Posts tagged “Weddings & Commitments

Why the Hippie Limo Went Out of Business (A Subjective Retrospective) – 3/12/2014

The Hippie Limo - Denver & Boulder's Premier Retro-Mod Vintage RideNear the end of last year I announced that the Hippie Limo was going out of business. Even though we had a good start, strong marketing efforts, great reception by the media, top reviews on WeddingWire, amazing client photos, competitive market pricing, and a good example set by the demand for vintage VW Limos elsewhere in the world, lack of business forced us to close up shop. Since that sad day many people wanting to start similar businesses have contacted me asking if there were other reasons prompting our closure. There were actually many reasons behind the decision and below are some of the most important business-related ones (other than failure to turn a profit, of course). Keep in mind that if I had been bringing in revenue well in excess of the costs, time and other issues I describe below then I would have remained in business:

Accelerated Deterioration & Damages

  • Taking our Samba out in rain and other weather that I would otherwise have avoided and driving it more miles than I would have liked caused light surface rust to develop in areas as well as added unnecessary stress to the drivetrain. Given the value of this classic car and the depreciation resulting from weather and regular driving, I was actually loosing value every time I took it on the road.
  • Drunken wedding parties, their guests, and other customers with less than careful habits inflicted quite a bit of damage on our Samba over 3 years. One broken door lock, two upholstery tears, three trim damages, a paint scratch, two paint chips, and one large bondo crack – all from different wedding parties – were top on the list. The limo industry projects some level of damage for 1 out of every 8 “higher risk” bookings with damage requiring repair in 1 out of every 20. Bachelorette/Bachelor parties, Guys Nights Out, and Proms represent some of the “higher risk” bookings for damages. In my experience, bookings that follow a Wedding Reception are very high risk since the atmosphere is charged with intense celebration, high emotion, increased adrenaline, and copious amounts of alcohol. This heady combination seems to produce a potent set of damage-inducing endorphins - especially in a couple’s entourage and guests under 30 years of age! The interiors of modern limos are designed to be durable and relatively cost-effective to maintain and repair in the face of these risks. A comparatively less bullet-proof vintage interior which requires considerable effort and investment to keep clean and repair or replace is not up to the challenge. Regarding paint and exteriors; paint matching, touchup, and dent repair cost far more on a vintage car than they do on a modern limo. A staggering amount of my budget every year went to basic damages. Sadly, I have yet to be able to afford to repair the body damages since I made less than one cent an hour over 3 years in the most optimistic calculations.

Overhead

  • Insurance was a huge part of my overhead.  Commercial insurance, if you can get someone to insure such an oddball business, will run about $3600 for six months. There are a couple of reasons for this cost. Insurance Underwriters are far less willing to take a risk on a company with a single vehicle because if that vehicle goes out of service there will be no revenue until it is repaired. This represents a risk to the Underwriter in terms of getting paid. Furthermore, a classic vehicle doesn’t easily fit into the “checkboxes” on the applications, therefore your form gets automatically kicked into the high risk category.
  • Vehicle cleanup and polishing was an unexpected drain on time and money. You can’t just hose off the finish on our Samba like you can on a modern limo. The high quality paint and shine requires a great deal of special care using high-end products to clean and maintain. At a minimum, cleanup after a ride would take 1 hour (road dust and grime alone is very noticeable on a high shine, never mind the dirt from customers getting in and out at different locations as well as for photos). After rain or other weather conditions I could spend up to 3 hours cleaning inside and out. That is a lot of unpaid time during which money is also lost using expensive products.
  • Marketing through print publications, events, social media, and other routes was very costly - nearly half my budget. And that is just cost in raw dollars and doesn’t count the many, many hours I spent creating materials, doing web cross posting, writing my blog posts, and carrying out direct marketing to get and keep a high ranking in search engine results (and 70% of my business came from web searches).
  • Oh, and let’s not forget the repair costs mentioned above.

Market Interest & Intent to Pay

  • Despite marketing to a very broad range of customers, nearly 80% of my business was from people with VWs in their past or in their family histories. As I have often mentioned, vintage V-dubs play a huge part in the histories of families in the UK and even Europe where air-keweled VWs (and limo services using them) have been crazy popular for the last 20+ years. In the US there is a very small percentage of the population with a fond and personal attachment to these cars, and it is a number that is aging and/or declining rather than growing (at least outside of California, anyway). Overall that means there are relatively few potential customers with this trait – a trait which apparently is very important to my business.
  • Though EVERYONE (numbering in the 1000s over 3 years) told me they loved the idea of my service and my Samba, very few committed themselves to actually paying for it. The assumption apparently was that a Hippie Limo should have hippie pricing. Though I was priced about the same as most modern non-stretch luxury SUV limos (in the UK clients pay more for vintage VWs than modern stretch limos, by the way), the majority of people inquiring about my service did not seem to think it was worth the cost as compared to even a small limo with neon, bar, and other luxuries. I discovered that limo customers come in two varieties with no middle ground: the kind who dream of a classic car and the kind who fantasize about the stretch Hummer (if price were no object on either). In the Denver market the only classic car services besides mine were of the vintage Rolls Royce Silver Cloud and Bently BlueGray variety, which charged about $160-$180 an hour (taxes, fees, and gratuity included). These beautiful classic and classy cars received only occasional use according to their owners – who were also large Limo companies with stretch Hummers.
  • On the subject of rates, I tinkered with them over the years in an effort to see if it affected either my revenue or my clientele. My initial rate was $125 an hour with a standard 3 hour minimum. That year I had very few clients hire me . . . 3 weddings in the season to be exact. The bookings were for higher-end weddings and each was for 3 hours. Two lessons came from this experience: 1) I had priced myself out of the middle-class market, which eventually ended up being most of my business 2) I had put myself square into what some limo driver’s call the ‘no tip/high damage’ zone – privileged children who do not feel they need to address or reward “the help” and do not feel the need to respect other’s property. I took my first damages and received no tip during all 3 bookings. I was too innocent to think of collecting a damage deposit and thus just ended up eating the losses since the clients never returned my repeated calls to address the damages issue. On the bright side I did get great reviews.

The next year I cut my rates to a flat $289 for a 3 hour minimum with $89 for each additional hour (still not as low as my final year’s rates). Now I was getting much more business from the middle class market. As the limo drivers I talked to had predicted, I now began receiving tips and having fewer wedding-related damages (the damages were still almost exclusively confined to higher-end weddings). However, I was now getting more push-back on rates as the impression was, as I have already mentioned, that ‘a hippie limo should have hippie pricing.’ Obviously that doesn’t hold, especially when my Samba is just as valuable as the Rolls Royces I was “competing” against. A key difference is that a Rolls Royce appears more valuable and has the elegant, classic, high-society association that many brides, grooms, and their parties want to either reflect or project in their wedding photos. Because of the image it carries and impression it makes, the Rolls Royce commands a higher price than a car associated with the masses like my bus (remember Volkswagen = People’s Car). The fact that my Samba is just about as valuable as the Rolls is irrelevant. What is relevant, of course, is what customers want and whether or not they are willing to pay the price. Since my rates were reasonable (or at least attainable), I was left to the conclusion that perhaps my service was not worth the extra $75 – $100 I would charge over that of a cut-rate regular limo (rather than a standard priced limo), and I was not haute couture enough for those who could easily afford it. Giving into the pressure for lower rates a bit, I dropped my prices again for my last year: $276 for 3 hours and $79 for each additional hour. With my 3 year market presence, amassed press and search engine results, spreading reputation, and industry opinion that the wedding market had recovered with a bang, I felt sure that 2013 was going to be my year. Indeed, I received just short of 3x as many inquiries as the previous year for all aspects of my service (proms, tours, etc.), for which I made diligent follow-ups via email and phone. Sadly, I received exactly the same number of rides as the previous year, despite having worked almost exponentially harder to get the new business. When I asked why the potential clients had not chosen to hire me, it was in most cases because they had “found another company that would do it cheaper” or “it was too much for our budget.” Since there were no other mid-priced classic car companies around and my only competition as far as amazing photo-op vehicles go were the more expensive Rolls and Bently, I knew the clients who did hire a limo were opting for modern limos. When I asked what sort of car they had chosen to book instead of mine, it was usually a stretch generic towncar, a stretch Porsche Cayenne, or a stretch BMW X6. Final conclusion (which I have already stated): My service was usually only worth my price to people with vintage VWs in their histories – people who consistently booked me in the first call.

Limited Diversification & Scalability

  • Originally I tried to focus across all of the usual sections of the limo market (proms, concerts, tours, bachelor/bachelorette parties, weddings, etc.) but I quickly discovered that in my market the only customers truly interested in my concept and also willing to pay the price were couples about to be married. The couples that ultimately hired me were drawn to me by the photo opportunity and the special quality my vehicle offered for their once-in-a-lifetime (well, mostly) event. I focused on this segment of the market for this reason, as well as the ones below.
  • Proms didn’t work because with one vehicle and with nearly all proms occurring within 2-3 weekends I simply could not service enough of them to make the time and cost of marketing to high schools pay for itself. On a related note, there were very few kids actually interested in my service beyond being a novelty because for them there was much more cache in a stretch modern limo. Also, most prom parties consisted of 8 or more passengers, which I could not accommodate with my maximum seating capacity of 6.
  • Concerts were also out because the predominate expectation is that the vehicle stay on site for the entire concert (6-7 hours counting transportation time) and serve as a tailgating vehicle. I could not charge hourly for this service and could not match the cut rates provided by traditional limo companies ($350) given that it would hardly be worth my time commitment. Also, tailgating often results in some level of damage to a more delicate classic vehicle given the intoxicated state of most concert goers.
  • Tours are not usually a source of bread and butter in the Denver market. People come to this state to go to the mountains not to the city (which is relatively small as cities go), so there are fewer opportunities to make a city tour business work. And even with powerful upgrades these classic buses are not great for mountain touring. Not that they can’t do it (they did climb the Alps regularly in Europe), but rather that they climb slower than any contemporary car and with far less comfort than modern customers expect. Beer tours definitely have a potential market here since this area is known as the Napa Valley of Microbrews, but to date all but one business trying to turn a profit with beer tours has folded. The notable exception for making both city and beer tours work is Banjo Billy Bus Tours, a company that transports its clientele on fun and idiosyncratic tours using school buses remodeled to resemble hillbilly shacks on the outside and exploded rummage sales on the inside. (Click the link, trust me, you’ll like it.) However, even they offer beer tours only once a week. When I did have inquiries about beer, wine, and spirits tours (24 calls in 3 years; only from local residents) the expectation in each case was that I pick up the clients at their respective homes (usually multiple homes around 20+ miles away from Boulder) and then return them to their respective homes at the end of the tour . . . all as part of my $69/person price. The industry-norm of having a regular, single pickup and drop off point central to the tour (or at a hotel) did not seem to be acceptable for people calling about my service.
  • As for Bachelor/Bachelorette parties . . . well, the potential for damages there speak for themselves, not to mention the near certainty of cleanup. (Oh yes, the cleanup . . . horrible . . . and I am not talking about foot traffic here).
  • Having room for a maximum of 6 passengers also worked against me for most types of bookings as many parties seeking limo transport (particularly wedding and bachelor/bachelorette parties) are larger than this. Though overall I think this did not impact me significantly given my classic-car niche, it still played a part in my loss in overall revenue.

Where Did My Business Come From?

Though I marketed through many other routes, 70% of my business came from individual brides, grooms, or family members doing web searches for classic, vintage, and unusual wedding vehicles in my area. As mentioned above, 80% of all clients who hired me for any occasion did so because vintage VWs were somehow part of their histories. Though I did have good press, I only received the occasional bump in business from it, and even that was exhausted in just a few months. The residual effect from that press in search engine rankings, however, was extremely important. Similarly, online advertising via WeddingWire helped my search engine rankings, but only 2% of my business was directly from WeddingWire. The bulk of my remaining business was from being seen either driving in trendy shopping/eating districts or parked at festivals and general high foot traffic areas on nice days. Here is the breakdown of all of my revenue sources - rounded to the nearest whole percentage (when possible). Note that the marketing routes that cost the most actually had the least return. This is especially true of Wedding Shows where over 3 years I paid $2100 in discounted fees, was seen by an overall estimated 2900 registered attendees, and hired by 1 bride:

  • Internet Searches: 70%
  • Driving Around/Visible to Foot Traffic: 12%
  • Online Advertisements: 6%
  • Local Press 5%
  • Wedding Planner Referrals 5%
  • Bride Referrals: 1%
  • Wedding Shows, Car Shows, Parades: <1%
  • Print Advertisements: 0%

In Conclusion

Now you have my business reasons for closing up shop. Next I will give my personal ones. I spent around 1100 hours a year among book keeping, scheduling, communications, logistics, marketing, cleaning, and maintenance, not to mention my driving adventures themselves — that is 1100 hours that I was not with or focusing on my family. The entire reason I started this business was to earn income in a flexible environment that would allow me to be a full-time, at home father to my two young children while hopefully making up some of the income-to-expenses gap resulting from having just one working parent. In the end I paid a great cost in both family time and in savings. Depending on how I work the numbers I estimate that in the worst case I lost $3300 over three years, and in the best case I made $200. Whatever the case, I lost a great deal of time. Obviously this is not a wining situation.

