Valley Retro AirstreamI love weddings and couldn’t wait for my day to be a bride, so when Chris popped the question after 8 years together, I was so excited and immediately started putting the wheels in motion and planning our big day.

We found a venue which was perfect for us, but it isn’t a hotel, so I don’t have a private room to take off my veil and hook my dress up before the evening reception or anywhere to keep my make-up for touch ups.

Luckily Chris and I are a little quirky and do have crazy ideas. Three years ago we bought a beat up sad looking 1961 Airstream from a guy in Derby.  Even though the Airstream needed a complete overhaul, we loved it and saw the potential and started our own American Restoration.

With the restoration nearly completed we decided that the Airstream would be a great addition to the wedding and could be my own special portable Powder Room! Great another thing to tick off the list.

Next on our list was the wedding car. With Chris being a big car fanatic, myself as a big lover of vintage kitch and together both avid watchers of TV shows such as American Pickers, Overhauling and American Restoration. We love formula 1 and motor rallies, which is actually how we met. So when it came to deciding on what our wedding car would be we both had very strong opinions.

We knew that as nice as a Rolls Royce or a Bentley would be, we didn’t want a typical wedding car and they really didn’t suit our quirky style. The only alternative to the traditional car we could find was a VW campervan but as Chris already has a campervan it didn’t feel very special for our big day.

So our hire search commenced with little success, until one Thursday night after watching one of the American car shows, Chris decided to search for American cars and stumbled across an advert for a 4 door American saloon for sale – recently imported from San Francisco where it had been kept in a private collection for 27 years.

We both fell in love with the car and before we knew it, we had contacted the seller and arranged a viewing. That Saturday we travelled 300miles down the country, not believing the car would be anything nearly as good as the photos but we were following our hearts and taking a total leap of faith. Our random plan, thought up mostly en route, was that it would be a brilliant idea to start a wedding hire business… with a car we know nothing about… with a business we didn’t even know if there was a demand for.

A four-hour drive later we arrived at the garage and met the seller. He took us into the garage and you only needed one look at all that chrome on the front bumper to know we were having that car!

The Buick was just so unlike anything we had seen, tail fins, rocket lights, original vinyl interior and the colour was so eye popping even the paintwork was immaculate-it was everything about 1950’s America we loved.

Valley Retro Buick to hire


Trying not to get my hopes up, I waited patiently (which meant I sat behind the drivers wheel, pretending to drive the car like a 5 year old) while Chris did all his checks under the car and in the engine bay. He gave me the thumbs up –the car was solid and looked to be mechanically sound. An hour later we were making our way back up the country to Newcastle-a little bit shell shocked that we had actually just bought a really outrageous, impractical 1954 green Buick Special.

When we got home, reality set in and I realized I had some work to do. I bought the valley retro web domain, tried to figure out how to build a website and applied for a car loan to get the money for the Buick.

Seven days later we made the same 600 mile round trip from Newcastle to Shrewsbury with a trailer to tow the car back.  With Chuck Berry providing the soundtrack we were so excited. Seeing the car for a second time was amazing, it was actually mine! Our journey back was interesting, with drivers doing double takes as they drove past, one couple even pulled alongside on the motor way, wound their window down and out popped the camera to take a few photos before driving past us in to the distance! The car was such a head turner.

With Friends and Family’s weddings being used as our practice runs-we attended our first wedding fair at Newcastle Arena in January.  We had so much fun seeing everyone’s different reactions to the car-the wide-eyed smiles of brides who had just found the special something they didn’t know they were looking for and the smug grins from the grooms as they registered the coolness of the Buick.

It’s good to know that our week of craziness, all those miles driven, the time spent on restoring the Airstream and all the polishing  was all worth it when you see the excitement and bright smiles we had when first viewing the car and Airstream echoed on the faces of other brides and grooms.

You can find out more and how to hire on the Valley Retro website