fruitcake and with over 700 named cheeses produced in Britain there is bound to be something for everyone.” states the British Cheese Board.   A lot of people don’t necessarily like fruitcake and a cheese wedding cake is the perfect solution for those looking for something a little different.  “One couple even ordered a Halloween themed cake for an October wedding made from orange cheeses like Shropshire Blue and covered it in spiders!”

A cheese cake is also very cost effective.  The average cost of a cheese wedding cake is similar to that of a traditional wedding cake but it serves a double purpose.  You can cut your cheese cake for the photographs during your wedding breakfast and it can be served as the cheese course but also served on your evening buffet table.  The British Cheese Board also advises that “in the unlikely event that you have any cheese left it will keep for weeks in the fridge. Hard cheese like Cheddar can be grated and frozen for use in sauces, whilst 250 gram portions of Blue Stilton wrapped in foil can be frozen for up to 3 months. The trick then is to defrost the Stilton cheese slowly in the fridge over night. So the good news is that the cheese wedding cake then becomes a zero waste option.”

A great idea for an alternative wedding cake.  I now know what a Wedding Cheese Cake is!




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10 day blogging challenge – day 8 – the finished stairs

| the stairs

One of the problems with blogging is finding time to write a blog!  As you can imagine, June is a busy time for wedding cars and so I’m ashamed to say that I have missed my own deadline for finishing the blog about our stairs.

So, thank you Gary for prompting me to finish the story of our stairs!

We had a lovely Easter being able to get up and down our new stairs even if they weren’t

the new stairs
the new stairs

quite finished. The decision was to get the wall papering done. The wall in the hall was extremely high and as Tony and I normally come to grief when wall papering or at the very least not talking to each other, we decided to bring in the professionals. Dale drives past our house most days either on his way to bird watch in the reserve or to go fishing. The only problem is that he is a very busy man so we were more than pleased when he turned up only one day after he said he would and managed to paint the ceilings and wallpaper the wall in two days. Excellent! Everyone we spoke to who we showed Tony’s choice (please note – Tony’s choice) of wall paper said “That looks interesting!”

Dale said he wasn’t sure about paste the wall paper and said nothing about the design. In case you haven’t been to Anglesey Abbey and seen the Silver Birch wood, I will describe our wallpaper. It’s Silver Birch trunks side by side. I had my doubts but kept by thoughts to myself. I have learnt to do this over the years as during the time that Tony and I have been together (12 years and counting) I have left most of the design decisions to him.

I don’t make many decisions about colour schemes or fabrics or accessories. I don’t see things like he does. I doubt by self and, therefore, take a long time to make a decision and would, if left to my own devices, leave things as they are. Tony, on the other hand, has a great eye for colour and design. He sees things others don’t see. He decided that oak and glass would look stunning. He decided that Silver Birch trees from top to bottom would look wonderful. He decided that new brushed aluminium door handles would be a statement. And, as usual he got it right!
So the wall paper is up. Now what? The stairs needed finishing, the carpet needed ordering and the plumber needed to come back and hang the radiators. What could possibly go wrong? the wallpaper

Part nine – we’re almost there
The carpet has been ordered. Not an easy task as we thought we liked a particular type of carpet we’d seen at a friend’s house. Unfortunately, our carpet guy said he didn’t think it would last very long.  So we’ve ordered a hard wearing carpet which should be here next week.  Tony has now decided to start painting the doors.  Ten in total!  waiting for carpets

Part ten – FINISHED!

It looks like a show house!  It’s been a challenge and there’s a fine layer of dust everywhere.  I can’t wait for Tony to finish sanding the doors as I think this will cut down on the amount of dust everywhere.  The cat’s not too sure about all the glass but she’s getting used to it.  We are so pleased with the result and we are so grateful for all the work we’ve received from Rob and Aidy.  Thank you!

upstairs 1
the old stairs with red carpet
upstairs 2
the new stairs with wallpaper and carpet.

top stairs 3top stairs 4

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10 day blogging challenge – day 7 – the bit of missing floor

| the stairs

So the carpenters had been at it all day and we were waiting for the builder to call by to discuss the next step.  The next step was plastering the wall under the stairs and creating a bit of floor.  The bit of floor was creating a rather large problem.  It would have to be strong enough to walk on and we didn’t want the opportunity for pole dancing.  So there was a bit of chewing of pencils and notes on the back of old envelopes.

The decision was to get a piece of steel and to attach it to the existing floor boards and cover it in plaster board.  No problem apart from the fact that it was now 6 o’clock in the evening and the carpenter had a tight schedule.  “Where do you normally get you steel?” asked the carpenter to the builder.  “Grangeward” says the builder.  “I know them”, I say as the president of our Women’s Institute is married to the owner.  “Great” says the builder, “I know his son so let’s see if he can come over now.”