Don’t Let Me Stop You!

Now, many of you are probably thinking to yourselves: Wow! I guess I better not start a business with my bus!” Well, please keep in mind that Your Mileage May Vary and that your market (or even you) could be just what it takes to make this idea fly. Despite all of my efforts, neither my market nor I was the one to make it work. Hopefully you can learn from my marketing, blogging, press, media, and photo work . . . and perhaps you might even give me some credit in your press or business if my advice, example, and lessons help you succeed. Lastly, please let me know about your VW business if you have or are starting one. I would love to learn about you!, Since my website still receives between 40-80 or so unique views a day, I just might be able to send you some business!

Parting Advice

Now, I do have four pieces of parting advice for you:

  1. Know Your Market: Really get out there to find out what people in your market are looking for . . . I mean seriously looking for and willing to pay for, not just considering or intrigued by. As several wedding planners and field specialist put it when I was trying to sort out why I wasn’t getting business: “It is a cute idea, but I would never actually do it. And I don’t know many brides that would, either. It is a niche within a niche.” Obviously this advice is complete bollocks in the UK, but in the US it seems to hold true in my area.
  2. Don’t Roll Without Commercial Insurance & Licensing: I suspect there are and have been more than a few transportation business running out there without either commercial insurance or licensing. I am sure there are even more people who are not businesses but who accept a few dollars for use of their classic car in a wedding. BEWARE! All personal insurance policies are VOID if money is exchanged in return for transportation. That means if there is an accident then a personal insurance policy WILL NOT PAY.  Regarding licensing, some states and cities just don’t seem to care if you are licensed or not. Others will seek you out, turn out your clients on the spot, and impound your vehicle if you are caught operating without proper licensing and credentials in hand.  Be sure you know where you live and follow the rules! ;-)
  3. Don’t Use a Vehicle with a Great Restoration: If you are considering making your bus into a tour or limo business, do not do so with a vehicle that has already undergone a quality vintage restoration. Rather, choose a bus that needs work and then use only modern, readily-available, durable, and cost-effective paints, fabrics, trims, etc. in your rebuild. Design for durability and replacability rather than authenticity. In my case market research showed that for a classic car to be a strong candidate for weddings, proms, and other photo-intensive events (my bread and butter . . . such as it was) its appearance had to be flawless and shiny. The appearance of my bus was indeed a major draw for my clientele and was often mentioned in my reviews. Sadly, it was also one of my biggest casualties. Create a great look for your bus, but do so with an eye towards cost to maintain rather than for period faithfulness. Also, given the value of split-window buses (1949-67) like our Samba, I encourage you to only consider using a bay-window bus (1968-79) in any business venture, both for affordability and maintenance of value.
  4. Make Friends in High Places (and Give Them Money): Networking is important (and I did as much of that as I could given my family responsibilities), but influence is better. In the event you do not have influence (or deep friendships with people in decision making positions), then money works almost as well. To make this sort of business work you need to have lots of friends in fairly influential places in hotels, event planning, beer/wine businesses, and many other areas that I can’t even think of. You also need to be able to send them money in return for their “charity” in sending business your way (even if their business benefits from yours). Below is a story of two identical exchanges I had with local high-end hotels and their associated event planning staff that illustrate this point (and my ignorance).

In the early days of my business I introduced myself to the event planning staff of two local very high-end hotels while exhibiting at bridal shows. After brides with weddings and/or receptions at each of these hotels had independently hired me to be their ride, I contacted the hotel staff asking if I could be on their wedding recommendations list. In each case I was told that I had to have at least two good reviews from brides before I would be considered. So, when I had two brides from each hotel independently hire me and give me rave reviews I again contacted each hotel’s staff. I was told in both cases that I must have misunderstood. It was the hotel event planning staff that would have to hire me in order to qualify, not the brides themselves. The lesson: You have to be “in” to get “in” unless you are already “in.” Influential friendships, business relationships with decision makers, and/or money get you “in,” not your good work. Sadly, good work was all I had. The good news is that I ended up with a total of 13 brides among the hotels hire me over the course of my business. The bad news? How much business did I miss out on? Now there were a few wedding and event planners that sent business my way either because the planners liked my business or because a bride or groom brought my idea to their planner’s attention. However, 70% of my business came from brides, grooms, or their families doing web searches on their own and booking me on their own.

Other Vintage VW Based Businesses in the US

To my knowledge there are currenly 7 vintage VW based business in the US (compared to a reported 130 in the UK). Four are camper rental companies and three are tour companies. There were eleven at the beginning of 2013, but four closed shop, including us. Take a look at the bus businesses still rolling and send as much business as you can their way. How, you may ask, can you send them business if you don’t live near them or are not looking for a bit of retro transportation? Like them on Facebook, Tweet about them, talk about them, click on the links below to boost their traffic and search results, and in general just get their names out there. It was that kind of Karma that helped me a lot.

1. Vintage Safari Wagons – The Ultimate Camping Experience – Los Angeles, CA

Offers restored VW camper buses for rent/hire from a Los Angeles area location.

2. Winewagen Tours – Finger Lakes Wine Tours, Volkswagen Style – Geneva, NY

Tour the Finger Lakes Wine Region in a fully restored 1971 classic Volkswagen Bus.

3. Florida Oldscool Campers - Travel Florida the Oldscool Way – Tampa Bay Area, FL

Oldscool campers will help you plan the perfect Florida holiday.

4. Vintage Tours of Texas – Austin’s Fun Wine Tour – Austin, TX

An unpretentious wine tour in a VW Bus.

5. Happy Campers Hawaii - Experience Hawaii in a VW Camper - Hilo, HI

Cruise the Big Island in laid back Hawaiian style and comfort. (This is a family business with a fleet of 80′s Westy campers and a 1979 vintage model for those with more retro tastes).

6. The Bugster - Experience San Francisco in a Vintage VW Beetle - San Francisco, CA

Offering self-drive, self-guided tours of over 40 great destinations in the San Francisco area.

7. Vantigo – A Truly Unique San Francisco Adventure – San Francisco, CA

Beer, wine, oyster, sights, and lights tours in a vintage bay window bus.

Note: Vantigo managed to score a full on press blitz in their first few weeks of business, racking up articles in major news outlets and travel features and sending their business to the top of nearly any beer, wine, or oyster related tour search for San Francisco. If anyone is going to make it big, it will be them. Keep an eye out for Vantigo and book them when you are in San Fran!

And that, as they say, is the short and long of it. If you wish to comment on this post or contact us please do so using the Leave a Reply box at the bottom of this post or via our Facebook page. Thank you for your interest in our little venture. Best wishes to all of you, and especially to those who have established or are trying to start their own vintage VW business (which seems to be confined mostly to those in the UK). Keep the light on for the rest of us!

Richard Blake – Owner, Operator, Mechanic, Enthusiast (and full-time dad of two)

Special Note

The classic VW Bus has been in constant production in Brazil since the 1950′s. Brand new VW Buses could be purchased off of a dealer floor as recently as last year, provided you referred to them as Kombis (their name in Brazil). That came to an end on December 31st of 2013 as the last factory ceased production . . . just shortly after the Hippie Limo closed its doors. See the story on CNN: Kombi’s Last Rites: Farewell to a Travel Icon

Our Past Adventures!

Curious about the fun couples and groups had with the Hippie Limo? We have stories and pictures galore:

  • Look under Current Events & Musings in the right sidebar too see our final year’s rides, or click here to see our whole history on one page.
  • Use the dropdown menu or search option under Past Events & Musings near the bottom of the right sidebar to read about the past rides and activities that have been immortalized in our blog
  • Visit the Hippie Limo main page and click on the links under Our Service to explore what we offered for every sort of special occasion
  • Go to Wedding Wire for reviews from couples and groups on the Hippie Limo’s services
  • Peruse our Photo Gallery to see some of the best images that couples and groups have shared
  • Be inspired by pictures from around the world that feature vintage VWs on Pinterest Follow Me on Pinterest
  • Hop over to In the Press to see what the media and blogosphere were saying about us
  • See a bit of what a ride was like in the Hippie Limo at The Experience

If you’re interested, check out our Limo Packages & Rates or our Beer, Wine & Spirits Tours to see our final year’s pricing for every sort of special occasion! ———————————– Top | Home


The Hippie Limo Closes Its Doors – 11/22/2013

The Hippie Limo - Denver & Boulder's Premier Retro-Mod Vintage RideDespite a good start, strong marketing efforts, great reception by the media, top reviews on WeddingWire, amazing client photos, and competitive market pricing, not to mention the example set by the demand for vintage VW Limos elsewhere in the world, lack of sufficient business has forced the Hippie Limo to close its doors after three years of giving one-of-a-kind retro rides in the Denver and Boulder areas.

Though we will be available for photo shoots, we will no longer be able to carry passengers. We will maintain this site as a sort of  “headstone” for our hard work and for the great experiences we had with our clients. To learn more about our efforts and to read an analysis of why we think this idea just didn’t work out, see our post Why the Hippie Limo Went Out of Business (A Subjective Retrospective).

If you wish to contact us, please do so using the Leave a Reply box at the bottom of this post or via our Facebook page. Thank you for your interest in our little venture. Best wishes to all of you, and especially to those who have established or are trying to start their own vintage VW business (which seems to be confined mostly to those in the UK). Keep the light on for the rest of us!

Richard Blake – Owner, Operator, Mechanic, Enthusiast (and full-time dad of two)

Special Note

The classic VW Bus has been in constant production in Brazil since the 1950′s. Brand new VW Buses could be purchased off of a dealer floor as recently as last year, provided you referred to them as Kombis (their name in Brazil). That came to an end on December 31st of 2013 as the last factory ceased production . . . just shortly after the Hippie Limo closed its doors. See the story on CNN:

Kombi’s Last Rites: Farewell to a Travel Icon

[Commentary and Analysis has not yet begun]

Our Past Adventures!

Curious about the fun couples and groups had with the Hippie Limo? We have stories and pictures galore:

  • Look under Current Events & Musings in the right sidebar too see our final year’s rides
  • Use the dropdown menu or search option under Past Events & Musings near the bottom of the right sidebar to read about the past rides and activities that have been immortalized in our blog
  • Visit the Hippie Limo main page and click on the links under Our Service to explore what we offered for every sort of special occasion
  • Go to Wedding Wire for reviews from couples and groups on the Hippie Limo’s services
  • Peruse our Photo Gallery to see some of the best images that couples and groups have shared
  • Be inspired by pictures from around the world that feature vintage VWs on Pinterest
    Follow Me on Pinterest
  • Hop over to In the Press to see what the media and blogosphere were saying about us
  • See a bit of what a ride was like in the Hippie Limo at The Experience

If you’re interested, check out our Limo Packages & Rates or our Beer, Wine & Spirits Tours to see our final year’s pricing for every sort of special occasion!

———————————–

Top | Home


Crystal & David’s Wedding: Black Bear Golf Course – 9/6/2013

The Hippie Limo - Denver & Boulder's Premier Retro-Mod Vintage RideThis weekend the Hippie Limo left its usual Denver-Boulder routes for a long ride down to Parker, CO for Crystal & David’s wedding at Black Bear Golf Course. David found our one-of-a-kind service while searching the web for a unique getaway car to round out the couple’s big day. Crystal, David, and their families all share a love of classic cars, and vintage VW buses in particular. This made our Samba an obvious choice.

As I pulled up to the very swank and secluded Black Bear Golf Course I saw three of Crystal and David’s guests taking a break from the festivities and enjoying a few moments of quiet conversation in the cool night air. I had just hopped out of our Samba and began opening the doors for the couple when one of the female guests yelled out, “I’m like a real good friend of the groom. He would sooo want me to take a ride in that!” I smiled and suggested that she might need to wait until I let the couple know I had arrived, and that even then I might need a signed permission slip from the couple. Taking me a bit more seriously than I had expected, the woman leaped up and dashed into the main building where I could hear 90′s music reverberating through the windows.

