Our Story - A Brief History Of Christophers Wedding Cars
A brief history of our company over the past 25 years and how technology
has changed the way we take bookings and communicate with our customers.
Christophers Wedding Cars first started in 1995 when Chris and Craig
decided to purchase a 1975 Rolls Royce Silver Shadow, with view to starting
up a wedding car company. That's Chris with the car photographed
at the The Old Mill in Aldermaston.
In those days very few people used the internet, there was no Facebook,
Social Media or smart phones and Google didn’t exist. We would advertise
in Yellow Pages, Thompson Local, various specialist wedding publications
and exhibit at Wedding Fayres. We remember that people would queue
up at Wedding Fayres with their cheque books to pay a deposit for our
So when we started the company most wedding bookings were taken over
the phone or at Wedding Fayres.
At that time, as well as running the Rolls Royce at the weekends
for weddings, we were still both in full time employment during the
week and used income from our jobs to purchase our next car, which was
a 2 door Beauford. Unfortunately, 2 door models don’t have much
room inside, so was replaced with a long-bodied model. We had
been trading for about 2 years when Lady Diana was tragically killed.
It was her funeral on the 6th September 1997. We remember this
well since we had a wedding booking with the Beauford in Windsor that
day and the streets were deserted, it was a most surreal experience.
On the 23rd November 1998 we registered the website domain name “christophers.co.uk”
and our first website was launched. At the time you could only access
the internet via a dial up modem and Freeserve was a popular dial up
service provider, which we used for internet and email access.
You would pick up a free CD from Dixons and install a program on your
PC running Windows 95 (you installed programs on desktop computers via
a CD or floppy disc). The dial up connection was very slow and
was lucky to get speeds of 56 kbits/s – wow. A simple web page
could take 10 seconds or longer to download and the connection would
often drop out.
The most popular search engines were Yahoo, AltaVista and Ask Jeeves.
Again, Google didn’t appear till later and social media was in the distant
Now, in addition to taking bookings through Yellow Pages, Thompson Local
and Wedding Faye’s, we now had the internet and email. Things were starting
to get high tech
We now purchased 2 American Stretch limousines. The interiors
were very bling with a bar, blacked out windows, mood lights, a CD player
and TV with VHS video player (hands up who remembers VHS). To
promote these vehicles we set up a website americanlimos.com.
We had some lovely bookings taking passengers to restaurants and
to the theatre in London for a night out. We once provided a service
for Prince Edward and a group of business men.
Over time several other limousine companies started up and it became
apparent that there wasn’t enough business to go around, so we sold
those limousines and the website domain name to concentrate on weddings
cars and our corporate customers.
As the years progressed we purchased more cars and left our full
times jobs to concentrate entirely on the business. We always
wanted to provide wedding cars that were different from those offered
by other companies, but at the same time would be popular with Brides
and most importantly, reliable, easy to maintain and with readily available
spare parts. The result today is a unique range of vehicles with
2 of the more popular models.
With many more cars we asked Ian to join us. Ian ensures the
maintenance schedules are up to date and the cars are polished and valeted
so they go out looking their very best. He also maintains our
Facebook and Instagram pages.
So how do people book with us now? Yellow Pages and Thomson
Local no longer exist and Wedding Fayres are more showcase events for
ideas, rather than a place to book a wedding supplier (no more queuing
with cheque books). Most bookings come via Google, links through
social media and specialist wedding websites. Because we have
been trading for many years we also receive enquiries via recommendations
from Bride and Grooms we have previously provided cars for. In
addition, many venues list us as their preferred supplier.
We do hope you have enjoyed reading a little about the history of
our company. There is a lot more we could say, like the time we
drove Calvin Klein, but that's another story.