A Great Escape: Wedding Transportation
From classic cars to pedal power, get away in style on your wedding day.
by:Amanda N. Wegner
You're going to the chapel and you’re gonna get married, so why not do it in style? Whether you want a unique getaway to showcase your personality or an unforgettable way to give your bridal party or guests a lift, there are options beyond the limo for your wedding-day transportation.
Lexi Nortman wanted glitz and glam for her July 2014 wedding, and she got it with a vintage Excalibur. “We wanted something timeless and romantic, an old-fashioned getaway car,” says Lexi, who wed at St. John’s Northwestern Military Academy in Delafield. After their ceremony, Lexi and her husband, Brad, dashed to the cream-colored Excalibur and drove around the church, a “Just Married” sign hanging from the back. “Not only was it something we’ll forever remember and cherish, but our guests will as well,” says Lexi.
For many couples, using a classic car for their wedding day is a once-in-a-lifetime experience, says Erving Morelos of American Classic Rides, which has locations in Lake Geneva, Milwaukee and Palantine, Ill. With additional offices in Lake Geneva and Franksville, ACR rents cars from the 1940s, ’50s, ’60s and ’70s for weddings and special events.
While chauffeur service is available at an additional charge, “we want you to drive, touch and feel the vehicles” for the total experience, says Morelos. Some of ACR’s most popular rides are the ’56 Bel Air, ’55 and ’56 Thunderbird, ’58 Corvette and pre-war Packards. “Not only are you riding in style, but a timeless vehicle immediately provides that wow factor for you and your guests.” says Morelos.
Another timeless wedding-day choice is a vintage trolley. “From shuttling guests from the church to reception, to picking them up at hotels, taking the bridal party out for photos, even hosting small weddings on the trolley, we’ve done the full gamut,” says A.J. Frank, president of Door County Trolley.
Door County Trolley has 11 trolleys in its fleet, most of which can carry 29 people. Heated and enclosed, they can be used year-round. In addition to serving Door County, Frank’s company also serves the Fox Valley, Manitowoc and Green Bay.
In central and southeastern Wisconsin, Badger Bus offers vintage trolleys for wedding parties, as well as mini-buses and motorcoaches.
Some of Wisconsin’s most beloved wedding sites sit on the water, making boats an excellent option for your wedding day, especially in Lake Geneva.
“The boats added a lot of character to our wedding,” says Carrie Moysey. Carrie and her husband, Spencer, chartered two boats from Lake Geneva Cruise Line for their July 2014 wedding: the Polaris took the bridal party, and the Duchess ferried guests from St. Benedict Catholic Church in Fontana to Geneva Golf Club.
“From photos to transporting guests, there are many ways to incorporate boats into your wedding day,” says Clare Mulcahy, wedding event coordinator at Lake Geneva Cruise Line, which offers eight 1850s teakwood boats.
Máirín Donovan combined two classics for her September 2014 wedding, taking a trolley from St. Andrew’s Church in Delavan to Lake Geneva’s Pier 290, where she and guests jumped on the Polaris and cruised to the Riviera Ballroom. “It was a nice respite between the ceremony and reception with the people we love,” says Máirín.
In Madison, Emily and Aaron Rutkowski wanted something personal for their September 2013 wedding, and they got it with a sailboat chartered by Hoofers Sailing Club, which provides rentals and instruction at UW-Madison’s Memorial Union on Lake Mendota. Early in their relationship, Emily and Aaron spent many hours at the union and on the water, so they wanted to incorporate those memories into their wedding day. “It was good to take a deep breath and be with our best friends,” says Emily. “And it was very special; it represented us more than a limo would have.”
By Foot (or Hoof)
When Casey Jackson’s mother was married, she arrived at her ceremony in a carriage drawn by six horses. Casey wanted to pay homage to that memory for her July 2014 wedding at Prairie du Chien’s Villa Louis, so she and her husband, Michael, used Cashton’s Cinderella Carriage. Cashton’s offers this carriage in addition to more traditional horse and buggy carriages for couples, while larger wagonettes are available for wedding parties. Sisters and co-owners Lynn and Lori Hemmersbach are even willing to take their Percherons to weddings in a three-state area. “Horses have been in our blood forever,” says Lynn. “We go out of the way to make every request possible, and we take a lot of pride in what we do.”
Of course, it’s also possible to pedal-power your wedding day. “It’s such an iconic thing. Bikes are fun and spirited,” says Krista Crum, assistant city manager of Madison B-cycle, a bike-sharing service with 350 bikes at 39 stations around the city. “To put a wedding party on bikes is a fun experience and offers great photos.”
“There’s no better way to get around this city and our wonderful lakefront than on a bike,” adds Kevin Hardman of Milwaukee’s Bublr Bikes. Bublr Bikes opened in August 2014 with 60 bikes at 10 stations, and Hardman says they are primed to grow.
Krista and Kevin are happy to work with couples before their big day to ensure there are enough bikes at the stations they plan to use, as well as coordinate passes for guests.
Another fun way for a bridal party to get around is by pedal car, like Madison’s Capitol Pedaler. Milwaukee’s Pedal Tavern isn’t available for weddings, as Saturday is their busiest day, but co-owner Derek Collins says it’s often used to tour the city the day after the wedding, following brunch or a gift opening with close family and friends.
The Capitol Pedaler, which seats 14, has done a lot of bachelor and bachelorette parties, but no weddings—yet. It would be perfect for a couple’s big day, however, says manager Emily Wirkus. “The Pedaler would be very fun to do on a wedding day. It would be a wonderful activity—and awesome photos, too—to do between the ceremony and reception.”
Lovely Lifts: Get moving with these great transportation options.
Bublr Bikes, Milwaukee
Madison B-cycle, Madison
Classic & Vintage Cars
Sunset Limousine, Stoughton
Cinderella Carriage, Cashton
Capitol Pedaler, Madison
Pedal Tavern, Milwaukee
Jones Travel, Elkhorn