In moments the bride and groom emerged along with select members of the wedding party. Far from being ready to leave, the couple and their entourage simply wanted to be the first to take in the splendor of our Wayback Machine without the distraction of guests and photographers pressing about them. David asked me if it was okay that the couple not depart immediately, but rather that he send their friends and family out to take a look at the Hippie Limo and to have their pictures taken with it. “Of course!” I said. “Wonderful!” he replied, and then turned to his brother (who was doubling as his best man) and said something before turning back to me and announcing, “My brother Mark will stay here with you to help be sure none of our guests accidentally damage your super van.” He then winked, waved his hand indicating all of those present, and said, “In our family, we know how to take care of beautiful vehicles like this.!”

The next hour and a half saw a steady stream of guests emerging from the portico of the country club and travelling down the long, dramatically lit path to the roundabout where we were parked. I had a great deal of fun talking to everyone who wanted to learn more about our Samba or about vintage VWs in general, and as always it was a blast helping each person or group find just the right pose to make their pictures with the Hippie Limo that much more memorable. When the bride and groom were ready for their grand departure, the maid of honor and the best man took up positions on either side of our main doors to help usher the newlyweds into their carriage.

Off we went down the dark countryroads on the other side of the club’s gates, a fanfare from their friends and family still ringing out behind us. Soon Crystal and David were melting into each other’s arms in the back seat, the wind and unobstructed stars rolling over them courtesy of our five-foot, open-air canvas sunroof. A requested mix of The Beatles serenaded the couple from our 1000-watt sound system, a concert occasionally overridden when the couple turned down the volume again and again to exclaim, “This is the BEST end to our day!”

The Hippie Limo is proud to say that Crystal and David’s wedding was also the BEST way to end to our season! Our most sincere well-wishes for their future together!

More Wedding & Commitment Adventures!

Curious about the fun other couples have had with the Hippie Limo on their special day? We have stories and pictures galore:

  • Look under Current Events & Musings in the right sidebar for the most recent rides
  • Visit Weddings & Commitments for a complete rundown of all of our wedding related activities
  • Go to Wedding Wire for reviews from couples on the Hippie Limo’s services
  • Peruse our Photo Gallery to see some of the best images that couples have shared
  • Be inspired by wedding pictures from around the world that feature vintage VWs on Pinterest
    Follow Me on Pinterest
  • Hop over to In the Press to see what the media and blogosphere are saying about us
  • Preview a ride in the Hippie Limo from The Experience
  • Click on the services listed on the Hippie Limo main page to explore other fun options

When you’re ready, check out our Limo Packages & Rates or our Beer, Wine & Spirits Tours to see what we can do for your wedding, commitment, or other special occasion!

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Staraya & Clay’s Wedding: Lyons Farmette – 9/5/2013

The Hippie Limo - Denver & Boulder's Premier Retro-Mod Vintage RideThis weekend the Hippie Limo learned that families that brew together tend to marry into one another during Staraya and Clay’s wedding at the Lyons Farmette. Clay – master brewer, co owner, vice president, and glorified janitor at Sun King Brewing in Indianapolis, IN – contacted us in February about being the couple’s getaway ride from their wedding. Given Clay’s role in producing and evolving the sacred fermentation, how could I refuse?

Staraya and Clay had spent a good part of their early history traveling together to concerts in what they referred to as their “Metal Bus” – a well-worn and rusty split-window Kombi that had served them well. For their wedding the couple agreed that they should take things up a notch and have our Samba be the ride to kick off their honeymoon. Since most of the couple’s friends and family had equally fond and long histories with vintage VWs (not to mention also having roots in brewing, as evidenced by the presence of key members of the Oskar Blues Brewery family at the reception), Clay asked me if I could show up a little extra early to allow everyone to have some quality time exploring our WayBack Machine.

When I arrived I was asked to park on a grassy space alongside the reception tent. The lights from French Provincial lamps and several dozen votive candles reflected off of the Hippie Limo’s finish as guest after guest wandered our way in the moonlight to admire the couple’s getaway ride and pose for photos. As larger, modern tour buses began arriving and departing with the bulk of Staraya and Clays guests, the lucky couple boarded the Hippie Limo for a more vintage traveling experience to their hotel in Boulder.

Our very best wishes to the lucky couple. May their marriage grow richer and more complex along with their brews!

Images below courtesy of Dog Daze Photography.

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More Wedding & Commitment Adventures!

Curious about the fun other couples have had with the Hippie Limo on their special day? We have stories and pictures galore:

  • Look under Current Events & Musings in the right sidebar for the most recent rides
  • Visit Weddings & Commitments for a complete rundown of all of our wedding related activities
  • Go to Wedding Wire for reviews from couples on the Hippie Limo’s services
  • Peruse our Photo Gallery to see some of the best images that couples have shared
  • Be inspired by wedding pictures from around the world that feature vintage VWs on Pinterest
    Follow Me on Pinterest
  • Hop over to In the Press to see what the media and blogosphere are saying about us
  • Preview a ride in the Hippie Limo from The Experience
  • Click on the services listed on the Hippie Limo main page to explore other fun options

When you’re ready, check out our Limo Packages & Rates or our Beer, Wine & Spirits Tours to see what we can do for your wedding, commitment, or other special occasion!

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Lauren & Patrick’s Wedding: Three Trees Chapel – 9/1/2013

The Hippie Limo - Denver & Boulder's Premier Retro-Mod Vintage RideRarely does the Hippie Limo carry its full capacity of six passengers during a wedding. Couples tend to book our Wayback Machine as a photo-perfect getaway car from their reception with the added benefit of having some quiet time for each other after a day of paying attention to practically everybody else. This was not the case for Lauren and Patrick’s wedding at the intimately styled Three Trees Chapel in Littleton, Colorado.

After the usual period of family and friends taking turns posing with our Samba, not to mention the bridal party, Lauren, Patrick, and their crew piled into the Hippie Limo for a ride to Red Rocks Park & Amphitheater. Their goal: to have the natural beauty of the Red Rocks as their backdrop. Photographers in tow, we made two stops for pictures, the most delightful of which was at Red Rocks Trading Post. The awe-inspiring view of this location is hard to capture, but I can tell you that the stone wall framing a rolling valley crossed by rocky spires is a view that matches the glory of any couple’s big day. Satisfied with the photographs, the crew returned to their seats for a slow but rockin’ drive to The Vista at Applewood Golf Course in Golden for the reception.

Our best wishes to the couple, may their life together be as inspiring as the Red Rocks themselves. Lauren & Patrick's Wedding - Three Trees Chapel - Friend Enjoying a Photo Op

Lauren & Patrick's Wedding - Three Trees Chapel - The Lucky Couple

More Wedding & Commitment Adventures!

Curious about the fun other couples have had with the Hippie Limo on their special day? We have stories and pictures galore:

  • Look under Current Events & Musings in the right sidebar for the most recent rides
  • Visit Weddings & Commitments for a complete rundown of all of our wedding related activities
  • Go to Wedding Wire for reviews from couples on the Hippie Limo’s services
  • Peruse our Photo Gallery to see some of the best images that couples have shared
  • Be inspired by wedding pictures from around the world that feature vintage VWs on Pinterest
    Follow Me on Pinterest
  • Hop over to In the Press to see what the media and blogosphere are saying about us
  • Preview a ride in the Hippie Limo from The Experience
  • Click on the services listed on the Hippie Limo main page to explore other fun options

When you’re ready, check out our Limo Packages & Rates or our Beer, Wine & Spirits Tours to see what we can do for your wedding, commitment, or other special occasion!

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Amanda & Ryan’s Wedding: University of Denver – 8/31/2013

The Hippie Limo - Denver & Boulder's Premier Retro-Mod Vintage RideThis weekend the Hippie Limo left its usual Boulder stomping grounds to give Amanda, Ryan, and their wedding party a ride from their lodging at Denver’s Hyatt Regency Hotel to the Tuscan Ballroom at the University of Denver‘s Fritz Knoebel School of Hospitality Management. Stepping outside the pattern of most brides who use the Hippie Limo as a getaway car, Amanda hired our Wayback machine for two trips to take her and her party to their wedding venue.

The first passengers on the list were the groom’s party and the Father of the Bride. When I pulled into the Hyatt’s portico I saw a line of dapper gentlemen in flawlessly pressed gray and black toned tuxedos. Their faces wore the expected expressions of pre-wedding nervous joy and anticipation, but upon seeing our Samba those expressions quickly turned to amusement and appreciation. Cheers and bursts of laughter echoed from the younger men; the father of the bride simply gave an impressed nod and a bemused smile. Sunroof opened wide and wind in their hair, the gentlemen cranked up the volume for the rocking segment of our Wedding Playlist to hear The KinksYou Really Got Me Now.

“Man, I totally feel like I’m in the Wonder Years,” exclaimed someone from the back. “Yeah, this is like an awesome time machine,” replied another. Observations in a similar vein continued from the rest of the party, and a quick glance in the rearview mirror for a lane change revealed the father wearing the same deeply amused smile, indicating he was enjoying himself in his own quiet way. Just before heading back to the hotel to pickup the ladies the father took my hand, shook it firmly, and said, “That was a lot of fun.” Now I had his quietly amused smile on my face.

The ladies were similarly enchanted when it was their turn in our Magic Carpet Ride. When I first caught sight of the bridal party I thought I was seeing double. Amanda had a twin sister clad in a flowing bridesmaid’s dress. Impressed by their loveliness (and slightly tongue-tied), I found myself awkwardly remarking, “You both look gorgeous, but today one of you is just a little bit more stunning.” Embarrassed by a comment that could have come across as either witty or witless, I ushered five women into our Samba and closed the sunroof. Though the men had no qualms about wind-mussed hair, I knew the same would not be true of the women.

Volume noticeably quieter but enthusiasm in equal proportion, the ladies and I were off. The mother, wearing a flattering lace crochet dress, swayed slowly to the tunes and chatted with her daughters and friends about the big event to come. During the last few minutes of the ride I asked the ladies if they would like me to open the sunroof for their entrance. “Crank that sucker open,” directed Amanda while laughing. We arrived with the ladies ready to make their photo-perfect exit from the Hippie Limo. The photographer however was a bit tardy, so I backed up the microbus until I saw him arrive, his camera ready and focus set.

Before letting the women out I asked if they wanted to have a few pictures taken in their chariot. After a firm yes, I let the photographer carefully document the moment, occasionally letting him know about some great shots that only someone with experience with our Samba could know. Below you can see one of the results. When the paparazzi-like session was over, Amanda took my hand and thanked me deeply for adding a special touch to her day. After reloading some tools and utility bags that I had removed for the photos into the bus (every well-worn classic VW owner carries tools and parts – just in case), I headed for home . . . again wearing the father’s content smile.

Our best wishes for the couple. May their life together be as full of smiles as their wedding.

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More Wedding & Commitment Adventures!

Curious about the fun other couples have had with the Hippie Limo on their special day? We have stories and pictures galore:

  • Look under Current Events & Musings in the right sidebar for the most recent rides
  • Visit Weddings & Commitments for a complete rundown of all of our wedding related activities
  • Go to Wedding Wire for reviews from couples on the Hippie Limo’s services
  • Peruse our Photo Gallery to see some of the best images that couples have shared
  • Be inspired by wedding pictures from around the world that feature vintage VWs on Pinterest
    Follow Me on Pinterest
  • Hop over to In the Press to see what the media and blogosphere are saying about us
  • Preview a ride in the Hippie Limo from The Experience
  • Click on the services listed on the Hippie Limo main page to explore other fun options

When you’re ready, check out our Limo Packages & Rates or our Beer, Wine & Spirits Tours to see what we can do for your wedding, commitment, or other special occasion!

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Did you attend this event? Do you have something to add? Tell us about it with a comment in the Leave a Reply box below.

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Roz & Ernesto’s Wedding: Lyons Farmette – 8/25/2013

The Hippie Limo - Denver & Boulder's Premier Retro-Mod Vintage RideThe Hippie Limo can’t get enough of the rustic and cozy Lyons Farmette! This Saturday saw us providing a late-night getaway ride for Roz & Ernesto’s intimate yet dapper wedding. Our Samba pulled up to the fairytale footbridge that adorns the West entrance to the Farmette. There we awaited the couple beneath strands of softly glowing Italian white lights hung from the reaching boughs of tall and lush oak trees.

