Destination Weddings

Here Are the Dos and Don’ts of Trashing the Getaway Car

Wedding photos at the Stilly Brook Farm wedding venue by Luma Weddings

Everyone enjoys seeing how the car that the bride and groom drive away in after their wedding and on their way to happily ever after will be decorated. However, there are dos and don’ts in the book of wedding etiquette when it comes to trashing the getaway car.

Do: Keep it Classy

One of the most elegant decorations for the getaway car is a beautiful garland draped across the trunk with floral bouquets complementing each end of the greenery. Floral swags are also a classy touch to a tasteful “Just Married” sign. If you’re in favor of keeping it traditional, you can always do the string of tin cans from the bumper in addition to flowers and a sign. Be sure to use durable twine or rope to tie the cans together so that the line won’t snap after a few minutes of driving. Some couples do not appreciate crude things drawn or written on the windows, so keeping the decorations classy will eliminate the possibility of their getting mad about it.  

Don’t: Obstruct the Driver’s View

You may get caught up in the excitement of decorating a car for a newlywed couple, but make sure you don’t compromise the couple’s safety with your decorations. Safety should be your number one priority. Stuff inside or outside the car can distract the driver, and if there is too much stuff distracting them, they could get into an accident. The best place for balloons is on the antenna of the car (if there is one). If you want to fill the car with balloons, have them tied together and fill them with helium so that when the groom opens the door, the balloons will be emptied out before the getaway commences. The last thing anyone wants to happen is for a newlywed couple to get in a car accident on their wedding night. 

Do: Ask for Permission

This is a serious point. Ask the bride and groom for their permission to decorate the car. An assumption that it will be okay can result in some irritation, and nobody wants to irritate the couple being celebrated. Permission is especially essential if the getaway car is actually a limo. If the car is being rented and your decorative attempts somehow damage the vehicle, it can be a nightmare for everyone involved. Make sure to also ask them before writing any crude things on the windows. Some couples will not appreciate that kind of humor, so it’s best to make sure that you ask them beforehand so you don’t risk having them be upset. Keep it simple by simply getting the green light before you make your plans.

Don’t: Make it Hard to Clean Up

Decorating a car for newlyweds can be fun, but leaving them with a difficult mess to clean up afterward is just plain rude. Try to keep the decorations easy to clean up to minimize the clean-up time and prevent damage to the car. For example, only use paint or window markers that are formulated specifically to be used on windows for writing on the outside of the car or use window decals instead. Regular paint can be a pain to try and scrape off. Tape on the windows is also a huge misstep. Tape applied to the outside of a window can leave a nasty, sticky residue, especially in hot and humid weather. 

Be especially careful with the interior of the car. Unlike the exterior, upholstery and other surfaces on the interior of the car require special care when cleaning, so be extra careful if you want to “trash” the interior too. For example, if you apply the tape to the inside of a tinted window, you risk damaging the tint. It won’t matter whether the car is a rental or the personal property of the married couple—somebody will be angry over the damage.

If the job of decorating the getaway car has been given to you, do the newlywed couple justice. Decorate the car in a way that you know will make them both smile when they first see it and when they look back on their carriage.

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