We will be more than happy to serve chilled French Champagne to the Bride & Groom for a celebratory toast on the trip between the ceremony and reception venues should they wish this additional service and this can be requested on the reservation form, however some owners with rare or very high value vehicles do not permit champagne to be consumed when inside their vehicles because of possible spillage/damage to the very expensive and in some cases rare interior furnishings, however most owners will be happy to make a stop en-route not only for additional photographic opportunities but this will also afford the ability to enjoy the champagne when outside of the vehicle. Regretfully this decision had to be made due to some earlier unfortunate mishaps and we feel sure the client will understand. Plain mineral water is usually the exception.
The champagne service is subject to UK licensing laws as wedding car companies are not allowed by law to provide alcohol for the Bride & Groom unless they have a special licence. Even if a wedding car company provides champagne on a complimentary basis, in other words ‘Free’, a special licence is still required as the law considers it is an ‘indirect sale’. These licences are very expensive to obtain and must be renewed annually. Providing alcohol on a ‘complimentary’ or ‘chargeable’ basis is classed as a sale and without the appropriate licence it is an offence contrary to Section 136 of the Licensing Act 2003 and a person found guilty is liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding six months and/or a fine not exceeding twenty thousand pounds.
Naturally a professional wedding car company would not wish to risk a fine or imprisonment and that is why many can no longer legally provide this additional service. There are of course exceptions, for example most of those owners who have Stretched Limousines and Hummers with fitted bars and that hire their vehicles for other private events in addition to wedding hire, ie Stag Parties and Hen Parties, Birthdays etc.. should have the required licence and therefore can legally provide champagne and /or other alcoholic beverages on board, but some wedding car owners/companies with Modern, Classic or Vintage Cars without on-board bars and that only use their vehicles for wedding hire may not fall into this category.
However, the good news is although we are unable to actually provide the champagne [even if free] the law will allow wedding car companies to ‘serve‘ Champagne ‘provided by you’ the client. Some owners therefore will be more than happy for you to provide your own chilled champagne and the chauffeur will open it for you when the Bride & Groom are seated in the car after the ceremony. All you need to do is have this ready for the chauffeur to collect on his arrival at the collection address, he will then ensure it is safely stowed in the car before the first passengers board. In some ways this situation is much better for the client as the client can purchase the exact brand they prefer rather than relying on a wedding car company to provide it, which may be a lower cost un-chilled free ‘Bubbly’, or the same ‘Bubbly’ provided but charged at Champagne prices. ‘Bubbly’ as we all know is not Champagne. Should you wish to provide your own champagne for the celebratory toast you will be able to make the arrangements direct with the specific vehicle owner/chauffeur as their contact details will be on the itinerary we send you.
It goes without saying, you should never decide to book a car just because the company says it will provide free champagne. It is against the law, and the authorities are now cracking down hard on this and without the appropriate liquor licence that company could well be forced out of business due to the very heavy fine or imprisonment, or worse because of this leaving you with no car by the time your wedding day approaches. Always choose a professional wedding car company that abides by the law. Whether or not Champagne is legally provided by the wedding car company or you choose to provide the champagne for the car journey yourself, we are sure there will also be plenty of champagne nicely chilling at the reception venue awaiting the arrival of the happy couple.