The candlelight-like illumination made Roz and Ernesto’s appearance so much more dramatic and romantic than that at most venues I attend. The two dashed giddily into our Wayback machine, striking relaxed and playful poses from their seat and out of the five-foot open-air canvas sunroof (which at this hour was more of a moon roof). The pair snuggled into the back seat when we were ready to leave, softly and tenderly folding their bodies into each other’s curves, becoming a single formed shadow. In the background I could see their wedding planner Marissa Heidt of Feather & Twig Events give the bride and groom a heartfelt smile and farewell.

Off we went into the night towards Boulder’s St. Julian Hotel & Spa (another Hippie Limo favorite). Silence now and then punctuated by laughter and cooing were the only sounds I heard from he back as the couple watched the dark night sky roll by, occasionally turned bright white by flickers of far-off lightening. When we reached the downtown area I asked the newlyweds if they would like to make a pass or two around Pearl St. to do a bit of waving and cheering with the college-age revelers. Roz and Ernesto laughed and said, “Been there, done that. The hotel will be great.”

Our best wishes to the pair who are undoubtedly the most star-crossed lovers we have had the privilege to transport yet this year!

More Wedding & Commitment Adventures!

Curious about the fun other couples have had with the Hippie Limo on their special day? We have stories and pictures galore:

  • Look under Current Events & Musings in the right sidebar for the most recent rides
  • Visit Weddings & Commitments for a complete rundown of all of our wedding related activities
  • Go to Wedding Wire for reviews from couples on the Hippie Limo’s services
  • Peruse our Photo Gallery to see some of the best images that couples have shared
  • Be inspired by wedding pictures from around the world that feature vintage VWs on Pinterest
    Follow Me on Pinterest
  • Hop over to In the Press to see what the media and blogosphere are saying about us
  • Preview a ride in the Hippie Limo from The Experience
  • Click on the services listed on the Hippie Limo main page to explore other fun options

When you’re ready, check out our Limo Packages & Rates or our Beer, Wine & Spirits Tours to see what we can do for your wedding, commitment, or other special occasion!

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Cory’s Treasure Hunt Proposal: Downtown Denver – 8/3/2013

The Hippie Limo - Denver & Boulder's Premier Retro-Mod Vintage RideWhen Cory contacted the Hippie Limo three months ago he was already well into planning his proposal to Robyn. “I’m sending her on a treasure hunt leading to the place I’ll ask her to marry me,” he said, “would you be available?” “For an idea like that,” I replied, “Absolutely!”

Corey is the second man this year to show exceptional creativity and devotion in planning a special day for the love of his life (see Jay’s surprise ride for Karen), but he is the first ever to plan a one that preceded the wedding day entirely. His plan unfolded as follows:

While walking with Robyn and their young daughter past The Curtis in Denver, Cory excused himself on the premise of making a quick trip into the retro swank hotel. Instead he ducked out the back for his part of the plan. The Hippie Limo pulled up to the unsuspecting pair waiting on the curb, followed by the appearance of a mutual friend Meghan, who with camera in hand, was tasked with documenting the event.

Robyn discovered that she was now a woman on a mission. Meghan told Robyn that to find Cory she would have to begin by solving a riddle. According to Cory’s plan, the answer would direct Robyn to a place that held a special meaning for the couple. The Hippie Limo’s job was to whisk Robyn and their daughter to that special place where they would be met by someone they knew. These new co-conspirators would give Robyn another riddle to solve, leading her to yet another locale via our Samba’s capable transport, and so on. If Robyn solved all of the riddles successfully she would be reunited with Cory. Meghan then read Robyn the first riddle (which like all of the riddles were written in rhymed couplets, no less!) and with her quick, confident answer we were off.

Over the next two and a half hours Robyn, her daughter, Meghan, and the Hippie Limo carried on a merry search throughout the city. As promised, one or more of the couple’s friends or family members were at each location, standing ready with a smile, a new riddle, and a deep embrace. Our destinations included places such as The Keg Steakhouse and Bar, Sports Authority Field @ Mile High, Coors Field, and The Hyatt Regency Denver.

The final riddle led the trio to the top of the Denver Clocktower and its breathtaking event space where Cory waited in the atrium behind the giant clock face to pop the question. My instructions at that point were to wait about 90 minutes before returning to take the couple to the Old Chicago on Market Street where friends and family were gathering for a post-proposal celebration. I have no idea what occurred during those 90 minutes, but I am as sure as the sky is blue that they were some of the most romantic and meaningful minutes a couple and a family could share.

When the three emerged they were each beaming. During our short ride to the restaurant they all seemed to be awash in the moment. We wish them all the very best in their lives ahead . . . and wonder just how in the world Cory will top himself during their wedding. Maybe the Hippie Limo will be there to find out. If so, you can be sure you will hear about it, too.

Cory's Treasure Hunt Proposal for Robyn - Heading to the Future

More Wedding & Commitment Adventures!

Curious about the fun other couples have had with the Hippie Limo on their special day? We have stories and pictures galore:

  • Look under Current Events & Musings in the right sidebar for the most recent rides
  • Visit Weddings & Commitments for a complete rundown of all of our wedding related activities
  • Go to Wedding Wire for reviews from couples on the Hippie Limo’s services
  • Peruse our Photo Gallery to see some of the best images that couples have shared
  • Be inspired by wedding pictures from around the world that feature vintage VWs on Pinterest
    Follow Me on Pinterest
  • Hop over to In the Press to see what the media and blogosphere are saying about us
  • Preview a ride in the Hippie Limo from The Experience
  • Click on the services listed on the Hippie Limo main page to explore other fun options

When you’re ready, check out our Limo Packages & Rates or our Beer, Wine & Spirits Tours to see what we can do for your wedding, commitment, or other special occasion!

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Did you attend this event? Do you have something to add? Tell us about it with a comment in the Leave a Reply box below.

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Sarah & John’s Wedding: The St. Julian Hotel – 8/3/2013

The Hippie Limo - Denver & Boulder's Premier Retro-Mod Vintage Ride“I’ve just gotta have the Hippie Limo!” exclaimed Sarah in her first exchange with me. And have it she did! Sarah and her beau-to-be John were planning a destination wedding in Boulder from their native Texas. Boulder was not exactly a new town to the pair as they had earned their degrees at the University of Colorado and had spent their fair share of time wondering both the foothills trails and the campus pathways.

Sarah and John’s booking sets a record for least overall distance travelled in the Hippie Limo as both their pickup and drop off locations were the luxurious St. Julian Hotel in downtown Boulder. What was important to Sarah was not the destination, but the journey (and the departure). She wanted to make a stellar and striking exit, and what better way to do so than in our one-of-a-kind retro-mod ride. Speaking of stellar, Sarah and John chose a star-filled (courtesy of our 5-foot, open-air sunroof), romantic, and above-all quiet ride up Boulder Canyon to relax and reconnect after an exuberant and exhausting day (3 days, actually, if you count the time she arrived and began making preparations for her wedding). Luckily, Sarah did have some help from the amazing and artful talents of Jolene Greenbaum Peterson, lead event curator at Calluna Events, to bring all of the details together.

Our best wishes for the star-crossed lovers. May their life together always find the magic of their big day renewed. If you want to see the splendor of their wedding visit the site of Jenna Walker Photographers and get a look behind and in front of the curtains.

 

More Wedding & Commitment Adventures!

Curious about the fun other couples have had with the Hippie Limo on their special day? We have stories and pictures galore:

  • Look under Current Events & Musings in the right sidebar for the most recent rides
  • Visit Weddings & Commitments for a complete rundown of all of our wedding related activities
  • Go to Wedding Wire for reviews from couples on the Hippie Limo’s services
  • Peruse our Photo Gallery to see some of the best images that couples have shared
  • Be inspired by wedding pictures from around the world that feature vintage VWs on Pinterest
    Follow Me on Pinterest
  • Hop over to In the Press to see what the media and blogosphere are saying about us
  • Preview a ride in the Hippie Limo from The Experience
  • Click on the services listed on the Hippie Limo main page to explore other fun options

When you’re ready, check out our Limo Packages & Rates or our Beer, Wine & Spirits Tours to see what we can do for your wedding, commitment, or other special occasion!

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Did you attend this event? Do you have something to add? Tell us about it with a comment in the Leave a Reply box below.

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Molly & Jeff’s Wedding: Lyons Farmette – 7/27/2013

The Hippie Limo - Denver & Boulder's Premier Retro-Mod Vintage RideThe Hippie Limo returned to the beautiful Lyons Farmette this weekend for Molly & Jeff’s vintage wedding. The guests’ jaws dropped as our Samba made its entrance rolling down the dirt path alongside the gently sloping pasture of the reception area. We had barely stopped in front of the combination bar/dance hall before a crowd gathered around us posing and snapping picture after picture with cell phones.

I was immediately greeted by Molly and Jeff’s wedding planner – the lovely, energetic, and artful Jessica Hearing of A Vintage Affair Events and Rentals – who guided me to the newlyweds. The couple was statuesque and radiant, and their smiles instantly warmed my heart. One of Jessica’s assistants told the photographers about the arrival of our Microbus and in a flash (pun intended) Molly and Jeff were striking casual and elegant poses inside and around our gorgeous Samba. Unfortunately my camera was on the blink so I only have the simple cellphone photo below to show for the event, which doesn’t come close to capturing the magic of the moment.

Jeff informed me that there was still quite of a bit of celebration yet to come and that I should make myself comfortable. I explored a candlelit path that caught my eye and found that it led to a small but lush trellised garden. Nestled at the center was an immaculate vintage Airstream appointed in a combination of Queen Anne and country rustic styles. Though obviously intended as a dressing area for the bride and her party, I deduced that since the big event had already happened I was fairly safe in taking a seat and waiting until the couple were ready to depart.

When the time came to leave, the bride, groom, and select friends and family settled into the Hippie Limo for a moonlit and misty ride to the St. Julian Hotel for the official start of the honeymoon. Molly gave me a hug after she stepped out of the Samba as well as a sincere thank you for the part we played in her wedding. Best wishes to Molly and Jeff in their new adventure – a life together!

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More Wedding & Commitment Adventures!

Curious about the fun other couples have had with the Hippie Limo on their special day? We have stories and pictures galore:

  • Look under Current Events & Musings in the right sidebar for the most recent rides
  • Visit Weddings & Commitments for a complete rundown of all of our wedding related activities
  • Go to Wedding Wire for reviews from couples on the Hippie Limo’s services
  • Peruse our Photo Gallery to see some of the best images that couples have shared
  • Be inspired by wedding pictures from around the world that feature vintage VWs on Pinterest
    Follow Me on Pinterest
  • Hop over to In the Press to see what the media and blogosphere are saying about us
  • Preview a ride in the Hippie Limo from The Experience
  • Click on the services listed on the Hippie Limo main page to explore other fun options

When you’re ready, check out our Limo Packages & Rates or our Beer, Wine & Spirits Tours to see what we can do for your wedding, commitment, or other special occasion!

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Colleen & Jamie’s Wedding: Sunrise Amphitheater – 7/21/2013

The Hippie Limo - Denver & Boulder's Premier Retro-Mod Vintage RideThe Hippie Limo had an great time with Colleen and Jamie this weekend during their Boulder Sunrise Amphitheater wedding! We arrived at the bride’s pickup location, a quant little cottage in Chautauqua Park the couple had rented for the occasion. I knocked on the screened porch door and waited for an answer. Colleen’s father came out to greet me and proceeded to inspect our Samba. He marveled at the condition of our WayBack machine for a while and then commented that American Pickers would love to get their hands on it. Before returning to the cottage he joked with me that I was carrying precious cargo and that I should be extra careful going up Flagstaff Mountain.

In short order Colleen emerged from the Arts & Crafts inspired house and the instant she did she showed herself to be a sweet and exuberant bride, completely immersed in the happiness and wonder of her big day. A few adorable poses with our Samba were first on the agenda, followed by a vaguely ceremonial ushering of the passengers into the Microbus, and then more photos. Soon enough we were climbing Flagstaff to the ceremony (Yes, I was extra careful, father of the bride;). While watching the mountain scenery go by, Colleen and her entourage laughed at their predictions for the ceremony, sang along to familiar 60s songs playing on our sound system (Colleen’s mother was especially active in singing as she recognized more songs than the rest), and remarked at how one of the guests would be embarrassed that his car could not make it up Flagstaff but a 48-year-old testament to German engineering could.

