On the day of a wedding, I get up early. I like to be prepared for anything and be totally organised so the day goes smoothly. The first thing I do is check the weather! I always cross my fingers for a warm, dry day but as I do weddings all year round I don’t always get my wish.
I have three cars, and whichever I’m using, I valet inside and check that there is plenty of bottled water and mints – good for dry mouths! I wash and polish the car so it’s sparkling and decorate it with flowers and ribbons. I clean them before every job, which sometimes can be two or three times a day – much the amusement of the neighbours!
Having checked the roads are clear, I always set off in plenty of time. The invention of the TrafficMaster and SatNavs have been a godsend for chauffeurs. As a professional with over a million miles of driving under my belt, I don’t get flustered. I’ve dealt with almost every situation imaginable over the years and it’s a big part of my job to keep calm.
There is always someone from the bridal party around when I arrive, so I quietly tell them that I am there when they are ready to go. That way no-one panics about where I am. From experience I would say that a bride has never come out when she says she’s going to!
I can and do help the bride to get her dress into the car, but my advice to the bride and bridesmaids is always the same – “Put your bottom on the seat first, and then swing your legs round and the dress will follow.”
In my experience most brides are pretty calm, unless they’re hiding their nerves well! It’s more likely that the bride’s mother will be the one with the jitters. The brides talk about lots of things – everything from wondering if they’ve fed the dog to how much they’re looking forward to the honeymoon.
Sometimes on arrival at receptions, the photographer is there to take pictures of the bride and groom getting out of the car, and I am there of course to open doors and do anything else necessary for the shoot. In most instances once the photos are taken, I am free to go home. Then my day finishes when I get, take the ribbons off my car and vacuum out the confetti.
I always check as soon as they leave the car at the ceremony to make sure that nothing has been left behind. However, I recently had a situation where the bride’s blue garter dropped to the ground whilst getting into the car. I had to discreetly pick it up and give it back to her once she was settled in the back. I’m glad I remembered and didn’t leave it in my pocket – it wouldn’t have been very lucky otherwise!