Choosing a wedding car can be confusing with so many options out there. From this photographer’s perspective, wedding cars are very cool to photograph. The lines, shapes and reflective qualities always add something unique to the coverage of the wedding day. Let’s look at some of the options and see how I like to use the car in my photography.
At a wedding in London, the bride is about to leave for church. Her stunning dress is the main focus of the image, but it is the wedding car that provides the narrative and structure for the photograph.
In Cheshire, I used the wedding car to tell part of the story abstractly. The bride and groom have just come out of the church and are about to go to the reception. The car, the guests and the kiss all make for an interesting image.
Vintage or modern wedding cars?
I have no preference when it comes to photographing wedding cars. In my experience, clients tend to choose them based on comfort or style. If they have a long way to travel, a modern wedding car with air conditioning, lots of space, and a comfortable ride can be hard to beat. Modern luxury models have a lot of presence when arriving at the ceremony.
At this wedding in Montreux, Switzerland, the temperature was nudging 40 degrees Celsius. The bride opted for a modern, luxury wedding car with air conditioning to keep her comfortable on the way to Le Chateau de Chillon where she was to be married.
This modern luxury wedding car with its tinted windows creates a perfect set of reflections and angles to frame the bride and her dad.
What makes a good wedding car photograph?
We’ve all seen the classic wedding photograph of the newly married couple standing proudly next to their wedding car. Some drivers are programmed to set the car up for the best picture opportunity, but there are so many creative ways to utilise the car in the wedding coverage.
In this photograph, the wedding car has formed the basis for the entire image. The bride arrives as her bridesmaids wait outside of church on a wonderfully sunny day. The vintage Jaguar adds a lot of shape to the composition, but it’s the reflections of the bridesmaids and the shadow of the driver that makes the image work. Without the driver, we wouldn’t see the bride.
A punk-rock musicians wedding. The edgy-vintage styling worked so well with the bride. As she sat in the car outside of the church, I decided to shoot quite tightly and work with the lines and shapes of the car window and her veil. Her expression is a combination of calmness mixed with a little apprehension.
A Christmas wedding in Cheshire. The bride hands her engagement ring to her father before getting out of the car. The dark interior of the car and the shaft of low winter sunlight create a strong image.
The bridesmaids arrive at a wedding in Gloucestershire. A day punctuated with showers. This image works well with the bridesmaid’s shoes mirroring the chrome of the car, and the blue dress complimenting the ochre-coloured Jaguar. The water droplets add to the storytelling.
In London, I used the reflection of the bride’s hotel in the image as she departs for church. Shooting through a closed window creates an abstract feel to the photograph.
Is it ok to use a taxi as a wedding car?
For a lot of London weddings, taxis and black cabs are a common sight, especially in the city. They make a lot of sense given the access cabs have and the experience of their drivers. There is also something very British about a black cab in London.
The bride and groom leaving the church in a black cab. Sitting in the passenger seat and shooting through the window with a wide-angle, I caught a lovely, relaxed moment.
In London, the flower girls get ready to leave for church in a taxi. It’s not a traditional wedding car, but with the right light, I managed to create something interesting.
Outside of the church, a page boy waits to leave with the bridal party. The white London cab is perfect for showing this.
Alternatives to the wedding car?
Nothing is more traditional than a horse and carriage. Stylish and elegant, they look fantastic in the right location. In Shropshire, the bride arrived at church in a wedding car but took a carriage back to the reception.
In Liverpool, this horse and carriage looked amazing arriving at the Sefton Palm House.
Depending on where the wedding is taking place, rivers and canals can be a viable alternative to fighting with traffic on a Saturday afternoon. In Amsterdam, barges were the perfect choice to get around the city.
In the Lake District, the wedding party cross Lake Windermere to get to the reception.
Of course, some weddings don’t need a wedding car at all. Especially if you live within walking distance of the church and reception. It’s still advisable to have one on standby given the great British weather.