We reached our destination and Colleen and her crew nearly bounded out of the Hippie Limo in excitement (or as much as anyone in wedding and bridesmaids’ dresses can bound) and headed out to await the beginning of the ceremony. I sat down at a nearby picnic table to enjoy an apple and relish the quiet beauty of the forested mountaintop while waiting to play my next part in the big event.

Not long thereafter, Colleen, her new husband, and his brothers were in our Samba and chatting about their plans to ride their bikes up to the amphitheater at the next opportunity. After a quick stop for photographs at Chautauqua with the Flatiron Mountains as the backdrop, the gang piled back into our Magic Carpet Ride for their trip to the reception at the Red Lion Inn Restaurant just up Boulder Canyon. Along the way Colleen occasionally burst into giggles when she saw the reactions of people in the cars we passed as well as the of bystanders on the street. “Don’t you just love the way people look at us in this thing!” she exclaimed.

All too soon we arrived at our destination and Jamie and Colleen along with her new brother-in-laws exited our Microbus and headed toward the celebration that awaited them. Our most sincere best wishes for the couple’s life together. If Colleen’s vibrancy is any indication, their future will be a bright one!

Colleen & Jamie's Wedding - Boulder Sunrise Amphitheater - A Kiss with a View

More Wedding & Commitment Adventures!

Curious about the fun other couples have had with the Hippie Limo on their special day? We have stories and pictures galore:

  • Look under Current Events & Musings in the right sidebar for the most recent rides
  • Visit Weddings & Commitments for a complete rundown of all of our wedding related activities
  • Go to Wedding Wire for reviews from couples on the Hippie Limo’s services
  • Peruse our Photo Gallery to see some of the best images that couples have shared
  • Be inspired by wedding pictures from around the world that feature vintage VWs on Pinterest
    Follow Me on Pinterest
  • Hop over to In the Press to see what the media and blogosphere are saying about us
  • Preview a ride in the Hippie Limo from The Experience
  • Click on the services listed on the Hippie Limo main page to explore other fun options

When you’re ready, check out our Limo Packages & Rates or our Beer, Wine & Spirits Tours to see what we can do for your wedding, commitment, or other special occasion!

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Did you attend this event? Do you have something to add? Tell us about it with a comment in the Leave a Reply box below.

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Carol & Kyle’s Wedding: Greenbriar Inn – 7/20/2013

The Hippie Limo - Denver & Boulder's Premier Retro-Mod Vintage RideThe Hippie Limo made its first appearance at The Greenbriar Inn this week for Carol and Kyle’s wedding. The first sound to greet us when we arrived was the loud thumping of music and the free-range bantering of a DJ who apparently knew both how to stoke a crowd up as well as calm it down.

I jumped out of the driver’s seat to the tune of My Sharona and quickly began polishing up the nose of our Samba to be sure it shined bright in the moonlight for the photographers who were now gathering around it. Just as I finished a bridesmaid appeared inside a doorway carrying a suitcase and heading toward our Wayback Machine. The case belonged to the happy couple and I reached out to help load it into the vehicle. The bridesmaid stepped back, tearfully suggesting that she should be the one to put the case in to be sure it was safe. With great care, she placed it beside the middle seat and gave it a gentle pat and a quick wave for good measure.

Suddenly the DJ announced that it was “time for the bride and groom to head out to the ‘Hippy Bus.’” I dashed around just in time to see Carol and Kyle emerge from the Greenbriar’s portico. The couple still looked stunning even after a full day and night of meeting, greeting, vowing, dining, and dancing. The couple’s eyes glowed with the happy weariness that so many newlyweds have at the end of their big day. After waiving to their family and friends from the sunroof, the two sank together into their seat, ready to depart. What followed was a starry ride down a nearly deserted and completely dark Highway 36. During the ride the two quietly recounted the day’s events, raising their voices only to muse about the possibility of visiting a Taco Bell drivethru before retiring to their room at the Hotel Boulderado.

I pulled up to the Boulderado’s main entrance, opened the doors, and announced the new couple to the crowd milling about in front. Carol and Kyle passed slowly through the outer doors of the Hotel and into their new life as husband and wife.

As I closed the Hippie Limo’s doors and prepared to leave I heard someone calling to me from behind. A man in a gray suit announced that earlier that day I had picked up his daughter and son-in-law and brought them to their reception at the Rembrandt Yard directly across the street from the Boulderado. The reception was just winding down, and it suddenly occurred to me that the Hippie Limo had been involved in an entire day of celebrations, in one form or another.

Our best wishes to Carol and Kyle on their next big adventure . . . marriage!

Carol & Kyle's Wedding - The Greenbriar Inn - Lyons, CO - Hippie Limo

More Wedding & Commitment Adventures!

Curious about the fun other couples have had with the Hippie Limo on their special day? We have stories and pictures galore:

  • Look under Current Events & Musings in the right sidebar for the most recent rides
  • Visit Weddings & Commitments for a complete rundown of all of our wedding related activities
  • Go to Wedding Wire for reviews from couples on the Hippie Limo’s services
  • Peruse our Photo Gallery to see some of the best images that couples have shared
  • Be inspired by wedding pictures from around the world that feature vintage VWs on Pinterest
    Follow Me on Pinterest
  • Hop over to In the Press to see what the media and blogosphere are saying about us
  • Preview a ride in the Hippie Limo from The Experience
  • Click on the services listed on the Hippie Limo main page to explore other fun options

When you’re ready, check out our Limo Packages & Rates or our Beer, Wine & Spirits Tours to see what we can do for your wedding, commitment, or other special occasion!

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Did you attend this event? Do you have something to add? Tell us about it with a comment in the Leave a Reply box below.

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Emily & Thomas’ Wedding: Lyons Farmette – 7/20/2013

The Hippie Limo - Denver & Boulder's Premier Retro-Mod Vintage RideThe Hippie Limo has been on a roll lately (if you’ll pardon the pun) as far as requests for surprise rides go. Annie and Brandon had a unexpected ride from their wedding courtesy of Annie’s mother Sharon, and Jay gave his bride Karen an equally unforeseen trip after their reception. Next up is Emily’s mother Beth who arranged for her daughter and newly minted son-in-law Thomas to have a magic carpet ride from their ceremony to their reception.

Beth booked our Samba from far-off Pennsylvania after her daughter set her sights on Boulder, CO for her destination wedding. The always delightful Lyons Farmette served as the couple’s scenic locale for their farm-themed ceremony. As has been the case lately, I pulled into the parking lot to await my entrance cue beneath brooding storm clouds. I received the high-sign to proceed just as the first few tentative rain drops began to fall. I drove past the field where the wedding guests were enjoying some refreshments before making their way to the reception at the Rembrandt Yard.

Pointed fingers, gasps, laughter, and cheers announced our WayBack machine’s arrival to the couple who quickly shared a stunned but delighted glance before exchanging hugs with family members and hopping into the Hippie Limo. Though I drove up with the Safari windows open and the sunroof pulled back for effect, I hastily closed them before the couple settled in. I inched down the dirt path to the main road to allow the photographer time to capture the couple’s departure in the growing rainstorm. I could see the disappointment in his face at knowing the rain would keep him from documenting all of the magic of the moment. Realizing this and the fact that Emily and Thomas would be deprived of a full record of the event, I stopped our Microbus, hopped out, and motioned for the couple to take the front seats while I opened the Safaris wide. Bride in the driver’s seat and groom in the passenger’s (the way it should be ;)), I let the photographer take as many shots of the smiling, cooing couple as he could before heading out.

After a rain-soaked ride down most of Highway 36 the sun came out as we reached the edge of Boulder. Weather now clear, I again rolled back the sunroof and popped open the Safaris while Emily and Thomas cranked up the music. Looking at the pair as I settled back in the driver’s seat I noticed that Thomas, with his sunglasses and relaxed posture, was a dead ringer for a bearded Tom Cruise in Risky Business. As for Emily, she glowed when the sun washed in over her and seemed a vision of joy. I made a mental note to put these observations in a blog post and returned to ferrying the couple to their reception.

Collectively, we decided to bypass the Rembrandt Yard for the time being in favor of making a loop through downtown Boulder to garner some attention and deserved applause from the crowds enjoying the Open Arts Festival along the Perl Street Mall. Our orbit complete, Emily and Thomas stepped out into the welcoming hands of their wedding planner Georgia English and into party inside the venue that was already in full swing.

We hope the energy of their smiles on their big day inspire Emily and Thomas during their entire lifetime together!

More Wedding & Commitment Adventures!

Curious about the fun other couples have had with the Hippie Limo on their special day? We have stories and pictures galore:

  • Look under Current Events & Musings in the right sidebar for the most recent rides
  • Visit Weddings & Commitments for a complete rundown of all of our wedding related activities
  • Go to Wedding Wire for reviews from couples on the Hippie Limo’s services
  • Peruse our Photo Gallery to see some of the best images that couples have shared
  • Be inspired by wedding pictures from around the world that feature vintage VWs on Pinterest
    Follow Me on Pinterest
  • Hop over to In the Press to see what the media and blogosphere are saying about us
  • Preview a ride in the Hippie Limo from The Experience
  • Click on the services listed on the Hippie Limo main page to explore other fun options

When you’re ready, check out our Limo Packages & Rates or our Beer, Wine & Spirits Tours to see what  we can do for your wedding, commitment, or other special occasion!

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Did you attend this event? Do you have something to add? Tell us about it with a comment in the Leave a Reply box below.

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Karen & Jay’s Wedding: The Rembrandt Yard – 7/13/2013

The Hippie Limo - Denver & Boulder's Premier Retro-Mod Vintage RideGina Malefyt, owner and designer at Organically You Events, contacted the Hippie Limo early in our season to arrange a ride for Jay and his fiancée Karen on their big day. By any account Jay is a man of taste, experience, and surprises. This is evident in his meticulous planning (via Gina’s capable hands) of an event-filled day for his bride, culminating in a ride in the Hippie Limo.

Our Samba’s role in Jay’s grand scheme was to begin at the conclusion of their reception at The Rembrandt Yard in Boulder. The Hippie Limo would pull up outside the venue and await Gina’s cue for the couple’s grand exit. At the moment Karen and Jay emerged from the doorway we would blast out James Brown’s “I Got You (I Feel Good)” at the near maximum volume of our sound system. Then we would all stand back and observe Karen’s reaction.

The plan went off without a hitch, and the bride’s reaction when she saw the Hippie Limo was one of the most endearing I have seen yet. I have observed reactions ranging from smiles, gasps, and rolling eyes to waving arms, long embraces, and even wet willies, but Karen is a first for seeing a bride repeatedly hop up-and-down with joy like a nine-year-old girl who has just been presented with a pony and a backstage pass to a Bieber concert. The couple quickly entered our WayBack machine where Karen and Jay waved to their family and friends from the five-foot, open-air canvas sunroof before settling into their seats for a star-filled cruise up Boulder Canyon. Our destination? A second surprise for Karen, a stay at the beautiful Alps Boulder Canyon Inn.

It was wonderful to work with an initiative-taking groom such Jay as well as a talented and friendly planner like Gina to give Karen two great surprise to cap off her wedding day. Our best wishes to the bride and groom for many wonderful surprise-filled years to come!

More Wedding & Commitment Adventures!

Curious about the fun other couples have had with the Hippie Limo on their special day? We have stories and pictures galore:

  • Look under Current Events & Musings in the right sidebar for the most recent rides
  • Visit Weddings & Commitments for a complete rundown of all of our wedding related activities
  • Go to Wedding Wire for reviews from couples on the Hippie Limo’s services
  • Peruse our Photo Gallery to see some of the best images that couples have shared
  • Be inspired by wedding pictures from around the world that feature vintage VWs on Pinterest
    Follow Me on Pinterest
  • Hop over to In the Press to see what the media and blogosphere are saying about us
  • Preview a ride in the Hippie Limo from The Experience
  • Click on the services listed on the Hippie Limo main page to explore other fun options

When you’re ready, check out our Limo Packages & Rates or our Beer, Wine & Spirits Tours to see what we can do for your wedding, commitment, or other special occasion!

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Did you attend this event? Do you have something to add? Tell us about it with a comment in the Leave a Reply box below.

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Annie & Brandon’s Wedding: The Chapel at Red Rocks – 713/2013

The Hippie Limo - Denver & Boulder's Premier Retro-Mod Vintage RideSharon learned about the Hippie Limo while searching for a unique way to transport her daughter Annie to her wedding. “It all started when I asked Annie how she wanted to get from the hotel to the chapel,” Sharon confided in a Southern accent so delicious that it would make Sweet Tea bitter by comparison. “I asked her, ‘Do you want a limo, Annie?’ Well, Annie just laughed and said ‘Mom, a limo is so cliché.’”

