It’s halfway through your wedding reception and you notice your best man slip outside with three giggling bridesmaids. Is your first thought concern for your car’s paint job? Don’t worry; with proper preparation, you can avoid auto repair costs and enjoy the fun of a decorated getaway car.
Using Common Sense
If you suspect that some of your friends will be heading to the parking lot for some sneak-decorating while you’re busy at the reception, the time to start planning is now. Gather the most likely suspects and warn them in advance about what materials you don’t want on your car. These should include not only stand-outs like super glue, but also tape, whipped cream, shaving cream, toothpaste, and shoe polish. Even seemingly-innocuous materials can sometimes dissolve car paint, which you don’t want to discover the hard way.
Be sure your “don’t use” list is widely circulated among all friends who will be attending the reception. Not only will this ensure that your car stays safe, but it can also jump-start the imaginations of friends who could otherwise have forgotten to decorate your ride! Keep the tone light and friendly, and encourage people to have fun with safe materials.
Will you be using a rental car? If so, get the list of do’s and don’ts from your rental company ahead of time. The last thing you want to encounter on your wedding day is a hefty fine for violating your rental agreement.
Keep clean-up in mind. You probably aren’t itching to spend your first morning of married life vacuuming up confetti. Put a firm “no” on items like Silly String, flower petals, and any other scattered or messy items.
Before you drive off, take a quick look at your car to make sure the decorations won’t land you in legal trouble. Do any of the decorations obstruct the driver’s line of sight? Pay special attention to decorations on side- and rear-view mirrors, windows, and windshields. It’s also important to keep decorations up and off of the road; even though it’s traditional to drag old shoes or noisy cans behind a “just married” car, dragging any objects can present a hazard for other cars on the road. Don’t hang streamers or balloons where they can become tangled in the wheels, and keep decorations clear of the car’s tail pipe, lights, turn signals, and license plate, as well. Keeping safety in mind will help you avoid being pulled over by the police as you begin your honeymoon.
If you do have to adjust any decorations before driving, be sure to compliment your friends’ efforts as you do so. After all, even if they’ve made mistakes, they did it in the spirit of helping you celebrate your wedding.
Looking for Inspiration?
There are plenty of ways to decorate getaway cars that don’t cause any damage or safety concerns. Circulate these ideas among your friends to ensure that their creative efforts are channeled into decorations you can use and appreciate. A road-safe vehicle can be kept decorated for weeks after the wedding, gathering honks and cheers as you and your sweetheart ride around town.
“Just married” magnets are perfect decorations for car bodies. While wedding-specific magnets are readily available, you can also find magnets in the shapes of flowers, balloons, hearts, and anything related to the wedding theme. They’ll cling to your ride as you drive, and they won’t chip the paint. Better yet, once you remove them from your car, you can give them new life on your fridge.
Take inspiration from your wedding theme. If you’re holding a “tropical” wedding, cover the car with palm tree decals and pop a dancing hula doll on the dashboard. If your theme is lovebirds, hang white feathers from the car roof. You can stick an appropriate symbol on the tip of the antenna, too!
Don’t forget the inside of the car. Cover the seats with themed seat covers (get outrageous with faux-fur in the wedding colors) and an eye-catching steering wheel cover. Cover the dashboard with rows of bobble-head figurines. Fill the glove compartment with honeymoon lingerie. If the car will be driven directly to the honeymoon, don’t forget useful items like sunscreen and snacks!
Limousines aren’t exempt from the fun. Try arranging with the limo company ahead of time so the driver can get in on the game. Many drivers are willing to wear costumes, special hats, or even to greet the couple in-character if you ask them in advance. It all depends on the person, so do your best to make it fun (and tip very well)!
Hint, Hint, Hint
As the bride or groom, you can’t exactly surprise yourself by decorating your own vehicle. If this is a tradition that’s important to you, you’ll need to start hinting now. Slip into conversations how you saw a “just married” car driving around town and you can’t wait to see what yours looks like. When you visit your friends’ houses, “just happen” to leave this article open on their computer screens. Balancing a sense of safety and a sense of fun isn’t hard. Just communicate clearly and get ready to drive off into the sunset!
Lisa is a special needs teacher and a hugger. She always makes time for everyone and lightens up everybody’s lives with her presence. When she is not chasing her students around the yard, she finds time to write about what she truly loves, and you guessed it, its people and relationships.