I just love dealing with local people.  The steel man arrived on his way home from a job and spoke with the builder and took lots of measurements (helped by Tony and his digital ruler).  Off they went and by 10.00am the following morning, we had the bit of steel.  By the end of the day, it was in place with floor boards on top and it looked like it had been there forever.

By this time we were into the week before Easter.  There was still some plastering to be done and as the builder was due to start a job the week after Easter for two weeks, would it be alright if the plaster came in on Good Friday?  Well, we weren’t planning on going anywhere so why not?  We were just amazed that he was willing to give up his holiday to come in and finish the job.

We were now at the stage where we had part finished stairs, new floor and plastered walls.  What next?

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10 day blogging challenge – day 6 – our new stairs

| Wedding Cars

Our new stairs – well almost!  The carpenters were meant to arrive on Monday morning so when the phone rang and they hadn’t arrived we weren’t surprised to hear bad news.  There are two carpenters and one had gone sick.   He was the one who had the overall plan in his head.  That might seem a bit odd but when you consider that stairs were planned on the basis that we weren’t sure what we were going to find under the old brick work, there was never going to be any definite plans.

the new stairs
the new stairs

However, measurements had been taken and by Tuesday when he was still on his sick bed, the boss decided that they couldn’t leave us without a staircase any longer so he brought his staff from the joinery shop in Cambridge to come and help.  We had a house full of willing souls who all liked tea or coffee and chocolate biscuits.  My kind of men!  They worked all day and the result was amazing.  To see something that had been planned for so long in Tony’s head was finally coming together.  Now if Tony was writing this he could tell you all the technical names for the bits of stairs like treads and risers.  Well he works on them all day and everyday selling and measuring for stairlifts.  I don’t so all I know is that what we were left with by the end of the day was something I could walk up and down on.  That’s all that mattered to me.  The cat was pleased too!

Next stage would be a bit of technical work creating a bit of floor that hadn’t been there.  Complicated to explain but as we had redesigned the stairs, it meant that we would have to create a bit of floor that would go where the flight of stairs used to be.  And that’s another story….


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10 day blogging challenge – part 5 – the first night without a staircase

| the stairs

Tony and I had to have a peak at what they’d done after one day.  We were amazed.  All the wooden stairs and hand rails had been taken out as well as all the brick walls and the old wall paper.  It was amazing.

We were ready to go to bed and were not looking forward to sleeping the night on a Z-bed and a camp bed (just in case the small double fold down bed was only suitable for one).  We felt like naughty school children having made the decision to go to bed in our own bed upstairs.  We gingerly took the sealing tape off the bedroom door and went to bed!  The cat was very confused as she couldn’t work out where we’d gone.  She was quite vocal about this fact, half way through the night.


We did feel very guilty about going upstairs to bed an disturbing the taped up doorways but the builder didn’t appear to be upset when he arrived bright and early next day.

The plasterer did his magic on the second day and the carpenter arrived to measure up for the new stairs.  The carpenters accepted the offer of cups of tea and ate the chocolate biscuits.  Hurrah!

Everyone seemed to be working well with each other.  Brides’ Cars and Anthony Richardson Stairlifts were functioning well from the dining room table and the cat was relatively happy.  We were going upstairs to sleep at night and all was well.

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10 day blogging challenge – part 4 – day one of the new stairs

| the stairs

The builders arrived with two vans at two minutes before 8.00am. This pleased Tony no end as he is Mr Punctual. They were offered coffee or tea and chocolate biscuits. A must for anyone who is having the builders in! Another shock! Neither of them wanted a hot drink and it was difficult to get them to eat the biscuits.

at the top of the old stairs
The plumber arrived and took the radiators off the wall. We were so pleased that it was all going so smoothly.  It was also amazing to see the choice of wall paper behind the radiators!
Nobody knew what they would find under the wall paper. The house was built in 1950’s and in those days it was the fashion to have the stairs arrive in the middle of the house. Tony sells stairlifts and spends most of his days on his hands and knees on other people’s stair cases so he had a very good idea about what he did and didn’t want. One of the things he did want was to have only one bend in the staircase instead of two. He also didn’t want the brick walls around the stairs up stairs and have them replaced by glass to let more light into the hall way.
The builders started with sealing up all the doors upstairs and down. There was lots of banging and crashing and the skip in the yard started filling up. There were bricks and plaster, boards and breeze blocks and old wallpaper. A history of our house in one skip.
What a surprise when at the end of day one, we had no stairs. We met the builder in the pub in town the week before he started work. I said I was a bit concerned about being without a staircase for a while. He smiled and said not to worry but he’d supply a temporary staircase. What a relief. I envisaged some type of inflatable staircase or building blocks. What a fool I am! How gullible am I? A temporary staircase? A ladder more like!

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