Enter the Hippie Limo. When Sharon contacted me the first thing she said was, “I am so glad I found you!” Sharon and I immediately began plotting a special surprise for her daughter and her bridal party. The Kansas-based families on both sides of the aisle would be staying at The Golden Hotel, which would also be hosting the reception later in the day. The plan was for our Samba to be waiting at the front of the hotel when her daughter and friends emerged and then to whisk them off to The Chapel at Red Rocks where Annie and her husband-to-be Brandon would be married beneath the spires of the legendary Red Rocks Amphitheater.

When Annie and her entourage exited the elevator into the hotel lobby and caught a glimpse of the Hippie Limo through the hotel’s glass doors, the first thing her mother reported her daughter saying was “What a cool car! I wonder why it’s here?” By the time she was on the sidewalk and realized that our WayBack machine was there for her, expressions of awe, surprise, and delight began to fly across her face so fast that it was hard to tell which one she would finally land on. Delight, as it turned out, was the winner.

Melody, Annie’s aunt and a free-lance photographer who had documented the bride’s entire life, captured every moment from realization to ride. As we left the city and headed for the chapel I noticed how selectively and deliberately Melody was taking photos of both our Samba and its passengers. She spent many long moments focusing her lens on details such as the bride’s hair, views outside the windows, the Microbus dash, and even the flower bud vase that originally came with VWs purchased from dealers in the 60s. Though Melody’s photographer’s eye intrigued me, I was equally entertained by the sounds and movements of the women in back as they sang and swayed in their seats during our trip.

The wedding was brief and soon the new couple and their photographer found themselves in the Hippie Limo for the return trip to Golden. By that time the menacingly dark clouds that had begun gathering in the sky just before the ceremony decided to let loose in thick sheets of water. Being a vintage VW owner and driver for 24 years I knew what to expect from the noises and sensations of driving a 48 year old vehicle in torrential rain. I was worried, however, that my passengers would not know what to make of the experience. A quickly stolen glance in the rear view mirror set my worries to rest: the couple was nestled soundly in each other’s arms and Melody was expertly snapping shots of them and the views from the water-washed windows.

Once back at The Golden Hotel I leapt out of the driver’s seat, trusty umbrella in hand, and escorted first the photographer and then Annie and Brandon to the portico where all quickly disappeared.

Our best wishes to the couple and their families and friends. We hope they enjoyed their trip to our fair state, and with any luck we overturned everyone’s idea of the limo cliché.

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More Wedding & Commitment Adventures!

Curious about the fun other couples have had with the Hippie Limo on their special day? We have stories and pictures galore:

  • Look under Current Events & Musings in the right sidebar for the most recent rides
  • Visit Weddings & Commitments for a complete rundown of all of our wedding related activities
  • Go to Wedding Wire for reviews from couples on the Hippie Limo’s services
  • Peruse our Photo Gallery to see some of the best images that couples have shared
  • Be inspired by wedding pictures from around the world that feature vintage VWs on Pinterest
    Follow Me on Pinterest
  • Hop over to In the Press to see what the media and blogosphere are saying about us
  • Preview a ride in the Hippie Limo from The Experience
  • Click on the services listed on the Hippie Limo main page to explore other fun options

When you’re ready, check out our Limo Packages & Rates or our Beer, Wine & Spirits Tours to see what we can do for your wedding, commitment, or other special occasion!

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Did you attend this event? Do you have something to add? Tell us about it with a comment in the Leave a Reply box below.

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Annie & Brett’s Wedding: Spice of Life Event Center – 6/22/13

The Hippie Limo - Denver & Boulder's Premier Retro-Mod Vintage RideThe last few weeks have seen some landmarks for the Hippie Limo. In May, Cat and Tim made history with their nearly two-year advance reservation for their Red Rocks Wedding. Later in June Melissa and Paul earned the distinction of having the farthest distance booking when they arranged a getaway ride for their Lionscrest Manor Wedding from Kuwait. Today we set the record for the most last-minute booking when Walt, the groom’s father, contacted us while at the ceremony to ask if we had availability that evening. In what must be a companion record for rapid-fire Smartphone texts and emails, we set up a cruise in the Hippie Limo from the reception at the Spice of Life Event Center on the Flatirons Golf Course to the Boulder Courtyard Marriott Hotel.

What would prompt such an impulse booking you might ask? As it turns out Walt practically raised his children in vintage VWs, and the whole family had developed a profound fondness for them. Additionally, Walt was himself the proud owner of a green and white 21-Window VW Microbus, a fraternal twin to our own red and white Samba. His Magic Bus, however, was currently at his home in Grand Junction, CO. When Walt heard about the Hippie Limo from a wedding guest he knew he had to, as he put it, “Make it happen.”

The Hippie Limo’s arrival was heralded with woots, cheers, and appreciative laughter. Walt came up to introduce himself while waiting for the freshly minted couple to emerge from the building. What began as a one-on-one exchange of air-keweled stories quickly grew to a group conversation as guest after guest joined us to share fond memories of the VWs they had once owned.

At last Annie and Brett appeared, dashing through the tunnel of arched hands belonging to their friends and family. As I helped the newlyweds into their coach Brett firmly grasped my hand and repeatedly said, “Thank you! Thank you! This is awesome!” a sentiment echoed by Annie as she exclaimed “This is wonderful!” through tearful eyes.

Roy Orbison‘s “Pretty Woman” rang out from our high-end sound system as we rolled off into the night. Annie and Brett immediately melted into their seat and into each other’s arms. Slowly their heads tilted back to gaze at the night sky through the Hippie Limo’s 5-foot, open-air sunroof. The duo crooned the words to each song that played as we leisurely made our way to their hotel. Another strong handshake from the groom and a kiss on the cheek from the bride later, the two headed to their room and toward their life together. All of our best wishes go out to them, and our thankfulness that we were able to give them yet one more reason to smile on their big day.

Annie & Brett's Boulder Wedding - Spice of Life Event Center - The Hippie Limo

More Wedding & Commitment Adventures!

Curious about the fun other couples have had with the Hippie Limo on their special day? We have stories and pictures galore:

  • Look under Current Events & Musings in the right sidebar for the most recent rides
  • Visit Weddings & Commitments for a complete rundown of all of our wedding related activities
  • Go to Wedding Wire for reviews from couples on the Hippie Limo’s services
  • Peruse our Photo Gallery to see some of the best images that couples have shared
  • Be inspired by wedding pictures from around the world that feature vintage VWs on Pinterest
    Follow Me on Pinterest
  • Hop over to In the Press to see what the media and blogosphere are saying about us
  • Preview a ride in the Hippie Limo from The Experience
  • Click on the services listed on the Hippie Limo main page to explore other fun options

When you’re ready, check out our Limo Packages & Rates or our Beer, Wine & Spirits Tours to see what we can do for your wedding, commitment, or other special occasion!

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Melissa & Paul’s Wedding: Lionscrest Manor – 6/8/2013

The Hippie Limo - Denver & Boulder's Premier Retro-Mod Vintage Ride     Melissa and Paul’s wedding set a Hippie Limo record for a booking from the farthest point on the globe – the Middle East! Hats off to Melissa who planned her entire Lyons, Colorado wedding while serving in Kuwait! Melissa and Paul met in Kuwait where Melissa is a Paramedic and Paul is a Firefighter. Given the overlap of their professions and the limits of their shared geography it seems fated that the two would meet and fall in love. Even the casual observer can tell that their personalities (which are in equal measure graceful and goofy) were tailor made to egg-on and support one another (see the photos below).

When the couple boarded the Hippie Limo at the beautiful Lionscrest Manor, their adoring relatives and friends sent up wave after wave of cheers as they posed from the 5-foot, open-air sunroof. Their photographer, the inventive and profoundly talented Beth Sanders of Beth Photography, documented the couple’s every smiling moment in our WayBack Machine before departure. Soon we were headed down the switchbacks of the Manor’s winding dirt road toward the town of Lyons. The moment we reached the bottom Paul leaned forward and sheepishly asked me if we could head back up to the venue. It seems they had both forgotten their cell phones.

Roundabout we turned and the couple found themselves once again waving and smiling to their guests who were now making their own trips down the hill. Cell phones firmly in hand we began the Magic Carpet Ride to the couple’s temporary residence. As we drove, Melissa and Paul began removing and reading pieces of paper from a large, white bird cage that the wedding coordinator had tucked into our Samba prior to our first departure. The pieces of paper were notes of well-wishes and farewells that their guests had placed inside the cage prior to the ceremony. Occasionally I would hear a burst of laughter from the back, but mostly there were the sounds of appreciation and affection.

An hour later the two were exiting the Hippie Limo to prepare for what they called their “after party.” The newlyweds would be returning to Kuwait in just a few days and they wanted to relish every moment they would have with their family and friends. Our best wishes to the couple who crossed most of a globe and multiple time zones to be joined in what is sure to be a life of laughter and love.

Images below courtesy of Beth Photography. Check out her website to see her amazing talent.

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More Wedding & Commitment Adventures!

Curious about the fun other couples have had with the Hippie Limo on their special day? We have stories and pictures galore:

  • Look under Current Events & Musings in the right sidebar for the most recent rides
  • Visit Weddings & Commitments for a complete rundown of all of our wedding related activities
  • Go to Wedding Wire for reviews from couples on the Hippie Limo’s services
  • Peruse our Photo Gallery to see some of the best images that couples have shared
  • Be inspired by wedding pictures from around the world that feature vintage VWs on Pinterest
    Follow Me on Pinterest
  • Hop over to In the Press to see what the media and blogosphere are saying about us
  • Preview a ride in the Hippie Limo from The Experience
  • Click on the services listed on the Hippie Limo main page to explore other fun options

When you’re ready, check out our Limo Packages & Rates or our Beer, Wine & Spirits Tours to see what we can do for your wedding, commitment, or other special occasion!

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Did you attend this event? Do you have something to add? Tell us about it with a comment in the Leave a Reply box below.

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Lionsgate Event Center Spring Bridal Show – 4/22/2013

The Hippie Limo - Denver & Boulder's Premier Retro-Mod Vintage RideWhen Lisa Brown, site manager at the Lionsgate Event Center, called me in January to hire the Hippie Limo to take her and her staff out on a well-deserved night on the town, it was with a heavy heart that I had to explain that our Samba spent the winter months hibernating. “No problem,” she said. “We’ll definitely call back in the spring!” Then after a pause, she added, “Did you know about our Spring Bridal Show? “

Moments later I was filling out a vendor application and making adjustments in my calendar.

If you are looking for a venue that combines colonial elegance and country grace with modern refinement then you will be delighted with the Lionsgate Event Center. The center is made up of two different facilities, The Gate House and The Dove House.

The Gate House impresses with its vaulted ceilings, large copper bar, Victorian staircase, and antique German fireplace and paneling. The most spectacular feature is a century and a half-old French stained-glass window which creates a dramatic backdrop. Eight French doors on its either side open onto a large covered patio and spacious grounds. The bridal party’s dressing and preparation needs are well met by two beautiful guest rooms with fireplaces and private restroom access.

The Dove House boasts large living and dining rooms appointed with gracious French and Oriental furniture, a gorgeous brick and flagstone solarium with oversized skylights, and a large dance floor presided over by an illuminated 1920’s art-deco bar. Beyond these visual delights, the Dove House caters to both the practicalities and whimsies of preparing for the big event by providing a bride’s room that is bathed in natural light, an adjoining bridesmaid’s room and family room, and a man-cave of a groom’s room that includes a big screen TV, gaming console, and air-hockey table.

It is well worth noting that the brightness and welcoming of the entire venue is only outshined by the helpfulness of its supportive and friendly staff!

The Hippie Limo was a big hit with both the brides and their entourages, as well as with the Lionsgate Staff who took a few moments out of their busy post-show cleanup activities to rock to the Hippie Limo’s 1000-watt sound system. Take a look at some of the day’s photos in the slide show below and visit the fantastic galleries for The Dove House and The Gate House at the Lionsgate website to get an idea of the amazing experience that awaits you.

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More Wedding & Commitment Adventures!

Curious about the fun couples have had with the Hippie Limo on their special day? We have stories and pictures galore:

  • Look under Current Events & Musings in the right sidebar for the most recent rides
  • Visit Weddings & Commitments for a complete rundown of all of our wedding related activities
  • Go to Wedding Wire for reviews from couples on the Hippie Limo’s services
  • Peruse our Photo Gallery to see some of the best images that couples have shared
  • Be inspired by wedding pictures from around the world that feature vintage VWs on Pinterest
    Follow Me on Pinterest
  • Hop over to In the Press to see what the media and blogosphere are saying about us
  • Preview a ride in the Hippie Limo from The Experience
  • Click on the services listed on the Hippie Limo main page to explore other fun options

When you’re ready, check out our Limo Packages & Rates or our Beer, Wine & Spirits Tours to see what we can do for your wedding, commitment, or other special occasion!

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Did you attend this event? Do you have something to add? Tell us about it with a comment in the Leave a Reply box below.

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Cat & Tim’s Wedding: Red Rocks Trading Post & Visitor’s Center – 4/13/2013

The Hippie Limo - Denver & Boulder's Premier Retro-Mod Vintage RideThe Hippie Limo emerged from its winter hibernation just in time for Cat and Tim’s spring wedding at Red Rocks Trading Post & Visitor’s Center. Cat and Tim hold the record for making the earliest pre-booking for our one-of-a-kind ride – just over one and a half years prior to their big day! This contrasts noticeably with our 1 month pre-booking average! Obviously this is a couple who like to plan with an eye toward detail!

My instinct about this couple was confirmed when I spoke with their coordinator Danielle Odil of Entwined Planning to make the final arrangements for the couple’s midnight ride to the St. Julian Hotel in Boulder. Danielle immediately impressed me with her excellent communication skills and responsiveness to my questions. As always, I wanted to gather as much information about the couple and their expectations as I could in order to give them yet one more blissful smile on their wedding day.

Cat had special motivation for hiring the Hippie Limo to be the final touch to the wedding. Her husband is a fan of old VWs (and currently restoring a vintage Beetle), and she wanted to surprise him with a ride in a Samba, one of the rarest and most special VWs in the history of the brand. Cat also had a special request that I play “Under My Thumb” by The Rolling Stones at the full capacity of our 1000-watt sound system as I rolled up to meet the couple. She obviously wanted to send a tongue-in-cheek message to her freshly minted partner.

When I received this request, I asked if she would be interested in an unusual playlist I had put together years ago called Sardonic Wedding. The playlist included her requested song as well as songs with titles such as “(Can’t Get No) Satisfaction,” “Nowhere Man,” “I’ll Feel So Much Better (When You’re Gone),” ” Thrill is Gone,” and “Suspicious Minds.” As you might guess, I never thought this playlist would see the light of day, but Cat told her coordinator that she LOVED the idea and to please queue it up. I knew these were my kinda people!

You can get a glimpse into the fun at Cat and Tim’s quirky and classy wedding, as documented by the amazingly artistic R.J. Kern, by visiting their special album on his site. We wish Cat and Tim a lifetime of all of the smiles, joy, and off-center cleverness we see in their pictures.

Cat & Tim's Red Rocks Wedding - The Hippie Limo

More Wedding & Commitment Adventures!

Curious about the fun other couples have had with the Hippie Limo on their special day? We have stories and pictures galore:

  • Look under Current Events & Musings in the right sidebar for the most recent rides
  • Visit Weddings & Commitments for a complete rundown of all of our wedding related activities
  • Go to Wedding Wire for reviews from couples on the Hippie Limo’s services
  • Peruse our Photo Gallery to see some of the best images that couples have shared
  • Be inspired by wedding pictures from around the world that feature vintage VWs on Pinterest
    Follow Me on Pinterest
  • Hop over to In the Press to see what the media and blogosphere are saying about us
  • Preview a ride in the Hippie Limo from The Experience
  • Click on the services listed on the Hippie Limo main page to explore other fun options

When you’re ready, check out our Limo Packages & Rates or our Beer, Wine & Spirits Tours to see what we can do for your wedding, commitment, or other special occasion!

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Did you attend this event? Do you have something to add? Tell us about it with a comment in the Leave a Reply box below.

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Miriah & Dale’s Wedding: The Chapel at Red Rocks and The Curtis Hotel – 10/19/2012

The Hippie Limo - Denver & Boulder's Premier Retro-Mod Vintage RideThe Hippie Limo has long been hoping for a chance to visit the ultra-swank, mid-century mod The Curtis Hotel in downtown Denver. Miriah’s call asking the Hippie Limo to ferry her and her bridesmaids from The Curtis to The Chapel at Red Rocks in Morrison, CO and back was just the opportunity we had been waiting for.

Miriah’s call came as I was walking with my children to the local Isabelle Farm to pick some carving pumpkins as part of the day’s art project. She told me that she was thrilled to have found the Hippie Limo and couldn’t wait to have it as part of her wedding. “The pictures,” she said, “were going to be amazing.” When I pulled up to The Curtis to await Miriah and her entourage I found myself in line behind three stretch limos waiting to take Miriah’s guests up to the beautiful and intimate Chapel at Red Rocks for the wedding ceremony. A few last-minute arrangements and wardrobe checks along with a couple of wonderful photo ops meant that we were heading away from The Curtis well after the other limos had departed. However, we somehow still managed to arrive at the venue a good ten minutes before them.

As I helped Miriah out of our Samba I noticed her fine selection of shoes for the occasion, a pair of white, purple, and orange Nikes. She smiled at me and remarked, “There’s no reason why a bride should be uncomfortable on her wedding day, is there?” I couldn’t agree more. While the wedding party prepared and the guests milled about outside, I took advantage of a small cloister alongside the chapel to sit, reflect, and read a book. The ceremony was short and benefited from one of the most amazing views of the Red Rocks themselves I have seen short of the Red Rocks Trading Post within the park. Miriah, her new husband Dale, and their photographer were in our Microbus quick as a flash (if you’ll pardon the pun) to travel up the road a short ways from the chapel to take advantage of the fading light for a few more photos.

As quick as we were up we were back down at the chapel and saddling up for the ride back to The Curtis for the reception. Though the booking was for the standard three-hour minimum, I felt like the whole affair had been a whirlwind of activity. Our best wishes to the new couple in their lives together.

The Curtis Hotel - Downtown Denver - The Hippie Limo

Miriah & Dale's Wedding - Quick Pose Outside The Curtis - The Hippie Limo - The Curtis Hotel in Denver

Miriah & Dale's Wedding - Bridesmaids Galore - The Hippie Limo - The Chapel at Red Rocks

Miriah & Dale's Wedding - The Bride Being Comfortable - The Hippie Limo - The Chapel at Red Rocks

Miriah & Dale's Wedding - The View - The Hippie Limo - The Chapel at Red Rocks

Miriah & Dale's Wedding - The New Couple - The Hippie Limo - The Chapel at Red Rocks

More Wedding & Commitment Adventures!

Curious about the fun other couples have had with the Hippie Limo on their special day? We have stories and pictures galore:

  • Look under Current Events & Musings in the right sidebar for the most recent rides
  • Visit Weddings & Commitments for a complete rundown of all of our wedding related activities
  • Go to Wedding Wire for reviews from couples on the Hippie Limo’s services
  • Peruse our Photo Gallery to see some of the best images that couples have shared
  • Be inspired by wedding pictures from around the world that feature vintage VWs on Pinterest
    Follow Me on Pinterest
  • Hop over to In the Press to see what the media and blogosphere are saying about us
  • Preview a ride in the Hippie Limo from The Experience
  • Click on the services listed on the Hippie Limo main page to explore other fun options

When you’re ready, check out our Limo Packages & Rates or our Beer, Wine & Sights Tours to see what  we can do for your wedding, commitment, or other special occasion!

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Did you attend this event? Do you have something to add? Tell us about it with a comment in the Leave a Reply box below. If you need help making a comment, see the instructions on our Word on the Street page.

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Juliana & Brian’s Wedding: Boulder Sunrise Amphitheater – 9/29/2012

The Hippie Limo - Denver & Boulder's Premier Retro-Mod Vintage RideEvery wedding has a moment or characteristic that defines it, that makes it stand apart from any other wedding that came before or will follow. For Brian and Juliana I would offer that the defining characteristic was the passion between them clearly evident in one of the photos (see below) taken in the Hippie Limo.

The trip began at the Hotel Boulderado where we picked up Juliana and her bridesmaids Adriana, Diana, and Alissa, along with the wedding photographers. After a short photo session we were on our way up the familiar Flagstaff Mountain road headed for Boulder‘s beautiful Sunrise Amphitheater, a local favorite for weddings and other ceremonies. The novelty and corresponding smiles on the wedding party’s collective faces at climbing up Flagstaff in our Samba flowed palpably into the front of the bus. One of the bridesmaids repeatedly remarked that the ride was “SOOOO cool!” Each time she said it she intoned a little more enthusiasm and appreciation.

Once at the amphitheater the bridal party disembarked and began their final wardrobe and logistics checks before the main event. Most of the guests were already seated when we arrived, so it was rewarding for me to see the faces of the friends and family blossom as they crested the amphitheater’s steps after the ceremony and saw the Hippie Limo. It seemed like no time at all before Juliana and Brian were again in the Microbus, the photographers documenting the experience through dozens upon dozens of shutter clicks. As is often (but not always) the case, the groom was understandably a bit more eager for the photo session to end and the reception party to begin, whereas the bride and photographers were focused on this one-and-only chance to record one of the most meaningful events of the couple’s lives.

During the drive down the mountain the couple and their photographers relaxed and readied themselves for the celebrations to come. I envied Juliana and Brian the delightful combination of elation and exhaustion of the evening to come. The reception is one of the biggest opportunities a couple will have to bask in the glow and possibility of their new life’s journey and it is a time to savor.

Juliana & Brian Wedding: Boulder Sunrise Amphitheater - Moment Alone - The Hippie Limo

Juliana & Brian Wedding: Boulder Sunrise Amphitheater - The Road Ahead - The Hippie Limo

More Wedding & Commitment Adventures!

Curious about the fun other couples have had with the Hippie Limo on their special day? We have stories and pictures galore:

  • Look under Current Events & Musings in the right sidebar for the most recent rides
  • Visit Weddings & Commitments for a complete rundown of all of our wedding related activities
  • Go to Wedding Wire for reviews from couples on the Hippie Limo’s services
  • Peruse our Photo Gallery to see some of the best images that couples have shared
  • Be inspired by wedding pictures from around the world that feature vintage VWs on Pinterest
    Follow Me on Pinterest
  • Hop over to In the Press to see what the media and blogosphere are saying about us
  • Preview a ride in the Hippie Limo from The Experience
  • Click on the services listed on the Hippie Limo main page to explore other fun options

When you’re ready, check out our Limo Packages & Rates or our Beer, Wine & Sights Tours to see what we can do for your wedding, commitment, or other special occasion!

———————————–

Did you attend this event? Do you have something to add? Tell us about it with a comment in the Leave a Reply box below. If you need help making a comment, see the instructions on our Word on the Street page.

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Lana & Allen’s Wedding: Mount Vernon Country Club – 9/22/2012

The Hippie Limo - Denver & Boulder's Premier Retro-Mod Vintage RideThe Hippie Limo‘s most recent late-night excursion was to the Mount Vernon Country Club to pick up Lana and Allen for their ride to the Hotel Monaco, the official starting point for their honeymoon. The newlyweds were ready to go the moment we arrived and their guests were already collecting outside to give them a warm farewell despite the comparatively chilly evening temperatures.

On spotting the Hippie Limo’s approach, one of Lana’s bridesmaids sprang into action and organized the guests and wedding party into mirrored exit lines on either side of the red carpet leading from the venue’s polished oak and brass entryway to our Samba’s gleaming red and white doors. I caught a glimpse of the couple as they navigated (and occasionally dodged) the crowd inside and noticed that they did not have coats. Having not seen any warm clothing at hand among the items I had already loaded for them, I quickly slipped inside the Microbus and laid out two blankets for Lana and Allen in case they wanted to ride with the five-foot canvas sunroof rolled back.

When I turned around I was startled to see several dozen large sparklers suddenly ignite above Lana and Allen’s heads as they dashed down the swelling gauntlet of well-wishers. Specks of bright, white light fell everywhere as I helped the breathless and smiling couple into their seats. Just as I was about to introduce myself, a photographer ushered me to the far side the bus’ doorway and began snapping pictures. Soon he was joined by another and suddenly amid all the flashing lights I began to wonder if these were Paparazzi instead of wedding photographers and whether I had accidentally picked up a pop music duo rather than a pair of newlyweds. A quick glance in the couple’s direction after the cameras withdrew revealed the flushed faces of a young couple a bit torn between their immense and sincere appreciation for the love and support they were receiving and their eagerness to exchange the constant limelight of the day for the gentle candlelight of the evening to come.

I made eye contact with Lana and Allen and wordlessly pointed first to the open sunroof and then to the blankets before giving the pair a questioning look. Knowing I would not be able to hear their words from their seats, they both motioned that they wanted the sunroof open and would very much appreciate the blankets. I indicated for them to buckle their seat belts and then unfolded the blankets. Suddenly the action-oriented bridesmaid from earlier appeared and gave her bride one final inspection. She gingerly reached down and tucked in the hem of her bride’s wedding gown far beyond the reach of the door, smiled sweetly to her, then seemingly just to herself, and then asked in an uncertain voice filled with bitter-sweet tremors, “Is she ready?” At that moment she sounded and looked like every mother who has ever sent her little girl off to her first day of school, week at camp, or semester at college. I smiled. For no reason I can completely explain, I said, “She’s fabulous. Thanks to you.”

At last we pulled away into the near-moonless night. The chilled air, relative quiet, and lulling darkness that followed was as much of a contrast to the maelstrom of activity that had preceded as one could ask. I could both hear and feel Lana and Allen melt into the seats and into each other’s arms in the back. Lana asked if we could keep the sunroof open until we reached the highway and then close it until we were in the city. I said of course. The two exchanged stories about the day in quiet revere for the rest of the trip . . . until we reached downtown Denver when their energy levels rebounded.

Noting their newfound vigor, I suggested that we take some time to make a few passes through LoDo with the sound system cranked before we went to their hotel. Their response was enthusiastic! The next 20 minutes found us inching our way through the throngs of revelers in the streets and becoming the focus of attention for every bar with a patio and every pedestrian with the ability to turn their head. Camera phone flashes winked in the shadows and smiles glinted in the street lights all of the way through the district. Lana and Allen took it all in, waiving and smiling to the strangers as if they were royalty on parade. When at last we reached the entrance to the Hotel Monaco the streets were quiet as were Lana and Allen. After I unloaded their belongings into a bellhop cart, the couple thanked me for an amazing ride, remarking that they had both done the “limo thing” lots of times before, but that this trip had been something special. I bid them farewell and headed home, happy that even amid the amazing sendoff they received, Lana and Allen still felt that their ride in the Hippie Limo was something special.

Images below courtesy of James Ellison Photography.

Lana & Allen's Wedding: Mount Vernon Country Club - Raising the Roof - The Hippie Limo

Lana & Allen's Wedding: Mount Vernon Country Club - Cheek to Cheek - The Hippie Limo

Lana & Allen's Wedding: Mount Vernon Country Club - Ready to Roll - The Hippie Limo

More Wedding & Commitment Adventures!

Curious about the fun other couples have had with the Hippie Limo on their special day? We have stories and pictures galore:

  • Look under Current Events & Musings in the right sidebar for the most recent rides
  • Visit Weddings & Commitments for a complete rundown of all of our wedding related activities
  • Go to Wedding Wire for reviews from couples on the Hippie Limo’s services
  • Peruse our Photo Gallery to see some of the best images that couples have shared
  • Be inspired by wedding pictures from around the world that feature vintage VWs on Pinterest
    Follow Me on Pinterest
  • Hop over to In the Press to see what the media and blogosphere are saying about us
  • Preview a ride in the Hippie Limo from The Experience
  • Click on the services listed on the Hippie Limo main page to explore other fun options

When you’re ready, check out our Limo Packages & Rates or our Beer, Wine & Sights Tours to see what  we can do for your wedding, commitment, or other special occasion!

———————————–

Did you attend this event? Do you have something to add? Tell us about it with a comment in the Leave a Reply box below. If you need help making a comment, see the instructions on our Word on the Street page.

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Adriana & Ryan’s Wedding: Boulder Sunrise Amphitheater – 9/22/2012

The Hippie Limo - Denver & Boulder's Premier Retro-Mod Vintage RideThe Hippie Limo was operating in stealth mode for Adriana and Ryan’s wedding at the Boulder Sunrise Amphitheater. Ryan called me the week before to arrange for the Hippie Limo to be the surprise getaway car for his bride Adriana and himself. He cautioned me not to arrive before 6:00 pm to ensure that Adriana would not see the Samba until the ceremony was over. The best laid plans . . .

I made the trip up Flagstaff mountain a bit in advance but pulled the microbus into a spot far away from the amphitheater and away from prying eyes. I parked on a downward-facing hill so when the time came I would simply let the Hippie Limo roll down the road and around the bend separating me from the amphitheater. My intent was to make sure that there would be no engine noise to either interrupt the ceremony or spoil the surprise in case the ceremony was running a few minutes late.

At 6:01 pm I released the parking brake, pushed in the clutch, and let our Samba do it’s impersonation of a silent-running hybrid. I had just begun to round the bend when a woman who I would later learn was Adriana and Ryan’s wedding coordinator darted out from behind a large van and waved me back out of sight. I could see a group of women who were obviously bridesmaids lining up on the stairs to the amphitheater and one of them had caught a glimpse of the bus as I came into sight. In one quick motion born of years of crisis management, the coordinator distracted the bride, silenced the bridesmaid, slipped out from the crowd, and let me know in broad gestures that I should disappear. The wedding hadn’t even begun!

I started the engine and backed up the hill. Luckily the coordinator’s distraction was a good one and I was able to scurry out of sight before the surprise was ruined. Later the coordinator walked to my parking spot around the bend and told me that the ceremony was running about 30 minutes behind and that she would come up and get me when I was needed. Shortly I was joined by two large shuttle coaches who were arriving to collect the guests and take them back into Boulder for the reception. I waived them to stop before they were able to make my mistake (their loud diesel engines would have certainly interrupted the ceremony).

When the coordinator finally did give me the all-clear I rolled down to the parking lot and was greeted by the beaming and ecstatic face of a new bride, the relieved and joyful expression of a novice groom, and the amazed and appreciative gazes of the guests and wedding party. Ryan shook my hand and introduced his wife while the amateur and professional photographers took their positions around the Hippie Limo. The couple looked so glamorous, yet carried themselves with such a playful grace that I had to smile as I watched them effortlessly transition from pose to pose for the photographers. Looking at the picture below of Ryan leaning in to gently steal a kiss from Adriana I think you will see something of that playful grace I saw, as well as catch a glimpse of a type of gentle appreciation and admiration that the most loving couples share.

Before long we were heading down Flagstaff en route to their reception at the Boulder Theater. By the time we reached the neon-drapped marquee, twilight had settled around Boulder and the nightlife was getting underway. I bid Adriana and Ryan farewell and a good life together. I hope Ryan’s surprise delighted Adriana. I am sure the Hippie Limo will be only one of many happy surprises they share together in their lives.

Adrianna & Ryan's Wedding: Boulder Sunrise Amphitheater - Into One Another's Eyes - The Hippie Limo

Adrianna & Ryan's Wedding: Boulder Sunrise Amphitheater - Riding Together - The Hippie Limo

More Wedding & Commitment Adventures!

Curious about the fun other couples have had with the Hippie Limo on their special day? We have stories and pictures galore:

  • Look under Current Events & Musings in the right sidebar for the most recent rides
  • Visit Weddings & Commitments for a complete rundown of all of our wedding related activities
  • Go to Wedding Wire for reviews from couples on the Hippie Limo’s services
  • Peruse our Photo Gallery to see some of the best images that couples have shared
  • Be inspired by wedding pictures from around the world that feature vintage VWs on Pinterest
    Follow Me on Pinterest
  • Hop over to In the Press to see what the media and blogosphere are saying about us
  • Preview a ride in the Hippie Limo from The Experience
  • Click on the services listed on the Hippie Limo main page to explore other fun options

When you’re ready, check out our Limo Packages & Rates or our Beer, Wine & Sights Tours to see what  we can do for your wedding, commitment, or other special occasion!

———————————–

Did you attend this event? Do you have something to add? Tell us about it with a comment in the Leave a Reply box below. If you need help making a comment, see the instructions on our Word on the Street page.

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Kendra & Justin’s Wedding: Crooked Willow Farms – 8/26/2012

The Hippie Limo - Denver & Boulder's Premier Retro-Mod Vintage Ride“We saw the Hippie Limo and right then it was a done deal!” That is what Kendra told me after I dropped her and her new hubby Justin off at The Inverness Hotel and Conference Center in Englewood, CO. The couple had hired our Samba to make a classy getaway following their wedding and reception at Crooked Willow Farms in Larkspur, CO. By all indications, it was one heck of a party!

When the Hippie Limo arrived at Crooked Willow Farms the evening’s festivities were just getting under way. I heard the DJ announce the first dance from the second-story window of the U-shaped building that was the venue. The building looked like it had formerly been a very large stable that had undergone such an elegant and dramatic remodel that it was hard to recognize it as such. The courtyard inside the arms of the U was beautifully landscaped and immaculately manicured and looked like an English garden nestled within a stone terrace. I crossed the courtyard and climbed the corkscrew stares up to the rustic dance area where I let the bride know the Hippie Limo had arrived.

Kendra was in such a state of flustered joy that I hesitated to even approach her. I could see the whirlwind that must have been the events of the day still spinning in her eyes, but I also saw the combination of elation, fulfillment, and relief that defines nearly every bride as she sees the finish line approaching to that happiest but also most draining of days. After simply introducing myself I stepped back outside to wait in the courtyard. I did take a quick detour to the other side of the building to take a look at the dining hall that was currently being cleaned by the staff. It was lined on both sides with large windows and had French doors at the end. The inside looked liked it had been outfitted by an expert in fine, vintage restaurant design.

In a couple of hours the guests began to trickle out. A few lined up in front of our Microbus, thinking that perhaps it was the bus that had been hired to take them to the hotel. In this particular case I had been retained just to be the livery for the lucky couple. Only moments after I explained why I was there a very large luxury charter bus rolled up on the other side of the Hippie Limo creating quite the visual contrast. Another half hour saw Kendra and Justin and their remaining guests flowing down the stairs and into the courtyard. The bridal party formed a canopy for the couple to run through on their way to the bus.

A few poses for photographs was all that separated them from their final getaway. It was close to midnight before we were off and cruising the back-country roads on our way to Kendra and Jusin’s hotel. The couple had their playlist going on our sound system at about half the system’s capacity (which is pretty loud) and settled into gentle cuddles and enthusiastic reminiscing about the day as they finally had some precious time just for themselves. I could almost feel the warmth from them radiating all of the way to the front of the bus, despite the cool air flowing in through the sunroof (which I suppose was technically now a moonroof since it was letting in the lunar glow from outside).

The couple had about a half-hour to themselves during the ride, and when we pulled into the Inverness driveway I could tell it had done them a world of good. As I opened the door for them and began unloading some of their baggage from rear hatch Kendra and Justin came around to the back of the bus and thanked me profusely for an amazing trip. Kendra offered me a pastry from the box the caterer had brought out to them prior to departing and told me that the couple would definitely tell others about the Hippie Limo. Then the two of them once again entered the fray of guests and photographers, happy and ready for the next stage of the evening.

We wish all the best for Kendra and Justin, and are particularly glad that we had the chance to meet them and be part of their celebration.

Kendra & Justin's Wedding - The Newly Minted Couple! - Crooked Willow Farms - The Hippie Limo

Kendra & Justin's Wedding - Taking a Breath - Crooked Willow Farms - The Hippie Limo

Kendra & Justin's Wedding: Crooked Willow Farms - Dancing in the Streets - The Hippie Limo

More Wedding & Commitment Adventures!

Curious about the fun other couples have had with the Hippie Limo on their special day? We have stories and pictures galore:

  • Look under Current Events & Musings in the right sidebar for the most recent rides
  • Visit Weddings & Commitments for a complete rundown of all of our wedding related activities
  • Go to Wedding Wire for reviews from couples on the Hippie Limo’s services
  • Peruse our Photo Gallery to see some of the best images that couples have shared
  • Hop over to In the Press to see what the media and blogosphere are saying about us
  • Preview a ride in the Hippie Limo from The Experience
  • Click on the services listed on the Hippie Limo main page to explore other fun options

When you’re ready, check out our Limo Packages & Rates or our Beer, Wine & Sights Tours to see what  we can do for your wedding, commitment, or other special occasion!

———————————–

Did you attend this event? Do you have something to add? Tell us about it with a comment in the Leave a Reply box below. If you need help making a comment, see the instructions on our Word on the Street page.

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