Updated 15/06/2020 10:21
Like everyone, we have had to adapt to a ‘new normal’ due to coronavirus (COVID-19). It has created a lot of uncertainty and anxiety for many people, least of all those planning their weddings.
Thank you everyone for your support during these unprecedented times. In the last few months we have done our absolute best to help and support every couple who has had to go through the stressful situation of cancelling or rescheduling their wedding. We have refunded or carried over thousands of pounds of deposits so that couples have one less thing to worry about and have been as flexible as we can while our customers try and replan their dream wedding.
What is the latest?
Public gatherings, including weddings, are banned for the foreseeable future and we continue to follow government updates for the latest advice and guidance.
We will be able to begin viewings again from the second half of July. If you wish to view our cars, we are pencilling your wedding date in so that you don’t have to worry about missing out. All our viewings will be socially distant and we will happily stand back and give you time to explore the car and ask any questions.
We are also no longer taking booking for our Bentley, Rolls Royce or Jaguar XJ8s. This is so that we can focus our efforts on our popular Stretch Mini and Morris Minor which are both available and are more economical for us to run.
Are you still able to provide your service for our wedding?
Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced on 23 March 2020 a nationwide lockdown. While restrictions are being relaxed, it is still extremely difficult for us to provide our normal service.
In addition to this, other factors that could stop our ability to provide our service is the possibility of self-isolation, quarantine or illness of our drivers despite the measures we have in place to mitigate this. We will do everything we can to reduce the impact this would have, including looking for alternative cars or drivers and making recommendations to help.
What factors are being considered in deciding whether to continue driving during the outbreak?
First and foremost we will be following government restrictions. This could include enforced quarantines or the banning of public gatherings. Beyond this, we must also consider the health and wellbeing of guests, our drivers and also the wider community.
I wish to change, postpone or cancel my wedding
If you are planning on making changes to your wedding (whether timings or venues), or are considering postponing or cancelling, then we will be happy to work with you to try and minimise the stress this will cause.
We are doing our best to refund deposits, but please bear in mind these might not be immediately available until our business can start up again.
If the government lockdown is relaxed and you are able to provide your service, what measures will you take for the safety and wellbeing of customers?
At the moment, we cannot provide our service. Should the restrictions be lifted, we will take the precaution of ensuring there are at least two drivers booked to drive each car. This will be at considerable cost to us, but we will not be passing these costs onto customers.
Our cars are cleaned regularly, but we will be taking extra care to clean frequent contact points such as handles and steering wheels out of abundance of caution. We will also provide sanitiser and handwipes.
What are you doing with regards to current customers?
We have emailed all customers with weddings up to the end of May. We will continue to email in chronological order depending on how the situation develops. We’re still trying to reply within a 24 hour period, although our priority is giving clear, accurate, helpful and detailed responses so it might take a little longer than normal.
What happens if drivers become ill, have to self-isolate or quarantine?
As mentioned, we have two drivers booked for each car. If neither are able to drive through illness or isolation, then we have good working relationships with other companies. We will do everything we can to help you find an alternative driver or – in the worst eventuality – another suitable car.
Is there anything customers should do?
The symptoms of coronavirus include a dry cough, fever, fatigue and difficulty breathing. If you have suffered these symptoms, or have been in close contact with someone that has, we ask that you please inform us for the safety and wellbeing of our drivers and customers.
While we will try to ensure anti-bacterial wipes or gel are available in cars, we do recommend you bring your own, and would like to remind you of the importance of regular hand-washing.
How can you help?
Many wedding suppliers are small, local companies. Please help support them. Most of these companies are in the wedding industry because it’s what they love to do, and not because they want to profiteer. These companies have had to refund customers, continue to pay running costs and will have to adapt to the new normal, just like everyone else.
Here are some wedding suppliers you can continue to support even during lockdown:
Blackstock Farm are offering takeaway food with contactless pickup. The menu is huge and the food is the best we’ve had during lockdown. Their menu includes sunday roasts, burritos, burgers and plenty of vegetarian and vegan options.
Pizza Leonati are offering delivery from their wood-fired oven. Normally available for weddings, Leo is now delivering contact-free.
And while foreign travel might not be realistic for a while, remember all the wedding venues in the South East such as Buxted Park Hotel. This might be the perfect opportunity to see what the venue is like while also enjoying a holiday at home. Many hotels will begin reopening from 4th July.