Wedding planner Lynn Buckmaster–Irwin has been arranging Martha’s Vineyard weddings since 1997. She notes that there’s something special about Vineyard nuptials and that the search for an Island twist extends to various ways for the bridal party to arrive at the ceremony or reception. “In my experience,” she says, “brides on the Island are looking for something a little more unique.”
Although the traditional can be provided — there are a number of limo, van, and car rentals available on Island — many brides opt for a way to make a less conventional entrance.
For an elegant arrival you can’t beat pulling up in a classic Rolls-Royce. Vineyard Limousine, owned by brothers Danyon and Chris Russell, features a white, limited edition 1965 Silver Cloud MK III Rolls as the pride of their fleet. Says Danyon, “She lends an air to every photo taken of her.” The company also offers a black stretch limo with walnut wood accents. “We picked it out specifically to be subtle and understated,” Danyon says. “It’s not a Vegas limo with flashing lights. It’s very Vineyard. Even celebrities who come to the Island don’t want a stretch Hummer.” For more information, visit vineyardlimousine.com.
Joanna Fairchild, owner of Vineyard Coach and Concierge, stocks Lincoln Town Cars and passenger vans but she can also provide a livery driver if the client has a classic car they would like to use. She sometimes arranges for the use of locally owned vintage cars, like photographer Bob Gothard’s powder blue Thunderbird. Ms. Fairchild is often called upon to escort couples around for pre-wedding photos in one of her Town Cars and she notes that one of her drivers is a photographer and can provide a tour and photo package. Visit vineyardcoach.com for more information.
A-A Island Auto Rentals (mvautorental.com) has a few fun options. Some of their most popular choices for those wanting to drive something different while on the Vineyard make great eye-catching wedding arrival vehicles. A white convertible Mini Cooper or Mustang convertible will surely get attention. Or how about a Smart Car for the eco-forward couple? A-A also carries jeeps and a variety of different size SUVs and passenger vans for transporting off-Island guests. You can’t fit too many friends in a Mini.
Lighthouse Carriage can provide a touch of old fashioned elegance to your wedding. They operate a lovely classic white carriage with a green and white pinstripe awning. The carriage, which can hold two or three inside and has a jumpseat perfect for flower girls, is drawn by a handsome Norwegian Fjord horse. The fantasy spectacle this elegant ride provides is best described by a little girl that one bride overheard commenting excitedly, “There goes the princess!” Call 508-693-5282 to get in touch with them.
Planning a rustic wedding? Fred Fisher of Nip ‘N Tuck Farm is accustomed to transporting wedding parties to and fro in his horse-drawn hay cart. The cart has seats along the side and comfortably holds up to 20 people. Decorations can be provided, though many wedding parties choose to festoon the cart themselves with white ribbons or flowers. Fred’s wife Betsy cautions that due to the expense of trailering the cart and the horses to a location, unless the affair is very close to the farm in West Tisbury, this hayride option can get costly. For more information, call 508-693-1449.
One of the most popular choices for the Vineyard wedding is the trackless trolley provided by Martha’s Vineyard Sightseeing (mvtour.com). “It’s fun and whimsical,” says owner Scott Dario. “The bride and groom love to take pictures with it. It’s almost more important to take pictures with the trolley at beautiful locations around the Island like East Chop Light and Gay Head than just using it to pull up at the church.” The company has two San Francisco-style open trolleys that can seat 32 passengers on mahogany benches. Mr. Dario warns that due to their popularity, the trolleys get booked well in advance.
A boat arrival would seem to be the appropriate choice for an Island wedding but it’s logistically tricky. “It doesn’t work in every situation, but when it does it’s perfect,” Ms. Buckmaster-Irwin says. She describes one wedding she oversaw at the Reading Room in Edgartown where the bridal party chose a surprise entrance. “The guests were expecting the bride and groom to arrive at the front door but they pulled up at the dock in the little Edgartown launch. Everyone cheered.” If your wedding is planned for a location with a dock, there are a number of charter and boat rental companies that can provide for a seafaring arrival.
Some couples choose to honor a favorite memory with their choice of transportation. Ms. Buckmaster-Irwin, owner of Weddings on the Vineyard planning and consulting, recalls locating a London taxi for a bride and groom who had spent a lot of time in England.
However, Mr. Russell finds it most appropriate for a Vineyard wedding to honor an earlier era. He comments on the reaction of a bride who arrived at the Gay Head Cliffs in the white Rolls. “She thought it was just perfect being in an old-school car going down an old Island road. People want to come to a place that time forgot. That’s the reason for Martha’s Vineyard being such a popular location for destination weddings.”