As with most Wedding Traditions there are always questions as to why they are done. Here we explain the Traditions with Wedding Cars how to decorate them and who travels with who.
There are a few schools of thought on the origins of the most popular decoration being to tie old shoes to the back of the car. Leather was supposed to scare away evil spirits to keep the couple safe. Ancient Romans used to transfer the Bride to the Groom’s authority when her Father gave the Groom her shoes. They were taken from the Bride on the way to the Ceremony ~ she couldn’t run away without shoes.
In Anglo-Saxon times, the groom would tap the heel of the bride’s shoe (or possibly strike her with a shoe…sources vary on this point) in order to display his authority over her. The bride would then throw shoes at her bridesmaids to see who would be the next to marry. Today this is done by throwing her bouquet ~ perhaps a safer option.
In later years, guests threw their own shoes at the newlyweds to signify this transfer of authority. This was later translated into the tying of shoes to the back of the car. Tin cans were also used to make a noise to call attention to the newlyweds.
Of course, these days most couples use Limousine or Rental Cars and are discouraged from tying anything to them.
There are plenty of alternatives.
Who Travels with Who in Wedding Cars
One wedding car is for the groom, best man and his groomsmen. The groom’s car is the first to leave from the groom’s house allowing them to welcome and seat guests.
The second wedding car is usually for the mother of the bride, the bridesmaids and flower girls. Traditionally, the bridesmaids and mother of the bride all gathered at the bride’s house shortly before they were due to be picked up. These days the girls all get ready together and share the whole experience with hair, makeup and champagne. Often only one limousine is required for them.
Again, traditionally, the next car would have transported the bride and her father only. Sometimes the bride’s father arrives with the all the girls or separately.
The bride should sit on the side that the driver plans for her to exit the car, the chauffeur should let the bride’s father out first, then the bride.
General Travel Guide: