Morning Lovely People. I hope the sun is shining where you are. It is gorgeous here – spring is finally on its way and thank goodness is all I can say! Spring also means we are now only months away from wedding season so I imagine many of you are feeling the first of those pre-wedding jitters. I know the feeling all too well. Its excitement mixed with anxiety and the constant thought of ‘I still have so much to do!‘ If I can give you one piece of advice that I wish I had taken, it is to ask for help. I am a bit of a control freak (border line obsessive – yes I admit it) so I found it very hard to give up control with the planning of my wedding which meant I was overwhelmed and more stressed than I needed to be. Make a list of all of the aspects of your wedding that are still left to plan, order them with the most important to you at the top and then DELEGATE the least important ones. Trust me, you will be so much better for it. G&T also helps………a lot. Just saying.
We have an AWESOME festival wedding supplier to share with you today. In fact, this fab company is the epitome of festival wedding and we are very lucky to have her as a member of our festival wedding directory.
Ruby Retro Rides provides chauffeured wedding transport in a gorgeous red 1970’s VW camper van. Just one look at Ruby and you are immediately transported to the age of the Woodstock hippy which is why we know she is the perfect addition to any festival wedding. But her talents aren’t just limited to transporting the bride and groom. Oh no. Once she has reached the reception venue, she transforms into a photo booth where you and your guests can dress up in costumes and props from a vintage trunk of wonders and have your picture taken. Genius.
We asked Amy, the owner of Ruby Retro Rides, a few questions about Ruby and what she can offer you on your wedding day…..
Tell us a little bit about yourself?
The Ruby’s Retro Rides team is very small; there are just two of us – myself, Amy, and my boyfriend, Oli. I’m the ‘short, bouncy, dynamo of energy’ (his words!) and he’s the calm, level-headed ‘Fixer of All Things’ (mine!)!
We got together after meeting at the wedding of some close mutual friends. I was chauffeuring the bride’s mother and bridesmaids in Ruby; he was there as a guest of the groom. Apparently he saw Ruby and it was love at first sight!
Oh, and there’s also Luna, our cat – social media star and chief PR officer (!) – she’s fantastic company and stays up late with me when I’m doing Ruby admin!
If you had the chance to go to any music festival, which one would it be and why?
It would have to be the Isle of Wight Festival back in 1970. Ruby is a ‘70’s girl and in some ways, so am I. I would love to have taken her to a festival back when she was first on the road and seen all the other vehicles there. Also, the line-up that year was pretty awesome – Jimi Hendrix, The Who, Free, Joni Mitchell… amazing!!!
What made you decide to start Ruby’s Retro Rides?
I can’t remember exactly when it was that I developed an obsession with campervans, but I was very young, and desperately wanted to live in one! My friends Annie and Dave actually owned Ruby previously. When Annie decided to sell her, I thought it would be a great opportunity for me to take her on as a business project, to continue sharing the joy and adventures that are so heavily engrained in her substance! It was after chauffeuring at my friends’ wedding that I mentioned earlier that I realised I had the drive (if you’ll pardon the pun!) and determination to make a success of it, and everything just sort of developed from there.
Tell us about your gorgeous red VW Camper ‘Ruby’ and the sort of wedding packages you offer?
Ruby’s Retro Rides provides chauffeured wedding transport, which usually involves collecting the bride and members of the bridal party and taking them to the wedding venue. This is often combined with a short trip after the ceremony for the newlywed couple, which is very popular, as it gives the couple the chance to spend a bit of quiet time together before heading back to the celebrations.
We also operate as a photobooth at weddings and other events. Guests can dress up in costumes and props from a vintage trunk of wonders and take their own photos in Ruby. These are then printed out for them to take home, with copies available for a guest book if also required. All images are also sent digitally to photobooth visitors via e-mail. Many couples choose to combine both services to make their day extra-special!
At Ruby’s Retro Rides, we take a flexible approach and can always tailor our packages to the needs of the couple, or the type of event.
What makes Ruby Retro Rides stand out from a crowd?
There are several campervan suppliers, with many beautiful vehicles to choose from, but we feel that Ruby is unique because she’s so vibrant – from her shiny red paintwork and array of colourful flowers to her gingham curtains, smart leather interior and matching bunting. She encompasses the festival vibe with her bold character and flower power!
If our couples were to book you for their wedding, what sort of service can they expect?
From initial enquiry via our website (www.rubysretrorides.com), e-mail (firstname.lastname@example.org) or social media channels (search for Ruby’s Retro Rides on Facebook and Instagram!), we spend time with the couple, discussing the plan for their day – where and when Ruby is required, which members of the bridal party we are chauffeuring, or where the photobooth is to be located at the venue, etc.
Sometimes this is done via e-mail or over the phone, but we are more than happy to meet with couples who would like to see or know more about Ruby too. On a couple of occasions, I have taken Ruby to meet prospective clients and we have all sat in the back, chatting about their plans. This is lovely, as it gives everyone the chance to meet each other before the big day, and the client the chance to see Ruby in the flesh!
There will be some paperwork to deal with, but closer to the day, I will get in touch with the couple to confirm plans and see if there are any last minute changes. When the big day arrives, we always make sure we arrive with plenty of time to spare, with all of the ribbons, bows and any other accessories the couple has requested on Ruby, and crack open the prosecco! Passengers can also choose from a range of soft drinks.
What are some of your favourite memories and experiences from previous weddings/couples you’ve worked with?
I did a wedding last year where the bride’s brother had booked Ruby for her as a surprise! The bride loved it so much, Ruby ended up becoming the backdrop to all of their wedding group photos. We then drove the bride across a field, tooting Ruby’s horn, to where the reception was being held in a tipi!
We also took a terminally ill lady and her daughters out to a local stately home, where they stayed for a couple of hours and had a picnic. They all thought it was just wonderful having a ride in Ruby (‘I wish I could have given you a million stars… amazing from start to finish’, Kaylee, April 2017).
Our most recent photobooth was memorable because it was the coldest day of the year and we were outside for four hours! It was such great fun though, and we were well looked after with cups of coffee (‘We used Ruby as the photobooth for our wedding in November and cannot recommend enough! Everyone commented on how unique Ruby was and how much fun they had! Cannot thank you all enough!’, Jess, November 2017)!
What’s is the best piece of advice you can give our readers when it comes to choosing the transport and entertainment for their wedding?
“Book Ruby because she’s awesome!!!”
No, seriously, I would advise that you ensure that the vehicle you choose is well maintained and that you have received a personal service throughout the process – there’s nothing worse than receiving poor customer service from disinterested businesses.
In terms of entertainment, guests at weddings and events always love having an activity to do. We love providing a photobooth service because it captures the spontaneous moments and gives everyone a memory to take home with them.
Finally, what’s your life quote/motto?
“Don’t call it a dream, call it a plan!”
I can’t remember where I heard this, but I totally agree with it!
Image Credits: Paul Wilkinson & Jonny MP Photography
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